How To Clean The Cork Handles On Your Fishing Rod (Quick & Easy)


Are you sick of the cork handles on your fishing rod being filthy?

Brand new rods have nice, bright, light-colored handles, but as you use them, they slowly get more and more duller and darker.

If you’re like me, and want your gear to look nice and new, then you’re going to love this quick tip for cleaning your cork handles.

It takes about a minute to clean each rod and you probably already have everything you need at home.

Check it out below.

How To Clean Cork Handles [VIDEO]

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To clean your cork handles, all you need is a little bowl of water, a rag, and some Mr. Clean Magic Erasers.

Just get the Magic Eraser a little wet, squeeze out the excess water, and scrub the handles.

Wipe it down with the rag after you’re done and voila — just like new!

It also works well for getting fish slime off of foam handles.

If the handle is extra dirty, you can use rubbing alcohol.

And be careful not to use the Magic Eraser on your rod as it’s abrasive and could scratch into the coating of your rod.

Have any questions about cleaning your rod handles?

Let us know in the comments below!

And if you know someone with dirty, old rods, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Jason franqui
1 year ago

great post, after cleaning you can use golden oak wood filler to fill in the holes and tru-oil to seal the grips. I usually do several coats with light sanding in between coats on all my cork grips.

Tina Roberts
1 year ago

I use an old tooth brush (soft- and gingerly scrub) but I am going to try the magic eraser next time, thanks Tony.

Robert Bigelow
1 year ago

Mr. Clean magic erasers are really impressive with what they clean, it’s really like magic how they work. But… I never thought of using them to clean cork grips that’s amazing.. Thanks again Tony!

Isaac Lee
1 year ago

Do you have a special way to clean Winn grips?

1 year ago
Reply to  Isaac Lee

I use rubbing alcohol and it works great

Adam Bailey
1 year ago

I’ve used U-40 Cork Seal on all of my cork handled rods. It’s a water-based liquid sealant that is easy to apply with a new cheap bristle brush. It’s best to apply to new cord after removing the wrap and wiping the cork dust off. For used rods, you can apply the sealant after cleaning and letting the cork completely dry. According to the company, the sealant may wear off after two to three years depending on use and care. One 2-ounce jar should last for many years and at least dozens of rods. You use very little to seal the cork and more is not better. This sealant makes clean-up easier and keeps the cork looking better for longer. [No, I’m not sponsored, just trying to help. :-)]

Adam Bailey
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

No problem! I’ve used Magic Erasers too and they work really well. Thanks for the suggestions about getting slime off foam handles and not rubbing the blank. I’d be mad at myself if I scratched the finish.

Check out that sealant for your nice custom rods. It’ll keep the cork nice for a lot longer.

Last edited 1 year ago by Adam Bailey
Andre Pollard
1 year ago
Reply to  Adam Bailey

I’ll second the U40 recommendation- great stuff and not expensive

Bill Godwin
1 year ago

I have bamboo fly rods 50+ years old. I keep the cork clean and pristine as you suggested, now using Magic Erasers.

But, I would encourage you to apply a very light film of neats foot oil to the cork immediately after cleaning to prevent it from breaking down. Constant wetting and drying of the cork will lead to it drying out and becoming brittle over time.


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