The Tripoli Treatment

Tripoli otherwise known as rottenstone I have found is my tried and true method of polishing bamboo fly rods. A mixture of boiled linseed oil and tripoli seems to always bring a smile to my face when I first mix it up. It is a bit archaic I suppose but I'm funny that way especially when it comes to finishes. I connect the smell of linseed and tripoli to a sense of completion and when the new owner pulls the rod out of the case he or she can actually smell the level of detail as well. Many rods are finished with satin type varnishes (silica imbued matting agents) but the act of polishing a rod using traditional methods gives me a deeper layered finish. I find that I can spot the silica finishes and they look somewhat artificial even though they are a time saver for many rod makers. Then again I mix my own spar concoction so my process already is a bit more labor intensive. There are many ways to skin a cat but the tripoli treatment just rings true for me.

~Clint Bova