Cork Grades

By Tom Kirkman

RodMaker Magazine This question is from Volume 6, Issue #6 of RodMaker Magazine:
Q. I only use cork for my rod handles and prefer to use the very best, but it seems like the grading system and grade names vary between suppliers. Can you explain to me how to read the various grade listings? Thanks. Charlie...Gadsen, AL.


Unfortunately, there is no across the board rating system for cork ring quality. One company's AAA is somebody else's AA. One company's Flor Grade is somebody else's Special Grade. The names and ratings given are not held to any particular set of standards.

About the best I can recommend is to buy a handful of rings from various supplier as samples. Find the ones you like the best and go back and buy a larger quantity. Then stick with that particular supplier as you need more cork in the future.

One thing that does need to be said, however, is that cork is a natural product and its quality varies from shipment to shipment, from time to time. ~ TK

Publishers note:
If you have any tips or techniques, send them along! Help out your fellow rodmakers! ~ Publisher, FAOL

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