Which do you prefer, EVA or cork grips?

Discussion in 'Fishing Rod Review' started by dreamcatcher, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    This is a long running debate in many fishng circles on what is the best choice. Functionally, it may not matter one way or the other, but from an aesthetic standpoint there might be a preference. That being said, I like both of them in different applications. For ultra light to medium gear I like the cork(bluegill, crappie, bass, walleye and such) and EVA for catfish and above. I'm not making reference to the cheap foam stuff that manufacturers put on their rods, but the good stuff that you get with custom builds. I have noticed in custom build galleries most people go with EVA designs for heavy duty and cork for lighter applications. Very few people use cork with heavy duty standup gear.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. brad kilpatrick

    brad kilpatrick New Member

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    2,666
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    Kansas City
    Cork all the way. I prefer the way it feels and looks. More old school lookin'
     

  3. bearcat

    bearcat Member

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    925
    State:
    Nokomis, Illinois
    Hey Dreamcatcher. I like the cork better. Then again I might not have seen the real good EVA before ,that could make a difference.
     
  4. three_rivers

    three_rivers New Member

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    688
    State:
    Tupelo Ar
    I would go with eva. Cork looks great and feels great it just won't take the daily abuse that rod holders will put on them. They chip off quick and loose their pleasing looks. If its a rod that i'd keep in my hand like my crappie rigs i'd go cork all the way. Big catfishing rods are eva though. One of my catfishing rods that has a cork handle on, the cork on it above the reel cracked right in the center of that section. I like the action of that rod so i leave the plastic over the cork (what comes on it when its bought) and black tape it to keep my cork handles pristine. Vic good post. It ought to get many replies!
     
  5. Deltalover

    Deltalover New Member

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    1,227
    State:
    Tracy Calif
    I love the cork, for look and feel! My "Seeker Rod" has a different kind of cork, its darker and real pretty, rolled I believe it is called. It is claimed that you can grip it better when your hands are wet and slimy from bait and catch!
     
  6. Tomahawk

    Tomahawk New Member

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    1,015
    State:
    NC
    Out of all the rods I have only afew are not cork. The ones that are wood or foam are my deepsea rods. COrk holds up very well. I found that when cleaning your rods just take a kitchen sponge with a scrub pad on it and the cork hadles clean up very well. They look brand new when finshed.
     
  7. T-Bone

    T-Bone New Member

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    1,125
    State:
    South of Dallas
    I'm a Cork guy myself. It seems to hold up well for me. I've got one pole (not sure it's eva) maybe somekind of felt type stuff. Anyway, it's used and is real slick where my hand holds it all the time. The cork just feels right to me.
     
  8. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    Thanks for the responses guys. I always wanted to talk about the importance of the grips. Someone once told me that foam makes the "rod look cheap." Again, the stuff you generally see on the market is foam that's a somewhat lower grade, which makes the cork stand out as the material of choice.

    Don't be fooled though, because all cork isn't high grade. The manufacturer just wants you to believe that you're getting an old world product. They got to cut the cost somewhere don't they? This is not to talk bad about foam or cork, just to share a little bit about economics and fishing rods. If the manufacturers put the really good stuff on the retail price would be steep. However, you can figure it out based on how much you spend for a fishing rod.

    I believe the saltwater guys use EVA because of the conditions and the rod holder aspect that Danny was talking about. The foam is just more forgiving I think....Everything is a spinoff of something, and I believe that cork on heavy catfishing gear comes from trout, salmom, and bass fishing just like levelwind reels. Manufacturers know this, so what they do what they can to give you that "feel."

    I say this because I got this rod last year for about 65 to 70 bucks with a cork grip. The cork is still good, but I can tell now where the manufacturer cut corners, and that is in the guides and wrapping materials. Not to mention that the blank is some "secret" material that can't be disclosed to the public. :rolleyes: Amazing the stuff you find out when you do some research.

    Sorry, to digress, but just wanted to say that all EVA shouldn't be looked at as "bottom barrel" and cork as "top drawer." At least from a store bought rod perspective.

    Here's one site to look at which gives you some idea of how to "dress up" a foam handle:

    http://www.rodbuilding.org/photopost/showphoto.php/photo/103/cat/507/page/1

    http://www.rodbuilding.org/photopost/showphoto.php/photo/240/cat/507/page/37
     
  9. Deltalover

    Deltalover New Member

    Messages:
    1,227
    State:
    Tracy Calif
    The cork on the seeker rods is called "cork tape" and is really durable and is known to stand up to the harshness of ocean big game fishing. Has a lifetime warranty and is made in the U.S.A.

    https://www.charkbait.com/cs/csrodskrCL.htm
     
  10. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    I have the cork on my med to light graphite rods, for crappie, walleye, wipers ect.
    For my catfish and paddlefish rods I use the foam grips. (ugly stick big water boat rods)
    The rod holders for the catfishing tend to tear up the cork and the foam is much softer on the stomach when snagging for paddlefish all day and battleing these heavy fish.
     
  11. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

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    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    dreamcatcher pretty much summed it up for me, but i like eva for cats though. absorbs slime and i can bury my hook in there when im done too keep from getting hooked or snagging my closthes or something else.
     
  12. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    Thanks for the link Phillip. Those Charkbait folks are some good people to deal with...
     
  13. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

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    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    I love the look and feel of quality cork but it cant handle the abuse that most of us impose on our rods for a life timelike EVA.
    Rod holders are brutal on cork and when you are paying as much as $2.25 for a super select clear grade cork ring a 1/2" thick, makes you think twice. It's not real hard to surpass the cost of the blank with cork. I've done it many times.

    I love EVA for it's ease of use and workabilty and price.
    I can throw a square stock piece of it on my bench lathe and go to town shaping it or slice and dice it and put it back together making a mosaic of different colors.
    The price is much better then cork unless you buy the junk cork.
    You can really make some very nice looking "one off" grips with EVA without alot of effort and less then 200 bucks in a craftsman bench lathe.
     
  14. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    Ohio
    I'm a cork guy, but then again all of my foam rods are a little lower class rods. I would like to see & feel a nice higher class foam rod.
     
  15. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    I prefer cork, but I do like the eva on my uglystik tiger rod.
     
  16. Pennsylvaniacatchaser

    Pennsylvaniacatchaser Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,359
    State:
    Sarver, Pa
    I'm a cork guy. I have about 60 rods in my collection and all but 3 have cork. I mainly like the appearence and feel of a good cork handle. Cork cleans up easily and is durable if not abused. I think most rods with foam handles look cheap. When the foam handles first came on the market it was to cut out the higher cost of cork. I'd rather spend the extra money and get what I like. In fact I've never owned an ugly stick cause I don't care for the appearence of the foam handles, although I see the ugly stick lite rods now have cork. Don't know that I've seen the Eva foam that's being discussed.
     
  17. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Yea, EVA doesnt come as standard equipment on most models.
    It's not your everyday cheap foam grip
     
  18. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    Scott, I do agree that the foam choices they give you on the market with store bought rods are "cheap" looking, and tend to take away from the overall appearance. I may be putting EVA in the wrong light when I call it "foam." This stuff is by no means spongy to the touch, by that I mean it can't be collapsed easily. It is extremely durable and more versatile in custom builds when you are trying to compliment the other components on the rod, or matching up that favorite reel.
     
  19. SilverCross

    SilverCross New Member

    Messages:
    1,562
    State:
    Fairbury, Illin
    The old cheap foam is good with me, don't really care about the looks as much as how they work. Maybe one day I'll get to see what a fine Eva feels like. Cork just seems to get tore up with me, but then I am not real easy on things.
     
  20. Gator

    Gator New Member

    Messages:
    1,116
    State:
    Ludowici GA
    Most custom rod builders will use EVA grips for heavy-duty rods because they hold up better against the force of a big fish hitting a rod in the rod holder. Cork will crack or split under a lot of presser where the EVA is totally flexible. There is also so much more that can be said as far as the ability of EVA to hold up much longer in harsh weather as well. Cork will dry out and split with a lot of espouser to sun light where EVA will last almost 10 times as long and cork when exposed to sun light. EVA is also much more cost efficient as cork cost almost 6 times what EVA does. If you ask me I will only use EVA or something like a Tuff butt or a uni butt. The major difference is the fisherman’s choice that is for sure but to put cork on the rods I build for flatheads would add almost $60.00 to the cost where as the EVA only adds about $15.00.