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Event Article

How G.Loomis Rods are Made – A Behind the Scenes Look at the Factory’s Secret Sauce (continued)


As you might expect G.Loomis is one of the largest employers in Woodland and over 100 employees work at this facility, many of them have been with the company for many years. G.Loomis has an average turnover rate of over 12 years, which is an exceptionally long time for a major rod manufacturer. Equally as impressive is that there are many employees, including Bruce, that have been at G.Loomis for over 25 years.


At the tack station the cut graphite is prepped to go onto the steel mandrel


Once we walked into the office we were greeted in the lobby which is connected directly to the front office. This section takes up a small portion of the entire facility and is home to the customer facing operation as well as the management team. We noticed a few familiar sights in the front office including the ICAST Best of Show Awards that the company had won from previous events.


Each rod makes use of a mandrel during production


I asked Bruce if it would be ok for me to take pictures of everything at the facility and he smiled and said snap away. He handed me a bright colored vest to identify me as a visitor, and a pair of protective eyewear. Then without further pause we went straight to the well lit shop floor.


This rolling machine was designed by Gary Loomis...


The manufacturing floor was ripe with activity and while the facility wasn’t strident there were plenty of noise emanating from the surrounding machinery and employees moving materials around the various stages of production. In all there are 15 key steps in the manufacturing process that each and every rod goes through on their way to becoming a fishable product. The process mainly consists of manual labor supported by machinery. This is not some sort of automated assembly line process, instead the fabrication of each rod is done by employees at individual stations where they specialize in particular roles.


...and rolls the graphite material tightly on the mandrel


The birth of each rod at G.Loomis starts with the graphite material. This graphite forms the foundation for each rod and can vary in both modulus and quality. G.Loomis uses various graphite materials to make their own blanks which all start with graphite prepreg. Prepreg is graphite material that is pre-impregnated with resin, and various lengths and sheets of this material is measured and cut by hand using a steel template. This unique combination that forms the foundation for each rod is what gives the blank a specific length, power, and action.


Bruce shows us the graphite which is now rolled onto the mandrel


After this material is cut it is ready to be rolled onto a steel tapered mandrel, different mandrels are used to give each rod just the right shape and diameter. At the tack station glue is added to the rod to ensure that it will properly adhere to the mandrel during the next few stages in the process.


The mandrel is then wrapped with a special cellophane tape and is loaded into a rack which rolls into the oven for the bake cycle which cures the epoxy

Next Section: Into the oven for the bake cycle









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