6 Steps to Remove and Replace EVA Fishing Grips

Check out Mud Hole’s 6 simple steps to remove and replace worn EVA grips over the butt end of your fishing rod.

The ability to easily repair components on a fishing rod is a huge bonus of custom rod building.

An experienced builder can not only assemble a custom fishing rod from start to finish, but can also use their knowledge and skills to always keep their rods ready to go. From damaged grips and guides to loose reel seats and lost tip tops, rod building brings many benefits and rod repair surely ranks near the top.

Let’s take a minute to talk tools, for this repair you will need:

Razor Blade
120-Grit Sand Paper
320-Grit Sand Paper
• 91% Isopropyl Alcohol
EVA Grip
Double-Side Tape
Masking Tape
• Denatured Alcohol

Now just use these tools and the following instructions to fix your fishing grips:

Part One: Remove the Old, Damaged Grip

In order to repair your damaged EVA grip, you have to start by removing the old grip and its residue.

Step 1: Cut Grip Lengthwise

Begin by cutting the EVA grip lengthwise with the razor blade. For the best results, use a clock as reference and make four lengthwise cuts at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock.

Since there is hardened epoxy glue beneath the grip, you can firmly yet slowly cut through the EVA without damaging your rod blank.

Step 2: Remove Grip Pieces and Clean Blank

Once you have the grip cut into four separate sections, take some pliers and peel back each strip from the top down to the butt end.

Chances are each strip won’t come off completely and you will have to clean up the area in preparation for the new grip.

To clean up the blank, remove the larger pieces with the pliers and then move on to sanding as the remaining EVA becomes smaller.


Begin sanding with the 100-grit paper and use 200 to 400-grit as needed.

With the EVA material mostly removed and only residue left, use 91% Isopropyl Alcohol to wipe off the majority of the residue.

Part Two: Installing Fishing Grip from Butt End

With the blank as clean as possible, it’s time to choose your replacement grip and apply it over the butt end of your fishing rod.

Step 3: Ream New Fishing Grip

Since rod blanks are tapered, the butt end is the widest portion of the blank.

This means that in order to install a grip over the butt end rather than from the tip, you must ream the new grip to fit over the width of the butt end.

Ream a little bit out at a time and test the grip’s fit periodically for a snug fit against the blank.

Step 4: Apply Double-Sided Tape

Next, apply double-side tape around the blank in position for the new grip.

Wind the tape around the blank in a candy cane pattern as long as the new full grip.

Step 5: Brush on Denatured Alcohol

For this step, you will use denatured alcohol to temporarily ease the adhesive over the tape so that you can twist on your new grip.

Brush the denatured alcohol onto the tape until the entire section is slick and appears wet.

Step 6: Slide New Grip into Place

With the tape slick enough to slide EVA over it, slide and twist the new grip into place over the tape.

Rod Repair Makes Custom Rods Last

While custom rod building is a rewarding craft, one of its biggest benefits is rod repair so stay tuned for blogs on replacing cork, split grips, and more!

As always, don’t forget to stock up on all your Rod Repair Supplies at Mud Hole…