How to restore your fishing rod’s rundown cork handle
STEP#4 BUFF, WASH AND SEAL
Once the filler is completely dry, use fine sandpaper to buff the entire handle until it’s smooth and even. A light touch is required here, since the goal is to remove as little good cork as possible. Wash away the dust with mild soap and water, then let the handle dry. Finally, apply a cork-specific sealant, such as U-40 Cork Seal, or other polyurethane-based product. I used Minwax Wipe-On Poly, for example, to give the rod grip above a new lease on life.