This was the product that got it all started for us back in 1974, and to this day it’s STILL the only fifth string capo worth putting on a banjo. It operates on a lever principle, not a spring, so it provides sufficient pressure to fret the string without muting the tone. It slides on a slim, dovetailed bar that mounts flush to the neck, making it sturdy and unobtrusive.
Regular length bar (5.75″ with two point mount) or Long bar (8″ with three point mount)?
Originally, our fifth string capo bar was eight inches long, and attached to the banjo neck with three mounting screws. A few years ago we remodeled the bar, a change which I’d long considered. I personally never capo the fifth string any higher than the tenth fret (this would go along with the regular capo being at the fifth fret). So for my own banjo, I made a custom bar which was much shorter (5.75″). This shorter bar is now our standard size. Besides taking up less space on the neck (for you fellow thumb-wrappers), it offers the additional advantage of using only TWO mounting screws instead of three.
If you want to be able to capo your 5th string all the way up to the thirteenth fret, the original eight inch, three-screw bar is still available. The price is the same.
We strongly recommend that you have a luthier or repair person install your fifth string capo. Most places that work on instruments can mount it for you in just a few minutes. Or if you are handy with small tools, and not shy about working on your banjo, you could install it yourself. In either case, the Shubb Company is not responsible for the quality or consequences of the installation process.
Installation instructions are provided in the package, but in case you’ve lost the insert, you can download the instructions here:
Expert luthier Frank Ford has provided an excellent description of the proper installation at his website. Even if you have a pro install your capo, it would still be helpful to refer them to Frank’s description, since he has considerable experience at installing these capos. I also suggest taking a look at his page regarding fifth string nuts.