Seat Mounting

By Tom Kirkman, (RodMaker Magazine)

Here's a question from the Volume 4 - Issue #1 issue of RodMaker magazine:

"...I just took the reel seat off of the Berkley Rod I have. I stripped it down to the bare blank. Now, I had a Pinnacle rod that was broken and I took the reel seat off of that one. Boiling was the trick. I found that the seat had been mounted on a cardboard sleeve. Seems a little cheap to me. Is that a commonplace sleeve to use in the fishing rod industry?

I made my own new sleeve out of phenolic and machined it down to the proper inside and outside diameter. I will make two bushings from it, each about 1 & 1/2 inches long. Should I fill the gap between the bushings with epoxy? I am going to use Epon 151 which is a 24 hour epoxy. Also, I extended the handle 2 & 1/2 inches with a G5 fiberglass rod that I tapered to fit inside the blank. Should I extend that rod all the way into the blank past the reel seat? The rod below the seat will have cork bushings. Does this all sound like it will work to you? thanks. Garry. . . El Torra, CA

RodMaker Magazine

To begin, yes cardboard bushings and masking tape spacers are the norm for mounting reel seats in the fishing rod industry. Is this a viable way to mount reel seats? Most of the time, yes. Is it the best way? No, not at all. Custom rod builders like yourself are better served by taking a bit more time and fashioning rigid yet lightweight arbors for supporting a seat anytime the difference between the seat diameter and blank diameter is more than just fractions of an inch. Your phenolic bushing bushings will work fine, but you may be able to perform the same job with arbors made from lighter, yet equally rigid material. [Covered in depth in this issue's Techniques column, Mounting Reel Seats.]

I am not familiar with the Epon adhesive. It may well be a good one for this purpose. Most of us get excellent results from regular 2 part slow-cure epoxy such as that marketed by most of the epoxy finish suppliers, or that which can often be found at the local home hardware store. Trondak's Rod Bond is another truly excellent gel epoxy which has, in fact, been formulated specifically for use on fishing rods. (Oh no! Charges of bias will once again be raised!) There is no need to fill the gap between your bushings as the bushings themselves possess a high degree of sheer strength. Thus, any extra epoxy you pour inbetween the bushings serves no purpose other than adding additional weight. Don't do it.

Your final question really depends upon the particular rod you are working with and the demands that are expected to be placed upon it. If you expect it to see hard and heavy use under demanding conditions, then extending the fiberglass extension into the handle area will certainly gain you some measure of extra strength. There are many excellent ways to approach handle extensions but yours should certainly prove sufficient. Perhaps we will offer a few more way of doing such in an upcoming article. ~ Tom Kirkman

Publishers note:

If you have any tips or techniques, send them along! Help out your fellow rodmakers! ~ Publisher, FAOL

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