Reel Seat Failures

By Tom Kirkman

Here's a question from the Volume 4 - Issue #5 issue of RodMaker magazine:

RodMaker Magazine

"Do you know or perhaps know of someone who would know what the average number of reel seat failures (due only to them coming loose) is on any company's mass produced rods?

Example company A builds 1000 rods, Model Z. How many of average would be found over about 2 years to have a loose reel seat?

The reason I ask is that two shops I do repairs for buy from a local manufacturer. I keep telling them that the number of reel seats I have to replace or re-install is far too high for the number they are selling.

For all the reading I have done I don't think I ever found any article that has facts or statistics on mass produced rod failures. " John . . .Penellas Park, FL

Most of the commercial rod makers claim an actural parts or workmanship defect rate of less than 2%. That is certainly believable. Were it much higher, it is doubtful they could remain in business for very long. If that number too high? Perhaps, but the cost to reduce the defect rate to zero might be higher than the cost of replacing 2% of their current production! It is unfortunate, but in order to be in business and remain competitive, companies are faced with some hard decisions.

Sure, they could all carefully fit brick/foam arbors to the rod blank and carefully prepare and adhere the reel seat with the same kind of attention to detail that you do. Maybe that would eliminate any loose seats, but the additional time and labor involved might well push them over the top in terms of being competitive with their competition. This isn't a defense of shoddy workmanship by any means, just one explanation of why that 2% failure rate would be hard to eliminate. The current seat mounting techniques used by most of the industry is by no means perfect, but in the majority of cases it does suffice.

And in the meantime, your repair business benefits each time a seat comes loose! ~ 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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