ROD BUILDING TIPS
Replacing Loose or Damaged Reel Seats

By John Britt

From Volume 5 - Issue #1 issue of RodMaker magazine:

RodMaker Magazine

Many of the mass produced rods have reel seats that become loose mainly due to poor construction techniques or lack of adhesive. Sometimes both. It is best to inform a customer that any repair involving reel seats does involve the possibility of damaging a blank.

Graphite reel seats that are loose can often be removed with heat. First remove the rear grip. I use a heat gun set on moderate heat while turning the rod. Apply heat to the seat for a few seconds at a time, try and twist off towards the butt. Since many are loose to begin with, often the reel seat will simply pull off the rod. Quite often is is found that the inside of the seat is perfectly clean and can be reused if you desire to do so.

Remove/repair/clean the old bushings and install the seat. If using the old seat clean with alcohol before reinstalling. Heat will sometimes damage a seat, however, and they need to be carefully checked before use.

Graphite seats can also be cut off using a Dremel or fine tooth hacksaw. After removing the rear grip check and see just how much clearance exists between the reel seat and the blank. Most time the use of a Dremel tool is advised. Cut the seat on two sides, insert a screwdriver blade into the opening and twist. The two halves will pop aprt and the seat can be removed. If at all possible when inserting the screwdriver, try to do so over an arbor or bushing as this should prevent any damage to the blank.

Finally not so much a tip as a word of advice, when using any power tool for repairs be sure and wear the proper safety equipment. Items such as cut-off wheels have been known to shatter and they can cause serious damage to your person. ~ John Britt

Publishers note:

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

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