Re: Up locking vs. down locking reel seats
On a single hand rod, uplocking gives you a bit more of a "fightng butt" to it. On a spey rod where you have a long rear grip anyway, but actually need to balance the rod, downlocking allows you to use a lighter reel. I build rods and pretty much always do it the way I just said for exactly those reasons. For example, my 15" Albright spey rod balances perfect with my 13oz. PENN 4GAR. But try and find a 13oz. fly reel. Now days they have more hole than metal. Your doing well if you can get a 9 oz. reel. If the seat had been down locking like I do it, you may have gotten away with a reel more in the 9 oz. zone. On a single hand rod, if you get Moby Dick on, and feel the need to rest the butt against your belly, that extra 3/4 or 1 inch your hand is away from you when you reel may help a bunch. I built a 12 wt. and caught what would be considered a freakin monster by fly rod standards. It has an uplocking seat and a fairly hefty fighting butt designed to use with a fighting belt. I both needed and liked it. If the reel seat would have been reversed, my reeling hand would have had less room. I would have been OK, but I like the way it turned out. I think it makes less difference on single hand rods than spey rods, but I like it the way I said.