Originally Posted by dean_mt
Why down locking, Ard? I put on one my little Sage 2wt, but have UL on my other couple rods.
Is cork suitable for large rods? Don't know why but I assumed it was for small seats and friction rings.
S&S makes for good info as always
The down lock thing is simply a personal preference but not one without reasoning at hand. Almost every rod now is sold with up locking hardware save a few Spey casting models. it seemed to me that round about the mid 80's up locking hardware and Rocket Taper (WF) lines became the new normal for fly rods and fishing.
One thing I find that to a certain extent is inarguable; when you are putting a rod and reel together for fishing, having a down lock seat provides that the hood for the back of the reel foot is on the bottom. Why would that matter? have you ever dropped a reel while trying to hold it 'up' into an up locking reel seat as you screwed or slid the back or bottom ring over the back of the foot? It is natural that you may point the tip of the rod either strait up or at least have it inclined while you mount a reel. When you have a down lock system the reel sort of keeps itself in place while you affix the rings, not so with the up lock system.
Weight distribution is another advantage of having the reel positioned just an inch or so more toward the butt of the rod. I have a 9' 4 piece Orvis PM-10 5 weight rod with an up-lock seat. Regardless of whether I load a 5 or 6 weight line the rod is tip heavy when strung up with line at or past the tip top and a fly hooked into my hook keeper. This makes for the tip wanting to gravitate downward while I walk along a stream. What harm in this? Actually none, as long as I maintain a tight grip on the cork and be sure the tip does not wedge into the rocks and such as I walk. I like a rod and reel (in the condition described as 'strung up') to be perfectly balanced at the very front of the cork. This will allow a very relaxed grip whenever you are simply holding the rod and walking. No tip going up, no tip going down, just a nice level balanced rod.
When the line from that same rod is out the tip by 40' the weight of the reel is reduced of course and that balance is moot. With that particular rod I went through many reels looking for balance and ended up with a Viscount size 7/8 reel on it to balance it out. Still I wish the reel sat further back on the rod and that I didn't have to be leary of dropping it every time I rig my rod and reel together.
Whether that was all necessary to answer a simple question or not I don't know but I said it and I'm gonna hit the submit reply button now