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Old 09-16-2013, 12:11 PM
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Default Spey Rod seat/handle questions

Good day builders
So, I am slowly nearing finishing my first build (9' 5 wt)...and have already picked up my blank for my next....a rainshadow IM7 13' 7wt....rated in the Scandi line weight range.

I am constantly looking at seats and handles and have a few questions (and in asking them, really show off my newbie-ness at rod building).

Handle lengths. I am a big(ger) guy with big hands. In my researching, I think I am seeing a wide range of handle lengths and am wondering if anybody can talk about this. What, based on the blank I have...and that I am a bigger guy....would you say the handles (front and rear) would/should be?

Handle types. I am seeing a range of handle types...from 'plain' corks to neoprene sections, especially for the rear grip. Also, for the rear grip, I see straight or variations of the ball-ended type. I think I am leaning towards the neoprene types and likely the ball ended rear but would love to hear anybody's thoughts on this.

Regarding both of the above, can anybody suggest sites to shop handles? Most I see, don't 'really' do a good job of 'selling' the product so I am relying on the exprience of those here.

Seats. I like the various skeleton seats but am wondering about size relative to the spey reel foot. I think I saw a post here that talked about this...basically showing the comparison between a 'normal' reel vs. a spey reel...and that the foot was the same...hence, if the ID works, any seat works. That said, I am just not confident enough.
What are criteria you spey builders use? I am thinking for sure, double lock nuts...but apart from that, I am floating around on this.

Relative then....what are your thoughts on uplocking or downlocking and how much does this affect balance?

I know, lots here....but any discussion will help. Thanks to all that respond.

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Old 09-16-2013, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: Spey Rod seat/handle questions

Hi Joe,

On grip length; generally the 13' rods and under have the shorter corks and the 14 - 16' rods use the longer.

This I believe has to do with the actions of the blanks, as in how deep they may flex into the butt section..............or it may be strictly cosmetic, I'm not sure.

For instance, my 13' Hardy Marksman #8 rod has a 13 1/2" top grip while my 15 foot Winston's have a 17" top. Is this to say that the 13 foot rod would not work with the longer top grip? I do not know, but.............. I have hands large enough that I can stop the dribble of a basket ball by simply palming the ball, so they are pretty big mitts. The 13.5" cork on the Marksman is fine and I have no need for it to be longer.

With the 15 foot rods the longer top cork allows for a bit more reach when you need more top hand pressure on casts and it being longer makes sense.

The length of the bottom grip will be in direct relationship to how much blank you have to mount it to. You could use a longer bottom and the standard 13" top if that would make the grip more comfortable to you. I don't know whether or not a 17" top cork would inhibit the action of a rod or not.

Reel seats; down locking generally allows for the weight of the reel to better compensate for the rods length. With todays lighter reels and a 13' rod I would use down locking.

Back to the grips, I believe you'll find that building the rod up with standard length grips will work for you if you go that route. I find that the better I get at casting the less attention I pay to the grips on the rods. Having the rubberized butt cap will be a good thing. I have both thin and thick grips on rods and have no particular preference on this, even with the big paws I cast the same regardless of grip thickness.

I don't know if what I said will help but the part about the reel seat seems solid.

Ard
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Old 09-16-2013, 01:12 PM
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Default Re: Spey Rod seat/handle questions

KJ,
I'll leave the Spey handles to the Spey boys. I just play with Switch rods right now. As for seats, you are correct.... reel feet have basically been standardized for quite some time. Every once in a while you will find a reel foot that doesn't work, on a new reel, but they are usually on cheap knock off copies. Many of the old reels did not have standardized feet so they can be hit or miss when it comes to fit.

Since the feet are standardzied you can basically pick up any seat and it will work except for a couple of things. 1) The OD of the blank's butt section. Too big an OD and a small seat may not be large enough to slide over the blank. and 2) The overall look of the finished rod when it comes to proportions. Use Lemke seats for example: There is the .640", 740" and .812" hardware. All serve the same purpose, but if you used the .640" hardware it would look way too small for a Spey rod.
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Old 09-16-2013, 02:05 PM
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Default Re: Spey Rod seat/handle questions

The best bet is to hold the blank like would for casting two handed, measure the distance between your bottom hand and top and add a few inches, with reels getting lighter and lighter and the older heavier reels getting more and more expensive longer top cork will help you balance the rod during the swing, and it gives you room to play with different casting strokes. Petee nailed it on seats and its really a matter trial and error in terms of cork length. Fish whats comfortable to you not some standardized formula. Hope that helps!
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:51 PM
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Default Re: Spey Rod seat/handle questions

The majority of the Lemke seats I sell for the spey rods are generally the LC25 (.740) and the LC26 (.812) These can be installed in either the uplocking or downlocking position. And yes both seats do have double lock nuts.
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Old 09-16-2013, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: Spey Rod seat/handle questions

Hi Joe,

Not sure if you've noticed this, but on the Batson website they have pdfs that give suggestions for the components for the rods. I think this should be the link for your blank.

There's no reason you need to follow the list exactly, but it is a great place to start. You can get all the components from Batson (if you order through Utmost Enterprises they give a discount), or use them as guides for customizing the rod.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:06 AM
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Default Re: Spey Rod seat/handle questions

Thanks to all that responded. It is greatly appreciated.

Williamhj
thanks for the link...I will use that as my guide.

Again, thanks

King Joe Outa Here!
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