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reckless 11-09-2008 10:19 PM

Replacement reel seat
Hi, I have a rod that has a seat that does not fit my favorite reel. What is involved in buying a new seat and can I fit it myself if so what is involved?

ezamora 11-10-2008 02:00 AM

Re: Replacement reel seat
it might be easier to address the reel's foot than replace the seat. some file the ends a bit. which reel is it? on a machined reel, you can sometimes buy a replacement foot if it's from a major manufacturer like orvis, lamson, ross, etc and file one down, retaining the original in case you mess up or want to sell it as original someday. how much is the fit off? if it's a machined reel/footing, you could always have someone manufacture a replacement foot and i know of one guy who specializes in this work. bill archuleta.

i have an okuma integrity (blech) which had a slightly large foot. i resigned myself to use it on the one rod which it fit. these days i don't use that reel at all.

to replace the rod's reel seat, you'd have to first find a replacement reel seat which fits and as you've experienced, there are no guarantees. if you mess with the rod, you might invalidate the warrant if it has one.

if you pursue removing the original reel seat, it might be easy to remove but you might screw up a portion of the rod. might. once removed, it's generally easy to glue on a new one if you take your time and do to right. but chances are it would look tampered with.

what makes this your favorite reel and what is it? since you can never have enough fly rods, it might be worthwhile to simply find a new rod and insure the reel fits well.

fresno, ca.

christer 11-10-2008 12:52 PM

Re: Replacement reel seat
Hi Reckless!
Like Eric said, check with the company in question about the warranty. If you want to replace the reel seat, the easiest way to remove the old one is to boil a pot of water, dip the butt end of the rod for a couple of minutes. be sure to cover the entire reel seat so all the glue warms up. Put on some heavy working gloves and try to pull the reel seat off the butt end. If it sits to hard put it in the water again.
DON´T twist (I did that once and twisted the blank off). If there is a fighting butt attached to the rod, strip it off first.
When you´ve removed the reel seat scrape off as much of the remaining glue as possible. put paper tape on the blank so the reel seat almost fits (1 mm space maximum) to centre it. Mix epoxy (not 5-minute) and glue the reel seat on. Have some acetone ready to wipe off any unwanted epoxy.
Put the rod so the reel seat doesn´t twist while the epoxy sets.

Good luck!

ezamora 11-10-2008 02:35 PM

Re: Replacement reel seat
yeah, i've done that once before. i just used a simmer in a dep pot and ended up dipping twice in the water but it came off easy, relatively speaking. if the reel seat was uplocking into the cork grip's inlet opening, you may have an interesting challenge in piecing a new one together but it can be done.

as for acetone, many use it but it's highly volatile and not good for you or the environment. i'd respectfully suggest using denatured alcohol for cleanup as a lesser evil.

fresno, ca.

reckless 11-11-2008 12:32 AM

Re: Replacement reel seat
Thanks Guy,s. As a rod and reel nut I have dozens of all sorts of reels but mostly Hardy's, and not one reel I have fits in the back end of the reel seat properly and all work lose very quickly. If I can use you sudgestion and boil off the butt cap and take down the wood seat by a fraction it may work. Otherwise I will pick one of the newer (cheaper) reels and file down the back end of the foot to fit. Thank you very much for your input.

MBWCC 11-11-2008 06:13 AM

Re: Replacement reel seat

Originally Posted by reckless (Post 38382)
Hi, I have a rod that has a seat that does not fit my favorite reel. What is involved in buying a new seat and can I fit it myself if so what is involved?

You could certainly do this yourself, but if you don't intend to build rods in the future the material cost (epoxy) will probably exceed the cost of having some do it for you. A local custom rod builder would probably do this for you for very little money beyond the cost of the new reel seat. The money might be well invested versus risking making a cutting wheel slice into your rod blank.

Assuming you want to do this yourself:

Your most daunting task will be removing the current reel seat. Typically the reel seat is epoxied to the rod blank using wall tape (open weave tape for dry wall seams) wound around the blank. If you pop the butt cap off the old reel seat (it is held in place with a small amount of epoxy) you'll see the issue. Furthermore, the grip is usually inlet cut to fit around the reel seat.

BTW, I've build rods but never tried to remove a reel seat. The thought doesn't sit well.

If I were trying it myself I would take a Dremel tool with a small cutting wheel and make two or more slits through the old reel seat in full lengthwise cuts, being careful to cut only through the reel seat and not into the rod blank or overshoot and hit the handle. It is very delicate work with very little margin for error. Cut from the butt to the handle, stopping just short of the handle so as to avoid cutting the cork. Next carefully pry the old reel seat pieces off of the handle. Split the reel seat pieces at the cuts you created and then pry the pieces away from the rod blank.

Once the old reel seat is cut away you can carefully grind/sand the old epoxy and wall tape off of the rod blank.

When you have the blank relatively free of the previous reel seat and mounting material you simply wind the blank with wall tape in two spots (front and back of the reel seat) so as to fit/center the new reel seat. Wind a bit extra and then slowly remove tape, check fit, remove tape, check fit, etc., until the fit between the reel seat and handle is a nice, smooth, slip fit. Once the new reel seat's fit is tested and good, unwind the wall tape and slather it with epoxy as you rewind the wall tape back onto the blank. Place a film of expoxy inside the front and back of the new reel seat and then slide the new reel seat into place. Hold in place and allow the epoxy to cure.

The butt cap is added (epoxy) after the new reel seat is set and the epoxy cures.

Good luck.

Personally, I'd find a new favorite reel that fit the old reel seat, or I would modify my favorite reel's foot to fit the old reel seat (BTDT) before I thought about removing the old reel seat.

reckless 11-12-2008 07:28 AM

Re: Replacement reel seat
Eric , thanks for the advice. It is an Australian bought rod from Adelaide called, "Wild creek rods" it is a very sweet rod but for this seat problem. I like to wood in the seat on it so if I could get the end cap off and do some work on the shape of the seat I would be a happy boy. I will try the boiling water on this as I can just dip the end cap in and see what happens. Thanks again and I will keep every one posted on the results, good or bad. Neil

reckless 11-15-2008 05:23 AM

Re: Replacement reel seat
Well, so far so good. I have boiled off the butt cap, rubbed down the offending varnish, made a slight alteration to the seat shape, re varnished the seat and am now waiting to replace the end cap with a two part epoxy. Thanks to all for the advice. neil

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