Fanciest Rod I own;

Ard

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I was hoping to reduce the weight of the butt section on my 15 foot Winston DB Special by having the reel seat changed out to an Alps seat. I had this done to the Sage One 13'6" eight weight below and really liked the secure mount and the shape grew on me with time and use.


That's the Sage One after the makeover ^^^
If you are not familiar with these seats (I wasn't) they seem to be a top shelf piece of hardware and provide a far better connection between rod and reel foot that the stock Sage reel seats.

In this case I actually have before and after images although taken nearly a decade apart. First the original reel seat and my huge & heavy Vortex reel.




These rods were produced at the turn of the century and as you can see they had more cork than most rods you may own yourself. The front or top grip was I believe 16" and the bottom was 7" and that's a lot of grip! Hardware was bright aluminum alloy and the insert was maple wood.

I went to a gunsmoke gray triangular Alps seat and found another spool for the very light but quite large Hardy LRH Salmon reel instead of the old Vortex which weighed over 1 1/2 pounds fully loaded with line and backing.


The work is from Steve Godshall down in Oregon, the Alps is a shorter seat so he added some decorative rings to the bottom of the upper grip. That allowed the seat to mount more toward the actual butt end of the blank and for the rear grip to be shortened to 5 3/4 inches.



I've never had a rod with colored or burled cork inserts but I told him to do what he thought looked good on the big green rod. I figure just like the Sage redo this will grow on me ad I wondered what you thought of the new look.


The strategy was that by moving the reel closer to the butt end that even though it is considerably lighter there will still be a bit of balance to the rig, I'll need spring to get here or to take another out of Alaska junket before I can cast with the rod again. If anyone is curious as to what line is involved with a 15 foot 7/8 rod one is a 650 grain with a 60 foot belly and 70 foot of running line and the line I'll load to the empty spool is a 700 grain, 70 foot with another 70 feet of runner behind it. One advantage I'm finding with these longer lines is that with 70 feet of running / shooting line you have very little chance of getting to the backing while catching a fish. There is also considerably less line handling during casting unless you start shooting a bunch of runner behind the heads.

Anyone want to guess the 2 partial reels visible in those images? :)
 
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thomasw

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Very gentlemanly looking cork there, Ard. Those reels look a bit like JLHs. Very classy. I think one of those Hardy Duchess reels might be a good fit with cork like that! Congratulations...
 
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Ard

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Hi Thomas,

I'm sticking with the JLH Salmon reel, now I have three spools and may eventually get a fourth for it. I've been using it with a Gaelforce 13'9" rod and am going to use with the Winston this spring for kings and whatever else I can find swimming. I meant the reels lying on the table ;)
 

Davitticus Maximus

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I definitely think the new look is sharp! The original look was kind of plain. The reelseat makes it more modern and gives an appearance of being strong and put together well. The burled cork adds some pizzazz.
 
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Ard

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Thanks for the assessment guys :) The addition of this one makes three rods with the Alps reel seats, the 2 I've had changed and one that came stock on a Gaelforce rod. I really like them, having been at this a while one of the things I've noticed through the years has been the tendency for some hardware to loosen during use. Another issue I have especially with the Sage rods is that even when using Sage branded reels I have to tighten = then wiggle - then tighten again to get the reels snug. No such problems with these seats.
 

oncorhynchus

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Nice rod Ard!

Those Alps triangular reel seats are great! I use them almost exclusively on all my hi-end builds.
 
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Ard

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Hiya Mike,

I just gave him the rod handle and told him what seat I wanted, the fancy work was all him and I think the rod would have been useful on our little fishing soiree. Ready for next time though ;)
 

flav

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Nice rework of your old rod. One glance and I knew it was Steve's handiwork. Did you have him rewrap the guides too? He use to do the thread and epoxy work for Meiser (maybe still does) and the rods he turns out are nice from tip to butt.
 

dennyk

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Hi Ard!

That's some nice looking work and is complimentary instead of gaudy. There is some nice looking cork on those rods, that's a fancy feature I really appreciate on my Scott rods.

Everything is clean as a whistle, but then I know how you take care of things! 😉

Denny
 
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Ard

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Nice rework of your old rod. One glance and I knew it was Steve's handiwork. Did you have him rewrap the guides too? He use to do the thread and epoxy work for Meiser (maybe still does) and the rods he turns out are nice from tip to butt.
Hello,

No, all the wrappings are as they were. He did this working from the rear forward leaving the front grip original. This model had a rather slim front grip but I became used to it quickly and didn't need any change there. In order to remove the old seat there was some necessary damage to the last 2 rings of cork where they overlay the threaded top end of the original seat hardware. The question was, did I just want plain cork rings replaced or should it get dressed up a little? He sent a picture of what he wanted to do and I told him to do what he thought looked nice.

The whole process did change where the reel will sit in relation to the actual butt end of the rod. That too was part of the plan, to eliminate the 7" cork from the original build along with that door stop looking rubber knob. The JLH reel is much lighter than the Vortex or even a Taupo model Perfect and so getting the reel and line weight closer to the butt was intended.

Between his custom cut lines with the integrated runners and the reel seats he has done for me Steve is one of my greatest enablers ;)
 

Unknownflyman

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Looks way better than the original. I like the artistic sensibilities on the grip, its not too much the color is cool and it kinda reminds me of my BDL Remington 700 they have the black cap with a bone white inlay, it finishes it ascetically. I dont notice and issues on regular Sage seats, but I do like the triangle style seat.
 
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Ard

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Hey man :)

Too bad I can't go try the rod with the long belly and the light reel soon but we are sitting here watching the 'Winter Storm Warning' message stream across the bottom of the screen during the 49's vs. Seahawks game. Pretty sure you know that when the National Weather Service feels compelled to warn people in the Susitna Valley about a snow storm in Alaska it could be a big one..........................
 
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