Uplocking vs downlocking

flav

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I build or refit almost all my rods, and I build them all, single hand, two hand, and saltwater, with uplocking seats. I have never had an issue with balance, I unconsciously move my hand to compensate for whatever reel I decide to mount on a rod that day.
 

bumble54

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It changes the swing weight a lot especially noticable when high sticking. No wonder the best american euro rods are down locking. Across the pond they like semi auto reels and the uplocking reel seat offers better access to the lever but their swing weight suffers. Notice how many boo rod reel seats are downlocking which i imagine is to offset heavier blanks. 10 foot euro rods balance with 1 oz lighter reels if downlocking
Well now, from across the pond I can say that after 50+years of fly fishing I have yet to own a downlocker, all my rods are and always have been uplockers, I use Mitchell auto reels most of the time and have done for the best part of 40 years. Yes it does affect the swing weight, at 13 oz loaded, but for the better most of the time, in my case at least. I pay very little attention to overall weight as I tend to fish mostly for fish I know are there and resist flogging the water to foam, I rarely get tired from casting these days. In a days fishing I cast far less than other anglers I see but with little effect on either the number of fish I catch, I guess, nor my enjoyment of the sport. As far as auto reels are concerned many of my fishing days are interrupted by other anglers asking "what the h**l is that", they have never seen an auto reel before so far from "liking" semi auto's reels, they are in fact quite rare, good thing too as it means I can pick them up for very little money.
 

trev

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I think Ard is correct in that the "balance" point changes approximately equal to the reel position, back in the early '80s there were a few magazine articles about all the wondrous benefits of up-locking reel seats and I was convinced to change two or three out from down locking to up locking, and that is the way that I recall the change in balance. In memory about a three ounce different reel weight put the feel back into the rod, but forty years and a number of other memories may have blurred that, that would have been on 8 1/2' 'glass rods so probably ~4+oz rod, with lighter rods the difference could be less.
More importantly it is like cutting 2-3" off the length of the rod and it makes it more difficult to mount the reel, things I didn't appreciate until years later when I acquired other down lockers. The idea of resting the rod on the butt cap/plug rather than the reel contacting the ground just means the rod info inscribed on the butt end gets destroyed faster.
If buying a new rod I'd pay $50 more for a down locker. I don't want any wood insert either, wood and water don't mix well.

A roll of tape will allow you to mount the reel of choice anywhere and by moving it around you can experimentally determine if it makes any difference to you.
 
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okaloosa

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Well now, from across the pond I can say that after 50+years of fly fishing I have yet to own a downlocker, all my rods are and always have been uplockers, I use Mitchell auto reels most of the time and have done for the best part of 40 years. Yes it does affect the swing weight, at 13 oz loaded, but for the better most of the time, in my case at least. I pay very little attention to overall weight as I tend to fish mostly for fish I know are there and resist flogging the water to foam, I rarely get tired from casting these days. In a days fishing I cast far less than other anglers I see but with little effect on either the number of fish I catch, I guess, nor my enjoyment of the sport. As far as auto reels are concerned many of my fishing days are interrupted by other anglers asking "what the h**l is that", they have never seen an auto reel before so far from "liking" semi auto's reels, they are in fact quite rare, good thing too as it means I can pick them up for very little money.
To each his own I guess. I would be miserable lugging around 13 ounces of reel all day long.
Once again, I am speaking of euro-nymphing and from what I understand semi automatic reels are becoming
popular among those who fish that style.

westchesterfishing.com/forum/index.php?topic=3850.0New semi automatic fly reel - The Fulgor
westchesterfishing.com/forum/index.php?topic=3850.0

"Franco Vivarelli developed the semi automatic fly reel about 30 years ago. They are popular in Europe where they are used to compete. Do not confuse the semi automatic fly reel with the old, heavy, automatic fly reel that held a big spring inside. "
 

RichTheTall

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Since rods cast better with no reel attached, I like the lightest reel possible, mounted as close to my hand as possible. So uplocking for me. With my downlocking rods I always end up holding the reel seat when casting. It's a shame rods lower than #6 don't have something on the butt to protect the reel when you want to stand the rod on the ground.
All this balance and swing weight stuff is for catching anglers, not fish...
 

upstreamcast

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I fish 10' rods a lot. Have a few. My opinion is, you balance a rod with proper reel weight. Movement of a reel seat 3-4" has some effect, but not that much. I think it's just a carryover from the past. If you have a reel you like but it's a little light for your rod I suggest you wind on some lead core line before backing. You can go up an ounce or so easily. I like my rods to balance at front of grip or slightly down grip. JMHO
 

okaloosa

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All this balance and swing weight stuff is for catching anglers, not fish...
attention to detail such as taper, swing weight, material design etc is what separates great rods from mediocre rods and is the hallmark of great rodmakers IMO. I definitely land more fish with my high end rods. pop off less fish, break less tippet, hit the mark when casting more accurately , and enjoy it all more.
I dont see any downside to wanting the best other than the expense.
 

sweetandsalt

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We are never going to come to a consensus on this balance vs. light weight thing and fine. So, I'll add one small thing; when I set on the bank to watch, tie on a new tippet or chat with my pard, I like to prop up my rod in the crook of a branch or a selected soft spot of vegetation, never on stone or gravel and never in the parking area. My rod and reel are protected by nature's rod racks and they are not being laid down to be stepped on.

Not math but I have reels a plenty and when obtaining a new rod I mount a bunch of different ones belonging to other rods on to fined a perfect balance. Looking up that reel's empty weight I then seek a new reel appropriate for the rod's intent of the same weight. So the weight, capacity and appropriateness, performance but including aesthetics, not brand are my effective criteria. An example of the rod not me or a maker's designation choosing the reel is my beloved 9'/#5 Sage ONE, a light weight high performance dry fly rod; it has a wonderful Nautilus FWX that is perfect for it in every way and it says on it size 7/8...I ignore that and put on a MEDT#5.

W17_155_Missouri_R_Allen_Atlas_vs.jpg
 
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RichTheTall

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I dont see any downside to wanting the best other than the expense.
I hear you! I own two high-end rods, a Hardy and an Orvis - they were high end in the 80's. I like them and they cast great. But I really think in the modern era people can get a bit bogged down in the detail. Sure it's fun to experiment and I would certainly not stand in the way of progress. Plenty on here DO seek perfect balance as an important part of that sport and manufacturers sure serve their requirements.
It's supposed to fun so we all need to choose our own path.
 
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