section is still under construction)
There are several
methods of mounting reel seats on rod blanks. The earliest methods
involved wrapping a porous cotton cord around the rod blank until
the diameter of the blank plus cord met the inside diameter of the
reel seat and applying a glue to bond the seat to the cord and the
blank. This is still a very acceptable method. The key is the use
of a highly absorbent, open weave cotton twine which has not been
mercerized. There are however, some drawbacks to the approach. The
first is ensuring good adhesion of the cord to the blank and the
cord to the inside of the reel seat. The advent of modern "expansion"
glues such as polyurethanes certainly is an advance over the original
animal hide glues or even the heat-melt glues which were popular
in the era of solid rod blanks and chrome/brass reel seats. The
second drawback for the builder is the lenght of time it takes for
these glues to cure - and the need to continue to rotate the rod
to make sure that the glue disperses evenely around the rod blank
to reel seat.
//photo of rod
with cord wrapped and reel seat positioned to slide down//
more modern approach that was - and is popular still is to wrap
thin strips of masking tape around the rod blank until a firm fit
is achieved between the tape and the reel seat and filling the voide
with a slow cure two part epoxy glue - available from several major
distributors with the most popular being Flex Coat. This is also
an acceptable method. It ensures that the reel seat is centered
on the rod blank. The drawback is in filling the void between the
strips of masking tape with sufficient epoxy to create a solid bond.
This can be a messy process as loose two part epoxies will drip
and run considerably. A newer approach is to use paste two part
epoxies such as "super-poxy" from Dale Clemens or a "steel filler"
paste epoxy such as is used to repair auto body panels or mufflers.
This works much better as the epoxy does not drip and is a heat-cure
vs air cure mixture. Read the labels to make sure you have a heat
cure epoxy vs light cure (only cures in UV rays such as the newer
body fillers) or air-cure which needs oxygen to "set up" and harden).
//photo of masking
tape strips and reel seat in position //
Other rod builders
use wooden strips or graphite 'plugs' to fill the gap between the
reel seat and rod blank. This also works very well and provides
a long-lasting bond especially if the wood is a superior hardwood
or more rot-proof wood such as teak.
//photo of graphite
"plugs" and teak strips//
"cross-over" method is to wrap the rod blank with masking tape as
above. Slide the reel seat about 3/4 of the way down to the second
wrap of masking tape and fill the void with an expansion glue such
as a good quality polyurethane glue - which is available at any
good do-it-yourself outlet or hardware store.
//photo of polyurethane
glue filling reel seat void//
method that I was introduced to by Tom Shepard , a rod builder from
La Plata Maryland that I've found easiest to manage, apply and provide
a strong consistent bond is to wrap the the rod blank with masking
tape near the ends of the reel seat. - but not at the very end to
the inside diameter of the reel seat. Fill the void between the
two (or three) bands of masking tape with a marine-grade two-part
fiberglass boat repair epoxy with chopped fiberglass particles in
it. These are FAST cure - 3-5 minute mixtures rated for below waterline
application. Once the mixture has dried use a wood rasp to grind
down the filler to slighly less than the diameter of the masking
tape "markers". Score the inside of the reel seat - really put some
grooves in in with a triangular or bastard file. Apply a quality
two part epoxy to the rough finish of the fill material and slide
the reel seat in place. This provides a continuous solid layer between
the reel seat and the blank that is impervious to water intrusion
and is the most sensitive "feel" through to the fisherman's hand.
//photo of masking
tape bands, photo of various compounds & mixtures for below
waterline application ... photo of masking
tape bands and filler in place... photo griding off excess material
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