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Fly reel seat installation
Posted by: calvin r sapp (---.phnx.qwest.net)
Date: May 13, 2008 03:17PM

I am in the process of building my first fly rod and will be using U-40 Rod Bond for installing the reel seat and have a few questions on installing the reel seat.

1. If I use drywall fiberglass tape for arbors as referenced in Tom Kirkman's book do you tack the first wrap of the tape on each side or at the back of the first wrap and is the final wrap tacked at the end and not the sides.

2. How much space should be left between the arbors and in front of and in back of the arbors and should the space between the arbors be filled with rod bond or should only the drywall tape be coated with rod bond. Should the rod bond be applied in front of the first and behind the last arbor after the reel seat is installed, after installed or not at all.

3. On a fly rod should the reel seat be installed from the top side of the blank and pushed down onto the butt section or pushed up the blank from the butt.

Thanks in advance for any answers to these questions.

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Re: Fly reel seat installation
Posted by: Anonymous User (Moderator)
Date: May 13, 2008 05:36PM

You can slide it on from the butt if you wish.

One full length bushing is fine, although if you want to save a little weight just use two 1 inch bushings at either end of the seat. The area in-between should not be filled with epoxy.


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Re: Fly reel seat installation
Posted by: Milton (Hank) Aldridge (---.maine.res.rr.com)
Date: May 13, 2008 06:24PM

Hi Calvin,

On question 3, on a fly rod reel seat you should be able to install it from either direction. Your tape arbors will make the front-back the same size. The only 2 exceptions I can think of why you can not install from both ends is if you have a reelseat that it's ID is smaller that the butt end then you will have to install it from the tip end and if you or someone has installed the reelseat cap before the reelseat is installed then you will have to install it from the butt end.

Hope this helps.

On The Rocks Fishing
Wells, ME.

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Re: Fly reel seat installation
Posted by: eric zamora (---.dsl.frsn02.pacbell.net)
Date: May 14, 2008 01:31AM

calvin, did the answers work for you? personally, i'm a bit baffled by the last one, number 3.

1- i don't tack any special areas. the drywall fiberglass mesh tape i use has a bit of adhesive to it. it tacks itself when you first start. after a couple of revolutions, i smear on rod bond from one side to the other and in the middle and wrap a few more revolutions. i try to make sure there's a good amount but once you do it, you'll see how it works. i smear it on knowing in the end, i will basically spin the reel seat a quarter revolution on the blank and back a bit to smear it even more. the adhesive on the tape becomes a bit of a moot point after a bit since the smearing of rodbond becomes quite messy. wear latex gloves! i smear some on the ends, in the middle a bit all around but not on each revolution. the rod bond will work itself through the mesh tape. i'm not stingy on the areas i do apply it. when the tape is fully wound (and you should have tested your lengths of tape first wthout rodbond, fitting the entire assembly on the rod blank before starting to apply the glue) i'll dab more on the end of the tape in the hope it'll stay down, but often it'll start to unravel a bit. that's ok. it will move a bit when you carefully shove the reel seat onto the blank anyway. once you slide the reel seat assembly onto the blank, wiggle it a bit to see if there's any noticeable play. there will be some give because of the gel-like consistency of rodbond but it shouldn't feel loose at all. the RB will harden.

2- most of my fly reel seats measure from 3.5 to 4 inches long. i usually use two strips of tape. each one about half the width of the tape as originally bought. it's about 3 inches wide so each arbor is about 1.5 inches wide. i cut it with scissors before opening rodbond (of course). i usually place the strips about 1/4 inch in from each end. on my first two rods, i filled the space inbetwen the arbors with rodbond, but noticed the reel seat felt very heavy when i did this. i now only use rodbond on the arbors and leave the space inbetween empty.

3- sorry, i just don't understand "push down onto the butt" and i've thought about this since you first posted. i mean, as opposed to "pushed up the blank from the butt." i guess i can see someone working a reel seat down from the forward end towards the butt but reel seats usually have a cap for the end and i glue up the reel seat completely and let dry a day or so before gluing it onto the blank. so with my method, there's only one way, pushed up the blank from the butt. after that, i work the grip down from the opposite end. these steps go together for me. glue reel seat onto the butt end of the blank, work the grip down from the opposite end.

sorry for my confusion and hopefully your questions have been answered. good luck.

fresno, ca.

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Re: Fly reel seat installation
Posted by: Jim Williams (---.br1.sho.az.frontiernet.net)
Date: May 14, 2008 10:06AM

Calvin, thanks for the question. Thank all for answers. And Eric thank you very much for such an emotive explanation. What a great post to explain the process so well. I really like that. Sorta like....here's the material list....go make a fly. Then there are the Step by Step instructions on how to make a fly. Eric, you did such a good job it helps me and probably others tremendously. I kinda think I understand it so well now I feel like I have done it already my self. Great....thorough exlanation. Thank you, thank you, thank you

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Re: Fly reel seat installation
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.235.78.110.Dial1.Orlando1.Level3.net)
Date: May 14, 2008 10:29AM

I have been frustrated by fiberglass mesh tape "unwinding" after a trial fitting of the reeel seat, particularly when I took pains to get a tight wrap and a tight fit. I have found a little dab of hot melt glue injected by a glue gun into the mesh at the tape end solves this problem.

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Re: Fly reel seat installation
Posted by: calvin r sapp (---.phnx.qwest.net)
Date: May 14, 2008 10:01PM

Thank you for your answers they do help.

This is to clarify question 3.

The reel seat is a pacific bay I am not sure of the model it looks similar to a UL3 but the insert is already glued and appears to be acrylic but the end cap is not already attached. The inside diameter of the reel seat is approximately .425 but the last 3/8th of an inch where the threading is the inside diameter is .625. and as I said the reel seat has a end plug. My concern was should I put the reel seat on the rod first and then the plug next which would let me slide it up or down the blank.

I do have two questions for Eric, since the last 3/8th of an inch has a larger inside diameter I assume that the first fiberglass tape arbor should be 5/8ths inch from the bottom of the butt section (the 1/4 inch you referenced plus the 3/8 th inch). My second question is do you wind the fiberglass tape on first to determine the correct amount of tape then reverse most of the wraps and then start applying the rod bond as you referenced in your answer. The reason I ask is because you probably know how much tape to use when from past experience but I do not.

Thanks again to everyone for your responses.

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Re: Fly reel seat installation
Posted by: eric zamora (---.dsl.frsn02.pacbell.net)
Date: May 16, 2008 01:52AM

(chuckling....) i think you're thinking too hard about this calvin, but as individuals, we each approach things in different manner so that's not harsh criticism, perhaps constructive criticism. i used my "about a 1/4 inch" as a ballpark figure. i have never measured it though i can aproximate closely. basically, with a 3.5 inch long reel seat, i put arbors on each end, just a tad bit inside the reel seat. i htink once, i might have found the space inbetween the arbors was large enough for another arbor with space betwen all thre and went ahead and added another. it was a larger rod (8wt) and i didn;t feel any extra weight added at that point of the rod would have hampred any feel. if one end of the reel seat is a larger inside diameter, i would simply use more flex mesh tape to fill up the bigger space. but generally, i use less tape on the butt end since the expanding taper of a blank leads to the blank filling up more space at the butt end. it varies with each blank's taper of course. and with bigger fiberglass fly rods, there's less room needed to fill with tape. i've never run into a reel seat with variable IDs. they've all been relatively straight inside but again, i've never whipped out the digital calipers. i'm curious which pac bay seat you're using.

as for the second question, yes, i wind on the tape dry, without glue, to determine the correct amount of tape needed. i don't target a "tight" fit, i just look for it to be snug, without any play. i then back off the tape and start applying the rodbond. often times, i'll use 2, possibly three lengths of tape to create one arbor. why not just one? i'm not sure. it's a very simple procedure and despite my detailed explanation of how i do it, i don't put much thought or worry into it. that's left for inpending bills, child rearing, other life responsibilities. oh, and the application of the actual thread finish. LOL rod assemby is supposed to be relaxing for me. probably why i don't bother with slippery metallic thread. as for the alluding to my experience, i only know from experience that each reel seat arbor can take different amounts, depending on the blank taper at that point, the reel seat's ID and how sloppy i might be that day.

now this might get REALLY complicated.... LOL. when i dry fit the tape, i wind in the same direction for each arbor. you choose. now when i have the tape all glued up and am ready to (gingerly) shove on the reel seat (from below since my end cap was probably already glued on with RB days to weeks to months earlier) i gently twist it on in the same direction of the tape wrapping. the end of the tape will probably move but i don't know how much since it's concealed and i don't concern myself with it too much. just as long as there is no loose play which might indicate airspace between the arbor and the reel seat once you have it positioned.

by the way, in the next step, sliding the grip down from above and applying rodbond as it nears its final resting place, make sure you have the cork grip oriented so any major flaws are either hidden on the underside or away from where your hand or fingers normally rest.

feel free to ask for any further clarification. this is your first and i think we've all ruminated on these details so you're not alone. the sooner you finish it, the more experience you'll have for the next.

fresno, ca.
(keep in mind, i wouldn't call myself an expert. i've only finished about a dozen fly rods, but i DO have half a dozen more leaning against walls, each with a grip and reelseat attached. i find this the easiest and fastest part of assembling rods.)

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