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Tennesse grip or reel seat for steelhead rod
Posted by: Tom Lusis (---.wellington.ca)
Date: May 03, 2018 01:49PM

Hi all. I was talking about steelhead rods with some friends who also build rods and there were some differing opinions about what set-up would be most sensitive to detect a steelhead hitting a roe bag, feeling that a spinner or spoons is working correctly in current etc.

One side said that a graphite reel seat with graphite arbors would be the most sensitive set-up when compared to a cork Tennesse grip.

The other side said cork would transmit enough vibrations/bites etc. for it not to make a real difference.

I was just curious what others thought about this "debate".

Thanks. Tom.

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Re: Tennesse grip or reel seat for steelhead rod
Posted by: Jay McKnight (---.dhcp.aldl.mi.charter.com)
Date: May 03, 2018 07:35PM

It's up to the individual really. I'll take my Michigan handle rods a thousand times over compared to a conventional handle or a sliding ring design for bottom bouncing.








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Re: Tennesse grip or reel seat for steelhead rod
Posted by: Jay Dubay (---.clv.wideopenwest.com)
Date: May 04, 2018 06:07AM

My rigs use Tennessee grip, consisting of 25mm dia satin finish hollow carbon fiber tube with graphite arbors, My hand is not Large, But I have built them with a larger OD for a few friends with big paw's, I use a drilled cork ring for the the front cap and a solid cork ring for the butt cap, Reel is taped on with cloth hockey tape, And can be easily moved to you sweet spot or balance point, And yes you can get the cloth tape in colors if you want. My walleye jigging rods wear the same Handle set-up only shorter, Of all the grips I have tried this gives me the most sensitive rod I have used, If your concerned with the grip being slippery spiral wrap some of the same tape down the tube. I buy my carbon fiber tube at the big A u c t i o n site cheap. That starts with an E It takes about 10 days or so to receive. These rods are tools that catch fish, Not catch fisherman with Bling. I find this is even more sensitive even than the built-up foam and carbon grips or cork. Now on spinning and casting rods for Cranks and Stick Bait's I use reel seats with built-up foam and carbon grips or cork. Cheers just my 2 cents. Jaa



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/04/2018 01:36PM by Jay Dubay.

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Re: Tennesse grip or reel seat for steelhead rod
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: May 04, 2018 12:54PM

For a tennessee grip, I prefer a full cork grip and tape the reel seat to the grip with electrical tape.

I find that location where the rod balances and then put a double wrap of tape where the front of the reel foot will be located and where the rear reel foot will be located.

This tape stays on the grip permanently.

Then, take the reel seat, place it in position and then use 3 or 4 wraps of tape to secure the reel to the grip. When you remove the reel, remove the 4, outer wraps - but do not disturb the two inner wraps. That way, the adhesive in the tape will not tear out part of the grip - since you never remove the tape that is in contact with the grip material.

For over all comfort - hot, cold, rainy, snow, or sleeting - I continue to find the cork grip the most comfortable to me as well as very sensitive. Yes, I know folks will say that a material like graphite will transmit vibrations better - but I will still vote for the use of cork for great feel, and excellent vibration sensitivity.

Good luck.

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Re: Tennesse grip or reel seat for steelhead rod
Posted by: Tom Lusis (---.cpe.net.cable.rogers.com)
Date: May 04, 2018 05:20PM

Thanks for all the feedback. I kind of thought the graphite reel seat would be the preferred option but have always leaned towards a cork Tennessee grip simply for nostalgia's sake. My first "real" steelhead rod had this style grip so I have a soft spot for it.

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Re: Tennesse grip or reel seat for steelhead rod
Posted by: Robert Ford (---.hsd1.ca.comcast.net)
Date: May 06, 2018 03:29AM

Avid Steelheader here. In my experience a blank through carbon fiber reel seat surpasses all others in terms of sensitivity. My high end rod is a NFC spiral wrapped carbon fiber handled . It's hands down the best drift fishing rod I have ever used.

Robert Ford

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Re: Tennesse grip or reel seat for steelhead rod
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---.hsd1.or.comcast.net)
Date: May 06, 2018 10:47AM

I'm not convinced a like weight grip assembly of varied types would make a distinct difference in sensitivity. I think I get better results worrying about rod length, blank design and material, and the guide train, in other words what's in front of my hand is more important than what is behind and under it. My boat rods for steelhead have been getting shorter and lighter over the last 10 years, the NFC 7 ft. 4 in. side drifting rods/blanks are great sticks. The weight, balance and sensitivity are easily better than any of the old long rod designs. Clancy Holt, an old fishing guide, helped develop side drifting and the first long rods for it decades ago. Many years ago he came with a shorter rod idea, and he and Gary developed the design.
This is not the only shorter rods being developed, the Bouncing Betty technique starting at the Rogue/Chetco Rivers and moving south have been getting shorter and lighter also.

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