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Handle length
Posted by: Paul Luechtefeld (---.mobile.att.net)
Date: January 09, 2019 09:05PM

Is there a set distance from the butt to the real seat? Does the length affect rod performance and if it does in what way?

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Re: Handle length
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 09, 2019 10:00PM

Handle length is completely dependent on what you like, it is a personal decision. Some people like a longer handle for two handed casting, some like a short handle if they are one handed casters or feel that the handle gets in their way. Some like a handle that is long enough to tuck under their forearm or poke in their gut when fighting a fish. For most people a handle from 8 to 11 inches would be considered normal on rods from 6.5 to 7.5’. Just find a length you like. One of the reasons why a custom rod is custom.
Norm

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Re: Handle length
Posted by: Paul Luechtefeld (---.mobile.att.net)
Date: January 09, 2019 10:29PM

Thanks Norm I guess what I am wondering is is there a formula for placing the real seat to maximize the abilities of the rod. Does that make sense? For instance if the real seat is 4 inches from the but will the rod perform better given that everything else is equal.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/2019 10:33PM by Paul Luechtefeld.

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Re: Handle length
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 09, 2019 10:46PM

I understand what you are saying. Basically you work with the distance that is remaining, i.e., from the front of the reel to the tip to try to futher maximize
performance. A handle that fits you is a part of maximising the overall performance of the rod.
Norm

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Re: Handle length
Posted by: Paul Luechtefeld (---.mobile.att.net)
Date: January 10, 2019 05:45AM

Thanks again Norm, that makes sense.

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Re: Handle length
Posted by: herb canter (77.111.246.---)
Date: January 10, 2019 08:19AM

Handle length can be tricky , you don't want to glue the reel seat in place until you are absolutely certain what your ideal handle length is and the best way to do that is by taking the blank and simulating where your hands naturally fall when you go through the casting motions . Guessing is a bad idea as is just doing what everybody else prefers to do .


The weight being thrown is also important especially with longer rods like surf rods , the more weight you throw the handle length will typically increase a bit . I would not base handle length on what you have in mind for guide placement for instance if you bought a certain number of guides don't increase or decrease handle length based on not having enough length above the reel seat after you determine where your most comfortable hand placement will be based on whats most comfortable for you when you go through the casting motions.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/2019 08:21AM by herb canter.

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Re: Handle length
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: January 10, 2019 08:48AM

If you will be fishing with a lot of clothing on you need to make sure the butt doesn't snag your clothing at your elbow.

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Re: Handle length
Posted by: Paul Luechtefeld (---.mobile.att.net)
Date: January 10, 2019 09:45AM

Thanks guys all great information. I think what I am going to do is mock it up and see where it balances best with the real on it. But I am hoping I can get the rear grip shorter than 7 inches.

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Re: Handle length
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: January 10, 2019 10:16AM

Paul,
In past years I would go with a short handle and then add some weight in the butt of the rod to balance the rod. But, over time I came to realize that I really wanted a balanced rod and I also wanted a light rod. So, I simply use the length of the handle to balance the rod.
If I need more length in front of the grip, I will use a longer rod length.

It is simple and it works very well. I understand that folks like to use very short handles for a myriad of reasons and that is fine. But, with a longer rod, a very short handle will mean an unbalanced rod, no matter how light components your use on the upper section of the rod.

So, it is up to you. go with an unbalanced rod and have as short a handle as you want.

Use as short a handle as you want and then add weight to the very butt section of the rod.

Or, balance the rod by using a longer handle and if necessary a longer blank and have a lighter balanced rod.

It is simple physics. You can have one or the other but not both.

But, if you don't care about rod balance you can use a 4 inch handle on every rod. If you look back at history and look at the pistol grip casting rods of years ago. They had very short handles, typically with a trigger grip that were normally very tip heavy. But, those rods caught an awful lot of fish for an awful lot of folks. So, it is entirely up to you.

p.s.
When you are considering your handle length, be sure to tape the reel that you plan to use to the rod and have your hand in the place that you would normally hold the rod - when considering balance if that is a concern for you.

Good luck

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Re: Handle length
Posted by: mike quinn (---.lightspeed.rlghnc.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 10, 2019 11:03AM

If the cork is already on the rod I would put a little saran wrap around the cork first and then tape on with stretchy electrical tape.

I learned this the hard way when I went to change reels on my first Tennessee handle rod thinking I had sealed the cork with sealer. It got ugly when I took the tape off. Roger (above) said to tape Tennessee handles before attaching reels (duh!) and I am a happy camper once again.

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Re: Handle length
Posted by: Paul Luechtefeld (---.mobile.att.net)
Date: January 10, 2019 02:03PM

Roger thanks, I think I am going to use a weighted but cap tape it all up including real, cork and guides and adjust until I like it. I prefer my rods to be just slightly but heavy I feel it gives me a faster hook set. I rarely fish more than an hour or two at time do to physical disabilities. So I dont mind a little more weight.

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Re: Handle length
Posted by: Paul Luechtefeld (---.mobile.att.net)
Date: January 10, 2019 02:04PM

Mike I too learned the hard way not to wrap tape around cork unless you put something under it.

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Re: Handle length
Posted by: Mark Talmo (71.147.59.---)
Date: January 10, 2019 04:22PM

Paul,
You have received many good points to consider of reel seat position / handle length from veteran builders with more experience than me. Acknowledge and apply Norman’s and Roger’s suggestions in particular. That being said, I have a few things to add.
First of all, we do not know what type of rod(s) to which you are referring. There really is only one type of rod which would dictate the length of the rear grip and that is a Stand-up saltwater rod. With those rods, the position of the reel seat, and hence the length of the rear grip, is critical and must be matched to the type of fighting harness employed to position the reel in a comfortable, effective position while fighting large fish. Staying with salt rods, I like a rear grip as long as 16in on longer rods of 8 – 9ft to get the bulbed butt cap well past my arm pit for fighting 10 to 30lb yellowtail and small tuna while also placing the reel in a very comfortable position with the butt in my gut . For just about everything else, it seems more about personal preference.
Balance is certainly an issue and some consider it to be more critical than others. But balance is a relative term as some like the tip a bit heavy while others prefer it light to suit their particular type of fishing. The longer the rod is combined with the weight of the guides and wraps along with the weight of the blank itself can make balancing a rod virtually impossible unless counterbalancing with additional weight in the butt. Personally, I am more concerned with light over balanced with my trout rods. Hence, I never employ additional weight in the butt. In addition to the obvious added overall weight, that weight has to be accelerated and decelerated while casting causing addition effort so I do not see the point. If I can get the rod to “balance” four fingers in front of the reel, I am happier than a pig in slop but if not, so be it.
A longer rear grip can certainly aid in “balancing” a rod. But a shorter rear grip can effectively make the rod longer to aid in casting distance. And we all know the fish are always 5ft further than we can cast! For that reason, I have adopted employing the Tennessee type handle on all my ultralight and light trout rods and see no reason why it would not work for bass and other species as well. A Tennessee handle allows positioning the reel forward to accommodate balancing OR rearward to increase casting distance in addition to the ability to mount a fly reel as well. Many anglers do not like the Tennessee handle due to fear of the rings slipping and rightfully so because most rings are straight. I fabricate my own TAPERED rings from hybrid carbon fiber / Kevlar woven sleeves which have never loosened, are incredibly light and even look pretty dang nice at the risk of sounding boastful.
In conclusion, there really is no “set distance from the butt to the real seat”. It is all about the combination of a number of personal preferences, type of rod and style of fishing. As for “affect[ing] rod performance”, I would basically say no due to the butt section of blanks being so much stiffer than the tip, especially modern fast action CF blanks but even with more full-flexing vintage FG blanks as well. I might find opposition to that statement, though.
I hope this helps more than hinders.

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!!

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Re: Handle length
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (---.lightspeed.hstntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 10, 2019 06:25PM

I believe the type of fishing is going to dictate the handle length and reel seat placement. A wading rod vs surf rod vs boat rod, etc.. Also the reel is going to effect where the seat should be placed and by default, the balance of the entire rod. The reel is often overlooked regarding weight and balance. Casting style will also have a bearing on the seat placement. A surf rod will typically have a long handle below the seat with hand placement just above the reel and near the end of the butt in order to get good leverage to cast. Another type of surf rod built for an Alvey type reel will have a short rear handle like a fly rod and a long fore-grip and will cast with a hand near the reel and the other placed way up on the fore-grip. I would consider the application, the weight and size of the reel and optimum placement for balance on the rod either for better casting and / or optimum retrieving under load. I would also consider your "physical disabilities" and try to get it as ergonomic to you as possible. Where it will be the most comfortable without the loss of performance, maybe you could go a little longer than a couple of hours if needed (catching fish).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/2019 06:32PM by Lance Schreckenbach.

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Re: Handle length
Posted by: David Baylor (---.neo.res.rr.com)
Date: January 10, 2019 06:52PM

Paul, the way I would go about determining where you are going to place your reel seat, and therefore determine the length of your rear grip, is to base it on a factory rod that you find very comfortable to fish, and mimic it. You certainly can move it forward or backwards a bit, but I'd caution you to be careful in doing so. What Michael said earlier is IMO of utmost importance. You need to be able to use the rod comfortably. If not, why even build it?

I also agree that a balanced rod and reel combination makes fishing more pleasureful. The way you choose to achieve that balance is up to you. I will just say that one has to move a reel seat a considerable distance to have any substantial effect on a rod and reel combination's balance point. Reason being, the majority of the weight of said combo is close to the pivot point. I respect Roger's opinions very much, but he and I differ greatly on this subject. Personally, I will add weight to the butt of the rod before I move a reel seat. Weight behind the reel seat doesn't affect rod performance as much as weight ahead of the reel seat does. And it's not going to make the rod potentially unusable.

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Re: Handle length
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: January 10, 2019 08:14PM

By the way, a very effective counter balance for a rod, is to use lead tape - wrapped on the outside of the rod blank. Then, put a butt cap over the lead tape to cover it.

By keeping the weight at the extreme end of the rod blank, you minimize the amount of weight needed.

[www.dickssportinggoods.com]

Folks use this same lead tape to balance golf clubs as well as tennis rackets.

Take care

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Re: Handle length
Posted by: Mark Talmo (71.147.59.---)
Date: January 11, 2019 01:38AM

Lance,
Thank you for waking me up. I forgot there were disabilities involved.
Paul, I hope the information received is applicable to your personal situation.

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!!

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Re: Handle length
Posted by: Michal Rozycki (193.201.167.---)
Date: January 11, 2019 02:49AM

I started building rods 6-7 years ago. Barring a few exceptions I have been making rods for my private use only and that gives bias to my remarks. Many of my builds were/are on Batson blanks and I tend to use their "rod recipes", though with personal mods. I like aluminium-rubber butt caps, which add approx. 1/2 oz. in weight. Aluminium density is much lower than lead so its not a heavy pellet, but it does help balance the rod at times. I also follow some "rules" regarding choice of reel (I use almost exclusively fixed-spool reels), with my personal preference being for Daiwa reels. Rods up to 10lb line work best for me with Daiwa size 1500-2000; for 12-17lb I like size 2500 and size 3000+ for more powerful rods. Rule of thumb of course.
The bottom line is - there are standard patterns but they are subject to personal preference.

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Re: Handle length
Posted by: Paul Luechtefeld (---.mobile.att.net)
Date: January 11, 2019 12:38PM

Thanks everyone all great points.

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Re: Handle length
Posted by: Michael Tarr (143.59.156.---)
Date: January 12, 2019 10:59AM

The distance from the reel to the butt guide is the thing to consider.

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