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crooked reel seat
Posted by: David Sytsma (---.dhcp.bycy.mi.charter.com)
Date: August 08, 2019 09:59AM

I just checked on a reel seat that I glued up last night and found that somehow one or more of the arbors supporting the seat apparently collapsed and now the blank isn't centered in the seat. The reel seat is off a millimeter and a half from being parallel to the blank on the front side. How much of a problem is this potentially going to be?

Re: crooked reel seat
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: August 08, 2019 10:02AM

Will it cause the reel to point up, down, or to one side?


Re: crooked reel seat
Posted by: David Sytsma (---.dhcp.bycy.mi.charter.com)
Date: August 08, 2019 10:12AM


It looks to be 3.5mm at the 10o'clock position and 1.5mm at roughly the 4 or 5 o'clock position.

Re: crooked reel seat
Posted by: David Sytsma (---.dhcp.bycy.mi.charter.com)
Date: August 08, 2019 10:15AM

This is on a Calstar 700H blank, the reel seat is a Fuji DPSH26.

Re: crooked reel seat
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: August 08, 2019 10:37AM

About the only thing you can do is mount a reel and string up some guides and see how things look. If it were me, I'd most likely remove the seat and start over.

What type arbors are you using that one of them "collapsed?"


Re: crooked reel seat
Posted by: David Sytsma (---.dhcp.bycy.mi.charter.com)
Date: August 08, 2019 10:49AM


I've got a couple of extra reel seats, so removing the seat is likely what I will do. It's on with Rod Bond, so it won't be an easy task. What would you recommend? I'm thinking many small shallow cuts with a Dremel tool and trying to remove it a little at a time. I was using drywall tape for arbors, three in this situation as I usually do, but I think the epoxy caused them to soften up and move while I was fitting the seat and I was so focused on cleaning up excess epoxy that I probably didn't notice it.

Re: crooked reel seat
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: August 08, 2019 11:18AM

You may be able to salvage the reel seat off by heating it with a heat gun or boiling water. The heat may soften the epoxy enough so you can twist the reel seat off. The arbor will act as an insulator and prevent the blank from heating up too much. This has worked quite well for me, if it doesn’t come off easily then the Dremel tool works great, just don’t cut too deep and damage the blank. Again the arbor will serve as a buffer and help to protect the blank.

Re: crooked reel seat
Posted by: John DeMartini (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: August 08, 2019 11:30AM

You made the right decision to replace the seat. It will avoid future regret.

To remove the reel seat use a Dremel with a cutoff wheel, make a longitudinal cut thru the seat only and make another cut 180 degrees from the first cut then pry the two halves apart.

To remove the dry wall tape use a Dremel with a burr and carefully carve away the tape until it is close to the blank then scrape remainder just to the blank finish.

I do not have the confidence to apply dry wall tape effectively so I make my own arbors from wood stock. When using pre formed arbors the OD and ID are concentric so there is no worry that the seat will be off center.

Good Luck



Re: crooked reel seat
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: August 08, 2019 11:50AM

When I remove the reel seat, I use a dremel tool with an abrasive cut off wheel and cut - just through the reel seat.
I make one cut on each side of the reel seat. Then, insert a wide bladed screwdriver that will just fit into the newly cut slot and give it a twist. The twist of the screwdriver will split the reel seat and it will easily come off.

Then, I will use masking tape and bout about 5 or 6 wraps on each end of where the reel seat was located. Then, I use a heat gun to heat and soften the epoxy that is holding the remaining epoxy and arbor material. As I do this, I take a straight bladed razor blade and holding it at 90 degrees to the blank, scrape off the epoxy and arbor material. Normally one can do this job in under 5 minutes and have it completely clear of any material.

Re: crooked reel seat
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---.ftmy.qwest.net)
Date: August 08, 2019 01:20PM

Sorry to say - poor installation technique.
Install the bushing first by reaming it true to blank's taper. Do that by cutting it into pieces - I use 4 - Then ream them one at a rime making sure it is concentric to blank.
After all 4??? pieces installed and epoxied. To get a snug, concentric fit, wrap the bushing with something to make for a fair and snug fit. I use either fly line backing or size A-D thread spirally wrapped - sometimes back and forth. Then epoxy the seat to the wrapped bushing.
At all epoxying stages I mount the blank in a PAC Bay rotating device to assure epoxy doesn't run out.
PS - just saw that you used dry wall tape - that shifts until cured. After wrapping with tape - wrap with wrapping thread to hold in place before installing seat.
Why didn't you use foam bushings?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/08/2019 01:23PM by Herb Ladenheim.

Re: crooked reel seat
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: August 08, 2019 02:29PM

There are two ways I install reel seats. First, and most preferred by me, is to epoxy foam arbors into the reel seat and when cured ream to fit the blank. I cut the foam arbors into 1” pieces and use three or four per seat depending on the length. The second way, is to use dry wall tape. I use this method when the space to fill is not that large. I tack the dry wall tape to the blank using super glue, then wrap tightly until the seat fits snuggly. I then unwrap and apply epoxy as I rewrap the tape to make sure the dry wall tape will be secured to the blank. Then reason for tacking the dry wall tape to the blank is to prevent it from walking when you slide the reel seat in place. Never had a problem with either method.

Re: crooked reel seat
Posted by: David Sytsma (---.dhcp.bycy.mi.charter.com)
Date: August 08, 2019 03:56PM


Thanks for the tips.I usually mount them sort of like Norm does, but in this case I forced the epoxy into the arbor with a popsicle stick. I think it made the arbor too soft and allowed it to shift. I'm going to start to attempt to remove the seat and see how it goes; if it gives me any trouble I'll Dremel it. I'll let you know how I make out.

Re: crooked reel seat
Posted by: Roger Rierson (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: August 08, 2019 04:18PM

I do Norman's second way. Dry wall tape.

Re: crooked reel seat
Posted by: David Sytsma (---.dhcp.bycy.mi.charter.com)
Date: August 08, 2019 07:32PM

Well Guys,

I got the reel seat off by making cuts 180 degrees apart and prying it off with a screwdriver. Heat gun didn't work at all. I was amazed by what I saw when the seat came off; the front arbor had spiraled down the blank, the middle one to a lesser extent, the rear one was intact, so basically there was no support for the reel seat for 2/3 of it's length. Not good. Fortunately I've got a spare DPSH-26 I can use. I'll redo the arbors with drywall tape again because I have to get this one out, but I'm going to anchor the windings with super glue and wait a couple of hours before mixing the epoxy and mounting it. I've built a lot of these rods, never had this scenario before, and nobody has complained about failure. Maybe I've just been lucky. I've preferred drywall tape because the mesh configuration allows it to hold epoxy for added strength which masking tape won't do. I will be ordering some graphite or urethane arbors in the near future to see if it's a better deal. I know a couple of other builders who really like them.

Dave Sytsma

Re: crooked reel seat
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: August 08, 2019 08:48PM

The only problem with the foam arbors is that they are expensive when compared to dry wall tape. For $10 you can get almost a lifetime supply of dry wall tape, and for the same price foam arbors will do a lot fewer rods. However, the foam arbors work very well, and I like them. Just make sure you glue them in the reel seat before reaming, otherwise they are prone to splitting. They ream very easily so be careful not to over ream, if you do just put down a wrap or two of dry wall tape to snug things up. So don’t throw your dry wall tape away. I have on a few occasions put down the dry wall tape as I described above and let it set up for a while before adding a little more epoxy and sliding on the reel seat. This two step process takes more time, so I don’t do it very often, but it does work well and the hardened drywall tape arbor will not walk.

Re: crooked reel seat
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---.ftmy.qwest.net)
Date: August 08, 2019 11:53PM

Best practice is to install bushing onto blank first - and not in seat. Cut into 4 pieces and ream each piece to fit blank taper. I have reamed down to 2mm without cracking.
Fact is that it is just as unlikely to ream arbor to blank taper as it is to ream a cork grip to blank taper. That is why some of us install cork directly on the blank. same reason to install bushing directly]y onto blank - then install seat. Works flawlessly.

Re: crooked reel seat
Posted by: Ron Schneider (---.mid.dyn.suddenlink.net)
Date: August 09, 2019 07:33AM

I agree with herb.
It is a lot easier to correct any mistake on reaming if you are dealing with just one bushing at a time.

Best wishes,
Ron Schneider
Schneider's Rod Shop
Mountain Home, Arkansas

Re: crooked reel seat
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: August 09, 2019 10:00AM

I Used to ream the arbors before installing the reel seat, and quickly found they are very prone to splitting when you slide them down the blank to see if they fit. I addition, you are just as prone to ream off center or over ream with the arbor alone as when it’s glued into the seat. I personally find it much easier to center ream with the arbors in the seat. I let the seat slip in my hands while reaming to keep things centered. I have never had a reel seat fail using this method. To each their own, do what works best for you. As with most things in rod building there are different ways to do the same thing. One of the things that makes rod building fun.

Re: crooked reel seat
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: August 09, 2019 01:25PM

I tried using drywall tape once and said that I would never use it again and I haven't.

If I need a small amount of shimming, I will just use masking tape with about 1/16th of an inch between the rods of masking tape. Then, when I glue up the reel seat, I will place epoxy on the inside of the reel seat and also on the arbor with enough glue to get down to the blank. So, any tape is effectively captured in the adhesive.

If more shimming is required, I will use foam arbors. I ream the arbors by the use of a circular file that is spinning in reverse on a variable speed drill. I hold the arbor in a cloth glove and as I am reaming, let the arbor slip a bit as it is being reamed. By letting it slip a bit as I am reaming, the center of the hole will be maintained, as others have previously posted.

Once I have the grip reamed, the reel seat arbors reamed and a fore grip reamed if I am going to use it. I assemble everything in one mix of a batch of 30 minute cure epoxy, which will give me about 5 minutes of working time before the glue starts to kick and setup.

If I use 5 minute epoxy, I have about 1 minute of working time with the glue before it starts to set and thicken. One minute is not enough time to do a long grip, reel seat and fore grip with one glue mix.

But, at the end of the day, it is your shop, it is your rod that is being built, it is your adhesive and tools that are being used for the build.

Every person enjoys building using a specific method.

So, use the tools, adhesive and methods that work for you in your daily activities building rods.

Take care

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