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Removing a reel seat
Posted by: Fred Kneipp (---.cnrocmta01.res.dyn.suddenlink.net)
Date: August 11, 2019 11:21AM

I built a rod that I put the reel seat to close to the butt end.It is a good blank but I am not happy with my reel seat placement, any advice on removing a reel seat without ruining the blank. Any help appreciated!

Re: Removing a reel seat
Posted by: John DeMartini (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: August 11, 2019 03:00PM

Check the "crooked reel seat" post below by Davit Sytsma.


Re: Removing a reel seat
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: August 11, 2019 03:01PM

I remove them by placing them in ziplock bag and then boiling it for 15 minutes. This usually softens the epoxy enough to remove the seat. Sometimes it takes more then one boiling session, not often.

Re: Removing a reel seat
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---.lightspeed.rcsntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: August 11, 2019 06:38PM

Depends on epoxy used.
The epoxy I use - West System GFlex will not come off with boiling - or a butane torch.

Re: Removing a reel seat
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: August 11, 2019 08:34PM

Herb, I'm not familiar with the GFlex, is there a benefit to using it instead of something like Rod Bond?

Re: Removing a reel seat
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---.lightspeed.rcsntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: August 11, 2019 09:14PM

GFlex is a new flexible equal two part epoxy made by Gougeon Bros. [www.westsystem.com] It goes by the name West System. It is carried by West Marine - but no relation.
I have used West System epoxies for 40 years to bed fitting on my boats; to form compression "tubes" in balsa cored boats; to "pot" bolts in concrete balconies for attachment of hurricane shutter tracks; to attach cork rings to rod grips; to attach reel seats and bushings.
It was developed to build cold-formed plywood boats of all sizes. [www.westsystem.com]
As well as other projects [gougeon.com]

I have yet to have anything attached with West System fail.

BUT - if you use it - don't expect to be able to remove what you attached. Like I said - a torch will not even do it. The foam bushing fails - but the epoxy holds.
You will never have a seat that "spins".

Re: Removing a reel seat
Posted by: david taylor (---.hsd1.co.comcast.net)
Date: August 11, 2019 11:26PM

I had a 30 year old rod and did the boil the real seat in water method. I would boil for a couple minutes and try to remove. After 4 or 5 of several minutes each the epoxy softened and I got it off. Don't twist much or apply too much torque or you can break the blank. Also, too much heat is not good for graphite, so really be careful. A bit of a hit or miss method. Also, if you glued a wooden spacer directly on the blank, that will be harder to get off.

Re: Removing a reel seat
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: August 12, 2019 11:30AM

I have used the following method to remove reel seats on all of the rods that were rebuilt and it worked every time.

Take a dremel tool with an abrasive cut off wheel and cut nearly through the reel seat full length on each side of the reel seat.

Then, take a heat gun and heat up the reel seat nice and warm.

Finally, take a side bladed screwdriver that will just fit into the slot cut by the abrasive dremel cut off wheel and give it a good twist on each side of the reel seat.

As the screwdriver twists, it expands the cut slot, splits the reel seat and when completed on both sides of the reel seat, the reel seat is free of the blank.

Then, I use a single edged razor blade to scrape any remaining stuff that was under the reel seat after heating the stuff with the heat gun to soften the stuff and scrape it off the blank.

Hold the razor blade at 90 degrees or perpendicular to the blank to avoid cutting into the blank fibers. This will be a scraping action, rather than a slicing action.

If there is a lot of stuff - epoxy and arbor material of what every source - often the use of a slip joint pliers - working on the heated stuff, will quickly scrape the bulk of the material off of the blank.

But, with the right equipment, normally one doesn't need more than 5 minutes to completely remove the reel seat and clean up the blank back to the bare blank.

I never attempt to reuse any reel seat. If a reel seat needs to come off, it is destroyed as it comes off and time to move on with a new reel seat. No pointing in struggling with minutes or hours to remove a reel seat that may very well end up damaged after removal, which would make it unusable anyway. As the saying goes - time is money. Get the seat off and move on to the rest of your day.

Best wishes.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/2019 11:33AM by roger wilson.

Re: Removing a reel seat
Posted by: Philip Engle (---.hsd1.ga.comcast.net)
Date: August 20, 2019 06:13PM

Exactly what Roger said. I learned that on this site a number of years ago. And have used this technique successfully with good results in some hard fighting fish (tuna, yellowtail, shark) that would stress a weakened blank. And I'd keep the heat thing to the minimum as IMO it weakens the underlying blank.

Re: Removing a reel seat
Posted by: Tim Veale (---.yyz.frontiernetworks.ca)
Date: August 22, 2019 12:03PM

Gflex by Gougeon is a breakthru epoxy product. I have used it for many projects where minimal flexibility is desired to keep joints from fracturing under load. All the benefits of epoxy strength with the added benefit being slightly flexible. On fly rods, I have experimented gluing guides onto a blank instead of thread wrapping. It works fine and I have a 10 ft 9 weight fly rod that I've been using for several years without any of the glued-on guides breaking-off. All this to say Gflex is topnotch in my view.

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