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Advice on spinning rod builds
Posted by: Robert Dittert III (---.lightspeed.tulsok.sbcglobal.net)
Date: July 23, 2020 05:17PM

Looking for some advice on handle length for spinning rods builds. Is there a general rule of thumb in regards to rod length equals a certain rear grip length for spinning rod builds? Do you measure from the back foot location of the seat?

I've got a couple of light powered 6'6" blanks rated for 2-6 LB line that I'm going to build here shortly for crappie fishing with light jigs or live minnows. Could hook into a LM from time to time. Will use a couple of 1000/1500 size reels for both of these builds using braid with mono or fluorocarbon leader. Currently I've got a couple of Fuji spinning seats on hand, one a VSS size 16 seat with cork split grip handle and the other a size 16 SKS seat with cork rear grip. I have a couple of cork fighting butts on hand to complete the handle for both builds.

I've not used either of these seats before, and tried searching old topics for advice on rear grip length and read some didn't like Fuji's SK spinning seats due to comfort while holding the rod. Since these are two of the three total spinning rest seats I've got on hand, I was planning on using them for these two builds. I've got another VSS size 16 seat but without a rear grip on hand. Could easily pick up another rear split grip from FTU for the VSS seat to use instead of the SKS seat.

I was thinking somewhere between 7 or 8 inch rear grip for these light rated blanks? Does this sound about right?

TIA

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Re: Advice on spinning rod builds
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: July 23, 2020 05:22PM

You set the position of the reel based on ergonomics, or balance, or a tradeoff between them. I do pure ergonomics. If the distance between the reel and the butt gets too long then it's likely that the butt will get hung up on the clothing with some techniques, like going from tip down to setting the hook higher. If it's a rod likely to be used in cold weather, you may want to go a little short. The longer the distance the better balanced the rod will be with most blanks and reels. IMO there is no one place to recommend.

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Re: Advice on spinning rod builds
Posted by: Norman Miller (---)
Date: July 23, 2020 06:13PM

Handle length is a personal choice. If you are casting one handed you can make the handle as short as you want, if you are using two hands then the handle can be a little longer. Your suggestion of 7" to 8" is just fine and is in range to what many fishermen would use for an UL. For really thin blanks I don't like using the SK2 seats, the gap between the blank and the reel foot is quite large making it uncomfortable. The VSS grip is quite nice for an UL. For the VSS reel seat glue in size 16 polyurathane foam arbors. I normally take the ~ 4" foam arbor and cut it into three equal pieces, and glue one piece in both ends of the seat. The third piece is reserved for another build, ie two foam arbors can do three reel seats. When cured you can ream both the reel seat and the grip to fit the blank where you want it and then glue them in place. In some cases if the diameter of the blank is very small you may not need to ream, but rather need to build the blank up a little to fit the grip.
Norm

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Re: Advice on spinning rod builds
Posted by: Joe Vanfossen (---.neo.res.rr.com)
Date: July 23, 2020 08:14PM

For me, the handle length is about ergonomics. I place my reel seat and size my grips based on the distance between the reel stem on a spinning rod or the trigger on a casting rod. I fish both styles of rod with stem/trigger between my middle finger and ring finger. What I found based on store bought rods that I used over the years was that the longest rear grip I could use comfortably measured 9.25" from the trigger of my casting seats to the butt. The same blank from the same manufacturer in a spinning model made use of an up-locking reel seat, the same length rear cork and the same butt cap. The handle was too long and always got in the way due to the extra length from the threads on the up-locking seat. So, my advice is to look at the rods you have, and see what is the most comfortable for you.

When I build for myself, if the rod is going to 5'6" or under the rear grip will be a one piece grip that extends to about 7.25" from the stem/trigger to the end of the butt cap, as that is as short as I can go and still get two hands on the rod. For rods 5'8" to 6'3", it'll be a split grip that extends 8.25" from the stem/trigger to the end of the butt cap. Once I get to 6'6" and longer, I cap it off at 9.25" split grips from the stem/trigger to the end of the butt cap.

As far as reel seats, I don't use one on a spinning rod unless it is a travel rod. I prefer to wrap the reel onto a section of carbon fiber like a semi-permanent Tennessee handle. When I do use a seat, I use an 18mm seat and trim the threads down a bit as they are a naturally a bit long when used when with 1000-3000 sized reels. The size 18 seat works well ergonomically with the size of my hands.

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Re: Advice on spinning rod builds
Posted by: Robert Dittert III (---)
Date: July 23, 2020 08:42PM

Thanks guys. Going to buy a couple of moderate priced small spinners and then work on the layout in regards to the reel seat and grips.

I've got a couple of sets of Fuji KLH guides. Starting with a 20 down to a 12H or10H not sure on location of the butt guide from the front of the reel face? Is there a general idea of somewhere between 20 - 24 inches from the front of reel?

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Re: Advice on spinning rod builds
Posted by: Norman Miller (---)
Date: July 23, 2020 08:43PM

I have always preferred my reel seats down locking. Up locking reel seats in my hand always seem to loosen. It's one of the reasons I started to build my own rods. I do like hidden thread hoods, but that's your choice. The diameter of the 16 VSS reel seat where you hold the reel will have diameter that is very comfortable to grip, which it is greater than most pipe type of reel seats. Similar to what you will get with a Tennessee handle.
Norm

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Re: Advice on spinning rod builds
Posted by: Norman Miller (---)
Date: July 23, 2020 09:01PM

For a spinning rod I love using the Fuji KR concept, its hard to beat. You can use the KL16H, KL8H, and KL5.5M for the reduction train, followed by KB/KT runners all the same size, in the size of your choice, I like 4.5 or 4 KB/KT runners. For the reels you are going to be using the stipper will be about 18 to 20" in front of the reel spool, probably right at 19". For a light option, I use Minima match (M) guides for the reduction train (16M, 8M, and 5M) followed by size 4w Minima F guides. Very light set up. The minima guides are very close in height to the Fuji KL-H guides and thus can be used exactly the same way. You can use the Fuji KR GPS to get a good starting point for guide layout.
[anglersresource.net]
Norm

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Re: Advice on spinning rod builds
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: July 23, 2020 09:17PM

I'm with Norman exc I prefer the 20-10-5,5M reduction train which gives some flexibility for a little heavier line pound test and larger reels without costing significant weight gain. The minor weight difference is near the butt, so not as important as on the tip. The 20-10-5.5M allows exactly the same running guide selection as the 16-8-5.5M .. I usually use 4's for the runners.

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Re: Advice on spinning rod builds
Posted by: Jeff Saxby (---.new.res.rr.com)
Date: July 23, 2020 09:36PM

St Croix rods has handle information on all of their rods on their website. The have a variety of handle configurations using a variety of reel seats so it is a good resource. The handle charts provide a scale that you can compare to the different handle configurations to get at least an idea of the lengths. It isn't precise, but you can get close. This can at least give you a starting point and/or a reality check.

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Re: Advice on spinning rod builds
Posted by: Robert Dittert III (---.lightspeed.tulsok.sbcglobal.net)
Date: July 23, 2020 10:18PM

Jeff Saxby Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> St Croix rods has handle information on all of
> their rods on their website. The have a variety
> of handle configurations using a variety of reel
> seats so it is a good resource. The handle charts
> provide a scale that you can compare to the
> different handle configurations to get at least an
> idea of the lengths. It isn't precise, but you
> can get close. This can at least give you a
> starting point and/or a reality check.

I'll check it out, thanks.

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Re: Advice on spinning rod builds
Posted by: Mark Hahn (---.122.131.174.dynamic.ip.windstream.net)
Date: July 23, 2020 11:44PM

First off, Listen to Norm. He has never given me bad advice and has taught me a lot along the way. He hit the nail on the head when he said handle length is a personal choice. I like a short handle if I'm doing one-handed casting and likely to fight a small fish. However, since most of what I do is salt water and the fish are generally bigger, I prefer a handle that goes the entire length of my forearm. By that I mean the butt is at least to the point of my elbow. This allows me to use my entire forearm in the fight as compared to mostly wrist on a shorter handle. But that's the whole idea of custom; you can make em' the way you want.

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Re: Advice on spinning rod builds
Posted by: Robert Dittert III (---.lightspeed.tulsok.sbcglobal.net)
Date: July 24, 2020 12:15AM

Norman Miller Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> For a spinning rod I love using the Fuji KR
> concept, its hard to beat. You can use the KL16H,
> KL8H, and KL5.5M for the reduction train, followed
> by KB/KT runners all the same size, in the size of
> your choice, I like 4.5 or 4 KB/KT runners. For
> the reels you are going to be using the stipper
> will be about 18 to 20" in front of the reel
> spool, probably right at 19". For a light option,
> I use Minima match (M) guides for the reduction
> train (16M, 8M, and 5M) followed by size 4w Minima
> F guides. Very light set up. The minima guides are
> very close in height to the Fuji KL-H guides and
> thus can be used exactly the same way. You can use
> the Fuji KR GPS to get a good starting point for
> guide layout.
> [anglersresource.net]
> tware/
> Norm

Thanks Norm for some answers to my questions. I've already ordered and received the KL 20H to KL 10H to KL 6M to KB/KT in 4.5. Hopefully those will work out for these two builds.

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Re: Advice on spinning rod builds
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: July 24, 2020 06:36AM

Fuji DPSM and DPSSD spin seats do not loosen when built up locking. I've also not had loosening problems with AmTak Aero built uplocking. I had one rod with an uplocking old metal seat that loosened occasionally. I like the option uplocking opens up of having a short ramp off the seat hood which is comfortable and gets the fingers onto the blank without having the feel of threads. Of course there are options with uplocking thread covers, but that yields a larger diameter cylinder over the threads, which is not as nice as the uplocking hood + the short ramp, IMO.

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Re: Advice on spinning rod builds
Posted by: Norman Miller (---)
Date: July 24, 2020 11:34AM

I just dislike up locking reel seats for a spinning rod. Not only do they tend loosen in my hands, but also don’t look as good to my eye. In addition, when using a down locking reel seat the tip section of the rod is effectively a few inches longer when using the same length rear grip. For example, a 7’ rod with a down locking reel seat fishes like a 7’2” or 7’3” rod with an up locking reel seat. It’s just my preference, I know many people prefer up locking, and that is their choice, like everything else in rod building. It is one of the things that make a custom rod custom.
Norm

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Re: Advice on spinning rod builds
Posted by: Joe Vanfossen (---.neo.res.rr.com)
Date: July 24, 2020 01:03PM

Norm I prefer down-locking when I use a spinning seat as well. I’m also the wrong-handed type that holds a spinning rod in my left hand and reel righty. The natural torque from my palm would always result in loose spinning seats.

Mark I’m a freshwater guy and my handle length gives me plenty of length to lock the handle into my forearm and apply the torque I need. If I were a salt guy and regularly caught bigger faster longer running fish I might reconsider the length choices a bit.

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Re: Advice on spinning rod builds
Posted by: David Baylor (---)
Date: July 24, 2020 08:40PM

I'm a down locking on spinning rods guy as well. My reasons are that unless you are using a hidden thread fore grip as your rear grip, you have to leave enough thread to allow putting on and taking off the reel. The exposed threads irritate the heel of my hand. I've only had one rod where an up locking reel seat would loosen in my hand, and it was a hidden thread rear grip as I described above, but it is on a Shimano Convergence crankbait casting rod that I have.

I mount them down locking and trim the thread barrel very short. So short that the hood nut almost runs out of thread when unscrewing it to put on or take off the reel. I do this because I've come to really like not having a fore grip. I just use a little 3/8" thick EVA nub that I turn down to match its' OD with the OD of the thread barrel.

As far as rear handle length goes, I am like Joe (very happy to see you posting again Joe) in that I like to have enough handle to grab with a second hand if need be. I don't do a lot of vertical jigging, but I do fish a drop shot vertically most of the time, and the little added length allows the rear grip to nestle against my forearm, which comes in very handy when pulling a fish up that is almost directly below the boat. So IMO it really depends on your physical dimensions and the technique you're using.

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Re: Advice on spinning rod builds
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: July 26, 2020 10:04AM

As grip length is a personal preference, beauty is subjective and a personal preference. Uplocking can be very attractive, IMO.

[www.rodbuilding.org]

[www.rodbuilding.org]

[www.rodbuilding.org]



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/26/2020 10:14AM by Michael Danek.

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Re: Advice on spinning rod builds
Posted by: Norman Miller (---)
Date: July 26, 2020 01:58PM

Michael, you do very nice work!
Norm

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Re: Advice on spinning rod builds
Posted by: Dan Grulke (166.94.3.---)
Date: July 28, 2020 07:11AM

Good info up above. Have customer hold the rod and see what is comfortable, have a customer send a photo of his most comfortable grip and where and how he holds it. As some one mentioned I like most of mine for the butt of rod to come just above the elbow. That way it doesn't get caught in clothing or nail you in the ribs. This is most important on jerkbait rods. Also too short and it catches your wrist and cannot be braced against forearm when fighting fish and no leverage.

Thanks,
DG

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