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Salmon/steelhead first rod build advice on reel seats & guides
Posted by: Roger Rever (---)
Date: February 15, 2021 01:46PM

Hope y’all had a good Hallmark (Valentine’s) Day and are enjoying yer Presidents day off.

Lookin fer sum advice, especially from any Salmon/Steelhead anglers, re: reel seat selection and rear grip length. .

I was recently gifted a couple of blanks and am getting ready to open my wallet for my first build. Wanna “pull the trigger” on the handle/grips and guides but, due last minute second thoughts figured I’d better see if the 1,000s of years of rod-building-knowledge on this site could check my guide selections. Also am having trouble deciding on a reel seat and length of the rear/butt grip. Currently planning on cork grips…

I’ve never attempted any rod repair or rod building. My current plan is a spinning build w/a 3000 size Stradic, Fuji components, on a medium heavy, fast action, 102” (similar, I’m guessing, to a Lami G1000*). It will be bank fished on small to medium size rivers in SW Washington for steelhead and salmon. Usually spool with 30 lb Pwr Pro. The largest fish I typically encounter are usually in the teens. Will be drift fishin, but occasionally may fling sum spinners/spoons or a slip-bobber setup.

So many questions….where to start? With handle & grips, I suppose.

Since most of the anglers on this site seem to be bass fishermen fisherpeople, am hopin to git sum advice from any salmonid aficionados.

So, any Steelhead/Salmon anglers’ yer advice will be greatly appreciated, especially on:

· reel seat selection (debating tween VSSD &

· rear or butt grip

· rubberized cork or EVA butt cap

· I have rather large hands, always haft buy XL, sometimes XXL, gloves, should that figure into reel seat selection? And if so --

· How large is practical with butt dia. 0f 0.530”

Haven’t experienced much discomfort or fatigue with the usual factory seats, but I’m getting along in yr.s and have had to start shaving weight off of my gear due to ever increasing joint pain.

Don’t know if it’s germane or not but the blank tip dia. ? 6/64”, butt dia. ? 0.530”.

Tried the CCS system but didn’t have enough pennies (seems to be sum sorta “coin shortage”…) came up with lure weight of 3/8 – 1 oz, very fast?!! Also tried several factory rods and always resulted in lure weights significantly less than mfg.s rating. Must be doin sumthin wrong? Gonna hafta work on that.

My current plan is kind of a KR concept build, with reduction guide train of 20H, 10H, 5.5M, couple of KB 5.5s OR 5mm and the rest (five or six) KT 5.5s. all w/Alconite rings and SS Gunmetal frames.

Confused about tip sizes & styles—what size would be best; size 6 ring w/2.4mm bore, MN (BCMNAT) or F (BFAT) style.

Sometimes use a mono/fluoro top-shot tween braid and terminal gear (don’t like leavin gobs of braid on river bottom…) so am a lil concerned about knots and ring sizes – would five work for running guides? Or would I need to rethink entire guide train utilizing size 6 runners.

Got 1,00s of questions but until I’m further along these should suffice to git me started. Also, I think most of my remaining questions will be answered by info already posted.

Thanx so very much ger takin the time to read and, hopefully reply, to my long, disjointed post.

Take care and stay safe
Roger

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Re: Salmon/steelhead first rod build advice on reel seats & guides
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: February 15, 2021 03:18PM

Roger,
Welcome to the site and addiction.
While new to rod building, you seem quite informed; the more information = the better. I have not fished for salmon/steelhead but am a trout angler and with trout being a salmonoid, I feel somewhat qualified to help you.
You have seemed to pick Fuji components which is a good thing and I suggest you stick with them; I use Fuji components 95% of the time.
Reel sear selection is a personal choice hence why there are so many different styles. There really is not a certain size per rod so if your hands are more comfortable with a larger (20-22mm) seat, then by all means go for it; just plan on matching the OD to the grips to be used. Depending on the seat, some can be mounted up-locking or down-locking; for freshwater, I prefer down-locking. But with the larger fish you my encounter, a decent sized fore-grip may be advantageous in which case an up-locking seat may be better.
As you, I prefer cork grips. For your first (few) builds, consider purchasing a pre-made grip(s) and ream to fit the blank. For an 8’6” rod fishing for decent sized fish, I would think most people would prefer a rear grip length of 10-12in; I might personally go a bit longer. A 6in fore-grip would seem appropriate. I will be following this topic to learn what the die-hard salmon/steelhead anglers recommend. I have come to like a rubber butt plug.
The KR Concept is a great, if not the best, choice and the sizes you chose are perfect. However, if there is any chance of using heavier braid, consider a 25H, 12H, 5.5m reduction guides.Use the KL-H reduction guides followed by at least 2 KBs with KTs the rest of the way to the tip. I actually like using as many LBs as the diameter of the blank allows for added security even though they may weigh a tic more than the KTs. Consider a LG tip top. 5.5mm rings will work fine and you could drop to 5.0mm. Personally, I do not use anything less than 5.0 because those tiny micros are more difficult to wrap and also more difficult to thread the line through while fishing, but that is just me. The choice of Alconite rings is wise; they are affordable, more than durable and less brittle than SiC. You mentioned a preference to “gunmetal” frames; unless things have changed, the only ring material available in gunmetal is SiC. Consider using Fuji’s Corrosion Control “BC” finish which is a nice dark grey.
If you do not already know, learn how to tie a FG knot for braid to leader knots; it is the strongest and smallest diameter of all the knots.
I anticipate you receiving numerous replies (hopefully including Norman Miller) and I will be interested in their comments from which to learn.
Good luck and keep us posted!

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

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Re: Salmon/steelhead first rod build advice on reel seats & guides
Posted by: Roger Rever (---)
Date: February 15, 2021 04:06PM

Mark thanx fer the advice, very much appreciated.
I have a casting rod w/ 13"+ rear grip which is just a scosh too long, wuz thinkin that spinning rods utilize a shorter grip?
Part of my confusion is if I go with a larger reel seat there might be too much of a gap tween blank and seat.
Fergot to mention that I'm debating on the VSS or DPS Fuji seats. At first I considered split grips but have always had the full grips and since I couldn't see any huge advantage to split grips decided to go with what I'm used to.
Kinda leanin towards the VSS but they're only offered in size 16 & 17... mebbe the DPSD20 would be the better choice.
Thanx for the tip about guide size, my eyesight, especially depth-perception, seems to be getting worse w/age...
Again thank you for the good advice really appreciate it.

Ps -- Love yer signature, couldn't agree more!

Gratefully, Roger

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Re: Salmon/steelhead first rod build advice on reel seats & guides
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: February 15, 2021 05:53PM

Roger,
It isn’t as much about casting verses spinning in determining the length of the grip(s) as it is about type of fishing and preferences. With larger, more powerful fish, there are a few things to consider. I like to be able to get the butt of the rod under my arm pit to allow one hand to crank with the other on the fore-grip. Additionally, there may be the need to put the butt of the rod in your gut and crank and hold the fore-grip with one’s hands; too short of a rear grip can put the reel too far back to comfortably crank. A longer rear-grip will also afford more leverage when two-handed casting. On the flip-side, too long of a rear-grip can interfere with casting by getting hung-up on clothing. The rear-grips of my trout rods with Tennessee handles are 12in long (10in useable length) while 8in when using a fixed seat. For my Calico/Yellowtail live bait rod, the rear grip is 15in. I suppose I might prefer longer rear-grips than most but it is fuel-for-thought for you to consider. One way or the other, a little bit of time spent mocking-up and testing different lengths and positions prior to actually building the rod will be time well-spent!
With your relatively long blank, the extra (little as it might be) weight of a full rear grip may help the balance of the rod.
My hands are junk from years of abuse, and increasing the size to a 19mm seat is more comfortable and very welcomed. Do not worry about the seat being “too” large for the blank; simply employ urethane foam arbors. However, make certain the reel feet fit snugly in the hoods of the seat. For freshwater and when not employing a Tennessee handle, I typically use the DPSM. I have only used the VSS on two builds and was mildly disappointed with the fit of the cork to the seat body; it is THE ONLY disappointment I have had with anything Fuji! Admittedly, I am very picky.
I am anxious to learn from other replies.

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

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Re: Salmon/steelhead first rod build advice on reel seats & guides
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: February 15, 2021 06:14PM

For your larger hands, I would go with the larger grips/reel seat afforded by the Fuji IPS set up, about a tenth or a bit more larger OD over the VSS. 12 inch rear grip, hidden hood/threads foregrip option is very comfortable in cool weather, or warm. Another option is the 17 mm AmTack Aero reel seat, much easier to find a good variety of grips, any of the standard diameter 1 inch OD grips will fit. Using one of the smaller knots will insure you won't have any guide problems. I'd us the LG tip tip that matches your guides.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/15/2021 07:03PM by Spencer Phipps.

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Re: Salmon/steelhead first rod build advice on reel seats & guides
Posted by: Norman Miller (---)
Date: February 15, 2021 06:40PM

I like both the Fuji IPS 16 or the Fuji VSS 17 reel seats using a hidden thread hood with a cork or carbon fiber hood sleeve. I Prefer the IPS seat a little bit more. Both have an OD where you hold the reel of about 27 mm, so they are both very ergonomic, in fact they have a larger OD than the DPS 20 reel seat. You can get cork handles that fit both. Fuji sells a cork adapter for the IPS seat that allows you to custom build a handle any length you want. NFC sells carbon fiber grips for both the IPS and VSS seats, have not used the VSS carbon fiber grip yet, but do like the NFC IPS carbon fiber split grip. I personally prefer split grips because they save money, are lighter, allow you to make the handle exactly the length you want, and, in my opinion, look good. I have not found a down side to using split grips, but it’s a personal choice, as is handle length. As far as spinning guides are concerned, I agree with Mark. I find Fuji KR concept guides to be the best I have ever used. Your running guide size is your choice, in your case a size 5 or 5.5 is just fine. A tip diameter of 6/64” means the tip-top will need a tube size of 6/64 (a size 6), the tip top ring size is usually selected to match the ring size of the running guides, or possibly one size larger. With the KR concept use the LG or KG (for titanium guides) tip tops. I live in the south so I don’t fish for salmonids very often, but do use salmon/steel head rods as light surf rods, and also as spillway rods for stripe and hybrid stripe bass.
Norm

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Re: Salmon/steelhead first rod build advice on reel seats & guides
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---)
Date: February 15, 2021 10:33PM

Roger,
You have been blessed with the wisdom of two veteran builders. Their comments of the Fuji IPS and the AT Aero seats are sound, although I have not used either. As Norman and Spencer, I too love the comfort and sleek looks of hidden threads when using a down-locking seat and use it often. However, with larger, more powerful fish, I prefer the security of a solid mounted fore-grip to eliminate the possibility of loosening the clamping of the reel feet. It probably is not as much of an issue with a spinning rod as it might be with the torque of a guides-on-top casting set-up but, none the less, something to consider.
So there you have it, two veterans and a novice basically saying the same thing which also seems to parallel your initial ideas fairly closely. To be honest, I am surprised your replies are so limited, but then, that could also reduce contradictions and confusion. Wait if you want but I think you are good to go! As I mentioned before, good luck and keep us posted.

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

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Re: Salmon/steelhead first rod build advice on reel seats & guides
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: February 16, 2021 12:16AM

NFC just upgraded their site, they now have a 12 inch VSS reel seat rear grip and a variety of front grip options. They have 90+ different grips options to look at and I believe they still are on sale.

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Re: Salmon/steelhead first rod build advice on reel seats & guides
Posted by: John Sansevera (---.hsd1.ny.comcast.net)
Date: February 16, 2021 09:21AM

Roger just to chime in and add my opinion, I fish only for Steelies, Browns and once in a while Salmon. 95 percent of my builds are for Steelhead and trout. Being a first time builder stay a little simple, down the line you could try hidden hoods on seats. Also my hands are xl-xxl my ring size is a 15. so I understand what you mean. Largest reel seats I use on my rods is a 18 , 20 22 or 24 the reel gets sloppy in the hoods. One of this sites advertisers is Mudhole tackle, they have a great reelseat with color options, XRS and matching butt cap in colors, AFB , My favorite rear grip is 10 inches cork or eva foam, i personally prefer cork. If you plan on using your rod to winter fish your choice of guide sizes will freeze up rather quickly. My winter steelhead rods start at a 25 ring and go down to only a 10 ring with a tip top in a 10 ring also. With some of the better quality guides available these days you can find great light frames with top of the line materials that are used for guide rings, So weight shouldn't be an issue. This makes a huge difference when they start to ice up. Back to your grips, dry fit everything first and see if you want to lengthen or shorten your grips. Everyone here has very good info, I am speaking from my experiances as a rod builder and steelhead angler. But hey, everyone has they're opinion, Good luck with the build.

Fishing is not a matter of life or death, it's much more important than that

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Re: Salmon/steelhead first rod build advice on reel seats & guides
Posted by: Roger Rever (---)
Date: February 16, 2021 11:57AM

Thank you all for your responses. Absolutely dumbstruck by how quick and excellent the replies are.

Was hopin to hear from Norm... Been readin a lot of posts (as in 100s) and have always found Norms responses to be knowledgeable, concise & easy to understand.

Still cant make up my mind on the rear grip & reel seat. I never, in my neck of the woods, at least that I can remember, have seen bank fisher folk using split grips. Norm's comments about cheaper really resonated -- especially with what I just $pent on the guide train.

I'm intrigued by the"adjustability" of split grips, still i might hafta just go with the familiar and leave the cork handle building til later builds

I figure that with the free blank I can spend a lil extra on components, just hope I dont screw it up too badly -- this beein my first attempt at building a rod.

Anyway pulled the trigger on the guide train, went with kl corrosion control alconite alconite, 20H,10H, 5.5M, (2) kb5.0 & (5) kt5.0. Plus a TTKGTT top.

Next up, gotta order the seat and grips. Then the thread and epoxy (should have the hand wrapper assembled by then).

Thanx,
Take care,
Roger

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Re: Salmon/steelhead first rod build advice on reel seats & guides
Posted by: Roger Rever (---)
Date: February 16, 2021 12:07PM

John thanx fer the advice. Generally we dont get a lot of freezing weather here in Western Washington. Gonna check out the handle book from anglers resource, maybe that will help... if not, could always narrow down to a few choices and throw a dart!

Thanx again for the advice, appreciate it so much. Im sure it's savin me significant time and money -- allowing more fishing by gettin those honey-dos outta the way and with the money saving been lookin at some new reels ...maybe a shimano dc baitcast

Take care
Roger



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2021 12:10PM by Roger Rever.

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Re: Salmon/steelhead first rod build advice on reel seats & guides
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 16, 2021 12:35PM

if you want to get an idea of what an IPS split grip looks like, e-mail me.
Norm

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Re: Salmon/steelhead first rod build advice on reel seats & guides
Posted by: Roger Rever (---)
Date: February 16, 2021 04:14PM

Norm, kool!! Will eMail shortly
Thanx
Roger

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Re: Salmon/steelhead first rod build advice on reel seats & guides
Posted by: Brian Jackson (---)
Date: February 16, 2021 08:57PM

This might be old school, but i actually prefer a “Tennessee “ style handle on my drift and float rods. Slip rings and a little electric tape and mount the reel wherever it balances the rod the way you prefer. I just finished a Northfork 964 (med power) for our Minnesota steelhead with this style handle and like it.

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