8: Reel Seat – Extra
Let’s take a quick look at a problem that arose when I began to assemble the cork and reel seat on the 8 wt rod. The seat is all metal without a visible wood insert. Its inside diameter is five-eights of an inch and the rod diameter is slightly less than three-eights. This is too large of a gap to fill with tape and epoxy. What to do?
My first thought was to cut a piece of wood the length of the seat and drill a 3/8 hole through its length. A piece of 3/8 all-thread through the hole would be chucked in the lathe, and the outside turned down to 5/8 diameter. Glue this into the real seat and the problem is solved. But, this is not a workable solution if you don’t have a lathe. We all have an Ace hardware, so I decided to solve this problem with a trip to the local hardware store.
I found a 5/8 OD, ½ inch ID nylon bushing along with a ½ inch OD, 3/8 ID bushing. Gluing these together produced the needed diameter deduction.
Two half inch surfaces holding the rod in the seat doesn’t present a strength concern with the seat being a solid metal tube. Nor am I concerned about enough glue surface to hold it in place. There isn’t much twisting force against the seat during normal use.
The photo shows how all the parts are aligned when assembled. Note that the rod blank doesn’t extend to the end of the seat. It butts up against the end cap plug. This plug is threaded to accept the screw in cork butt. The alignment pictured isn’t exact, the bushing needs to be forward so that both the blank rear-end and the cap front-end are inside the bushing. This complicates placement of parts during final glued assembly, but all things are possible.
My good friend says, “I do it the way I think I should the first time, and the way I should have the second time.” If there is a second time, I will get three bushings, two for the blank and one for the cap, and the alignment challenge goes away. This unplanned post arises from having to overcome an unplanned problem – always the source of anxiety your “first time”.