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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 11:01 am • # 1 
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Joined: 11/19/08
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Location: Fayetteville, NC
I'm an admitted grip-slider—I like to move my hand all over the grip and seat, depending on how I'm casting, and I do it without even being aware that I'm doing it. The problem is that most reel seats are uncomfortable, what with locking rings and/or skinny proportions. I gave up on factory grips years ago, their uplocking seats and flared butts not at all conducive to my habits. Ed Herbst in South Africa has come up with some designs that make it easier to grip his rods way down on the seat, but they are complex affairs requiring careful inletting and fitting. In the interest of simplicity, I've stuck pretty much completely with sliding rings on cork seats, going so far in the past as to make my own hidden keepers from titanium tubing. Sliding rings have their own problems, though. They slip, usually at the worst possible time. They are usually too small or, if big enough, uncomfortable under the hand. They dig into cork (largely alleviated by using only the very best cork for seats, and tapered rings). To keep the diameter of the grip close to the diameter of the reel seat for my desired seamless feel, I've often resorted to extremely skinny grips, which is tolerable on tiny rods but not so great on longer/heavier ones.

My last requirement has more to do with my own methods than anything else... I glue rings on the blank and then shape my grips and seats completely by hand, meaning I hold the rod butt in one hand and hold a mill-bastard file or garnet paper in the other. No lathe, no drill-rig, no jig. My grip/seat designs must facilitate being shaped by hand, yet still be straight and symmetrical. Enter my latest design:

This grip measures .94 inch at its fattest (behind the front taper). The "seat" tapers to .91 inch, considerably fatter than all but saltwater/salmon type rods.

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How do I mount the reel, you ask? It's magic—no, simply O-rings. It's important that they're the 1/8 inch thick ones to ensure the reel is held securely. The rings roll up onto the reel foot and do not try to roll off unintentionally. O-rings last a long time, but are cheaply replaced at any hardware or plumbing supply store. Carrying a few spares is easy. The other little trick that this design accomplishes is the option to move the reel practically anywhere on the grip/seat. Grips may be fatter or skinnier than this—all that's needed is larger or smaller O-rings. This design also works for UL spinning.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:30 pm • # 2 
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Location: Winston-Salem, NC
The perfect ultralight setup! Well, and creatively done!!!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:35 pm • # 3 
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Thanks Chris. I would add it to the "Frugal Flyfisherman" board, but the cheapness of O-rings is more than off-set by the quality of Marcia's cork. Not cheap by most standards, but a bargain all the same :)


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 5:45 pm • # 4 
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Joined: 11/20/08
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Very neat. I always liked the rings on spinning rods so you could adjust where the reel set for optimum balance.

Your design would also eliminate the need for a reel seat thus saving a good amount of money.

Dave


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:39 pm • # 5 
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Depends on how much the reel seat costs. Cork of this quality isn't cheap, but not as expensive as an REC or Bellinger seat... I believe this is my favorite grip/seat in almost 50 yrs of fly fishing :) Not that the guides are optimally sized for it, but I could actually use #17 O-rings (these are #15) and mount a UL spinning reel mid-grip. A nice spin/fly combo rod could be made with a grip like this, given the right blank and guides.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 5:26 pm • # 6 
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Joined: 01/19/12
Posts: 192
Location: Italy
Excellent idea!
I used orings too in the last rod I built: it's not a fly rod but a 4meters rod that I use with a fly reel like a centerpin reel.
I used 4 orings instead of 2 to be absolutely sure of the reel stability, but I think that even 2 can be sufficient.
And I used a simple double side adhesive band, about 1 mm thick, fixed with thread, possible because in this case the blank is large.
https://i1377.photobucket.com/albums/ah5 ... 4ql78k.jpg


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