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I need some 3/4" NS stock for reel seat.   Anybody know a good source?  The standard rod making sources are charging about $30 a foot - is that reasonable?  (Lee Orr)

    Lee I don't know what kind of a seat you are making, but an alternative idea might be to use the predrawn cups from Brookside Rod.  I have not tried them, but I think that they might be a really good deal.  Here is a link to the web site.  (Ralph Moon)

    National Bronze may or may not have in stock 3/4" diameter in both 792 and 752.  BUT, yes the price will be high.  I just bought a 12 foot piece of 1/2" 792 for $150 plus cutting charge plus shipping charge.  (Ted Godfrey)


I've seen photos of some very nice wedding band style reel seat bands made by some of the makers on this list.  I purchased a 7x14 metal lathe while ago and have the average set of cutters, but not really anything designed for cutting the curvature like on a wedding band.  Does anyone know where I might be able to purchase a cutter like this?  I've looked into some of the on-line jewelry supply houses, but have not really found anything that would fit my quick change tool post or really designed for cutter a band out of 1" nickel silver bar stock.  I have about 12' of it so finding a cutter would be really nice.  (Wayne Daley)

    It's not hard to just make the cutter to suit, in fact you'll likely have to. You may need a left and a right cutter (designed to cut from the let or right) depending on the design you have in mind. All you need is tool steel and the grinder you sharpen the cutter with. If you don't have tool steel handy use the other end of the cutter you're using now it probably has some to spare (unless it's tipped in which case the steel wont be much use) but the place you got the lathe will have HSS for it. I think the Sherline site used to have something on shaping your own cutters but there'll be stuff in model engineers web sites all over the place. It's nothing like as tricky as it at first seems.  (Tony Young)


I have purchased bands from the net at they have a number of styles even pure silver with rope embossing they also sell thin sheet of metal that I cut with side cutters. Very inexpensive.  (Larry Downey)

    Another method I have seen to make the strap is to start with a  length of round wire, and carefully tap the ends flat with a hammer.  The center is left round, or slightly flattened. I have seen this on  early rods with copper wire, but don't see why it would not work with  NS pinning wire. you would just have to tap a bit harder. The feet  are nicely shaped, like the duckbill shape on classic guides.  (Tom Smithwick)

    Great idea!  Who has pinning wire?  (Dave Norling)

      I agree, cool idea. (Thanks Tom!)  Pinning wire is available from Bailey Wood at Classic Sporting Enterprises.  (Harry Boyd)

      Golden Witch has NS pinning wire. I do this with NS pinning wire, which is a bit thick in diameter for such a short length, and requires a specialty pliers to get a decent shape.

      Another source for NS rings, by the way, is They sell NS rings for chain mail. A lifetime supply for 10 amateur rodmakers is less than $10. Tom Kerr at recommends them at his web site.  I think the smallest gauge ring is the one to get.  (Paul Franklyn)

        Wow.  Cool site for rings and wire.  Sure makes me feel stupid for paying $4.50 for one hook keeper when I could have gotten enough rings and wire to make 500 keepers for less than $10.00

        By the way, who in their right mind makes chain mail armor.  Probably closely related to people who make bamboo  fly rods.   (Aaron Gaffney)

          Apparently we're not the only insane people in the world!  I know there are Medieval festivals, must be a lot of people are into it or there wouldn't be enough business to keep them going.  (Neil Savage)

          Yeah, you're not far off. I used to make chain-mail in my younger days and now lookee, I'm making cane rods.  (Bill Walters)

          If anyone ever gets a chance to watch someone working with mail it's a great thing to watch. These folks are a lot like us rod makers (anal about most things) and most of them are a little strange, like most of us  ;)  I watched a guy working on a shirt, it's just as much an art form as rod making. I later purchased a shirt from him, and just need to get the rest of the suit now. Ren Festivals are a great place to see a lot of dying trades,(if you can get through  all the   commercial hype). Blacksmiths are also fun to watch. Reminds me, maybe I should clean up my swords, it's been years.  (Robert Hicks)


Can someone provide a source for 3/4 NS rod for reel seat hardware? The 18 percent. Secondly, are there different alloys in the 18 percent stock? Some has a sleight yellowish tint, which is fine, but is it available without the tint?   (Wayne Kifer)

    I'm sure I have posted this before, but those wishing to know more  about the various copper alloys should go to Olin Brass.

    and download the alloy guide. You will get the chemical composition  of the various alloys, and their mechanical properties in the various  tempers. There are also technical data sheets for the individual alloys. Olin is a major mill, and only sells in large quantity.  (Tom Smithwick)

      Also, some nickel silver contains small amounts of lead to make it easier to machine.  Of course if you're in California, that'd probably mean that you'd have to put a Prop. 65 warning on the rod.  (George Bourke)

    There was a request for info on nickel silver bar stock just recently.  I bought some from National Bronze and Metals, Inc. in Houston, TX.  Call them at 713-869-9600.  I bought 3/8" for making ferrules, which I haven't started as of yet so can't report on the "machineabilty" but did send some to a friend who builds his own ferrules and feel he would have told me if I bought "the wrong stuff"..

    They were very easy to deal with and shipped right away.  (Don Hansen)


Anyone know where I might be able to buy some 11/16" (.6875") nickel silver tube?  I'm trying to mimic an older style of reelseat, and all I've been able to fine so far is 11/16" brass tubing.  (Bill Benham)

    You might consider Gary's findings.  Check them out here.  (Scott Grady)

    I have some .672" o.d. x .575 i.d. NS  tubing left over from a purchased put together a few years ago for the Corbett Lake Rod builder group. This size was purchased for threaded barrels and full NS reel seats. Because of the lighter wall compared to the sliding ring tubing, 40 lbs. of NS yielded a lot more of the smaller size. If you can use some, let me know (and anyone else out there) 15.00 per foot.  (Kevin Callaway)


Recently, I picked up my first lathe (Homier 7X12) and am ready to start cranking on some reel seat hardware. Problem is that I can't find any NS stock except for one supplier that is going to require a second mortgage before I can afford a foot of it. Any help on NS suppliers would be greatly appreciated. Can contact me offlist if you prefer. Apologies for what is likely a FAQ.  (Phil Smith)

    Metal Express.  Go here.  (Ren Monllor)

      I called them two weeks ago and they said that none of their distributors have any in  stock nor  do they anticipate getting any. FYI.  (Phil Smith)

    What is going on is that the price of Nickel has essentially quadrupled in the last couple years, and no one wants to  stock nickel alloys. If the price suddenly drops, which it could, they would be stuck with an inventory that would have to be sold at a huge loss. One strategy would be to put together a group buy, and  move up to a larger distributor. Most of what you are paying to outfits like metal mart is small quantity extras. You would probably need at least 300 pounds to see a significant price change, and even  that is considered a tiny order.

    Nickel silver was selected as the most practical metal for rodmaking 100 years ago,  before there was commercial aluminum, and before there was stainless steel.

    Maybe it is not the best choice any more? How's that for heresy?  You might also consider brass, or bronze, which can be bought from tool suppliers like MSC or Travers tool.  (Tom Smithwick)

      Garrison made his reel seat components out of brass and aluminum. I think that that is what I'm going to be using also.  (Ren Monllor)

        Hook & Hackle, among others, has aluminum reel seat skeletons for as little as $12.  I'm not sure it would be worth my trouble to make my own,  at least not for the few rods I expect to make in my lifetime.  (Neil Savage)

        I can't speak to his (Garrison's) early rods, but know that a local fellow contributed to the development of a drawing die set for the butt caps to be made of nickel silver. The reel seats on rods I've made, have aluminum and brass downlock sleeve and nut, and nickel silver butt caps ~ some from the original source, some I made. With Butternut inserts from 'out back'.

        I think 'Golden Witch' bought up Dave LeClair's supply ~ wonder where that all went. Mostly tubing, but that would be most welcome for someone wanting to make parts.  (Vince Brannick)

      I wonder where the commercial suppliers are getting theirs?  Small shops like Tony Larson, for example.  Maybe they have a stock from before?  (Neil Savage)

        Lets not forget that the British and many of the European rodmakers have always used brass for ferrules. I think Darryl H. and also Tony Young have tried brass and have provided information in the past on the appropriate brass to be used for ferrules.

        Once the brass has been "blued" it is hard to tell from silver nickel (which is sometimes called white brass)  (Ian Kearney)

          All, I don't know if this site is still good, it works at least.  They have NS rod in 1/4" diameter for what seems a reasonable price.  That is, IF the site is current.  (Neil Savage)

            What on earth would you do with 1/4" rod apart from maybe winding checks? I suppose you could melt it down into a mold of something usable.

            Thanks for all the feedback! I contacted several suppliers and it appears that 3/4" is now going for about $50/foot! Yeah, that eery silence was from the cessation of my heart beating. I found that Golden Witch is still advertising 3/4" for a bit less than that so I bought some today. I sure hope that their price wasn't an April Fool's joke. I thought their price was steep until I started calling around.

            The main reason I wanted the 3/4" round stock was for making reel seat parts that would somewhat match the Larson ferrules that I've always used (instead of using Al or Duronze for reel seat with a NS ferrule). I'm the farthest thing on the planet from a capable machinist so I wanted to start slow and learn reel seat hardware first, but it looks like the timetable for learning to construct ferrules has been bumped up a bit. Gotta find a cheaper and suitable alternative.  (Phil Smith)

              Ferrules?  (Neil Savage)

    You can get it  from Busby Metals, but you have to buy it in 12 foot lengths.  (Dave LeClair)

      I called the source Dave LeClair posted earlier (Busby Metals) and they quoted me $25/lb. At that price, and considering the density of NS is roughly twice that of titanium it actually works out to be MORE expensive per running inch than the titanium I usually use in my reel seats. At $11/lb I'd be willing to buy a fair amount and look into putting a group buy together.  (Mark Shamburg)

    Bob Venneri used to sell some by the foot. he may still be selling it? I would check with him.  (Dave LeClair)

      Solid bar nickel silver can still be found for reasonable prices. I found some who sell for about $11 / pound but they do have a minimum order. I think there also is a guy on eBay (washida blade and tools or something similar to that) who sells NS, and Russ but I think that was already mentioned. What you could also try though is find local musical instrument makers as they use NS tube, giving them a call or visit and talking to the right person might help you.

      Another good material for ferrules is Duronze (C642, Arsenical Silicon-Aluminum), Winston use(d) it and is a bit easier to get than NS it is actually lighter than NS and makes very nice ferrules and reel seats.

      752 density = .316
      757 density= .314
      642 density= .278 !!

      Another good option is Silicon Bronze C655

      655 density=.308

      The MoE is slightly lower but will not exceed your limits at all so there is nothing to worry about.

      642 and 655  is not available in tube so you do have some waste material. While 642 is almost THE perfect material for ferrules in my opinion a downside for 642 is that the capacity for cold working is rated as poor, which is an understatement. Making pocketed caps and rings is almost impossible (as I recently found out). But if you completely turn and/or mill your reel seats then this is a very good alternative.

      Bluing it and you can not tell the difference. You might have to look into hot bluing with salts though if you would like to blue threads. Or low temp hot bluing like - black magic - for instance I think that only needs 300 degrees. Bluing is not needed though, I very much like the color of Duronze but this is probably personal.  (Danny Heus)

        I bought some from Bill Carter, but can't find his web site or e-mail address.  (David Dziadosz)


Looking to purchase 7/8ths nickel silver….any leads?? Golden Witch is out of stock.  (Ren Monllor)

    Tubing or bar stock?  (Mark Wendt)

      Bar stock.  (Ren Monllor)

        Hmmm, just looked at the list of suppliers I had in my address book on my web browser, and none of them have the 7/8" NS bar stock in stock right now.  A bunch of them show up to 3/16", but nothing bigger.  (Mark Wendt)

    I purchased 12 feet of the UNS  Identification  number  C79200 12% Leaded Nickel Silver in a 7/8" barstock from Busby and sold about 6 feet of it to 4 or 5 members on the list at $42.00 per foot plus shipping.  I have a few more 12" bars that I can part with if your still interested.  (Wayne Daley)


Looking for some 7/8 to 1" round stock. Any ideas where I could find it?  (Don Anderson)

    I purchased 12 feet  of the  UNS Identification  number C79200 12% Leaded Nickel Silver in a 7/8" barstock from Busby and sold about 6 feet of it to 4 or 5 members on the list at $42.00 per foot plus shipping.  I have a few more 12" bars that I can part with if your still interested.  (Wayne Daley)


I need some 7/8" round stock, nickel silver alloy 752. Does anyone on the list have some for sale?  (Chris Raine)


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