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Have some of you measured the diameter of your reel foot? 

Yes, it is the curve which is turned on the back side of reel foot.

If not, would you please measure and report it on the list?

I am gathering the measurements of various reel's foot for a purpose.

I had been using a router bit of woodline (wl1091) and reshaped the blade into V~V shape by myself.  But this bit has a smaller diameter of bead.  A router bit with smaller bead diameter will turn the surface of real seat filler to a smaller diameter.

Thus, the reel would slip right and left on the filler while fishing even though it is fixed with reel seat ring.

It is appreciated if you could measure your reel foot and post the measurement, with real maker, model and diameter value.

To measure the diameter of reel foot:

  1. Prepare a round stock bar (wood or metal) with various diameters, from 0.6" to 0.8".
  2. Place reel foot on it.
  3. Report the most fit diameter with your reel.

The reels which I have are as follows; (please do not confuse between diameter and R, R is half a diameter)

Maker               Size/Model      diameter (2x R)
------------        -----------    --------------
Orvis:                  all sizes         19.5mm (0.768")
Ross:                     #4                19.5mm (0.768")
Trutta:                  #3                19.5mm (0.768")
Hardy Marquis   Silver face     18.0mm (0.708") (Max Satoh)

    This brings up an interesting point. I had a reel seat with an off-center mortise. It looked like hell, so I took a file and cut the mortise away leaving a flat surface. It is the weirdest looking reel seat I have ever seen, and it holds any reel like a vise. I can't decide whether it looks incredibly cool, or incredibly tasteless.  (Jeff Schaeffer)

      A flat surface can stand any reel foot on it!  But it is scratched with the edge.  Reel will sea-saw on a surface with smaller diameter. I am asking to measure your reel's foot, not your reel seat!  Do not destroy your reel seat too much!  (Max Satoh)

    I gladly report to the list as some additional measurements were informed to me on the diameter of reel foot.

    The most interesting input is from Gary Heidt of NAFTMA Standard as follows;

    The NAFTA (North American Fly Tackle Trade Association) standard is R .350" ± .020" (standard)  R .435" ± .015" (spey).  (Gary Heidt)

    Larry Blan gave me additional actual measurement on Orvis reels as follows:

    Reel Maker






    Line Wt.









    Max Satoh






    Larry Blan

    Mid 80's, mfg'ed for Orvis by STH

    Orvis/Presentation EXR




    Larry Blan

    Mid 80's, mfg'ed for Orvis by STH





    Max Satoh






    Max Satoh


    Hardy/Marquis Silver Face




    Max Satoh


    Thanks, Gary and Larry.  (Max Satoh)


I put a new cap & ring wood spacer on a rod for a fellow.  Unfortunately his two reels (Orvis CFO & Teton) don't fit. It seems there's no industry standards on reel feet. I need to remove the end cap and re-mortise the spacer. Problem is, I can't get the cap off. The quick-set epoxy I used is holding tight. I tried immersing just the end cap in boiling water for a couple of minutes but no luck there. I don't want to damage anything so I'm looking for some help before I reach for my Dremel.  (Rich Teeter)

    Use your heat gun to slowly heat the endcap until the epoxy gives way (it will, all epoxies fail with heat, some higher than others).

    Hopefully the temperature will be low enough not to scorch the wood (like I said go slow, and if you smell burning stop).  (Chris Obuchowski)

    Use Attack Solvent - it is used by jewelers to dissolve epoxy resins.

    Now - I gave up using epoxy for putting on butt caps long ago - I use Ferrule-Tite hot melt - exactly for the reason you speak of. I have also been putting on all my ferrules with it - makes repairs and recycling parts a snap. Just a little heat and off it comes - can make minor adjustments with application of a little heat. It will make life easier for you.  (Chris Bogart)

    Heat it with a heat gun or Bernz-o-matic torch. Boiling water does not heat it enough.  (Marty DeSapio)

      Not to be cantankerous,  I personally would not use a heat gun or Bernz-o-matic torch.  The heat is way too high and in the case of the heat gun is far too diffuse.  That old standby the alcohol burner is best, and plan to take up to an hour to heat it enough to break the epoxy.  Like I have said before if you want a well done steak (i.e. cooked all the way through) use very slow low temperature grilling.  Application of quick hot heat is a recipe for charred outside and bloody inside (i.e. a disaster)  (Ralph Moon)

        I have used a heat gun many times to remove butt caps even on cork spacers. You have to be careful but I did not think it was necessary to say that. I believe everyone on this list is intelligent enough to realize that.  It takes at the most 2 minutes to remove  the cap. To remove the wood spacer will take A LOT longer at a lower temp.  A Bernz-o-matic torch is NOT the right tool to use. An alcohol lamp or heat gun is although I believe I can do it (the butt cap) with the Bernz-o-matic torch.  (Marty DeSapio)

    Plenty of good suggestions... one more thing, though... Wear Gloves... Don't even ask why I typed this in with my shiny smooth fingertips.  (Bob Nunley)

    As has been suggested, heating will eventually allow removal of the butt cap. I've found that several cycles of heating and cooling help to loosen it up. You only need about 300° max. to affect the adhesive failure. As Ralph Moon pointed out, cook it all the way through, and not all at once.

    The butt cap will retain the heat for quite awhile, so bear that in mind.  (Martin-Darrell)

      IMHO, Martin-Darrell has the best suggestion. I recently had to remove a reel seat that I used 5 minute epoxy on. Using a cycle of heat and cold I got it to break loose. You have to be very careful of applying too much heat if you want to save the seat.  (Bill Walters)


I'm making a spey rod and I am using a Bellinger skeleton spey reel seat that has an inside diameter of almost 1". I made a cork insert for this behemoth but I don't know how long to cut the insert. My question is do spey reels have a longer reel foot? All of my fly reels (dozens) have feet that measure around 2 1/2" even my monster saltwater reels. I don't have a big spey reel to measure. I really appreciate everyone's help.  (Jeff Fultz)

    If I am not mistaken, the AFTMA has mandated that all reels that feet x.x” long.  I think that years ago when were at the mercy of proprietary standards, some makers of larger salmon reels made their feet larger. But then again, if you go back 80-90 years, didn’t EVERYBODY use much longer feet. 

    All of my “spey” reels use regular AFTMA feet except an unnamed brass salmon reel (it weighs 14 oz w/o line!) which may be 90 years old.  (Joe West)

    Many of the old English salmon reels had larger feet. You may wish to use an old Hardy Perfect or other large reel to balance the spey rod, depending on the length and weight. My 4" Hardy Perfect has a 3-1/2" foot, and the reel weighs 16 oz without line. It balances nicely on rods such as the Sharpes 14' impregnated rod.

    For my 12 - 13 foot rods I use a Hardy St. John, but larger rods require larger, heavier reels.  (Ron Grantham)


Is there a standard degree of angle from which modern reel feet are manufactured? Is so, does anyone know what it is? Are there any sites that might show construction of fly reels?  (David Dziadosz)

    The standard was set some years ago by the AFFTM at a 4 degree slope with Hardy reel seats used as the standard.  Not a lot of people know that!  (Paul Blakley)

    Have a look at this link:

    AFFTA Fly Reel Spec Information

    (Chris Meinke)

      The tolerance on dimension "F" in their chart for a standard reel foot looks odd, like they slipped the decimal point right one place?  0.820 ± 1.000???  (Neil Savage)

        You are right. Must be a typo 1.000 would really add some material.  (Chris Meinke)


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