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I have a reel seat I would like to remove.  It was glued with epoxy (Devcon 5 minute I think) and the blank was built up in several places with masking tape.  Can I just heat the reel seat to break down the glue?  Any danger or thoughts on how best to do this?  (James Hecht)

    Slow heat will do. Just try not to ruin the finish on the seat. I just removed a seat from a fiberglass rod that had built up masking taper underneath. Worked fine. I might assume that the seat is metal? That would be even easier.  (Bob Maulucci)


I'm kinda red-faced. 

I attached a reelseat to the rod I'm working on and noticed that it is (the reelseat) off a little bit from plumb.  Any ideas of what I should do?  I think I've got a couple of options: 

  1. live with it
  2. remove the reel seat (any ideas how?  It was glued with epoxy) and remount it.  (Todd Talsma)

    Here is a tip that might help.

    I don't glue the reel seat till I have the guides on the rod and some finish on the wraps. In most cases, the rod is varnished before gluing the reel seat. It is generally the last thing I do before polishing the rod The reel seat is assembled and ready to glue, a reel is inserted in the seat and lined up with the guides on the butt section sighting through the space between the reel body and the line on the spool. I just set the whole assembly aside checking it several times before the glue sets up.

    As for removing the seat, I have seen a seat removed by dipping  in boiling water.  Don't know about bamboo, I do know it works on Gr-----.  (Tony Spezio)

    I have removed a reel seat (I had the same problem that you do) by using my heat gun and carefully going over the wood insert.  It takes a long time, but it does work.  You also have to be careful not to scorch the insert in the process.  (Dennis Haftel)

    Why not just heat the cane in front of the reel seat, and induce enough twist to counter the out of plumb reel seat, thereby rendering it plumb? The grip will cover the twist anyway, and in that area there's not enough stress to amount to anything.  (Martin-Darrell)


How do I remove a reel seat glued on with Gorilla Glue?

I need to remove the reel seat as the butt end and of the cork grip is loose and I want to get some more glue under it.  (Pete Van Schaack)

    You can inject it with epoxy, No need to remove the handle.  (Gary Nicholson)

    I saw somewhere that Gorilla glue takes some 600 degrees to soften. I had to change a ferrule glued on with it and ended up cutting it to get it off.

    Not the glue to use for removable parts.  (Chad Wigham)

    If it truly is glued on with Gorilla Glue you have problems. I talked to the people at Gorilla Glue a couple of years ago and remember them saying that the glue will let go at somewhere around 550 degrees. While my memory is far from perfect I do know that it is an awful lot of heat to make the glue fail. I dare say that you will have to cut the seat off in small pieces.  (Steve Shelton)


So I am in the process of refinishing my first bamboo rod (an HI Spinner).

I took all the necessary measurements, removed the pin from the butt cap. Placed it in ziplocked baggie, dunked in boiling water...AND....the reel seat won't come off, tried and tried and tried. All the cork finally came off from the heat but the reel seat is still there it hasn’t budged....

What am I missing, What should I do?!?!?!  (Evan ???)

    Water boils at 212 degrees at sea level. Chances are the glue holding it is much higher temp or the reel seat is pinned. If it is not pinned then use a heat gun and a pair of gloves. Heat it up with out burning and start tugging.  Sometimes getting it hot then cooling it in ice water will break the hold of the glue.  (Adam Vigil)

    Sometimes they used resorcinol to glue everything on with. I have seen rods by H-I and South Bend where the cane, the ferrules, the cork and the reel seat were all glued on with it. The only remedy for that is to heat the bakelite until it softens then take  it off in chunks with a pair of pliers, kinda tough on the insert, but they were pretty crappy anyway. If you must reproduce it, you can get black nylon in rounds from MSC or McMaster-Carr.  (John Channer)

      Anybody ever try to get a Heddon Pyralin seat off?  I'm guessing they're glued on, and would probably get destroyed in an attempt to take the seat off.  (Greg Kuntz)

        Yes, they are glued to a light wood barrel and in turn that barrel is glued to the turned down blank. The uplocking South Bends with the hooded cap next to the grip and a hooded cap on the bottom with the knurled plastic end cap that you turn to move the bottom hood upward are the worst. The hooded cap next to the cork has a HIDDEN pin inside of it. Don't ask how I discovered that one.  (Will Price)

    I have restored many rods and sometimes it is best to just live with the reelseat the way it is.

    Of course if the reelseat is unusable the safest bet is to carefully sand or grind it off. The safest way to do this is to use a stationary disk sander or belt sander. You must kep a steady hand and be careful to only grind the seat. Try to work it loose just before it is ground through.

    This method avoids soaking and heating which could start delamination.

    If you are going to use the original seat, you can install the new cork handle with the reel seat on.  (Don Sargent)

      You are correct about delamination if you are not careful. But if you are able to work the reel seat off using your method and not grind it all the way through, then it probably was the heat from sanding or grinding that got the glue to let loose.

      A little constant heat and patience can save a reel seat.  (Adam Vigil)

    I Just started refinishing an HI Spinner that a friend gave me.  I did finally get the reel seat off by the way.  (Evan ???)

      How did you get it off?  (Hal Manas)

        Boiled in water, then ice water then I pulled it then boiled water then ice water. By the end it slid off without any pressure. By the end the reel seat was so hot it was mushy in my hand. Now I have another problem. The entire butt end which was under the reel seat is delaminated. What do I do?!?  (Evan ???)

          When I encounter delamination, I carefully spread the strips and hold them apart with flat toothpicks. Then I moisten the whole delaminated area and carefully spread Gorilla Glue into the strips. I then remove the toothpicks and bind the area by hand with strong thread. The Gorilla Glue will spread by foaming and will usually make a repair that is stronger than the original glue.

          This is a touchy business because you don't want the delamination to move any farther than it already is. So don't spread the strips apart very much. I use an artists pallet knife to spread the Gorilla Glue because the blade is thin and it has no sharp edge to dig in.  (Don Sargent)

            You might want to try an old worn out soft bristled toothbrush. Would probably be easier than the artists knife.  (Will Price)

              Sometimes using a duck wing quill feather helps to inject glue into tight places.  (Bill Fink)

            I forgot to mention that since your original reel seat got mushy, Channel-lock makes some nice looking reel seats that are not too much like the original, but don't stand out like sore thumbs either. The come in flat black as well as other colors and the thinner model often blends in with the look of a vintage rod. They are available from Netcraft in Maumee, Ohio.  (Don Sargent)


Had a store bought seat that would not hold a reel. Decided to switch it out. Boil in the bag trick for over an hour, no results. Boil then cool and repeat. No results. Torched it, no results. Torch then ice repeatedly. No results.

I finally got a cutoff wheel on the Dremel and cut through the mortise until I breached the thing. Tried to pop it off with a screwdriver by expanding it. Part of it came off, but not all. Took another 15 minutes of cutting, chiseling, knifing, etc.

I think I may have glued it on with the last of some golfsmith shafting epoxy.

The new reelseat I made holds the reel.  (Jeff Schaeffer)

    I use shafting epoxy because I also build golf clubs, and when I want to remove a reel seat I use a heat gun just like when I remove shafts from clubs.  It seems to work just fine.  (Tom Key)

      So, I had two heat guns sitting on the same shelf as the micro torch - now why didn't I think of that? Bet I could have saved the thing and fixed it via the upcoming article in Power Fibers. Live and learn.  (Jeff Schaeffer)


I need to unglue my reel seat.  I used Titebond II.  Can I just heat it with a heat gun to remove it or is Titebond II heat resistant?  (Matt Baun)

    It's not the glue that's heat resistant, it's the fact that you will burn the wood with a heat gun before it gets hot enough to let go. You can try wrapping the wood in plastic and then letting it sit in boiling water for a while and see if that gets it hot enough to let go. If you don't need to save the seat then just split it off with a chisel.  (John Channer)

      The way I have done this before you cannot get it off. Is just cut the blank off above the reel seat. Put the whole thing in a lathe and turn the center back out.  (Gary Nicholson)

        I can't speak for Titebond II but I had to remove a seat glued with 2 ton epoxy last year.

        The bag in the boiling water bit didn't work. Not even close.  In fact the bag eventually broke. I had to freeze the seat then put it over a heat gun. Once hot I put the section in a vice and litterally hung from it.  (Think doing pull up from a lying position.)  It slowly pulled off.

        Can't freeze it. It's almost winter. Put it in garbage bag and leave it outside over night. Hit it with the heat gun the next morning.  (Jim Lowe)

          Titebond has been very cooperative for me when heated with steam, the boil-in-bag trick should work. 

          You're not the first.  (Henry Mitchell)

      That's funny, I just went through this last week. I glued on a reel seat that must have inadvertently got bumped when I laid it aside to dry and it turned about 15 degrees off center. Even worse, I glued on the butt cap the next day and still didn't notice it. Then I put a reel on it the day after that and man was I mad at myself.

      I put it aside to think about it for a couple days and it didn't end up as bad as I thought. I took the cap off on the grinder first, then put a thin piece of sheet metal over the reel seat up against the cork grip to protect it. Then I put the seat to the disc sander and took it down to the cane. Worked great, had maybe a half hour of hand work to clean up the reel seat pieces up against the cork where I didn't want to get too close to the sander.  I had a new reel seat on within an hour.

      It never occurred to me to try and save the reel seat.  (Tom Vagell)

        If it slightly off line when it glued up. And lets face it we have all done this. Just heat the rod as near the winding check you can and twist the rod in line again with the seat and let it set up. When you put the wrap on you will not see the twist if its only slight. One way to get out of deep trouble.  (Gary Nicholson)

    Forget trying to heat and pull off. Put the rod section in your metal lathe and turn it until your down to the bamboo. Sand and replace with a new reel seat. If you have a butt cap on take it off first with a little heat. I've done this on two rods and it worked great.  (Mark Dyba)

      At roughly 5 bucks for even a nice piece of wood it usually isn't worth the effort to save an insert, but on the rare occaision it is worth the effort it pays to use a glue such as Titebond that will let go with moist heat. I've cleaned a lot if it off garaage floors after making a batch of cabinets and hot water takes it off without much effort.  (John Channer)

    Thanks for all the help...much appreciated.  The boiling water trick worked great...only had it in there for a minute or so and it came off with just a little twist and pull.   My problem was that none of my reel feet fit into the reel seat.  I tried both modern and old reels. So, I think I slid the top cap too far down the length of the spacer when I glued it on to the rod.  So what happened was that the reel foot was too big for the ring and cap set up.  (Matt Baun)


What would be the best way to  remove a  reel seat  put on  with U-40? Without damaging the cork or rod.  (Reed Guice)

    Gentle heat will remove the metal parts.  Wooden parts glued with U-40 Rod Bond will need to be cut away.  I just removed one last week.  The butt cap came right off after removing the pin.  The wooden filler was sliced on each side with a Dremel tool, then pried away from the bamboo.  (Harry Boyd)

      I've removed wood reel seats glued with  U-40 by boiling. Yes, it takes a while. Fortunately, I haven't had to do that with bamboo (yet). (Henry Mitchell)

    Boiling water and ice.  Applied one after the other of course.  May take a few times to break the epoxy seal.  (Mark Wendt)

      Ooops, forgot to mention you should seal the reel seat in a plastic baggie while you're doing that.  (Mark Wendt)


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