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What is the general consensus on reel seat types to rod weight?  That is do you guys have a weight cut off for slip ring or would you use one on any weight rod and what is the preference on up to down locking.  (Mike Hawkins)

    In my opinion, you use what you like the look of, or the feel of, or what the buyer wants.

    It seems to me to be worrying unnecessarily about a few grams of reel seat when we are about to seat a reel and fly line on it that weighs many times that.

    If we were REALLY serious about weight and function, we would all be using those carbon fiber and stainless steel reel seats that are made by Fuji.  But that's not why we select reel seats - we pay lip service to efficiency, but we actually use them because they look classy!  (Peter McKean)

    I agree with Peter's comments (the customer may not always be right but he is paying!) but for what it is worth; and as I have just finished writing to a customer on this very subject.

    I recommend for my rods that cap and ring are used up to 7ft 6in and screw lock above that, arbitrary choice really.  Double sliding rings used only on midge rods.

    There are a lot less commercially available down locking screw lock fittings out there than up locking ones so draw your own conclusions. Ironically this last issue can be of some significance as it alters the position of the reel and hence the balance of the rod.  I have made sliding ring fittings in both up and down locking and surprisingly perhaps the uplocking type appears to be more secure.  (Gary Marshall)

    I use cap and ring seats up to #6 wt line(some say 5 wt should be the cut off) and anything heavier gets a down locking reel seat. I don't like the looks of an uplocking and that #^*^&% protrusion sticking out behind the reel on an uplocking seat always seems to catch in my shirt sleeve in cooler weather. Causes a nasty wave in the cast and jerks the wrist pretty good too.  (Will Price)


At what point do you use a up/down locking seat as compared to a ring and cap?  Is there a rule of thumb (line size which means larger reel)?  (Louis DeVos)

    I use a cap and ring for all 5 wts and down. Also on some 6 wts. Generally on 6 wts and up I use downlocking. I never use uplocking 'cause I can't stand them, but they are fine if you like them.  (Will Price)


I'm looking for some recommendation on when to use smaller sized reel seats.

Line length/weight?

Which  smaller  diameter  do you use,  the 21/32nd (.656) or 5/8 (.625) and do you then ream with a 1/4 in bit?  (Ralph Tuttle)

    I found the .650 seat hardware looked a little too small on anything larger than a short 4 weight.  I use .690" on most rods these days.

    If anyone needs a few nice reel seat fillers already turned and morticed for .650" hardware, drop me a note!  (Harry Boyd)


I’m about to order components for a Dickerson 8013 that I am making.  Off hand I don’t know what size reel seat insert I should order.  I am looking at an uplocking Bellinger reel seat and the one is for a 2-5 wt  is .660” and the other is for a 5-8 wt rod and is .720”.  Is there some sort of standard that I should go by or do I just pick and hope for the best.  (Greg Reeves)

    I would say that it’s going to depend on your reel. When you think about it, it’s a difference of .060” in diameter. That’s about 1/16”, not a whole lot if difference.

    I make all of my components and my inserts are all at about .710”. I can use both 1594 ½ or 1494 ½ Phleug’s. More importantly is the inside diameter , where the blank slips in. I again,  make all my stuff, except guides and I try for a nice friction fit between cane and reelseat.  (Ren Monllor)

    I have used the smaller reel seat (21/32) on my 8013 and it is downlocking rather than uplocking. I am currently making one for a person that will have a sliding band reel seat of the same size. Hope this helps.  (Frank Paul)


I prefer screw lock to the sliding band, something about having a reel fall off in the middle of a river while playing a fish... but hey, we all have our faults. Has anyone fabbed the skeleton hardware for one of them? Is there a tutorial somewhere? Its probably cheaper to buy them, but that can be said about most of the stuff we build.  (Larry Lohkamp)

    I have never had a reel fall off and all I fish is sliding band reel seats, Now fish falling off is another story! I think that maybe on the larger rods 6 wt and above maybe, but I'm still not sold on that.  (Joe Arguello)

      I like the slide band seats because of their classic look, but what I don't like about them is how  they dig into and trash the reel seat foot! Not really what I want to happen to my more pricey reels. But, I am really anal when it comes nicks and scratches and such! Maybe I am missing something or doing it wrong?  (Paul McRoberts)

        Slide band reel seats are fine, I like them. The Golden Witch sliding band seats have a beveled ring that tends to not dig into the reel foot and they, for me, seem to hold better. I haven't had a reel fall off yet. I have on a 8' 3/2 5 wt and a Dickerson 8014 clone fished with  a  7  wt.  For reels  I use  Pfluegers but  have replacement (non-original) fee on them.   (Pete Van Schaack)

        I swag the sliding bands to 4 deg. if you look at the one in the pic it is also swaged. When this is done the band is flat to the reel seat filler and to the reel seat foot also. This helps with the digging in of the sliding band and also holds better.  (Joe Arguello)

      I have had one reel fall off of my rod while fishing.  It was on an uplocking screw type of reelseat.  I chose this reelseat because it seemed to me to be the best setup.  I prefer downlocking reel seats and I now use only downlocking sliding band reel seats on rods that I make for myself.  I think that the "old masters" might have known a thing or two.  This is just my experience and I surely don't have all that much.  (Hal Manas)

    Any reel can fall off of any seat if you don't use it properly. I tend to have more trouble with screw locking seats unscrewing than with slide band but I have had trouble with both.   (Jim Lowe)


I bought a Pflueger Progress 60 to go on my Thramer 444 and was going to use a set of Tony Larson’s Cap and ring hardware but they do not fit the feet of the reel.  I really don’t want to modify the feet any.  Does anyone know of a cap and ring or double slide band that will fit these type of feet?  The radius under the feet match up perfectly with a 7/8” diameter pipe.  (Greg Reeves)

    Fits with a Struble D-2 ring and cap seat (not the D-2S).  (Jon Babulic)


Just wondering what the criteria are for just when to switch from a sliding band seat to a locking seat?  Would you guys say this has more to do with the length of the rod than targeted line weight, or a combination of factors?  As always, there has to be a strong element of subjectivism here, but my guess is once a cane rod gets past 8’ or maybe just a 7 wt of almost any length, time for an up or downlocker?  Those sliding band seats just look so damned good, but there has to be a practical limit when your line starts to look more like lariat rope and the fish have fangs.  (Bob Brockett)

    I really like sliding band reel seats too. But I can tell you that I wish I had put a down locking on a Dickerson 8014 Guide 8'/6 wt. that I made a couple years ago. I was just thinking the other day that I should grind off the sliding band seat on that rod and replace it, but it breaks my heart to ruin a perfectly good seat...  (Tom Vagell)

      I built out an 8014 blank that I put a cap and ring band from Golden Witch on, it was one of their tapered ring bands which I really like. I removed it to fix loose cork and in the process replaced it with a down locking seat.

      Never had a problem with the sliding bands.  (Pete Van Schaack)

    All bets are off!

    Historically, slide bands were commonly used on 5 wt rods and down.

    I now offer my customers a choice on all rods because I have had customers that did not know how a slide band worked and were worried about their reel getting loose.

    Personally, I prefer slide bands for their simplicity, light weight, ease of bluing and aesthetic appearance. (Larry Tusoni)

    Many of the old 8 1/2' and 9' rods have just a sliding band to hold the reel. Back in the day most of these rods were 6wt or less. I don't think length of rod has anything to do with it. It's all the weight of the line being cast. I use cap and ring 100% up 5 wt and including a few 6 wt.  But I use a locking reel seat on other 6 wts and on all 7 wts and up.  (Will Price)

    I have been using downlock reels now for over 70 years. I have  never had a problem.  I cannot say the same for cap and ring seats. Use what you like!  (Ralph Moon)

    I put Sliding bands on everything unless the customer specifically asks for a screwing down or up lock.  Qualifier: NORMALLY, the biggest rod I make is an 8' 6 wt (which is my White River rod and has a sliding band on it with no problems), but if I made bigger rods I'd probably go with a screwing uplock.    Unlike Will, I generally don't make rods over 6 wt and most of what I make are 5's.  (Bob Nunley)

      I'll chime in here...I think it has to do with the weight of the reel and line on it...I have trouble putting a big reel on a sliding band  (unless the  band is bigger than I usually make it). Since heavy reels usually go with heavier lines...The issue, which Bob alludes to, also has to  do  with  the customer/user...some have trouble securing a reel with a sliding band or don't have confidence in it...a good fitting band/reel is an important consideration for me...on a heavier reel I'll use a locking seat. Of course, locking seats are a bit more difficult to make, but there are good sources for those.  (Doug Blair)

      I'm like Bob, I put tapered sliding bands on all rods, up-sliding with a hood recessed under the cork, unless specifically asked for a screw locking seat. Personally, I think sliding bands hold better, and I've never had one work loose, unlike a screw lock seat. I predominantly build 6, 5 and 4 weights.  (Chris Obuchowski)


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