Details #12: Reel Seat Assembly Tip

Shown: leveled guide spline face up in v-blocks with one 
height gauge on the spacer the other on the guide spline

I recently had a conversation with a Ontario bamboo rod maker about the number of both bamboo and graphite rods out in the marketplace that have misaligned reel seats. By this I mean the reel seats on the rods are not aligned true with the guides on the guide given spline. The result is a reel that hangs askew or at an angle relative to the guides. This is due to the fact that either the manufactures or rod makers are not truing up the seats to the spacer dead on or using a jig of some kind to measure proper alignment prior to the assembly. For several years now I've used this little trick I developed using two v-blocks and two hieght gauges and have shared it with some some of my fellow rod makers. 

To get the alignment dead on you need to locate the intended spline for the guides and level it using two v-blocks. Level the spline guide side up by placing the rod in the v-grove block and pushing a hieght gauge down onto the spline to level it within the angle block. Using another hieght gauge adjust it so that it meets the mortices or cross diameter points on the spacer moving it from one side to the other until you have both sides of the diameter or mortise cuts level to one another. Now mark it with a scribing knife on the bottom of the spacer and also scribe a line on the bottom cut of the butt section so both scribe marks meet as a single line during glue up and pinning. Again the the scribe marks are aligned during glue up and you have a dead on leveled spacer. This works for all types of reels seats. These are the details a rodmaker should be paying attention to during the assembly process. Eyeballing is not a good habit because your eyes need to focus on two different planes at once, the guide spline which is flat, and the seat which is round. Unless God gave you protractors burned into your retinas the possibility of dead on alignment is minimal when not using a jig of some kind.

~Clint Joseph Bova


The Outskirts

During the coarse of a cold winter day while working my mind wanders towards more important things, like finding another stream in the spring with some wild Browns or Brookies. I scurry off into another room while mid-sentence with a strip of cane and snatch a book off my shelf. I turn to a page with a map of North Eastern Maine and start following my previous chicken scratches then veer off of a more recent Sharpie dot from two years before. Hmm... I wonder if there is a gas main road there that will take me upstream. A plan is hatching before my eyes. Before I persuade myself that the price of gas is too high, and doubt the weather conditions, I quickly close the book. I wander off to squint for another few hours at tiny strips of cane and consider going fishing in the middle of February. My insatiable thirst for wild trout is hitting me during the coldest season.

I've been told I could shoot wabbits and goats and pigeons and mongooses and dirty skunks and ducks. Could you tell me what season it weawwy is?
        ~Elmer Fudd

It is hard for me to stop thinking about my quarry even while working. It's the old “what if” that rattles around in my head when it comes to my fascination for wild trout. Like Elmer Fudd and that pesky wabbit I try to carefully plan my attack often failing in the end when the fish are following an altogether different stream of consciousness. Which usually means while driving my truck along a road less traveled I took a wrong turn in  Albuquerque. Ultimately the wild fish follow old Mother Natures skirt wake, the outskirts if you will. Those places are hard to get to without a stubborn will, determination, and a little dumb luck. If I fall into a couple wabbit holes that's the breaks.

I'm a wed-hot sportsman after 
wild game. Heh-heh-heh-heh.
~Elmer Fudd

~Clint Bova


What's My Line?

I heavily endorse the following lines for my rods: Phoenix silk lines, Terenzio silk lines, Cortland Classic Syllk DT, Cortland Classic 444 DT, and SA XPS DT Lines. These are fairly well tested, well liked, and used commonly for bamboo rods currently. As far as silk lines go they are very expensive but they exemplify some of the best attributes and properties that complement a classic bamboo rods action. 

Above from left to right: SA XPS DT, Terenzio Silk Lines, Cortland Peach 444 DT, Phoenix Parallel Lines, Phoenix Silk Lines, and Cortland 444 Classic Sylk Lines
If you are worried that the maintenance of silk lines is too much to deal with, don't, they last a very long time. After using silk lines wipe them down with a small square of chamois or soft t-shirt cloth (carry a 4"x4" square in your vest), and apply mucilin. If I fish it for five hours or more, I simply wipe it down for two minutes, apply mucilin and start fishing again, no big deal.  I treat my “plastic lines” exactly the same way so the ritual is no different when it comes to cleaning and conditioning on or off the river. Don't feel like you have to baby silk lines, they are meant to fish hard and long.