Hair Brained Rebuild Concept?


Steve Cole - Nisqually and Adjacent Environs
I have an Orvis Silver Label TL 7 wt 10 footer that I am thinking about converting to a switch rod by extending the butt section 6 inches, refitting with an new reel seat, and rebuilding the grips. One "quickie" way (Method 1) that I thought of to get there is to use one of Struble's U6e reel seats which gives about 4 additional inches to a rod when extended (I'd get the other 2 inches by rebuilding the cork butt on the U6e seat to the needed length). The other way of getting (Method 2) there would be to remove the existing hardware/cork, adding 6 inches of graphite at the butt, then rebuilding the butt section with a conventional "switch rod" set up. Of course I'd be voiding the Orvis warranty but that seems a minimal consideration. What I am most concerned about is balance since I would be adding a considerable amount of length and weight to the existing butt section by using "Method 2", and a little less so with "Method 1". I have read Bob Meiser's articles and he stresses that balance in a rod is a key factor to it's "castability". Any thoughts, observations, advice, etc before I launch into this project would be greatly appreciated. (Then there's always Method 3 which would be to buy one of Meiser's blanks and build from scratch but that seems too easy!)

BTW... Nice work on the grass rods Scott B!

Thanks All

Steve Cole
Olympia, WA

Scott Behn

Active Member
Well thanks Steve, I would go with method #2. Although I don't quite follow ya on method #1, you can also think about removing your reel seat and install a new one with a threaded insert. This way you can install a removable 5" fitting butt. Now over all that will put you about what...maybe 7" or 7.5" past the end of your exsisting blank, but this way you wouldn't have to remove the exsisting cork.


James Mello

Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"
I'd vote for 2 also. If balance is an issue there are things you can do to make it work. For instance you can reverse the direction of the reel seet and make it down locking rather than uplocking. Additionally, using different materials for the reel seat will affect balance quite a bit too. In one of the 8wt rods I made, I ended up using an A8 Pac Bay seat just because it balanced better. In another rod I went with a graphite fuji just cause I wanted something as light as possible. Just my two cents though!

-- Cheers
-- James