Rod blanks

The more I think about and read what you guys are writing, I think the SLi 9' 5 wgt is the way to go. How is the quality of the reel seats Cabela's offers in the kits?
had trouble with the graphite (cheap but durable) seat they sell, but generally they are ok. i would much prefer to buy the seat and handle where i can actually look at them. you can pick up some really nice seats off ebay, but you take some chances on quality. on the 9'#10 i found the nice cabelas wood insert seat had to be shaved mighty thin to fit on the large butt section. i've put it under tremendous stress on chum, sockeye and even a couple of chinook without problem, but i was worried initially that it would crack and wouldn't have sold or given it to anyone else. you won't save much money ordering those items from cabelas anyway. john's i everett or greg's in lake stevens are two places i know carry reel seats.
how did you guess? the hood space is not big enough to get the reel foot in enough. maybe imported and made for some tiny reel? anyway they don't work. would be very tough though which was what i was looking for in that case. :beathead:

Scott Behn

Active Member
I work at the shop here in Lake Stevens and we have several inexpensive blanks to start from...stop by if you're ever in the area

"How is the quality of the reel seats Cabela's offers in the kits?"

The reel seat in the standard SLi kit (as opposed to the premium kits) was fine. Understand your not going to get a jewelry class $50 reel seat in a $100 kit. That said, I didn't see anything I thought would lead to cosmetic, durability, functionality problems down the road.
Thought I would add my 2 cents. Being new to rodbuilding I set out to spend as little as possible so that I didn't make an expensive tomato stake. (I stole that line from my rod building book).

I'll second what Boondock said about Mudhole - pickins are getting slim but a good place to pick up a great deal on a rainshadow blank - last year's model. Visiting will open up a lot of other resources. The sources mentioned above, Greg's and Angler's Workshop are sponsors. A fellow named Dan Craft (Oregon) also gets great reviews there.

If someone is new to buidling, there is a lot to be said for going to a shop where you can get the blank and they can supply you with all the fixins and show you the options in terms of price, how things fit together, etc. I would have saved time if I had done that.

I have a woven graphite seat that I had planned on using on a current project and - as mentioned above - none of my reels fit in the darn thing. Not sure if it my choice in cheap reels or ? This is a commonly available seat from a big name company. I might post that question at

Interesting feedback on the Calela's blanks. Thanks.
at least you found out before gluing the damn seat on! it was a very interesting and learning experience to figure out how to work that out without sawing 6" off the end of the blank. it is not the reel, its the seat. :confused:

Cabela's sells that woven graphite seat with their "premium" kits and it doesn't work. What's up with that?!

I know that Loomis uses a woven carbonfiber seat on the old or "original" GLX series. It's a great seat.

How's the Pac Bay woven graphite seat? Has anyone tried one?

i've heard that those seats are sold in many places and don't work in any of them. they are inexpensive and probably just have a design flaw. other than not being able to use a reel, they work fine :p really, they do seem to be relatively attractive and tough reel seats except for that problem. it appears to me that the front hood is the only problem. the back ring works fine. its possible that they are reversed or they just needed to use another ring up front, and the one they did use is meant for a different seat. they probably made millions....
I've built on several Cabela's blanks, and while I am happy with the blanks themselves, I think the other components that come with their kits are substandard. One of the advantages to building your own rod is building a better rod than you could buy off the rack. I suggest upgrading to TiCH guides, or even better--ceramics. OrDella in Hazel Dell has very good prices (and they carry Rainshadow blanks) on their components, and they are very good to work with. You can outfit your rod with upgraded components for much less than a standard kit from Cabela's.

Having shopped around and compared prices fairly extensively, my business is going to Dan Craft of DanCraft Enterprises. He designs his own tapers, which rod builders are raving about. He is a pleasure to deal with, and the prices of his components are pretty much unbeatable. In my opinion, his blanks are some of the BEST out there (including Sage, Loomis, etc) and the prices are VERY reasonable. If you are interested, go to, and click on his Sponsor link. Or do a search on his name, and you will see dozens of glowing reports on his products and customer service.

Good wraps,

aka Riverdog

P.S. I'll try to post some photos in the rodbuilding gallery of a DanCraft 8 weight I just finished.
i'd go to a shop to look for a graphite seat. then you can fit a reel to make sure its ok. the seat that causes trouble is a light gray in color and glossy. i have used a much darker one that wasn't gloss in the past with no problems.

you can get good components from cabelas if you know what to order, but you won't find it in a kit. dancraft does look good. i used to be a dale clemens fan. dancraft looks similar. not sure if clemens is still around.

i have had ceramic rings come loose on both fuji and tich guides, on both custom and factory rods when playing big fish. i mean big big. chum and chinook. the rings just seem to roll out of the metal frame and the frame is not smooth :eek: lately i have gone back to plain old guides and though i might not cast as far i have'nt had a guide fail either.
Well I doubt anyone will see this post buried down here but I did take my Pac Bay graphite seat to the fly show to ask them in person about the fitting problem. I tried a few reels of the nature I generally use (cheap) and they would not fit. I show it to the Pac Bay guys and they slap on a Lamson and it works fine - so there you go, sell your reels and buy lamson's. The model they used is around $700. Nice reel but it costs more than all my fly fishing equipment combined.

Upon closer inspection, it is clear the front hood slot is simply too small. I would call it a design (actually probably manufacturing) flaw. Across the way at Batson, the same graphite seat clearly had a larger front slot.

I was hoping the Pac Bay guys would give me another seat (not that it was terribly expensive) but after they proved me wrong, there wasn't much to say. I will be buying a Batson Forecast graphite seat for my next project.