Downlock or Uplock?

weiliwen

Active Member
#1
I have built a couple rods, one of which was a fly rod. It used an uplocking reel seat, just because that's what came with the kit. It seems that most rods these days are uplocking, as well.

Can anybody tell me what makes one better than the other, if anything? Is the balance affected that much? Is it just personal choice?

I'd like the folks here to give me their ideas and opinions, as most of you likely have much greater experience than I do. Thanks.
 
#2
Back in the bamboo/early fiberglass days most all were down locking seats. Balance is over rated IMHO as you start with a heavy 9' bamboo rod and put heavy reel to "balance" it all you have is too heavy! But I do think on bamboo down locking looks way better and does keep more of the weight back and "balanced" Modern graphite rods and reels are so light it isn't affected as much, and are up locking. I've been rod building for 30+ years and all down locking on bamboo/glass and both on graphite.
 

Shopkeeper

Active Member
#7
I prefer UL, but agree with Steve on the looks of DL on "classic" type rods.

I read someone who once said he preferred DL because there was no "notch" created between reel foot and seat end cap to get line snagged in while casting or line pick-up. Never been a problem for me, but that's what I read.
 
#9
I prefer down locking for all the reasons mentioned. Two advantages for up-locking seats are (1) they fit better in rod holders, especially the ones sold for Caddis float tubes, and (2) protects the reel when you set your rod butt on the ground in sand.

Down-locking reel seats are a bit hard to find these days, especially since Struble went out of business. I used reel seats from Proof Fly Fishing https://www.proofflyfishing.com/ on two rods I made earlier this year. They work well, look nice, and only $25 + shipping.

Tom
 

racermo

Active Member
#11
For the rods I've built: 4 weights and lighter - downlocking. 6 weights and above - uplocking. 5 weights - depends on the rod length but mostly uplocking. I definitely like uplocking on the longer / heavier rods. Totally agree on Ray Lee's reel seats.
 
#12
For the rods I've built: 4 weights and lighter - downlocking. 6 weights and above - uplocking. 5 weights - depends on the rod length but mostly uplocking. I definitely like uplocking on the longer / heavier rods. Totally agree on Ray Lee's reel seats.

Are you a bamboo guy? A lot of my bamboo rods are 6wts, I use down locking, they're just made for each other like syrup on pancakes! :cool:


image.jpg
 

racermo

Active Member
#14
Are you a bamboo guy? A lot of my bamboo rods are 6wts, I use down locking, they're just made for each other like syrup on pancakes! :cool:


View attachment 150718
Beautiful rods, Steve. Your Builds?

Glass, Graphite, Bamboo - they all have their time and place. I tend to go through phases where I fish one over the other. In the last couple of years I've been reliving my childhood, so to speak, with glass. The old glass is good, the new glass borders on incredible.
_XE11862s.jpg


I do have a spot in mind that is calling out for my 8 1/2 ' Phillipson '51' in the next few weeks.....
 
#15
Hi racermo,
I have redone 60+ blue collar bamboo rods, 15 with swelled mortised grips. Maybe one day I'll build my own blanks but until then I'll just fish 'em! I still have my first fiberglass flyrod, a 8' Phillipson and Pflueger 1494 from 1966, I'll fish it once in awhile.
 

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