Sunday, February 26, 2017

Uplocking vs Downlocking Reel Seats

Let's start with the stipulation that every generation of humans represents an improvement on the last, on average.  That's why 20,000 years ago we were getting eaten by pterodactyls and therefore today we have ICBMs so if those fuckers come back, we're prepared.  Advancement in technologies should never result in a reversion in this model of humanity's evolution.

Today, as basic proof of this fundamental principle, I will contrast uplocking reel seats, which my father prefers, and downlocking reel seats, which I prefer.

Here is a picture of a reel mounted to a rod with an uplocking reel seat.  Take note of the following defects and shortcomings inherent in this design:
  • There is an inch of seat extending back beyond the reel, ready to snag your shirt sleeve, the line you have stripped off, anything in reach really.
  • Because the reel is mounted forward of the butt, it serves as a less effective counterweight to the force at the rod tip exerted as you cast than if the weight of the reel was closer to the butt, further from the fulcrum that is your hand.    A downlocking seat locates the reel closer to the butt, easing casting.
  • When putting the reel on the rod, you have to hold the reel up into the upper ring while you tighten the lower ring, while gravity is waiting for you to fumblefinger the operation and drop the reel on the ground.  The lower ring on a downlocking seat holds the reel in place while you tighten the upper ring down.
  • Aesthetically speaking, it looks like shit.

It wouldn't be fair for me to not acknowledge the flaws of the downlocking design as well, so here goes:
  • Because there isn't the unnecessary protuberance below the reel, when you set the butt of the rod on the ground while threading the line through the guides, the reel sits on the ground.  This can be mitigated by making sure the reel is sitting on grass or leaves instead of sand or concrete.  Although, an extra inch of butt isn't going to save you anyway.

You might be asking then, if downlocking reel seats are so great, why aren't currently produced rods using them?  It's because assholes are in charge of the world. 

Thus concludes my objective analysis of fly rod reel seats.