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Thread: Reel Clamps

  1. #1
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    Default Reel Clamps

    I recently found two old 7-foot medium heavy Penn Power Sticks with Penn 310 GTI reels in a garage sale. The rods cleaned up nice and I went completely through the reels and other than dried up grease and lots of grime they cleaned up like new and show hardly any wear or boat rash. The real seats and screw down locking rings on the rod handles are plastic and I wondered if it would be wise to use rod clamps as well for a stronger attachment. Do any of you use rod clamps on your catfish rods? I noticed that the reel frames have the slots on the bottom for attaching a reel clamp.

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    Not familiar with reel clamps.....do you have a picture ?
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    I also would like to see what you are talking about.


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    Sorry but I can't provide a picture. Reel clamps are usually found on salt water conventional or bait casting reels. They are metal, plastic, nylon or graphite and are curved to fit around the bottom of of the reel seat. They are attached to the reel by two bolts that go through two slots in the bottom of the reel. When they are tightened down they lock the reel to the real seat. Even if the locking rings on the reel seat should fail, the reel remains locked to the rod. Google "reel clamps" and several examples will pop up. The reel clamp takes the pressure off of the locking rings on the reel seat and prevents the reel from twisting in the reel seat.
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    There is a tri-fecta for catfish rods right now: 1. Aluminum Reel Seat. 2. Thick stainless steel guides with no inserts. 3. Glow tip.

    Someone came up with this stuff and everyone is parroting it. Guide inserts are suddenly jumping out of guides or something, I dunno. The aluminum reel seat (with double locking rings) is the silliest of them all, IMHO. When was the last time a graphite or plastic reel seat broke on a freshwater fish? I'm sure it's happened, but the idea of an aluminum reel seat is counter intuitive. Aluminum reel seats weigh more and aren't likely to bend. If you're bending the rod enough to break a reel seat, you're bending the rod enough to bend at the reel seat. Aluminum won't bend and I figure the rod will snap at that point. In addition, with a graphite or plastic reel seat, you can ream it out to make the reel seat fit snugly on the rod blank (epoxy is used to keep it attached). With these fat aluminum reel seats, they don't have any taper to them, so filler is being used to put the reel seat onto the blank and that's never a good thing.

    I've said a lot about my opinion on the current generation of trophy catfish rods, but the fact is that if you have a rod from a reputable manufacturer (such as Penn), I suspect that the components are matched reasonably well to the blank and I'd expect the rod to break long before the reel seat fails. It really sounds like you've got a beefy reel on a not-quite-as beefy rod. The 7' seems to handle 25-40 pound mono and cast up to 4 ounces, which is no weakling, but I still think the reel seat won't be an issue for even the trophy size catfish.
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