Repeat the same process on the rear grip rotating and sliding it into position.
The reel seat will require more attention to install properly. Depending on the size and type of reel seat you may have a large gap to fill inside the reel seat. In this case with the blank thru casting seat we had a pretty close fit but there was still plenty of space between the inner diameter of the seat and outer diameter of the blank. So how do we resolve this issue? The answer is with arbors.
Arbors can consist of simple masking tape arbors made by tightly wrapping bands of tape around the blank to build up the diameter. Or pre made composite sleeves that match the inner diameter of the reel seat but require reaming to fit the blank. In this case we can not use the pre made arbors due to the nature of the reel seat.
Remember when I said make sure you don’t get any epoxy ahead or the rear grip? Masking tape arbors will only hold well on a clean blank surface.
First we dry fit the seat and using a china marker mark the location of the blank thru section of the seat. We want to mark this to avoid getting epoxy on this section.
I use 1” masking tape to make most arbors and make sure I wrap the bands as tight as possible. In this case we will need two small arbors. One at the front of the seat and one at the rear. Wrap the tape starting at the rear and continually check the fit of the reel seat. Adding or removing tape to get a snug fit.
Once the arbors have been built up coat the sections with epoxy making sure to avoid epoxy on the area exposed by the reel seat. Slide and twist the reel seat into place and remove any excess epoxy that has been pushed out.
Important thing to pay attention to during this step.
Remember my rant on Spines in the last guide. You will have to line up the reel seat to the spine location based on your build preference. Taking the time to properly spine the blank and gluing up the reel seat in the wrong position does nothing but waste your time and cause frustration. Guess how I found that out?
After the seat is in place you can glue on the fore grip following the same logic.
Now after everything is glued up double check you alignment to the spine and place the rod in the corner of the room. Don’t touch or fiddle with it for at least 12 hrs. I know it will be hard not to grab it in 2 hrs and shake it around to test the feel but trust me. If the epoxy is not set things will move.
I will talk about guide placement and installation later.