Easy way to increase spey reel weight - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-05-2019, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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Easy way to increase spey reel weight

So often spey anglers are looking for a heavier reel to properly balance a DH rod. The easiest and safest way to i crease weight of a lighter reel ( Danielsson LW5 8-12 or Hardy Bougle 4" , both weight around 8 oz) is to used Monel 400 ( Nickel-Copper 70-30 alloy) wire which has a silver color, great chemical resistance, and density of 8.8 g/cm3. A small spool of 100 yards , 0.0155” diameter, gauge 26 ( the real diameter of 12 lb Maxima) of Monel wire which is quite soft cost typically $ 10-20. Another option is a soft trolling wire used in Great Lakes or Ocean. For example, 27 yards of 0.0155” wire weights 1 oz. and takes noticeable less space then 30 lb Dacron.

Just wrap the bottom of the reel’s spool with one layer of electric tape, spool in the wire , wrap few times with electric tape to hold it tight and follow with Dacron. 26 gauge is very easy to manage . A Smaller diameter wire will take even less space per weight on the reel , as it can be packed tighter. The wire is very silky and won’t scratch the reel.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-05-2019, 11:59 PM
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Lead is lead, and has the same (greater) density regardless of shape. Cheap lead-core trolling line with a thin braided nylon outer is more like 1 oz for 20 feet if I’m remembering correctly. No need to get fancy either - just pinch off some of the lead on either end and tie the braided nylon directly to the spool on one end and the backing on the other as the braided nylon has a far greater breaking strength than most backing. This is a very old and time-tested method. I know some people have also advocated using flat lead “tape” on the arbor, but volume is usually not an issue in the reels that really need the additional weight added in this way, so just using the lead core AS backing is low maintenance and effective. So for example you can turn an eleven14 into a decent weight for a 9wt spey rod by using 2 1/2 + oz of lead core trolling line before the backing.

Buy a $15 spool of this stuff and you can do many reels this way, if desired. But solving the problem by using a heavy reel that is not an “ugly” ultralight modern-style reel - that is, as they say in the American Express commercials, priceless!
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Last edited by Botsari; 03-06-2019 at 12:24 AM.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Lead is lead exactly. Why deal with toxic metal like lead , when Nickel-Copper alloy is safe.......??
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 10:35 PM
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I barely remember physics, but what does that do to the momentum/inertia of the spinning spool, and thus, drag?
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 11:01 PM
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I barely remember physics, but what does that do to the momentum/inertia of the spinning spool, and thus, drag?

It increases the start-up iand over-run inertia, but so would a reel that is simply heavier in the spool. It does nothing to the drag per se, but I would expect the inertia to matter less in the kind of very light weight reel with a disk drag where you would even want to do this. Still, a consideration if you are going to be fishing for very hard hitting fish and light tippet. Having it close to the arbor minimizes the inertia, but doesn’t help as much with a large arbor style reel, of course.

Lead FWIW is only toxic if injested or inhaled, but if you are going to leave it out for you kids to potentially chew on then yes, don’t have it in the house.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 05:52 AM
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My reel is stressed for real estate, and adding a heavy core wouldn't work unless it is incorporated in the backing itself.

In other words, the weighted line is the backing. RIO or the like might try making 30# test backing with a predetermined weight on 200yard spools using tungsten or the like and at various weights. The line would be coated on half its length so as not to sink the leading end if pulled from the reel by a running fish. Depending on the thickness of the coating, you might possibly fit the backing on the reel comfortably, losing little room.

Now tell me this has been done before.

Jet sleds/boats destroy redds in the spawning grounds with their turbulent jet wash, scouring the bottom and further burying some of the eggs while ejecting the rest into the stream flow to be eaten. To protect fish, these boats must be restricted from the spawning grounds.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 09:29 AM
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I recall, some time ago, seeing a rod designed with a removable but cap that allowed weight to be added to balance said reel. Apparently that design never took off. Wouldn't that be a great option? Doesn't seem that it would be too difficult to do.

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 11:35 AM
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Yeah, your comment is doable without reinventing backing and simply points to how lame my idea was.
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Jet sleds/boats destroy redds in the spawning grounds with their turbulent jet wash, scouring the bottom and further burying some of the eggs while ejecting the rest into the stream flow to be eaten. To protect fish, these boats must be restricted from the spawning grounds.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 12:55 PM
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Simple solution is to quit buying reels that have all the metal cut out of them! But if you must add weight, lead is heavier than copper/nickle & less expensive. Lead tape (if you can find it) being flat, will take up less space on a reel arbor than round lead core line. Tungsten itself is slightly heavier than lead but, it is not only expensive, it is impregnated, along with other stuff, on a core of some kind so it also takes up more space/oz than a flat tape. Shove some lead wire up into the butt of a rod? How do you secure it in position so it stays there? Will it then be non removable? And are you going to do this to every rod you might put that reel on?
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 01:48 PM
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Until I can afford the reel Id like to pair on my 13’6”, Im making this current reel balance better by adding 2 oz solid core lead (1/4”) smashed flat w a hammer, trimmed for square edges and wrapped in electrical tape. I placed that in the center of the arber, electrical taped it and then put the backing on.
I do not care to hold the blank when swinging, prefer the cork in my hand and this fix made that possible.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bolen View Post
So often spey anglers are looking for a heavier reel to properly balance a DH rod. The easiest and safest way to i crease weight of a lighter reel ( Danielsson LW5 8-12 or Hardy Bougle 4" , both weight around 8 oz) .
The Hardy Bougle 4" weighs more than 8 oz, depending on the model. It also has tons of capacity. Simply adding regular backing adds 2+ ounces of dry weight.

The Danielsson 8/12, on the other hand, has very limited capacity compared to the Bougle. I use several 8/12s on 9' 9 wt single handers with 27-30' heads and mono runner, which leaves plenty of space for 30 lb dacron. The weight is perfect for single handers. The 8/12 could be a bit heavier for many DH rods, especially because adding a fat DH 7 wt line eats up space, and makes it harder to sacrifice even more space to a spool weighting scheme. I set up one for DH use, and had to use gel spun to feel good about backing capacity. In truth, Danielsson could simply eliminate the porting on the frame, to add a few ounces, and they'd have a killer DH reel in the L5W series.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 04:09 PM
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Simple solution is to quit buying reels that have all the metal cut out of them! But if you must add weight, lead is heavier than copper/nickle & less expensive. Lead tape (if you can find it) being flat, will take up less space on a reel arbor than round lead core line. Tungsten itself is slightly heavier than lead but, it is not only expensive, it is impregnated, along with other stuff, on a core of some kind so it also takes up more space/oz than a flat tape. Shove some lead wire up into the butt of a rod? How do you secure it in position so it stays there? Will it then be non removable? And are you going to do this to every rod you might put that reel on?
Yes, and all that cutting and the engineering of the cutting for lightness with strength is the main thing that make these modern reels expensive. They are TRYING to be as light as possible, but they are not really appropriate for spey rods if you care about balance. The best of them, like Nautilus, are sometimes fantastically beautiful it is true, but it seems kind of idiotic to pay premium prices for a feature that most would regard as a defect w/respect to use with spey rods.

The counter torque goes as the distance from the center of mass which, depending a little on where you would like to hold the rod relative to the c.m. is going to be out near the end of the front grip. In addition to impracticalities, you would not really get a huge advantage in putting the extra weight in the butt as opposed to at the reel. So the amount you might be able to lower the total weight of the setup probably would not make this that valuable in practice. Two handed rods are really far more about balance than total weight IMHO, though a low total weight is certainly nice. With a SH rod total weight is super important since you have such a short fulcrum to turn the whole moment of inertial.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 05:15 PM
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If a balanced rod and reel combination is the goal, why add weight to the reel? It takes more weight to achieve the desired balance by using this method. Balance can be achieved with significantly less weight by removing or drilling out the rod's butt cap and inserting however much lead is needed to move the balance point to the desired location on your rod. The lead can be held in place with glue or wads torn from cotton balls, depending on whether you want to make the modification permanent or temporary.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 05:24 PM
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I've revered my rods from up-locking to down-locking and solved the problem for good.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by salmo_g View Post
If a balanced rod and reel combination is the goal, why add weight to the reel? It takes more weight to achieve the desired balance by using this method. Balance can be achieved with significantly less weight by removing or drilling out the rod's butt cap and inserting however much lead is needed to move the balance point to the desired location on your rod. The lead can be held in place with glue or wads torn from cotton balls, depending on whether you want to make the modification permanent or temporary.

I DID explain in my post above. Fortunately the question can be answered precisely, and the correct answer in such cases does not depend on anyone’s FEELINGS about what the answer should be.

I’ll give an actual example - on a typical 13-13.5 ft 8wt rod the center of mass in a balanced set up, and the point where you probably will want to grasp the rod is near the top of the upper handle. This is typically about 14” from the position of the reel in the down locking reel seat. The lower part of the lower handle is typically about 5” from the reel seat, or about 19” from the c.m. Let use an example that is close to the one I had, where I added about 3 oz to a 9 oz reel filled with backing etc. so it would be 12 oz, the weight of a reel plus backing etc. that balances the rod.

Let’s suppose we want to leave the lighter reel as is at 9 oz and instead add some lead at the end of the butt section to balance the torques about the c.m. The DEFINITION of balanced. The original balance torque about the c.m. (everything in oz and inch units) is 14” x 12 oz. The net torque for the new setup will be the torque due to the lighter reel 14” x 9 oz plus the torque due to the added butt weight 19” x B oz where B is the unknown butt weight, where we have assume all the weight is right at the end of the butt - best case senario. So 14 x 12 = 14 x 9 + 19 x B, or in other words the butt weight required to balance the lighter reel B = 2.2 oz.

In terms of total weight we have replaced something that weighs 12 oz with the weight of the lighter reel plus the added butt weight. So 9+2.2 = 11.2 oz for a grand total weight savings of 0.8 oz. On a 13.5’ 8wt that is IMHO a very minor difference to compensate for the effort, not a “significant” one, but of course you might disagree. “Well” you might say “it will also help the swing weight”, which is the moment of inertia, but still NO, as you have moved more weight further from the c.m. which has more, not less effect on the feel of the swing weight.

To make a long story short the total weight saving even under ideal circumstances is pretty minimal. But I admit that it would be a more attractive solution for people who can easily make the rod modifications themselves. It’s clearly a lot more work than adding weight to the reel. I added about 12oz of buckshot to the inside of the tip of my DIY wading staff, and it took quite a bit of volume and was not trivial getting it to not rattle. I use gorilla glue which expands as a “matrix” with mixed results. I’m STILL not too sure how it will do it next time.
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Last edited by Botsari; 03-12-2019 at 11:38 PM.
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