Question for Rod Builders

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Well-known member
TinBoats Supporter
Aug 14, 2016
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Clayton California
Has anyone ever converted an old casting rod to a spinning rod? Changing the guides seems pretty straight-forward. I would think changing the reel seat, if needed, would be a challenge.

I don't have anything pending. Just curious if it is done.
Done several times with salmon rods. Sometimes it is enough to saw the trigger and change 2/3 rings for a good job. If you want something done right, you have to disassemble everything and often repaint the blank
Following. I hope some others have input. I’ve thought about trying to modify one of my late grandfather’s Berkley Parametric casting rods with a more modern grip and reel seat, but the path does not seem simple. Some of those old glass rods have an amazing action that I still prefer for select styles of fishing, and it’s cool to see older useful gear get a second chance at life. Keep us updated if you make the attempt Ldubs.
I built a lot of rods in my youth (40-50 years ago.) Never converted one. But some info from building might be helpful. Old rods with thread wrapped guides sealed with varnish should be pretty easy to convert but the newer ones with epoxy attached guides might be a real bear to remove down to the blank. You also generally need more guides on a caster than a spinning rod to keep the line off the blank in a bend. Also, even back in the day a casting rod blank was laid up differently to a spinning rod blank, so it may not get you where you want to go.
As for the handle and seat, spinning rods were usually made with the blank going all the way through the seat whereas casting rods (without cork) were more frequently glued into a socket in the handle. If that's the case you'll shorten the rod a bit when converting.
Rods have a spine. Spinning guides go opposite the spine and casting guides go on the spine. So your spinning guides need to go on the opposite side of the old guides for best performance--assuming the original builder put the original guides on right. Thus you have to be able to rotate the seat as well. Way back when I could feel when the guides weren't right. Don't know if I could today--I went too many years without being on the water and now I'm just occasional hack out there.
I build rods, not professionally but for family and me. The best course of action would be to strip everything off the blank. There are articles on the internet about removing the old guides. The reel seat and handles could be epoxied on so sanding and scraping will be necessary to remove all traces. Being a glass blank it could be polished to improve the appearance after all the sanding. Once you have a bare blank locate the spine order the guides and components and get to building. Mud Hole is a very good source for all your rod building needs and instruction.
and often repaint the blank
That’s a new one to me.

I agree with the others, stripping down to a clean blank is the best route for getting a rod that you are happy with. In my experience, saving the reel seat and grips is not worth the effort but the guides and hook keeper are. PacBay and Netcraft are worth spending some time getting lost in.

Fair warning… rod building in an addiction.

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