"Can you use that thingy?"
"Ya know, the thingy you screw down."
"Oh, yeah, we have a couple different of those thingys."
Some of our conversations with customers can be pretty entertaining. We had a customer asking if we could use the hood nut "thingy" from the ENOX on a custom ZOLO build. Sure!
We get asked a lot why we use an older style, exposed blank reel seat on our casting rods. It's simple - it works great! Reels don't fall out of it, and it's very comfortable in hand. You are going to be holding a rod all day, so comfort is essential.
Years ago, the fly fishing world got it right. They standardized the dimensions of fly reel feet. Everyone who makes a reel seat for fly rods knows how to make it, so every reel fits securely in the reel seat. Bass fishing... eh.. not so much!
The first reel seats we used on a Gen 1 ZOLO B casting rods had some issues with reels popping out. Especially Lew's reels for some reason. We discovered the reel foot slot was not cut deep enough, and reels would pop out on hooksets, etc. a result. We can't have that! So we went looking for a new seat, settling on the one we use today.
Our current seat provides us with a lot of options. We can upgrade by using different screw-down thingys (aka hood nuts) or even painting the seats. We still get that same excellent reliability and comfortable performance as well.
From an assembly standpoint, we love our seats. They have internal fins that act as a key type lock once the adhesive is applied and cured. This feature eliminates seats breaking loose. Again, we've had to learn this the hard way too!
There have been multiple new seats designed and released over the past few years. Most require some insert, a unique arbor, etc. The labor on these is increased (aka more expensive). We have also found many have a shape that forces your hand into a specific position. If you have ever had to hold something exactly the same, with no adjustment for hours on end - you know that is very uncomfortable.
One extra step that we put into our IKOS and ZOLO Series rods - we trim approximately 1/2" off the reel seat threads. This is additional work, but it increases the fishability of our rods. The seats are more comfortable because your finger does not rub the seat threads while palming the reel and it makes touching the rod blank in front of the seat easier as well.
The next time you grab an ALX Rod, put on a reel, screw down the thingy, and make a cast - remember that we have put a lot of work into making sure your reel seat is comfortable to hold, durable, and going to perform flawlessly on the water.
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