Rod Handle Thoughts And Some Foodie Stuff

Leprechaun

Kind of a Big Deal - In My Mind Anyway
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Dec 19, 2018
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In a continuation of the conversation that Roger/Buddha162 and I were having in the "NJ Fishing Expo Cancelled" thread, I though best to move it all to a fresh discussion.

I had written: "Someone remind me to ask Kil what the heck is up with the reversed reel seats on his spinning rods? Why does Black Hole do that? It puts the seat's threaded nut, plus the exposed front threaded area of the seat itself directly under the front of one's hand. And that goes double if one likes to fish as I do, with most of my fingers forward of the reel stem. Kinda uncomfortable. Not a deal breaker, just not the way I prefer a rod to be constructed.

However, and on the "plus" side, even with the "backwards" reel seat, the balance of the rod, carrying my Evict2000, is just about perfecto! It “finger balances" right at the reel seat's (forward-facing) lock ring. Excellence achieved there." Lookie:

IMG_1024_edited.jpg

I added: " Meh, I'll fish it this season and see if it bothers me. If so, I'll perform handle surgery and rebuild it "my" way from the butt of the rod. No biggie, done it more than a few times."

To which Roger replied: "Pete, by "backwards" do you mean like this?"
Buddha's Butt_edited.jpg
No Roger, I've never actually seen a reel seat setup quite like that. To me that looks like something from a fairly expensive JDM-intended rod. What I mean is that the Black Hole spinning rod's "normal type" Fuji reel seats are mounted "backwards" on the blank, in the sense that the threads are up top, ahead of the reel. See:

IMG_1025_edited.jpg

This may prove irritating to the user, depending on how he/she holds the rod. I tend to put most of my fingers ahead of the reel stem, which means they are resting directly on the threaded lock nut and also partly on the seat's naked threads. This may prove annoying. I'll have to give it a few trips before I decide on a course of action. I really do like this Challenger Bank 691UL, and think that its a fine rod with which to cast lighter lures, up to say 2oz. It probably will be an awesome Albie stick or maybe throwing lite plugs up in the Bay for schoolie bass - in addition to whatever sub-3oz fluke actions you might see.

As I suggested earlier, there is a remedy for this possible ergonomic issue - mainly, stripping everything off the blank from the front of the fore grip back to the rear end of the blank - and rebuilding the entire handle area from the butt. I've done it for two of my most prized rods, so by now I'm fairly familiar with the task.

Here is my CTS BS702, as delivered from Capt. Neil, who built it to my spec's, which turned out to be less than stellar:

IMG_0231_edited.jpg


!cid_tie_8CFCD3AACAC7DBB_850_4E22B.jpg

We (meaning mostly I) had a vision of where we were going, but in execution it never really got there. The carbon grips were mounted over arbors, and carried too much epoxy inside, over-weighing the rod by a decent amount. Also, since I've segued to rods that are intended for slow pitch jigging, what with their looong rear handle sections, I have come to appreciate their ergo's very much, and so the 13" rear handle on the CTS just wasn't doing it for me.

So using my trusty Dremel with a carbon cutoff wheel, along with my wife's $5 "Ginsu" scallop-toothed carving knife to cut off the EVA sections, I carefully removed the entire handle assembly, from the winding check rearward. As an aside, ever see a a fully wrapped rod, with its entire handle removed, down to the blank? Pretty silly looking, truth be told.

A careful sanding of the remaining handle remnants and bits of dried epoxy with a 3M fine sanding block, and the blank was ready to accept the new Winn Grips and Custom-painted Fuji reel seat. The one other tool that is indispensable is the Mud Hole Tapered Grip Reamer - which is super useful for custom adjusting the inside diameter of the grips.

Because the rod is being built from the stern, its important to go slowly with the reamer, with lots of trial fitting. If the front of the grip's internal hole is too large (because it has to be slipped on from the rear, the grip must be reamed for rear fit), a turn or two of 1/2" masking tape, and a liberal supply of rod builder's epoxy paste will lock it up. The reel seat is easier, three or four rows of masking tape and then epoxy, and good to go. The rear grip goes on after the seat's epoxy locks up, using the same ream-to-fit procedure as for the fore grip. A rubber winding check and then another one ahead of the butt grip, and finally the reamed butt grip itself and its "Good-to-Go."

The finishing touch is the Winn Grip Tape, wound over the naked blank between the rear grip and butt. A tip here is to use some 3M Scotch double-sided tape over the blank before applying the Winn tape - as the glue on the back of the Winn product looks a little fugazy to me.

A lot of words, but the results speak for themselves:

IMG_1026_edited.jpg


IMG_1027_edited.jpg

I was so impressed with the result of that surgery that I went ahead and ordered in the parts to convert my beloved Hydra MB-876 deep jigger. Once again, the concept was far better than the actual results.

Sometimes its like that. What, you think Edison got the light bulb right the first time? No, no he didn't. And let's not even get into Tesla having to school him on the advantages of A/C power. Even geniuses have bad days, so what chance does a mere mortal such as I have?

Anyway, the Hydra is up top. Not terrible, but also not what I had envisioned:

001 (4)_edited.jpg

And the completed renovation:

IMG_1029_edited.jpg


IMG_1031_edited.jpg

Some careful measuring told me that in both cases, building the new handles with a much smaller fore grip allowed me to slide "everything" forward, giving me the 17" behind the reel seat that I now prefer. The single wrap of Scotch #33 electrical tape "mid-length" over the Winn Tape is to protect the Winn product from getting beaten to death in my boat's rod holders.

So anyway Roger, that's how I did my two "handle area upgrade candidates." I'm not yet ready to say that I will need to perform this procedure on my new Black Hole. But I am saying that I'm not especially vexed by the thought of making it happen, if I do find the "need." If so, I think this time I might try out the new Carbon Grips from Mudhole or Forecast - I believe they would look real fine on this particular rod, for sure.
 

Leprechaun

Kind of a Big Deal - In My Mind Anyway
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Here's the Mudhole Tackle handle reamer I referenced above. Its a solid piece of tapered fiberglass with a screwdriver-type handle. It carries some seriously rough sanding material epoxied to it. A real nice piece of kit, that has all types of other "hole opening" applications.

Extreme-Reamer_image-1.jpg


And now seems about the right time for my first gratuitous foodie pix of the season. Couldn't work on the boat today, because the weather was just too "Bleeech." And so headed to the kitchen instead to whip up a batch of Cabernet-braised Chicken, w/fresh veggies.

Goes best over Polenta, but I just don't have the patience to stand there for the required amount of time, stirring, stirring, stirring. We also like it over rice, and that's where I'm heading tonight. About as good as it gets on a chilly, rainy evening.

60660869536__8597EE9C-07D1-4AC2-8413-86D6B628860C_edited.jpg

This dish works equally well with Beef Short Ribs and all the various Lamb cuts.

Short Ribs:

013903CA-2789-44C4-82F9-D7C6E31A21FE.jpeg

IMG_0976_edited.jpg


60592157848__8475541C-8FC2-41C6-8074-F4C31890579B_edited.jpg

60592240354__2FFDB4A6-CE7E-4E18-82DF-E096C9061B70_edited.jpg

And plated Lamb Rib Chops:

60540364592__862BFE9E-04F6-46A8-8B07-2BAEF1F847F0_edited.jpg

Looks like this is gonna be one fattening self-imposed "shelter in place" event.

Vafanabola! :rolleyes:
 

BennyV

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Dec 21, 2018
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Here's the Mudhole Tackle handle reamer I referenced above. Its a solid piece of tapered fiberglass with a screwdriver-type handle. It carries some seriously rough sanding material epoxied to it. A real nice piece of kit, that has all types of other "hole opening" applications.

View attachment 17373


And now seems about the right time for my first gratuitous foodie pix of the season. Couldn't work on the boat today, because the weather was just too "Bleeech." And so headed to the kitchen instead to whip up a batch of Cabernet-braised Chicken, w/fresh veggies.

Goes best over Polenta, but I just don't have the patience to stand there for the required amount of time, stirring, stirring, stirring. We also like it over rice, and that's where I'm heading tonight. About as good as it gets on a chilly, rainy evening.

View attachment 17376

This dish works equally well with Beef Short Ribs and various Lamb cuts as well.

Short Ribs:

View attachment 17377


View attachment 17378

View attachment 17379

And plated Lamb Shoulder Chops:

View attachment 17380

Looks like this is gonna be one fattening self-imposed "shelter in place" event.

Vafanabola! :rolleyes:
You have a recipe for that dish?
 

Leprechaun

Kind of a Big Deal - In My Mind Anyway
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Cabernet-Braised Meat Dish

1 Cut up medium to large-sized chicken
or 12-15 typical Beef Short Ribs (depending on the overall size/meatiness of the ribs - see pics above)
or 6-8 Lamb Shanks or Rib Chops (Again, depending on size)

1 teaspoon salt - divided
3/4 teaspoon black pepper - divided
2 tablespoons EVOO
3/4 cup chopped shallots
5-6 garlic cloves, minced
3 celery stalks halved length-wise and cut across in 1/4-inch slices
1 large carrot halved length-wise and cut across in 1/4-inch slices
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 cup Cabernet wine (please don't use crappy "cooking wine"), plus a splash or two for pan de-glazing
1-1.5 cups unsalted chicken broth (or beef broth if cooking short ribs)
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste

Optional:
10-12 small white or red potatoes, well washed
8-10 small pearl onions, skinned
8 large white mushrooms, well washed and cut into quarters

Goes great over Polenta, boiled rice, or any small pasta

1/ Season the meat with half the salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large/deep frying pan.
2/ Add the meat and cook until its browned on all sides (approx 10 mins total). Transfer to a plate.
3/ Reduce the heat to medium, add the shallots, garlic, celery, carrots and all spices. Cook, stirring occasionally. Add a bit of oil, if needed. Now would be a good time for a splash of wine, to de-glaze the
pan of its little bits of meaty goodness. Total cook time here should be around 5 mins - just until the veggies soften
4/ I like to nuke the optional potatoes and pearl onions in the microwave for 1.5-2 minutes to soften them.
5/ Now add the wine and broth
6/ Bring to a boil for 2-3 mins then back off to a low simmer
7/ Add tomatoes, tomato paste, remaining salt and pepper
8/ Return the meat to the pan, along with any of the optional veggies.
9/ Cover pan and simmer for 1 hour.
10/ If you're using the optional mushrooms, add them now. (after the first hour of cooking, I mean)
11/ Turn meat and low simmer for an additional hour, until the meat is nice and tender.
12/ Should be good to go at this point.
13/ Plate and taste.
14/ Take a sip of your remaining Cabernet and say "Thanks Lep, awesome winter recipe!"

:giggle:
 
Last edited:

movetheboat

Well-Known Angler
Dec 29, 2018
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when you say the reel seat is backwards are you referring to it locking down instead of up?
 
Jan 10, 2019
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Lep. Re: your receipe. I couldn't agree with you more on not using crappy wine in a dish. I cringe when I see that happening. You are likely going to have some wine with an awesome dinner like that so use a little of that wine it comes out so much better.
 

Leprechaun

Kind of a Big Deal - In My Mind Anyway
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Dec 19, 2018
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Hi Gene - did you see the pix, up top? Yes, locking downwards would be "backwards" to me - for the reasons that I listed.

Dx- True 'dat! And I'm not one for a real expensive wine, as I don't have the pallet required to tell between a $15 bottle of Cab and a $30 bottle. This Winter one of my friends gave me a $55 bottle of imported Pinot Noir for working on his reels. It was kinda wasted on me, truth be told. Still, wifey and I knocked it off, pronto. Despite my unedumacated wine-tasting skills, it went down just fine! As you say, whatever you would drink with dinner is fine in this dish.
 

movetheboat

Well-Known Angler
Dec 29, 2018
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From what I found the reel seat locking up or down is just a personal preference. The way I grip it, it is not a problem...but I can see your point
 

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