Reel Seats by Golden Witch

Written by : Posted on December 8, 2015 : Comments Off on Reel Seats by Golden Witch


Have you ever been fly fishing over a rough & tumble cascade, casting, drifting, and retrieving your fly, landing the occasional fast river fish, then casting again? Did your reel wiggle loose? Did you have the irksome worry that it might fall off the rod into the foaming torrent? Every angler has lost a reel. Thankfully, they’re tethered by the line, the backing, and a good pair of knots. Still, you know about the flash in your guts as your reel drops and unspools itself downstream, knocking rocks, denting and dinging, as it goes. Perhaps you accept the gnawing dread and the inevitable consequence as part of the angling experience. Perhaps you fight back by eschewing cap & ring reel seats in favor of heavier, bulkier looking, screw-locking hardware. Whatever you did, it wasn’t as satisfying as finding a real solution to your reel retention problem while keeping the traditional cap & ring aesthetic that you love. We have the solution.


Why is our hardware superior? Because the internal profile of both the cap and the ring is tapered. The two parts are engineered to capture the reel foot and hang on with a tenacity that no other design can. Each seat has some defining characteristic that will alert you, the rodmaker, to the proper orientation of the ring so that it will ramp up onto the foot of the reel. Our hardware is machined from solid nickel silver bar stock, the metal used on all nineteenth century and early twentieth century fly rods that featured top shelf hardware. This is the metal that ages, and improves with the ages, just like a fine port, to develop an inimitable patina that speaks to each passing generation about days spent astream. We went to great lengths to discover the feeds and speeds on the lathe that would deliver us from the evil of tool marks and impart a clean finish that has an unmistakable luster, yet no glaring reflectivity. If you prefer a mirror finish, you can achieve a perfect polish in moments on a buffing wheel … there are no tool marks to polish out, just a smooth surface to raise from a conservative matte finish (best for fishing) to an angler-impressing gleam that will suit the needs of any of you who attend fly shows to sell your wares.


Each species of wood used for the inserts of our reel seats, and those of every other manufacturer, has a different weight that varies from exceptionally light to moderately heavy, so we’ll ignore those variables in our calculations. What we can’t ignore, nor should you, is the weight savings that our hardware offers. It ranges from a noticeable difference on an accurate scale to one that is readily apparent in the hand. The GWCR-2120 style hardware set – cork check, slide band, and butt cap – weighs only 0.360 ounces (10.3 grams). Other popular cap and ring hardware sets range from 0.385 ounces (10.9 grams) to as high as 0.540 ounces (15.1 grams). In other words, commonly available hardware sets range up to 1.5 times heavier than ours. Use our reel seats to reduce unnecessary weight and improve the casting comfort of your rods.
All GW slide band reel seats are custom machined in
Lancaster County, PA from 12% nickel silver.
ID’s for wood inserts: .312” and .350”. 
If no bore size is indicated with the order, we will ship the 0.312”.
If no polish is indicated, we will ship the natural polish.

A WORD ON I.D. and O.D.

The I.D., or Interior Diameter, of the GW Cap & Ring Reel Seat inserts (wood barrels) averages 0.312”. To open the bore, you can ream them out with rat-tail files if needed. How- ever, it is better, with cane anyway, to turn down the blank O.D. to suit the I.D. of the reel seat. The latter method preserves the greatest possible thickness of wood beneath the mortise.
The O.D., or Outside Diameter, of the GW Cap & Ring Reel Seat inserts (wood barrels) is nominally 21/32. The O.D. can vary by a few thousandths of an inch from species to species and batch to batch, so if you’re making hardware, we suggest buying the wood insert in advance and turning the hardware to match the particular piece.

We now offer a 0.360″ bore as well.


Natural Polish

It’s cleanly finished, but not a screaming visual glow, making it great for rods that will be fished over finicky fish; the subtle glow does not glint and glare in the sunlight. All of our seats come with this finish unless you designate another finish.  If you want to save money and polish at home, this is the finish to start with…just be careful not to wash out details or buff down knurls if you polish at home.  Like all craft processes, this takes practice.

Mirror Polish

We have the ability to offer you a true mirror finish – absolutely brilliant, jewelry grade glint & glitter. Rodmakers who have seen our first run of these hyper-polished seats have been impressed with the shine and many have also commented that they like the effect polishing has on some of the hard edges and crisp knurls – every detail is softened just a little so these pieces not only look like true rod jewelry, they feel like it. Forego the mess of polishing at home; get our Mirror Polish.

Deep Blue w/Clearcoat

Try this if you’re looking for a deep, blue-black oxidation treatment that is applied by hand specifically for your order. All bluing is done to order and is considered a custom craft process; please allow an extra 10-14 days, and please understand that Deep Blue hardware is non-returnable.

Blue Line w/Clearcoat

This looks exceptional on seats with grooves, such as our Unusually Traditional and S.A.K.I.. It is nice, but less distinctive where the crevasses are limited to knurls and not grooves on such seats as our Leonard Twins and the Boyd.  This finish option entails fully polishing the hardware, bluing it, then using a lathe and fine polishing paper to remove all the bluing that isn’t tucked down inside a groove or knurl.  It’s time consuming and it’s subtle, so it’s not for everyone.  You’ve got to love the less is more theme to appreciate a Blue Line hardware set. This is a custom process, so please expect a 10-14 day turn-around, and please understand that Blue Line hardware is non-returnable.

Check out this link for all our seats:


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