Ron's Tackle Tips — Butt Length

Ken Jones

Staff member
Butt Length

By Ron Crandall of Ron's Reel Repair (February 2000)

The length from the reel seat to the butt cap is an adjustable item that will help improve the sensitivity and your control of a rod. Most factory rods try to provide a length that is suitable to the size of the rod. Unfortunately, that is close to saying let’s only make size 8 shoes and the customer has to adapt. The butt length should be person specific, such that when you are holding the reel in its normal use position the end of the butt should be at your elbow. This way you can support the rod with your forearm without having to have a death grip on it.

In my case, the distance from the reel seat to the butt cap is 16-π inches and that is one of the first things that I look for when rod shopping or building. While extending or shortening the butt is an option, although usually an expensive one, it is better to use butt length as a criteria when purchasing a new rod.

Red Fish

Senior Member
I have a 10-30 Ugly TigerStik 10-30 7.5” (one/piece) light-action. I bought it at ISE in San Mateo from then Coyote Tackle/PFICer Jason Chin.
I love it with cork handle and ceramic guides although it is pretty heavy (with some of the light-weight rods of today).
I have used it on kayak and boat and have done well with it. The drawback is the butt-length is shorter than I’d like and hinders a big, long-cast somewhat from shore.

I noticed a similar shot butt-length in the Phenix 807 and 808. This is definitely something to consider if I went that route (unless there is a deckhand model). Otherwise, other a Phenix like the M1 has more butt-length for casting.
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I think it's a personal preference. I like it short enough that I can put the butt end on my stomach. That's for spinning reel. For boat rod with conventional reel, I like longer butt end so I can put it under my armpit.