Recently I bought a large lot of burls and exotic woods from a cabinet shop in my town. After working with it for the past couple of weeks I am offering several choices for reel seat inserts. The three choices I have right now (left to right) is Spanish Cedar, Cherry Burl and Maple Burl. The two burls are slightly heavier than the SC, but look very nice. The rod in the middle is a rod that I made for myself. I liked the Cherry Burl so much I put that seat on it.
In addition to the reel seat wood choices I also have two types of hardware that I am using. I have my lightweight hardware, which is on the rod to the left. On the rod in the middle is my new choice which features a slightly bigger cap and a lower profile ring.
When blueing hardware in the past, I have always noticed as soon as you start using the rod the blueing starts to wear off. Shortly after a few uses the blueing starts to have an antiqued look. In order to stop this and keep the blueing longer I have recently found a product that I really like that I will start spraying all of the blued hardware with. This will provide a protective layer to keep the blueing looking better for longer. It doesn't protect it 100%, but does protect it longer.