Well I sprung for a penn rod that has no reel seat from big5 after looking at them a few times. They were the only quality 8' casting rods they had and were on sale. $149 rod on sale for $55. for the penn sabre pro(graphite and glass) or $40(reg $120)sabre. They had rods with seats but all were 7' or less. I clampped an old Penn reel on and so far I do like it. The reel doesnt cast very well buy the rod is fine and the reel seems very solid, so no fish on yet to give it a real test. No reel seat does allow you to place the reel anywhere for easier casting and the corktape handles are smaller and fit reg freshwater rod holders better.