Does the Kuo-toa’s Sticky Shield reaction work on natural weapons?

As the title says, the Kuo-toa creature has a reaction that can catch weapons. I’m curious if it works on natural weapons like bites and punches. Here is the text in question.

Sticky Shield. When a creature misses the kuo-toa with a melee weapon attack, the kuo-toa uses its sticky shield to catch the weapon. The attacker must succeed on a DC 11 Strength saving throw, or the weapon becomes stuck to the kuo-toa’s shield. If the weapon’s wielder can’t or won’t let go of the weapon, the wielder is grappled while the weapon is stuck. While stuck, the weapon can’t be used. A creature can pull the weapon free by taking an action to make a DC 11 Strength check and succeeding.

What is the timing of a Rod of Absorption’s spell-absorbing reaction?

Suppose I have a Rod of Absorption, which has this ability:

While holding this rod, you can use your reaction to absorb a spell that is targeting only you and not with an area of effect. The absorbed spell’s effect is canceled, and the spell’s energy — not the spell itself — is stored in the rod. The energy has the same level as the spell when it was cast. The rod can absorb and store up to 50 levels of energy over the course of its existence. Once the rod absorbs 50 levels of energy, it can’t absorb more. If you are targeted by a spell that the rod can’t store, the rod has no effect on that spell.

If an enemy is casting a spell at me, when do I decide whether to use my reaction to absorb it, and how much information do I have about the spell being cast at me at the time I make that decision? For example, the enemy who is "casting a spell at me" might be targeting me with the area of effect of a Fireball, or targeting me with Charm Person, or targeting me and 2 other people with a 3rd level Charm Person. Only one of these cases satisfies the conditions for absorbing the enemy spell, so it seems that I need to know what spell is being cast and who it is targeting before I can even decide if it is possible for me to use my reaction to absorb it. However, it doesn’t necessarily make sense for me to have this information at the time the spell is cast. An alternative interpretation could be that when a spell is cast, I use my reaction to attempt to absorb it, but if the spell cannot be absorbed then my reaction is wasted with no effect. This seems like an unsatisfying interpretation, especially in a situation where multiple enemies are casting spells and wasting my reaction on a spell that I can’t absorb leaves me open to another spell that I could have absorbed. On the other hand, the last sentence of the quoted paragraph seems to lend some support to this interpretation, although it’s possible that sentence is only referring to the rod’s limited storage capacity.

So, is there an interpretation that best fits with RAW, or is all of this in the territory of DM ruling?

Note: You may assume that we are playing with the optional rule from XGtE for identifying a spell. In practice, this will mean that I cannot use my reaction to identify the incoming spell, because then I won’t have a reaction available to use with the rod. Additionally, as the example above shows, even knowing the identity of the spell being cast doesn’t guarantee that I will know whether it can be absorbed.

If a reaction spell has material components, do I already need to be holding them to cast it?

Some spells that are cast with a reaction, such as Feather Fall, require material components. Suppose I am using a component pouch instead of a focus, but I’m not currently holding a small feather. If a trap door opens under the party, am I able to quickly reach for the feather in my pouch as part of the reaction to cast Feather Fall, or am I out of luck?

Obviously this is mostly a non-issue for a caster who uses a spellcasting focus instead of a component pouch, since they are pretty much always holding their focus, and I don’t think there are many (any?) reaction spells with costly or consumed material components.

Does the Hunter Ranger’s Giant Killer allow you to grapple or shove with the reaction?

The Hunter Ranger’s Giant Killer feature says:

When a Large or larger creature within 5 feet of you hits or misses you with an attack, you can use your reaction to attack that creature immediately after its attack, provided that you can see the creature.

Since it says "you can use your reaction to attack that creature" without specifying that it has to be a melee weapon attack, could you instead use "special melee attacks" like grapples or shoves for this reaction?

As a sword and board Eldritch Knight do I need to put away my sword on my turn if I want to use Shield as a reaction?

Without Warcaster, I can’t cast spells with somatic components if I have both a shield and a sword in my hands. Putting my sword away or dropping it is a free action, however you can’t do free actions outside your turn. So if I want to be able to cast Shield on myself as a reaction, do I need to always put my sword away at the end of my turn? (This also means I won’t be able to capitalize on opportunity of attacks).

Can reaction spells be cast without any trigger?

I’ve come across a few questions regarding the spell storing ring to which my question matters. Under spell storing ring it reads:

Any creature can Cast a Spell of 1st through 5th Level into the ring by touching the ring as the spell is cast. The spell has no Effect, other than to be stored in the ring.

So to store a spell in the ring you cast the spell. Shield or absorb elements have a casting time of a reaction, can they be cast without a trigger? In particular, in our game the need came up to store reaction spells mid-combat. But the casting time of these spells is a reaction, so the question came up can you use your reaction without a trigger?

Under rules for spellcasting there are 3 blocks that give some guidance on casting time:

Each spell description begins with a block of information, including the spell’s name, level, school of magic, casting time, range, components, and duration. The rest of a spell entry describes the spell’s effect.

Most spells require a single action to cast, but some spells require a bonus action, a reaction, or much more time to cast.

Some spells can be cast as reactions. These spells take a fraction of a second to bring about and are cast in response to some event. If a spell can be cast as a reaction, the spell description tells you exactly when you can do so.

Rules for combat has this:

Certain Special Abilities, Spells, and situations allow you to take a Special action called a Reaction. A Reaction is an instant response to a trigger of some kind, which can occur on Your Turn or on someone else’s.

Combining these, we know that the spell block contains the casting time, these spells have a casting time of "1 reaction". We know these spells take a fraction of a second to bring about so they are fast, it seems requiring an action or bonus action for it to be cast is unwarranted. However, it also says if a spell can be cast as a reaction, the spell description tells you exactly when you can do so. Furthermore "a reaction is an instant response to a trigger of some kind."

Does this mean you can’t cast a reaction spell without the trigger? Does this imply that you have to get hit to store the shield spell into the ring?

Can a mage cast shield or absorb elements without getting hit or receiving elemental damage? If so, when can they take their reaction to store the spell in the ring, I’d presume it would have to be their own turn (using their reaction just to store the spell), but can they react to nothing off turn to store the spell?

In case a trigger for a readied action is someone else’s reaction, what is resolved first?

I asked this question. The answer is YES.

But I’m still not sure – in such a case (i.e. a trigger for reaction being another reaction) – which reaction is resolved first, the triggered one or the triggering one?

Does the readied action interrupt someone else’s reaction that triggered it? Is there a possibility of a chain of such consecutively triggering and consecutively interrupted reactions?

Can you Ready an action with someone’s reaction as a trigger?

The rule for readied action says:

First, you decide what perceivable circumstance will trigger your reaction.

Of course, it’s rather hard to be ready for someone’s else reactions, especially first-met enemies. I’m also aware that what got me thinking about this (the trigger being someone’s attack of opportunity) is very much a meta-thinking (I, as a player, can be well aware of what actions will always trigger AoO’s. Characters in game – not so much). However, I didn’t see anybody asking this question, so what do you think?

Here’s a specific example: a wizard readies a Magic Missile with a trigger "when my familiar gets attacked" and then on the familiar’s turn it sends it within 5ft. of an enemy to do a Help action, and then moves it out of the enemy’s melee reach, which will in turn trigger an AoO, hence a triggering attack.

Also, I saw this answer, but it doesn’t answer my question.