Here's a question from the Volume 4 - Issue #5 issue of RodMaker magazine:
"Your last magazine dealt with guide feet quite a bit. One of the
problems I face is cracking epoxy at the foot of the guides after
3-6 months of use. This doesn't really bother me a lot on my rods,
as I realize that is doesn't really reflect on the guides' strength
or stability (i.e. they aren't going to come loose). However, as I
try to refine my rodbuilding technique, I was wondering if there is a
way to completely eliminate this cracking? The magazine article seemed
to indicate that a guide foot that was filed a bit more narrowly might
help. What about increasing thread tension? I would like to eventually
sell my rods, but I don't want cracking guide feet on a customer's rod,
if I can help it. Thanks so much for all your help." Andrew . . .Siloam Springs, AR
This cracking you mention is an ongoing problem for most rod builders.
We have covered the cause and some possible solutions in previous
In a nutshell, there is only so much you can do to reduce or eliminate
the problem. Making the guide foot more flexible by grinding to a
shallower angle seems to be one of the best ways to reduce the problem.
Many rod builders also report that by applying epoxy directly to the
thread and avoiding the use of color preserver seems to reduce the
problem to some extent as well.
More tension does help, as it keeps the guide foot from moving as
much when the blank is fully flexed. But you must be careful here
- too much thread tension can damage a blank, particularly on today's
thinner walled models. The same rule of thumb continues to apply - if
you can't move the guide with slight sideways pressure after it is
wrapped, it's too tight. Obviously, a heavy walled offshore trolling
blank can withstand more guide wrap tension than can a 3-weight
high-modulus graphite fly rod. Use your best judgment here.
~ Tom Kirkman
If you have any tips or techniques, send them
along! Help out your fellow rodmakers!
~ Publisher, FAOL