ROD BUILDING TIPS
New Guide Concept Quandary

By Tom Kirkman

Here's a question from Volume 5 - Issue #1 issue of RodMaker magazine:
New Guide Concept Quandary

RodMaker Magazine

Just set up an ultra-light rod with the New Guide Concept as outlined in an earlier issue of RodMaker. I finished off the rod with 4 #8 low frame single foot guides. This also included the choke guide which was placed on the intersect point between the blank and the straight path from the reel spool centerline. The rod cast great! Very smooth and very quiet. I was quite satisficed.

Then I decided to take those last 4 guides off and replace them with 4 #6's, just to see what difference it would make, if any. Well, there were a couple of noticeable differences. First, the line made noise as it passed through the guides. It made a "fffffttttt" sound as it went out. Nothing ear shattering, but I could now hear it whereas with the #8's I could not. I figured the line was being constrickted somewhat. What bothers me, is that the second thing I noticed was that the casting distance was increased by about 5 feet. I cast 20 times and the results were always the same.

So I get this extra noise and possible line constriction but also extra distance. I'm confused. What gives? ~ Mark in Springfield, VA

You havewitnessed a balancing act between increased line friction and reduced rod weight. On the one hand, the smaller ringed guides are constricting the line a bit more than the #8's did. Hence the noise you hear. But you are also seeing the effect of a lighter rod tip and the advantages you reap when more of your imparted casting energy is sent into actual casting of the lure reather than starting and stopping the rod. In this particular instance the lighter guides improved rod efficiency and therefore casting distance, more than the increased line constriction reduced it. I'd stick with the #6's. ~ Tom Kirkman

Publishers note:

If you have any tips or techniques, send them along! Help out your fellow rodmakers! ~ Publisher, FAOL

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