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buz23

Does longer distance to gathering guide affect rod breakage???

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Seems like with the NCG layout, a lot of rods end up with the gathering guide 30-36" from the reel face. Do you think this might be a factor in the rash of rods breaking between the two?? I snapped a rod I built on a SSU1081L blank last summer and believe that was due to a design flaw (non-uniform thickness around the blank at that point). The rod snapped on a cast. I would think if there were a "too much leverage" problem the rod would break when fighting a fish and not on a cast (with a bomber, not a lot of weight). However, I wonder if my guide layout might have been a contributing factor. What do you think, do too long reel to gathering guide distances contribute to rod breakage???

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Casting a bomber the placement of the gathering guide should not cause breakage. In fact I doubt it would cause breakage casting on any rod as long as the weight were in the range of the blanks capability. Now fighting a fish it might.

 

It might also break on the cast if you wrapped the guide too tightly. And of course , the non uniform wall thickness (I assume a thin spot) you mentioned could cause a failure any time.

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The SSU blanks did indeed have a problem with uneven wall thickness on certain models, and without seeing your build it's impossible to know for sure. As Salt said it's very unlikely that a Bomber would cause breakage, and a 33 to 36 " range for the collector is far from extreme so i don't see that being relevant . It certainly could be a guide wrapped a little to tight, but your not the first one who has experienced this type of failure so i would bet it's a defective blank. Lami has corrected the problem with the current models.

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Seems like with the NCG layout, a lot of rods end up with the gathering guide 30-36" from the reel face.

 

Is this because of the NGC? I'm not asking this to bust your balls -- honest -- but the NGC, the way I understand it, anyway, does not dictate the placement of the butt guide in any one location. Rather, the NCG dictates the location of the choker guide, and how quickly the guide sizes are reduced, but the size and location of the butt guide is determined the old-fashioned way, through testing (casting and testing the blank under a load).

 

In fact, while I certainly wouldn't criticize where a builder put a butt guide, I prefer locating the butt guide closer to the reel fact than most guys seem to like: on my surf rods, the butt guide usually ends up 24-26 inches from the reel, and I don't have to sidestep the NGC philosophy to do this. I prefer this because in test casting over the years, I've found that a rod with a butt guide in the 26-inch range will cast just about as far as when the butt guide is at 35 or 36 inches, and there's no question that the closer you put the butt guide to the reel, the better the finished rod will fight fish. Rod building is all about tradeoffs, and moving the butt guide 10 inches farther from the reel isn't worth it to me: I lose a lot of fish-fighting power doing this, but really don't get a noticeable increase in casting distance. Maybe I'm in the wrong here -- maybe I don't notice a difference in casting distance because I'm a lousy caster -- but I always let real-world results tell me how to build a rod, and my first-hand experiences have led me to believe that surf rods work better when the butt guide is under 30 inches from the reel.

 

 

 

What do you think, do too long reel to gathering guide distances contribute to rod breakage???

 

On surf rods, I have no evidence, empirical, anecdotal or otherwise, but I have to think that the distance from the reel to the butt guide has very little impact on rod breakage, at least if we're restricting this discussion to surf rods. I could see how on a lighter rod this might be a factor, but most blanks labeled "surf" are so stiff/strong in the bottom half that I just can't see how a difference of 8 or 12 inches in butt guide placement is going to lead to rod breakage. The old-timers used to fish with 11-foot rods with 3 or 4 guides, and the rods didn't break; the modern graphite blanks might not be as bulletproof as those old Harnells, but they're not so fragile, at least in my opinion, that placing the butt guide too far from the reel will cause the rod to fracture.

 

Rods do break because of manufacturing defects, or because of design flaws, and the Lami Super Surf series seems, at least based on what's been posted here, to be especially prone to this. That said, though, I still believe, rather firmly, that when rods break after they've been fished more than a few times, it's usually for a reason other than the fact that they're defective. It's very easy to damage a blank without realizing it; you unwittingly put a nick in the graphite somewhere, it breaks the next time you fish with it, and you blame the break on the blank, when it really wasn't the blank's fault (though not all blanks are equally durable, and I've long argued that because of the abuse the typical surf rod is subject to, a conscientious builder should keep durability in mind when selecting a blank for surf duty). I do not think that guide placement, especially in the bottom half of the rod, really has much at all to with whether a finished rod is likely to break.

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If you tie a line to the tip of the rod blank, with no guides involved at all, and simply load and load the blank (not taking the tip beyond a 90-degree bend) the blank will fail from normal overload at a point just forward of your point of effort (reel seat or foregrip) by a few inches. This is normal and exactly what you want to see happen.

 

Having a butt guide far forward of the reel seat is not going to cause any particular breakage. In fact, the only time guide number or placement will cause rod breakage would be in an instance where you have so few guides, or such poorly placed guides, that under load the line pulls between a pair of guides, or between the reel and butt guide, to put the blank into a bend deeper than 90 degrees. Think of this as a "bowstring" type situation. It would be rare to be able to do this between the reel and butt guide unless you were lifting a great deal of weight with the rod butt pointed straight up and the rod tip pointed straight down. Something very hard to do with a surf rod.

 

In short, it's extremely doubtful, if not likely impossible, that the butt guide placement you mention has anything to do with a "rash of rods breaking."

 

 

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Just to be clear, my rod broke a few inches above the handle, wasn't associated with guide. The blank was replaced with the "redesigned" model (8/11 manufacture date) which is more like the SSU1081M I previously built than the SSU1081L which broke.

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as stated the guide placement had nothign to to with it. when you have a thin side and a thick side the the wall thickness that you can readily see there is not reason to look for another cause of breakage. I had 4 of the ssu's and 2 broke , same place , same way casting a lure in the middle of the lure rating. Lami had some problems with that blank that they have corrected. In addition thats why they replaced your blank, defect in the blank.

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The easy answer to the OP's question is yes.

 

Of course there are exceptions like my old trusty All Star 1507 that has the gatherer placed 53 inches from the reel stem

 

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The situation of the low breaks on Super Surf's is a curious one that's for sure.

 

Here is my take on it. . .

 

Lami had to make a really tough choice with the Super Surf . . . They needed to remain relevant in the surf fishing game and to do that they brought to market a blank produced using very modern technology. Good for them and a fine blank it is.

 

They realized they had a problem. Not with the rod but with the guys who make up their loyal customer base. That base, especially out on LI up to RI and Mass, have a very strong opinion on how a surf fishing rod should "look".

 

Back in 2008 Lami could have been forward looking and marketed the factory rod as the true venture into the latest rod building technology it was (for Lami at least) and actually built it the way it should have been built. Custom builders would have followed suit or should have been instructed in how to build the new technology and everything would have been different.

 

Lami could have used the new series as a teaching tool to bring their loyal customers (and their builder network) into new technology, into modern spinning rod guide design and layout but, . . . they knew their base wouldn't buy a rod that looked like that. The comments I get while fishing and the looks and comments that I got holding a rod with 8 or 9 guides at the Islandia show were truly priceless.

 

Sure, it would have cost Lami in the beginning, NE fishermen definitely don't like new things or being guinea pigs for some exotic new thing but informing customers and watching them realize the performance would speak louder and louder.

 

Look at the forward thinking of St Croix. They introduced the Legend Surf about the same time as Lami rolled out the factory Super Surf; the initial resistance to the Lowrider style guides was significant but it was overcome to the point that Lowriders are now just considered "braid guides".

 

So, Lami rolls out a totally modern blank but built the rod up using Neanderthal guide layouts that worked great on their old honey glass rods in the 70's . . . and then watched them roll back in to the factory ever since on warranty.

 

Building a thin walled surf blank up with 4 or even 6 high frame guides is tempting fate BUT when the sparse build is coupled with the casting technique of 99% of the customer base, low end breakage is inevitable. Let's just say that if you are a guy who hates two piece rods because they "twist" (misalign) on the cast . . . it's more the fault of your casting motion than the rod . . .

 

That twist (actually "torsion") is a huge contributing factor in rod breakage in thin walled blanks, especially ones that are built with sparse layouts and to compound the physics, high famed guides. That's why the Super Surf's all inexplicably break while casting within the rod's rating, just above the reel seat between an area of the blank locked down under the epoxied reel seat and the longest unsupported part of the rod before the first (highest) guide. The higher the guide is (both up the rod and off the blank) the more torsion leverage is imparted. The more sudden the casting motion is, the less control over the orientation of the rod can be maintained. The quick "woodsman's chop" motion that GSB's soak up and respond so well to is Russian Roulette with a thin walled blank . . . throwing some sidearm into it just makes it worse.

 

Has anyone ever impartially checked and verified the extent of the supposed varying wall thickness that is offered (and apparently accepted) as the cause of these breaks?

 

Do not mistake my mention above of St Croix's use of Lowriders as "forward thinking" as an endorsement of how they used them . . . it isn't.

 

 

 

Torsion:

 

http://www.stripersonline.com/image/id/2751601/width/600/height/390]

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Although there was a dramatic difference wall thickness around the rod at the point of the break, I have wondered if my casting style somehow had some impact. I would describe it as a 3/4 overhead, not exactly sidearm and not overhead. While I was careful to line up the guides with the factory applied yellow stripe on the butt of the blank, the rod flexes on a different axis the way I cast. Of course, I cast this way with all my rods, including a rod built on a SSU1081M blank with an old fashioned COF layout which has been my "go to" rod for the past 4 years, and which has had absolutely no problems with lots of use with heavier lures (to 2oz or slightly more). I was heartbroken when the NCG SSU1081L snapped, it was such a beautifully light rod suited perfectly for bomber fishing. THe new rod built on the redesigned blank isn't quite as light but with the NCG layout it is nicer to fish with than the SSU1081M with the COF layout.

 

 

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