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Ramsay

Question about surf rod guide

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How does the distance from the reel seat and first line guide affect rod performance? For example, I'm looking at two 10' rods, each has six guides. On one, the first guide is about 28 " from the middle of the reel seat, and on the other is about 34" from middle of reel seat. Does this make any difference in casting, retrieving, etc., or is it a non-issue?

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In the ideal situation the guide placement would depend on the reel height and the weight of the line. When the rod is under load you want as close to a arc that follows the rod bend as possible.

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This subject has been discussed extensively on the SOL Rod Building Forum. Most of the discussion has been about the new style of guide arrangements that Fuji has researched and promoted, such as, the New Guide Concept (NGC) and the KR system. The benefit of these systems is they reduce the clumping that occurs when the line hits the guides by straightening the line out along the guide train. With less friction occurring as the line passes through the guides, casting distance is thereby increased. Using one of these systems can put the stripper guide (the first guide) pretty far from the reel.

 

Overlooked from these discussions, imo, has been any talk about how guide placement accesses the power of the blank during the cast. The guides act as anchor points along the blank. In my judgement, the guides transfer the blanks power better in two ways. First, by avoiding the “bow and arrow” effect which occurs when the guides are placed too far apart from each other. Second, by having the guides extend further along the blank, more of the blank’s power is utilized. This last point will put the stripper guide closer to the reel. It is easy to see how more guides further along the blank will help in fighting a fish if that bow between the reel and the first guide is eliminated. An additional anchor point (guide) put between the reel and first guide will access more of the blank's fish fighting power. The same principle applies to casting. With a guide close to the reel more of the blank's power is accessed for casting, thereby increasing distance. This is why tournament distance casters place the conventional reel on the butt of the rod. It allows more anchor points along the blank so more of the blanks power is accessed. However, with a spinning reel, the line is likely to bunch up on such a close stripper guide.

 

To answer your question, a balance has to be found between reducing line friction and accessing the blanks power. This makes the placement of the first guide significant. One just has to put theory aside, get some tape and test cast the rod with the stripper in different positions. By observing the line flow and distance one will find the optimum balance.

 

One thing learned from Fuji’s and SOL rod builder’s research is that the height of the stripper guide is more important than the ring size. That is, one can use smaller rings if the height is right.

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for whatever its worth lou caruso has a great video on youtube explaining the ngc method of rod building. this kinda addresses your question. good luck


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