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Discussion Starter #1
Why do manufacturers continue to use outdated snake and single leg wire guides on top range rods, when it is the popular belief that ceramic lined guides(ie. Fuji Sic) are better for shooting line?

Snake guides seem even more outdated now that we are, mainly, using weight forward and shooting head tapers. Personally, I think it is a cost cutting excercise; ceramic lined guides are far more expensive. I would however think that a rod of over 500 UK pounds should be fitted with top end components to justify the price tag.

Anybody have a view on this?
 

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uninformed opinion follows:

1. I think snakes weigh less, and thus change blank action less.
2. I don't think it makes much difference to most of us, as long as the first two strippers are oversized.

I'd add tradition as a distant third reason, but I don't think it's tradition so much as function--if it's not broke, why fix it?

Carl
 

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ahah!

good post!,my feelings are;the rings work better,they are heavier,but i feel they transmit power to the rodblank better,and vise-verse,hard to describe the feeling,,it IS there,,and most have probably never used a rod,,dare i say `spey'!? type rod with lined guides the whole way,i have several and i much prefer rings,at a rodbuilder's site on the web they tout minimizing the amount of guides/thread wraps,as the weight slows the action of the blank down,i'm sure it does,,but,i still prefer rings;i feel there is some lack of feel in the wire snakes,they do make single foot snakes,they bend easily,but would probably provide the best compromise for performance/weight,the rings will fall out of the sic guides if they get beat up brushwacking,boatwacking,so,how about `interline'?,,,,,,,,,,,,,Gary W must have some mystical power's!,or maybe the pile of U.K. rods are radiating my thoughts,hmmm,I'd better go watch them!,something's going on!,,lord of the ring's?,hehaha;)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hammer,

I'm not reading your thoughts, it is just that on a certain rod building site, and in some UK magazines they have been expressing the advantages of ceramic lined rings. So, as I am building my first spey rod(finally going to get started on it tomorrow night and hopefully finish it next week), I decided to use Fuji Sic rings. They are a tad expensive, but I feel they will probably outlast the cheaper ones. I've had ceramic inserts pop out of guides before, but I've also had grooves wear in snakes.

If the guides feel too heavy for the rod, I will go the whole hog(financially) and replace them with titanium framed Sic rings. I have been told by experienced rod builders, that the ceramics should not be too heavy for a spey rod.

I honestly feel that the manufacturers are just cost cutting.
 

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Hi!
I have two speyrods with small Fuji SIC-rings all the way, and maybe a dozen with different kind of snakes etc.
I have not gained anything extra with these ceramic-rings. Instead, I think they are heavy and very fragile. All my new rods I rig with two oversized SIC:s as stripping guides + good quality single-leg snakes (ala Loomis etc.)
Since I have broken quite a few rings and snakes, I´m now interested in these new Recoil -rings and snakes. I use shooting heads most of the time, and have Amnesia, Sawada or Rio Slickshooter shootingline. Those are so slick, that I absolutely don´t need any extra "glide" in rings, instead I´m looking for:
1. as light as possible set-up (minimum effect on rod´s action)
2. most durable and wear-resistant set-up

FinnSpey
Ps. Two weeks work and then it´s four weeks salmonfishing holiday in Norway... :smokin: :hehe:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Weight

Do you think weight is such an issue on two handed rods?
I do not notice any considerable difference to the action when using single leg fuji sic guides in, say, a size 8. The additional weight on 9 through to 12 weight rod blanks is almost insignificant.
In fact I have just been to a rod builders home who let me have a wiggle of a 15' with two leg ceramics all the way through and it still felt powerful and recovered as fast as it would with snakes.
 

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Guides

Those Recoil guides are the best. I have them, including strippers on a spey rod and love them. Single foot fly guides.

I also make snake guides out of tungsten music wire, and while they are very, very hard--- they don't bend. RECoil does. Not, other than a big stripper, this is not a big deal, but you never know...

For long rods, as a rod maker, I'd never use SIC or ceramic guides because I too feel they are too fragile, too expensive, and too heavy for whatever miniscule gains in shooting ability you might potentially think you are getting.

Lefty Kreh also did a bunch of testing various types of guides and found that round insert guides were actually the poorest shooters. Single foot snake was the best, I thing AETNA foulproof next (ANYONE REMEMBER THOSE FRIGGIN THINGS), and standard snakes following.

I'd love to hear Mr. Meiser's take on all of this.

Best-

brooklynangler
 

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recoil guides

I like the idea of the recoil guides, but have two issues that keep me from trying them.

1. How long will a recoil guide continue to bend back and forth without breaking?

2. How long will a recoil guide continue to bend without digging into the blank, causing a blank failure?
 

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Whenever the discussion of Snake/Ceramic running guide systems appear.....The rod builders will generally form up two camps, each holding pretty tight to their perfered system.

....And I feel that each is correct in their own reasons for doing so.

Part of the great joy in building one's own rod is having the personal choice of using the various components.....For your own reasons !

When designing a rod for a client, the discussion of the pros and cons of the two running guide systems will often be discussed.....And ultimatly the decision to use either will always be left to my angler.

This being true for both recreational casters and competition casters alike.

....But I will offer my opinions if asked, and it usually goes like this:

From my own personal experience of the two in rod building for my clientele ~

I have found that the single foot ceramics, or single foot wire guides offer little if any distance advantage to either the single hand or two handed caster when compared to traditional wire snakes.

Line speed generated by the individual caster is neither hindered nor enhanced by the use of a single leg running guide system, whether they be ceramic or wire loop.

Rather.....I think that consistent, and efficient distance is best attributed to a well balanced line/rod marriage and the caster's skill level.

When comparing the two for durability ~

The traditional wire snake wins this hands down in all regards.

They hold to, and flex better with the blank then do the single foot guides.

I have found that over the past 10 years of rod repair and maintainance of my rods, that the single foot ceramic guide will for various reasons work free of the blank....Even with "security wraps" to the front of the guide.

Very seldom will I see this happen with conventional snakes or single foot wire guides.

They are also far more prone to injury from normal fishing impact, with the loss of rings and/or frame bending.

The guide system weight issue is really not that much of a consideration for the bigger rods....Say 13 ft. 6/7 weight and beyond.

...But it does become an issue for the smaller two handers 6/7 on down, with the wire guides again having a functional advantage.

The one major avantage that I see for the single foot ceramic is for that angler that will consistently utilize gel spun or braided mono running lines married to their shooting head systems.

And..... If the angler will be often be into the running line on delivery, strip back, and fish fight.

These line types will quickly score the hard chrome snake guide, and render them useless.....A real advantage to utilize the ceramic guide in this scenairo.

The recent introduction of the "recoil" guides by REC is very clever, and many rod builders will find applications for these guides on both single and two handed rods.

But for my two handers, I still perfer the thicker wire diameter of the conventional hard chrome /titanium snake guide, as over the long haul, I find them to be more friendly to the line coatings of our big bellied lines.

The additional cost issue of snakes versus ceramics by rod Mfgrs. may enter into the formula by some.

...But I feel that if the industry at large found a major advantage to using ceramics for their running guides, they would do so, and simply convey the additional costs to the angler.

One last comment would be in regards to the hoop size of snakes versus ring size of ceramic guide systems.

I think that bigger is better for running guide diameters with the two handed rod, as again our line belly size dia's make this an inherent issue to be considered.

... And wire guides on a "weight per" ratio offer a clear advantage when weight becomes an issue for the lighter line weight two hander.

Anyways......These are just my thoughts.

This discussion is always interesting when brought up.....};^).....!

Meiz
 

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elaborate/gold

i've seen `gold colored snakes in catologue's,as well as single foot wire guides,,how does this plating/coating hold up,,? they DO look sweet!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I take it most of you favour the snakes then?

I'll still go with the single foot ceramics. I actually made this decision a while ago because, if I decide it is a mistake it is easier to strip of the single foots and replace with traditional snakes than the other way around.

Don't worry, if I do decide it is a mistake I will eat hunble pie and post a report on the reasons!!
 

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Hey Gary,

The beauty of this is that you've not made a mistake by choosing ceramics....They'll work just fine.

And MANY builders of fly rods world wide will attest to this.

This is a good thing !!!!!




Hammer,

Some of the "Gold" colored snakes and tip tops that I will use are Titanium Nitrite coated and give them a gold appearance.

I've personally not seen that this coating will wear off with normal use, and they seem to hold up as well as any good quality hard chrome wire guide.

I am sure there are other gold coatings, as they have been around for a very long time, but not sure what they are.



Meiz
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Bob,

Thanks for your comments; I was beginning to lose confidence. I've just been out in the garden trying to find a balancing point so that I can decide where my reel seat is going.

This is probably a question better suited to another well known forum, but while we're on this one I'll ask it anyway. I roughly positioned the guides with tape, threaded a line through them and taped the reel onto the rod at various points. I use both light and heavy reels so I selected somewhere in between with a Hardy Viscount Large Arbour. The reason for doing this was to try to determine my bottom handle size. The problem is that the reel seems to be positioned, for a good balance, to leave a bottom handle size of between 3 and 4 inches. How do I get round this problem if I want a handle size of about 6 inches?

Thank you in anticipation of your reply,

Gary.:confused:
 

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Gary,

If I understand you correctly....This may indicate that the rod wants just a tad of butt weight to balance the tip.

A couple simple things that you may consider doing:

Use cork composites such as rubberized cork rings on a normal length lower grip to counter the tip.

These are 3 to 4 times the weight of conventional cork, and can make a unique yet functional statement for you rod.

This in combination of using a down locking reel seat may also help.

Not sure how long your upper grip is or will be.... But this, and the rods length does have relevance in the formula as well.

More then likely even as is: Figuring on using a 14.5" to 16" upper grip on a 13 ft. and over rod length....A 5.5" to 6" butt length should still allow a comfortable delivery. This with conventional corks and a down locking seat.

It sounds to me that you are already very close, and these minimal adjustments may be all that it will take to counter the tip.

Some two handed blanks are extremely tip heavy, and very difficult to counter.

....But they are quite obviously so, and feel that way immediately upon having them in hand.

It surly would be a good idea get other opinions.... You can search this Forum as this has been discussed a few times in the past.

Or present this question to your trusted rod builder boards....Consider: www.rodbuilding.org

Meiz
 

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If I may be allowed a thought or two here on the guides.

First the weight issue - a titanium framed # 6 single leg guide weigh 0.12 grams as does a steel wire snake, the recoil single leg will weigh 0.05 grams and a steel frames single leg # 6 0.20 grams.
Choosing the titanium framed Sic guides will save you the weight of one wrap(with varnish) per guide compared to a traditional snake guide.

Then durability - the SIC insert will never wear regardless of what you do. If you fish with dirty lines and/or in "muddy" waters your cromed guides will wear rapidly.
We have yet to see how fast the Recoil guides will wear.

Secure the single legs with a security wrap or just 3-4 turns behind the leg and use a marine varnish instead of epoxy types. The marine varnish bonds much better to the blank/thread/guide and will help keep it in place.

Another issue is the single leg guides keeping the line away from the blank.

Last - your lines will last longer with the ceramic guides.

But its true - being able to choose for yourself is the beauty of rodbuilding.
 

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Re: elaborate/gold

Hammer said:
i've seen `gold colored snakes in catologue's,as well as single foot wire guides,,how does this plating/coating hold up,,? they DO look sweet!
Golden color is the color of titanium nitride, TiN. It is hard and very wear resistant. It is also a little tougher than TiC, for example.

TiC, titanium carbide, has normally a greyish black color (gun smoke) and is even harder than TiN. TiC is a little bit more brittle than TiN but the difference is insignificant.

I've also seen that those gun smoke colored rings are said to be TiCH (or TiC(H) or actually Ti-C:H) wich would mean that the coating is made of titanium-containing amorphous hydrocarbon.

All these coatings are used in steel machining. So, fly line should not be able to cause harm to them. Of course, sand (SiO2) can wear them a bit but not much.
 
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