Thursday, November 1, 2012

How to find the best place for guides on a rod

Here is the method that I first used 25 years ago.

The static load method was the only method I knew.  My teacher said that using charts would get me in trouble so I shouldn't use them. 

Once you know where your butt or stripper guide is going to be, use the static load method to find the placement for the rest of the guides.  I generally tape the guides on the rod in positions that just "look right" and then go out and do some casting until I get the stripper guide in the right position for the best cast.  Maybe even tune up the second guide from the stripper.  Once this is done, it's back inside the shop to do a static load test.

When you get good at working with rods, you start to know pretty much where things are going to fall.  These days I can bend a rod over, glance at the bend and then start taping guides.  But once I've done my test casting I *always* do the static load test as there are often issues where the actual bend of the rod under load doesn't match the bend of a rod in the hand. 

What do I mean by this?   If you grab a rod and bend it over to the 90 degree position, you will usually see exactly what the bend of the rod will be.  However, once you have taped the guides on the rod, and put it under load at the 90 degree position, the action on the rod is a "pulling" action instead of being bent at the tip.  This will often reveal that the rod is more likely to bend more part-way up the rod instead of right at the tip.  I've frequently seen my first guide farther from the tip than from the first guide to the second guide.  This will only be found by doing the static test.

The article does a decent job of explaining it, but let me know if you have any questions about this process.


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