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Rod Building and Guides - Types and Materials

Jul 30, 2008
When you're rod building, you need to choose the guide you add to your equipment carefully. One of the advantages of developing your own equipment is that you'll have full control over what elements you choose to add to your fishing rod so make sure you inform yourself about the options so you'll make the best decision possible and created a finished product that will make you very happy.

Let's start by looking at a couple of guides you might need, especially if you are interested in building a fly rod. We'll also look at the different type of material used for those guides.

Types of Guides

One of the types you might want to consider is stripping guides. If you go with this option, then you'll want to purchase a couple of them, especially if you the length of the finished rod you're building is going to be on the long side. You could choose either the two-legged or the three-legged styles depending on your personal preference. Remember that's the whole point of rod building: personal preference.

You could also choose running guides instead. If you choose this type of guide, it would be wise to go with a variation of the snake guide. These can minimize the chance of your line getting stuck to your blank which can make proper casting a real challenge. You won't have to worry about friction as much either but they do stand a better chance of breaking. For that reason, you may want to purchase extra running guides.

Tips tops are the third possibility. These come in a couple of styles as well, including wire frame loops and ceramic inserts. The ceramic inserts are slightly heavier which could be a disadvantage if you're worried about the weight of the product after your finished rod building. However, because these provide reduced friction the casting is much quieter. That reduced noise can be a huge advantage when you're fishing.

Guide Materials to Consider when Rod Building

Choosing the best guide for your rod building is only part of the issue. You'll also need to pay attention to the material you pick. The materials are used for plating and that's important because it is responsible for ensuring the longevity of the guide itself. In many cases, the plating you choose can also have other benefits, such as reduced friction.

You can choose hard chrome plating which is definitely one of the best choices for a variety of guide types when you're rod building. It provides increased protection over stainless steel but also helps keep friction to a minimum thus reducing noise and wear.

If you're interested in finding some type of material that will be able to withstand the harshness of salt water while you're fishing, consider titanium for your guide. It's also lighter to use than other types of material and much more expensive. However, if you want your rod building to produce the highest quality finished product it could be a good choice.
About the Author
Rod Building Sea Isle Tackle has been proudly serving the saltwater fishing community for over 45 years. Since opening day in 1962, we have dedicated ourself to providing the finest fishing tackle and Shimano Reels the industry has to offer. Sea Isle Tackle has a great selection of Rod Building Accessories.
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