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snake guides vs single foot guides for a fly rod
Posted by: Ken Tong (---.dsl.pltn13.pacbell.net)
Date: November 23, 2007 09:22PM

Hello,

I was wondering which people prefer and why?

I understand that for lightness, the single foot guides are better, but the salesman at a rod building shop told me that the snake guides in larger sizes are better for casting, as they prevent the line from hitting the blank when casting. He said because the single foot guides are lower that the line will rub on the wraps and slow the line down, as well as wear down the wraps over time. Is this a valid argument?

What have been your experiences with the different types of guides?

Thanks,
Ken

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Re: snake guides vs single foot guides for a fly rod
Posted by: Mike Barkley (---.try.wideopenwest.com)
Date: November 23, 2007 09:43PM

I have limited experience with fly fishing, but, IMO, he isn't really very familiar with ceramics and is tied to tradition more than reality. I may be wrong!

Mike (Southgate, MI)
If I don't want to, I don't have to and nobody can make me (except my wife) cuz I'm RETIRED!!

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Re: snake guides vs single foot guides for a fly rod
Posted by: Marc Morrone (---.dsl.airstreamcomm.net)
Date: November 23, 2007 10:04PM

Used to do a lot of fly fishing before I got in to rod building, so my experience is with factory rods. I always felt the single foot guides cast farther with less effort, and if you were lucky enough to fish so much as to wear down the guide wraps, probably after 10-20 years, I would say you got your money's worth out of that rod. I think the sales person is selling you on his preferences.

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Re: snake guides vs single foot guides for a fly rod
Posted by: Anonymous User (Moderator)
Date: November 23, 2007 10:16PM

Gravity should tend to pull the line down away from the blank with either guide type. Using larger guides than neccessary adds weight which some of your imparted energy has to start and stop.


................

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Re: snake guides vs single foot guides for a fly rod
Posted by: Chris Herrera (---.atgi.net)
Date: November 24, 2007 02:27AM

The only benefit I've heard, for using the snake guides, is that they don't freeze up as easily in the winter.

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Re: snake guides vs single foot guides for a fly rod
Posted by: George Mock (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: November 24, 2007 07:16AM

Last winter I built a fly rod and used single foot snake guides. I fished the rod extensively this past summer and I have noticed that the line is rubbing on the guide wraps. It seems to me that the salesman's comments are valid.

I've seen some single foot snakes that have a small extension between the foot and the guide ring. That would get the ring up off the blank but that set-up looks awfully delicate to me.

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Re: snake guides vs single foot guides for a fly rod
Posted by: Anonymous User (Moderator)
Date: November 24, 2007 09:29AM

On the back cast, with snake guides, the line will lie entirely on the blank since the guides are open on the side to the blank. So with snakes, the line will rub the guide wraps, perhaps even more than with ceramic or wire single foots. The salesman hasn't thought this thing through very well and is just repeating what someone has told him.

...................

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Re: snake guides vs single foot guides for a fly rod
Posted by: Ken Preston (---.hsd1.md.comcast.net)
Date: November 24, 2007 09:56AM

Absolutely agree with Tom -- the salesman doesn't build rods - and hasn't thought through the physical motion of casting. Snake guides are open at the bottom - the line will touch the blank (and the epoxy wraps holding the guides in place - adding more drag than single foot guides. IF this is a midge rod (short & light) one further compromise might be single foot wire guides - lighter than ceramics but still will hold the line off the blank. A couple of the sponsors carry them in Ti / gold / black / chrome finshes.

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Re: snake guides vs single foot guides for a fly rod
Posted by: George Mock (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: November 24, 2007 12:59PM

I'm having trouble understanding this one. I have two fly rods that are wrapped using Pac Bay single foot wire snake guides. The actual guide ring sits right down on the blank with these guides. Add the thread wrap on top of the foot and then the epoxy finish on top of the thread and your finishing work has now intruded INTO the circumference of the guide. If there's a way of wrapping these guides without that happening, please let me know.

Double foot snake guides, on the other hand, keep the line away from the rod blank to some extent even though they are open between the feet. The snake guides I've looked at on the rods I own are, at the very least, wrapped so that both guide feet are sitting on the center line of the rod. If both the top foot and the bottom foot of the guide is sitting on the center line of the rod, then the wires coming off the feet must have a slight crossover. In other words, if you sighted down the length of the rod, the two wires coming down to the feet of the guide would appear to cross or meet BEFORE they got to the rod blank. The only way the line under tension (which it is most of the time) could touch the blank would be if it made a slight left hand turn when it passed the bottom guide foot and then came back to the right to move on to the next guide. Fly line is just too stiff for that to happen; it's going to bridge over from the bottom part of the wire to the top part of the wire.

Now if the bottom foot was to the left of the center line and the top foot was to the right of the center line, then there would be a gap and the line could easily lay on the blank. I haven't looked at that may rods but I haven't seen any with that configuration. As a matter of fact, I pulled out my old trusty Fenwick HMG and the snake guides on that rod have the bottom foot slightly to the right side of center and the top foot slightly to the left of center. So on this rod at least, the guide legs actually do cross. I've been using my Fenwick for around thirty years and there is NO wear on the wraps from the line.

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Re: snake guides vs single foot guides for a fly rod
Posted by: David Gilberg (---.pghk.east.verizon.net)
Date: November 25, 2007 01:59AM

When you back cast a rod with snake guides the line will be rubbing on the finish covering the thread wraps. I use mostly single footed size 6 fly guides. After the feet are ground; wrapped in size A Nylon and finished with one coat of ThreadMaster regular the height of the finish does not cross reach the height of the inner ring diameter. Is it possible you are applying more finish than is actually needed?

Dave

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Re: snake guides vs single foot guides for a fly rod
Posted by: Bill Moschler (---.hsd1.tn.comcast.net)
Date: November 25, 2007 05:08PM

I have come to like the single foot ceramic guides, either the SIC or the cerment or the Alconite, for my flyrods. Those guides have enough frame to keep the line away from the blank. The Pac bay single foots sit too close to the blank. I use pretty big ones when I use those. Big snake guides are heavy. It is possible to overload a rod with heavy wire snakes. My easiest casting and fishing rods all have been with the ceramics, from 3 wt to 9 wt.

There are not huge differences between guides for flyrods. But there are perceptible differences to the fisherman, probably more so for light line rods that are fished close on streams than for salt water or heavy line freshwater rods. When you have a lot of line out or a heavy line, the guides don't make a lot of difference. With just a little 4 wt line out, you need a good guide setup to shoot a little bit of line.

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Re: snake guides vs single foot guides for a fly rod
Posted by: Ken Tong (---.dsl.pltn13.pacbell.net)
Date: November 25, 2007 07:57PM

I spoke with a local fly casting competitor who builds his own rods, and he said that he never uses snake guides on his distance casting rods, because when he competes with the shooting heads with mono running line, the snake guides allow the mono to slip between the two feet and cause extra friction that he feels reduces distance. He said that on accuracy and fishing rods, he sees no difference between the single foot and snake guides, but if you want the most distance, go for single foot guides.

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Re: snake guides vs single foot guides for a fly rod
Posted by: George Mock (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: November 26, 2007 09:09AM

David, On single foot WIRE guides, at least the ones I've used anyway, the outer circumference of the guide ring actually touches the rod blank. In other words, they sit very low on the blank as Bill M. said. If the guide feet on those guides are the same diameter as the guide loop, then anything added to the top of the guide foot, even just the thread, would intrude into the inside circumference of the guide loop.

I can see where double foot snake guides could be an extra drag on the line. It's very possible that the line, passing through double foot snake guides would be dragging on two areas of the guide rather than one so the drag can be, in effect, doubled. However, with the single foot wire guides, the line will either be dragging against the wire guide OR on the wraps and finish as the salesman stated. At least that's how it appears to me. I honestly can't say which is better from a distance casting perspective, single foot snakes or double foot snakes but it seems to be that single foot guides with an insert would be the way to go.

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Re: snake guides vs single foot guides for a fly rod
Posted by: Steve Rushing (---.north-highland.com)
Date: November 26, 2007 10:58AM

George - I was cleaning up a 7' 9" 3wt on which I used the Pac Bay single foot WIRE guides. In this case I found exactly what you describe. The wrap extends into the circumference of the ring and on the 2nd and 3rd guides from the tip in particular I have noticable wear on the wrap finish. So much so water is making it to the wrap (the CP is showing signs of having gotten wet). This rod is will go into the project backlog for rewraping with SF ceramics.

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Re: snake guides vs single foot guides for a fly rod
Posted by: George Mock (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: November 26, 2007 02:14PM

Steve, I've built two rods with the single foot wire guides but I seriously doubt that I'll ever build another. They do have advantages in light weight and maybe longer casts but if they're going to allow the line to wear through the finish and the windings, what's the point? If the guides were made with a little extension between the ring and foot (like the single foot with the insert) they'd be OK but I think that would be a pretty delicate set-up unless the wire was welded or held securely together in some manner right where the ring meets the legs. Dunno.....but as for me, I'm going to go with the single foot guides with the inserts. As a matter of fact, just this morning I ordered a set of Fuji titanium frame sic guides for a rod I've got on the bench now. Those guides are a bit salty but what the hey.......it's almost Christmas!

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Re: snake guides vs single foot guides for a fly rod
Posted by: Angelo Randaci (---.tampfl.fios.verizon.net)
Date: November 26, 2007 02:59PM

Another option would be to try out the Hopkins and Holloway Stand Off single leg snake guides. I know that Anglers Workshop carries them. They have a single foot that is raised enough to keep the line off the blank.

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Re: snake guides vs single foot guides for a fly rod
Posted by: George Mock (---.proxy.aol.com)
Date: November 26, 2007 03:51PM

Angelo, thanks for the heads up! I thought I had seen them somewhere but I looked all over the place for them and came up empty. I thought maybe I'd been dreaming. Anyway, that sounds like a good option. Thanks again!

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