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Surf Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---.dsl.lsan03.sbcglobal.net)
Date: April 17, 2017 01:45AM

I am confused. Attempting to re- build a (admittedly short) 9ft 4in surf spinning rod from a 1950’s FG Conolon, I am perplexed with the status quoi guide spacing typically and presently used with surf rods compared with most any other rods. It seems 2 or 3 fewer guides as per what I have learned about typical static testing for my 9ft rod would be the norm for this surf rod. Is a surf rod all about casting distance and ignoring having to utilize the rod to fight the fish once hooked?
I definitely need and would appreciate some help here!

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!!

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Re: Surf Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Michael Blomme (---.direcway.com)
Date: April 17, 2017 12:05PM

Mark,
If this rod has not been rebuilt, then the guide set-up is almost certainly a Cone of Flight (COF). What we are using now is the NCP method. This method was originated by Fuji and now most spinning are now built this way. You get more casting distance and the ability to fight a fish is not hampered based on my own experiences. Just go to the Library on this forum and scroll down to the New Guide Concept--Spinning rods. Read this article and you can easily rebuild this 50's era rod. About five years ago I took my 1961 era 11.5 foot Surf spinning rod and converted the guide set up to the NGC system and I think the rod is better than the COF set-up I had had on the rod originally. Good luck with your project.

Mike Blomme

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Re: Surf Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---.dsl.lsan03.sbcglobal.net)
Date: April 17, 2017 01:10PM

Michael,
Thank you for taking the time to assist. You are correct in that COF was utilized originally, with something like a size 80 stripper lol. I am not restoring the rod but rather rebuilding it with Fuji LCs for the reduction guides feeding KW runners even though I have learned the LCs might not be the best choice for such a short surf rod. Being the demented sort I am combined with the rod only being a tick over 9ft, this rod may find itself fishing for Yellowtail from a boat as well.
Admittedly, I am unfamiliar with NCP (unless we’re talking thread) but initially placed the guides according to NGC and ended up with either 9 or 10 guides. My concern is that I have seen a number of much longer surf rods with only 7 or 8 guides and was curious to learn what I’m missing. I have learned to keep the line inline with the blank and unless those surf rods I’ve seen are pathetically stiff, I would think the line angle between the guides would be excessive hence my original question concerning casting distance VS conventional guide spacing. It seems there is a completely different school of thought required for guide spacing on a surf rod than the others and I would like to enroll in that class.

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!!

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Re: Surf Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: April 17, 2017 01:13PM

Using more guides than what was there originally, if your testing indicates that they are needed, is fine. Guides are heck of a lot lighter today than they were in the 1950's so adding more to aid in better line flow and stress distribution isn't going to cause you a severe weight penalty. In fact, you may wind up with more guides but less overall weight than what was there originally.

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

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Re: Surf Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---.dsl.lsan03.sbcglobal.net)
Date: April 17, 2017 02:31PM

Thanks, Tom. You are correct; I think all ten planned guides combined weight less than the original stripper alone! But my main concern is why so many surf rods use considerably fewer guides than typical. With casting distance being high priority with a surf rod, it seems counter-productive to use fewer guides according to NGC with which I am familiar. I have never built a surf rod (heck, I’ve never even surf fished before) and would prefer to build this one properly. Maybe I am over-thinking this, but then you know how good I am at that. I certainly hope someone who builds a lot of surf rods will chime in to inform and instruct me.

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!!

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Re: Surf Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: April 17, 2017 03:02PM

Because of their greater power and how they're used, the chance of "bowstringing" them is not nearly as high. If you look at the lighter type surf-plugging rods, they'll generally have a few more guides, although still not as many as most lighter rods in similar length.

...........

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Re: Surf Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---.dsl.lsan03.sbcglobal.net)
Date: April 17, 2017 03:50PM

Tom,
That makes sense and is understandable. I think it is safe to say this old FG rod may lack the “punch” of a present-day CF stable mate. Considering your input, I may re-static test using one or two fewer guides to see how it looks and go from there. The custom drawn NS ferrule should be here this week to allow me to put this rod together and have a go.
I wonder if aesthetics has anything to do with it. Maybe because surf rods have always employed fewer guides, builders simply continue to do so because that is what people expect, similar in attempting to convince some people of the merits of a spiral-wrapped rod. The one spiral-wrapped rod I built for myself hasn’t received any positive remarks yet out here in SoCal. Even though the Yellowtail caught with it so far have been less than 15 lbs, I can really feel and enjoy the difference. So maybe I’ll add a guide or two. lol

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!!

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Re: Surf Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: April 17, 2017 07:53PM

Also keep in mind that the nylon lines used at the time that rod was built were quite bulky. The early monofiliments were worse than "wiry" and thus with the very much more supple, modern lines, it is possible to reduce guide size while increasing height (spinning) and number without incurring any real penalty.

.......

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Re: Surf Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---.dsl.lsan03.sbcglobal.net)
Date: April 17, 2017 10:54PM

Thanks, Tom. I can always rely on you for a wealth of information. That is good to know because the LC stripper is not in the ideal location due to the stinking ferrule. I am torn over placing the stripper fore or aft of the ferrule. From information supplied from Norman, an LC stripper should never be placed closer than 31in from the reel seat, which puts it beyond the ferrule. Only issue is I’ll have a reduction train as long as the runners and all on the tip section. At the risk of sounding unappreciative, Tom, I am disappointed those who build a lot of surf rods have not offered insight and assistance.

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!!

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Re: Surf Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: April 18, 2017 01:52AM

Mark, I have never built a surf rod using Fuji LC guides. With that said, I have done some research on them and they appear to have been designed for use on surf rods longer than 10.5'. From what I understand, they were originally designed for distance casting to compete with the Diawa interline surf rods, which had a line entry point at more than 50% of the rod's total length. On 12 to 13' rods Fuji recommended that the LC stripper be placed at 120 cm (47.2") from the reel, which places this guide at near or above the 50% point of the rods total length. Because of this Fuji recommended that no more than 6 guides total should be used even on a 13+' rod. I have also read that some well respected surf rod builders believe that the LC stripper should be placed no closer than about 31" from the reel, no matter the length of the rod. They also mentioned that LC strippers don't perform as well on surf rods shorter than 10.5'. I think this was shown in a casting competition conducted a number of years ago comparing different types of surf rod guide trains. The results were posted on rod board, and the LC guides came in last. Some complained that the LC guides were used on rods shorter than recommended. So in general, I got the impression that LC guides are a very specialized type of surf spinning guide designed for distance casting using long surf rods. It seems that they are a completely different animal from other types of guide train concepts. There is a ton of information concerning LC (Low Rider) guide here on the rod board. Use the search function and go to the last posts and work your way forward. You will learn a lot!
I know that you like the looks of the LC guides, and if you are dead set on using them, I am sure you can get them to work. Just remember they are not NGC guides, and thus are not used as such. So you may need to play around with them to get a placement that performs well in test casting.
You might be better off rethinking your guide choice and switch to KWs. As a side note you might not be getting a lot of feed back from experienced surf rod builders because, 1) LC guides have diminished in popularity, or 2) they do not use LC guides on short surf rods.
Norm

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Re: Surf Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---.dsl.lsan03.sbcglobal.net)
Date: April 21, 2017 03:24PM

Norman, you are correct on all accounts including a possible explanation as to why no dominate surf rod builders responded. Yes, I really would like to use the LC low-rider reduction guides because, 1.) They are basically surf-rod specific, 2.) The swooping legs are sexy looking, 3.) And most importantly, the reverse design eliminates the line from slapping the guide braces which I believe is a superb idea and design. But I also believe in and habitually employ “Form Follows Function” with everything I fabricate. Your extensive research, here and through previous correspondence, regarding LCs and this short surf rod has been graciously accepted and given reason to rethink the guide selection. You are correct in that a KW30,20,12 approach would be a very good option, especially since the runners are KW8s, and reasonably priced as well in SS/Alconite. But with appreciating the reverse-leg theory, I have to consider the RV / KW-M approach as well. Unfortunately, Fuji is excessively proud of those guides and do not offer them in reasonably priced SS / Alcontite. Those three guides alone would cost about $100.00 which is considerably more than an entire KW guide train. Too bad this post is virtually dead as it would have been nice for Jim Ising to read and respond. I will have to think about it, and you know how dangerous that can be.
In any case, I graciously appreciate, employ and apply everything learned from you, Norman.

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!!

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Re: Surf Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: herb canter (---.dsl.atmc.net)
Date: April 21, 2017 09:26PM

Hello , i have extensive experience with using the LC guide layout on various surf rod blanks , they most certainly can be used on surf rods shorter than eleven or twelve feet and work exceptionally well . They got a bad rap from many builders because it goes against their long standing belief's but there is no question they work exceptionally well even on rod's as short as nine and ten feet .

I don't love them for the upper half of the rod due to their long stance but they do work and a rod equipped with them casts like a rocket . Line choice is critical to getting the most out of them however , if using heavier braids i like the K series guides more than the LC family of guides . Braids up to 30 pounds work very very well with both types of guides but anything heavier i much prefer the K series .

With shorter rods you need to position the LC 20 closer than the recommended 47" of course and despite what many think the rod will still cast exceptionally well by doing this , doing a static guide test will reveal where the rest of the guides should be placed and don't be afraid to mix two separate guide types if that will achieve the best efficiency as compared to using one specific type.

You DO NOT have to follow what everybody else does and believe the views of others are better than your own.

Hope this helps



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/21/2017 09:29PM by herb canter.

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Re: Surf Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---.dsl.lsan03.sbcglobal.net)
Date: April 22, 2017 03:21AM

Herb,
Thank you for responding. It is comforting to receive insight from someone who builds quite a few surf rods. While admittedly rather new to rod building, I am confident with my ability to produce a typical spinning or casting rod for salt or fresh water, but this surf rod thing had me confused.

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!!

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Re: Surf Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Donald Becker (---.hawaii.res.rr.com)
Date: April 22, 2017 03:44AM

9 foot whipping rod

Century
70/30 split
Guides mounted inside spine
Line weight guessing 12 to 17 pounds
Lure weight guessing 1 to 1.5 ounces

Reel seat up locking
All LC guides mounted reversed

End of butt to top of reel seat 22 inches
Top of reel seat to stripper guide 32 inches
Stripper guide to next guide 17 inches
next spacing 13 inches
next spacing 10.5 inches
next spacing 8 inches
next to tiptop 6 inches

Don Becker

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Re: Surf Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Mark Talmo (---.dsl.lsan03.sbcglobal.net)
Date: April 22, 2017 02:11PM

Donald, thank you for responding. Wow, you have supplied me with everything except the labor to put it all together! It is graciously appreciated.
Although Tom and Norman have offered reasons for a typical surf rod’s wide guide spacing, I would still like to learn of the theory from those who live and breathe surf fishing. Please do not take offense Tom and Norman as I certainly do not disagree with you and, as always, appreciate your respected inputs and insights.

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!!

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Re: Surf Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Donald Becker (---.hawaii.res.rr.com)
Date: April 22, 2017 03:46PM

Mark,

I received the rod as a prize at a distance casting contest. I did not build the rod.

When looking at the rod, the 8 inch spacing is too wide. Had I built the rod, there would have been one more running guide and the stripper guide would have been about 2 inches closer to the reel seat.

The additional running guide would provide better distribution of stress in the upper tip section and provide more protection from breakage due to high sticking. It also provides a degree of protection when casting and not letting the sinker swing in a wide arc.

The rod I have, has all guides being LC guides. Since I do not know the rigidity of the LC guides as compared to other guides, I would lean toward using N type guides as running guides. I like to maintain the continuous flexibility of the blank. My favorites are Fuji Kw, MNAG, and LNAG. The LNAG work well for running guides. They are lightweight, have minimal wind resistance, are flexible, and are polished stainless steel (not plated or layered) resulting in better corrosion resistance. They are also economical. Tournament distance casters favor Pac Bay Minima guides. Although I am not up to speed on Batson guides, I have heard positive comments about them.

Don Becker

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