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Proportional guide spacing worksheet
Posted by: Jim Kinkennon (---.hsd1.tn.comcast.net)
Date: May 15, 2017 09:42PM

Sometimes guides are placed on a blank by slightly increasing the gap from guide to guide as one progresses from the tip. For example, one may have a given number of running guides and not wish to keep the gap from guide to guide the same, but to increase the distance between guides until reaching the choke point in NGC guide placement. Or, one may have placed the first guide a given distance from the tip, and placed the stripper, or butt guide, a given distance from the reel spool. Various tests indicate a certain number of intervening guides, and that the placement on a particular application is not critical for casting distance or static stress distribution. Often one sees this increasing gap distance chosen arbitrarily. However, it is possible to place the guides by increasing the distance by a fixed percentage of the gap from the tip to the first guide. This gives a proportional placement to the guides which has a strong esthetic appearance.

If one is good at mathematics, one may derive or look up the formula for calculating the percentage to use in a given application. Trial and error is slow and cumbersome for those of us who are mathematically challenged. However, if one can use a spreadsheet (Microsoft XL, etc.) one can easily arrive at a proportional guide spacing arrangement. Not knowing how to load a spreadsheet into this forum, I took a screen shot of such a worksheet and uploaded it as a photo in the misc. section: proportional guide spacing worksheet.

One sets up an input field for a trial and error percentage (greater than 1.00). Then enter the gap from the tip to the first guide in the field provided. below this cell enter a formula multiplying the gap times the value referenced in the trial input field. Repeat the process for the needed number of guides. Set up a column for cumulative distance down the blank. Enter the desired distance from the tip to the farthest guide. If the calculated distance exceeds the desired cumulative distance, reduce the trial percentage number. If less than the desired distance, increase the trial percentage number. When the calculated position of the guides totals to the desired distance, one has calculated the position of each guide. The gaps then increase by the same percentage each time, giving a very good appearance.

In the photo, use cell B3 to enter the trial percentage. Use cell E9 to enter the desired total distance from tip to stripper guide. The instructions on the photo are misleading. Obviously, the photo is not a worksheet. Rather, it is a guide to setting up a guide placement worksheet.

I anticipate comments that this is not the preferred method for overall guide placement, and I agree. But, when the chosen method indicates approximate number and position of guides, this application can be a good alternative to arbitrarily increasing the distance from one guide to the next by a little for each guide.

To most of us, this post may seem incomprehensible, and I apologize for that. But, for those familiar with spreadsheets, this little worksheet may be useful. I hope it is. Thanks.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/15/2017 09:53PM by Jim Kinkennon.

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Re: Proportional guide spacing worksheet
Posted by: Billy Vivona (---.nycmny.fios.verizon.net)
Date: May 15, 2017 09:52PM

It's too easy to go....3.75 4 4.5 5 5.5 6 7 8 9, lol.

Even easier with mm... 100; 110 120 130 140 150 170 180

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Re: Proportional guide spacing worksheet
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: May 15, 2017 10:04PM

Jim,
Don't overthink, or over calculate a very simple item.

Flex the rod, place a guide where the rod bends so that the then placed guides will keep the line following the contour of the loaded blank.

totally everything that is needed.

Use as few guides as possible to maintain this operation and you will have the best performing rod with the minimal weight gain.

A fast tipped rod will need more guides closer to the tip.
A slow tipped rods will use fewer guides closer to the tip.

After you have sheets on a half dozen of your most used blanks, any other blanks will likely only need to be tweaked just a bit for perfection.

Good luck

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Re: Proportional guide spacing worksheet
Posted by: Jim Kinkennon (---.hsd1.tn.comcast.net)
Date: May 15, 2017 10:16PM

That's true. However, the percentage increase is different for each gap. Here's the proportional method, from a spreadsheet. (The cut and paste has some format problems, and one should check the numbers to see that they add up, but it gives an idea of how quick and easy it is):
From Prev. From
Guide Tip
Spacing factor 1.09745 0
1st guide 3.75 3.75 Distance from tip to 1st guide 3.75
2nd guide 4.12 7.87 4
3rd guide 4.52 12.38 4.5
4th guide 4.96 17.34 5
5th guide 5.44 22.78 5.5
6th guide 5.97 28.75 28.75 Distance from tip to 6th guide. 6
28.75

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Re: Proportional guide spacing worksheet
Posted by: Jim Kinkennon (---.hsd1.tn.comcast.net)
Date: May 15, 2017 10:45PM

Proportional guide placement is just one tool to produce the desired effects. As John Giannini of J&M custom tackle has pointed out. Guide type, number, placement, wrap and underwrap length, in addition to many other factors can be used to produce different effects from the same blank. The blank can be tuned differently to best suit different users. Lou Caruso has pointed out how slowing or speeding the action of a blank effects the performance potential versus ease of casting for the same blank. Proportional guide spacing is used for esthetic effect, when the approximate placement of the guides is known. The guides may be in only a slightly different spot, but the effect is strong.

I was honored that Billy Vivona replied to my post. As his designs are so outstanding, I thought I'd reference some ideas that are, so far, beyond me. I simply thought it would be stronger looking if guides were placed, when practicable, proportionately. There are technical questions that must also be considered. But, in rod thread art, esthetics are usually the first consideration. Here's a link to an article about proportion in design which could be useful. It's a little over my head, but people have used these ideas for over 4,000 years to good effect: [www.creativebloq.com]#

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Re: Proportional guide spacing worksheet
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---.hsd1.or.comcast.net)
Date: May 16, 2017 03:35AM

Jim,
Why does the first guide have to be at 3.75 inches? There are an awful lot of factory Sage fly rods out there with a first guide from the tip being in excess of 5 inches.

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Re: Proportional guide spacing worksheet
Posted by: Jim Kinkennon (---.hsd1.tn.comcast.net)
Date: May 16, 2017 08:25AM

The 3.75 was just a number used in Billy Vivona's example of how to simply expand the gap between guides gradually as one travels from the tip towards the butt of a blank. In reality, the builder puts the first guide wherever wanted, and then decides how to space the remaining guides. The example shows that, by making a minor adjustment to guide placement, the appearance can be enhanced without significantly changing the guide function. The difference may be irrelevant, but the human eye can detect some pretty small differences. Proportional placement's useful when it doesn't result in a material change in the placement of a series of guides from whatever method the builder finds best. It's just a minor tweak that can give a stronger appearance. It's a visual design concept. That's all.

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Re: Proportional guide spacing worksheet
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: May 16, 2017 12:39PM

Jim,
When I first started building, I would always place my first guide closer to the tip than the the 2nd guide was to the first guide.

But, after building a few rods, I realized that a lot of blanks are relatively stiff in the first few inches and do not need the first guide so close to the tip.

So, on some rods, I may have the first guide at 5 inches from the tip and then the 2nd guide at 4 inches from the first guide.

It is simply the case of only putting a guide where the blank is bending and is needed to support the flow of the line.

So, when you do your guide layout, don't be locked in to necessarily have a progressively lesser guide spacing as one nears the tip of the rod.

Take care

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Re: Proportional guide spacing worksheet
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 16, 2017 02:18PM

There may be a substantial difference between placing guides for aesthetics and for performance! One can start with any placement system, but should always then do the static testing for final placement.

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Re: Proportional guide spacing worksheet
Posted by: Jim Kinkennon (---.hsd1.tn.comcast.net)
Date: May 16, 2017 04:29PM

roger wilson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Jim,
> When I first started building, I would always
> place my first guide closer to the tip than the
> the 2nd guide was to the first guide.
>
> But, after building a few rods, I realized that a
> lot of blanks are relatively stiff in the first
> few inches and do not need the first guide so
> close to the tip.
>
> So, on some rods, I may have the first guide at 5
> inches from the tip and then the 2nd guide at 4
> inches from the first guide.
>
> It is simply the case of only putting a guide
> where the blank is bending and is needed to
> support the flow of the line.
>
> So, when you do your guide layout, don't be locked
> in to necessarily have a progressively lesser
> guide spacing as one nears the tip of the rod.
>
> Take care

Thanks, Roger. This all seems to make sense. I don't have a problem with it. I do know that it exceeds my engineering knowledge of rod blanks. I don't know if 'stiffness' in a section of the blank is the same thing as 'strength'. I do think that a crucial factor is the overall fragility and power of the blank in question. The Lamiglas GSB1081L I just built is on a blank with a long history of durability and reliability as a surf rod with various guide layouts. Often these rods did fine service with 'too few' guides in the 'wrong places'. On the other hand, some high-end blanks might well be at risk of explosion with a minor insufficiency in guide number, placement or type. I guard my personal rods by underrating the line strength and lure wt. A proper static test and guide placement should certainly give maximum durability.

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Re: Proportional guide spacing worksheet
Posted by: Jim Kinkennon (---.hsd1.tn.comcast.net)
Date: May 16, 2017 04:30PM

Phil Erickson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There may be a substantial difference between
> placing guides for aesthetics and for performance!
> One can start with any placement system, but
> should always then do the static testing for final
> placement.

I would avoid 'always' and 'never'. I'd say 'generally', or 'in most cases'. The static testing best setup result may not give the best casting performance and vice-versa. Finding the best setup for a particular application is an art, as well as a science. I like to space guides proportionally when the difference in static load performance and casting performance is insignificant.

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Re: Proportional guide spacing worksheet
Posted by: David Baylor (---.neo.res.rr.com)
Date: May 17, 2017 08:07AM

I haven't been building long enough, or experimented enough to know if there is a difference in casting performance of a rod with its guides positioned for aesthetic purposes only, (proportionally spaced) and for performance under a load. (static positioning)

My guess is as long as there are enough guides to control the line, and those guides are sized properly, then there is probably very little difference in casting performance between the two placement methods.

With that said, I think there is definitely a difference in under load performance of guides spaced proportionally, and guides spaced using static load for placement. Especially on blanks with slower actions, and lighter powers. If the blank bends well into its mid section, performance under load is going to suffer with proportionally spaced guides. Is the difference in spacing going to be enough to put the blank in jeopardy? Perhaps, perhaps not. Would you be sacrificing some of the blanks power? I'd say most definitely

Since I doubt there is much difference in casting performance between the two spacing methods, and I believe there could be significant difference in under load performance, I'm going to use static load to place my guides.

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Re: Proportional guide spacing worksheet
Posted by: Robert Hummel (---.lightspeed.dybhfl.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 17, 2017 09:21AM

Jim, I have an excel spreadsheet that I got years ago that i use for all my guide spacing or at least an initial starting point. Very easy to use and works great. Since almost all the rods I build are for bottom fishing and i don't worry about casting distance. I believe it works a little different than yours. If you are interested send me an e-mail.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/17/2017 09:22AM by Robert Hummel.

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Re: Proportional guide spacing worksheet
Posted by: Jim Kinkennon (---.hsd1.tn.comcast.net)
Date: May 17, 2017 11:50AM

Robert Hummel Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Jim, I have an excel spreadsheet that I got years
> ago that i use for all my guide spacing or at
> least an initial starting point. Very easy to use
> and works great. Since almost all the rods I
> build are for bottom fishing and i don't worry
> about casting distance. I believe it works a
> little different than yours. If you are
> interested send me an e-mail.

Thanks, Bob. Email sent.

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