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Fly Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Jeff Horan (---.nys.biz.rr.com)
Date: January 10, 2018 09:37AM

Hi all,
I'm finally ready to start making purchases to build my first rod. I've been lurking on this site for a little bit and appreciate all of the information that has been shared. I'm also a bit of a research junky, and the engineer in me needs to understand how things work before I make up my mind. So perhaps I'm on information overload at this point. So my plan is to built a 6'6" 2wt carbon fly rod. My question is with the snake guides, how do I determine how many I need and what size? I have seen charts and I've looked at kits to see what they come with, I guess over all how do they affect the performance of the rod and are there any general rules of thumb?
Thanks in advance,
Jeff

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Re: Fly Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Michael Blomme (---.spok.qwest.net)
Date: January 10, 2018 11:51AM

Good Morning Jeff,

If you look on the right side of the page for this forum, you will see a Library button. Open the library and down near the bottom you will see an article called Static Distribution. This article will explain how to place the guides.

As for the number of guides, that is determined by the length of the rod. If it is 7 feet, then you will need either 7 or perhaps 8 guides. I have found that the stripping (butt) guide position is determined by holding the rod in your right hand as if you are about to cast it and then hold the rod against your side (your ribs). Now reach up with your other hand as far as you can and make a park on the rod. I usually have a small piece of blue painter's tape in my hand and place the tape on the rod. This is the starting point. When yo do some test casting when you have all of the guides taped to the rod, you can move the stripping guide and inch forward to the tip and then an inch closer to the butt and see if you get any better distance. This method was taught to me by a custom rod builder in the 1960s and I have used it for fifty years. There may be better ways, but this has worked for me. Good luck with your project.

Sincerely,

Mike Blomme

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Re: Fly Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Eugene Moore (---.dhcp.stls.mo.charter.com)
Date: January 10, 2018 12:46PM

Jeff,
I would use 7 guides spaced as follows

Distance from tip

3.8 ; 8.4 ; 14.2 ; 21.4 ; 30.3 ; 41.4 ; 55.2

Light wire #1 single foot titanium for tip 3 guides
Light wire #2 titanium snake
#3 light wire snake
#4 std wire snake
#10 alox double foot stripper

A 2 weight. Where are you pursuing the butterflies ? Sounds like a Smoky mountain stream rig.

Gene

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Re: Fly Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Jeff Horan (---.nys.biz.rr.com)
Date: January 10, 2018 02:17PM

9 mile creek in Central New York. It has a lot of tight areas and a bunch of small browns. Its a great creek but most areas are have two much over hang to be able to cast my 9ft 6wt

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Re: Fly Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Bill Hickey (---.nycap.res.rr.com)
Date: January 10, 2018 03:00PM

Jeff
I use the same method of guide placement as M Blomme does, plus the static test. You can use a chart as a start point, taping the guides on then doing the static test, moving guides as needed so the fly line follows the curve of the blank. Typically 3.75 to 4 inches down from the tip is the last guide before tip top. Stripper, use the method Mike stated. Rest go in between using static method.

As for guides, #8 for stripper, followed by a #1 Snake then 1/0 all the way out. Keep the changes in guide size to 3 max, your looking for straightest line path. Also, use Snake Brand Universals or Originals, there is not a better guide on the market, plus the feet need very little prep work if any in some cases. They will cost more, but they are good. Anglers Workshop carries them.

I know your piece of water, nice little river.

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Re: Fly Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Ron Weber (---.tc.ph.cox.net)
Date: January 10, 2018 03:13PM

I am pretty close to Bills, a #8 stripper, then a 2, then 1/0 the rest of the way out. I would start with 7 and static test with the option of going with an 8th guide

Ron Weber

Southwest Custom Rods

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Re: Fly Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---.lightspeed.lsvlky.sbcglobal.net)
Date: January 10, 2018 04:48PM

Jeff

Good advice above. A few additional thoughts:

- Snake Brand now has its Universal guides available in light wire with ECOating, which is definitely what you want for a 2 weight.
- Snake Brand's Universal snakes are easier to wrap than the Originals.
- Blank manufacturers or retailers frequently publish suggested guide locations. Use them as a starting place then adjust as static load testing dictates.

And while you did not ask, permit me to clear my conscience and ask are you certain about the 2 weight thing? A 6' 6" 2 weight can be a ton of fun, and I fish a 2 weight from time to time. But, (there is always a but) 1 and 2 weights are very limited in terms of their applicability. It takes not so much of a breeze to destroy a cast, and it takes not so much of a fish to require an extended fight, which is not sporting. So, if your intended venue, flies, and targeted fish are within the reasonable expectations for a 2 weight, go for it.

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Re: Fly Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.bhn.net)
Date: January 10, 2018 05:58PM

If your purpose in using a 2 wt. is to be more sporting you could use a #1 tippet on a 4 wt., but you would still be equipped to fish a greater number of waters where there are bigger fish and more room to cast - like Factory Brook.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/2018 05:59PM by Phil Ewanicki.

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Re: Fly Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Jeff Horan (---.syrcny.ftas.verizon.net)
Date: January 10, 2018 07:17PM

There has been a ton of great information here and I really appreciate everyone’s help and taking time to share their experience.
I really like the static guide spacing method it makes sense to tweak the spacing to the rod. It seems like this will account for manufacturing tolerances.
As for why a 6’6” 2 wt, it’s a combination of factors. First I have a longer rod and I want something shorter, preferably no longer than 7’6” because of where I jntedn to fish this rod. The stretch of 9 mile I like to hit is very tight and a lot of over hang. I can’t make a full speed cast and typically cast side arm. So lengthbis a driving factor.
Second, this is my first rod build. The company that has a blank that meets my length and price requirements goes from 7’9” 3 wt to 6’6” 2 wt. the 7’9” is a little longer.
Once I build one and know for a fact that this is a hobby that fits my lifestyle at this point I’ll build different rods at a higher price point.

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Re: Fly Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.bhn.net)
Date: January 10, 2018 08:00PM

Have you perfected your roll cast? I have often fished with an 8' fly rod at the other end of the lake in Spafford Creek. Most of my casting consisted of "flip casts" (no back cast) and roll casts. The extra 18" length of my fly rod was usually more help than hindrance. Say "Hi" to Ron Redneckski if you run into him.

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Re: Fly Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.bhn.net)
Date: January 10, 2018 08:00PM

Have you perfected your roll cast? I have often fished with an 8' fly rod at the other end of the lake in Spafford Creek. Most of my casting consisted of "flip casts" (no back cast) and roll casts. The extra 18" length of my fly rod was usually more help than hindrance. Say "Hi" to Ron Redneckski if you run into him.

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Re: Fly Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Jeff Horan (---.syrcny.ftas.verizon.net)
Date: January 10, 2018 08:09PM

I’ll admit some of it is a mental block with the length. I wouldn’t say that I have a “perfect” role cast, but it’s pretty darn good when I can cast full speed and I’m not slowing it down to prevent over shooting and landing my fly on the opposite bank. I’m going to double back and rethink the 7’9” 3 wt

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Re: Fly Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Bill Hickey (---.nycap.res.rr.com)
Date: January 11, 2018 08:56AM

If you havn't really made your mind up on a blank, you might consider Fiberglass instead of a Carbon one, in my opinion, Glass is much more versatile for small stream work. Something in the 7 to 7-9 length for a 3 or 4wt, I'd lean more on the 4wt, small browns will still bend them deep, but you can use a small streamer with it too if needed. The 3wts are better geared as dry/wet fly sticks. Glass will roll cast much better than Carbon, especially in the shorter lengths.

There are plenty of decent import Glass blanks to high end USA, New Zealand made stuff that will suit your needs.

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Re: Fly Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Eugene Moore (---.dhcp.stls.mo.charter.com)
Date: January 11, 2018 12:12PM

Jeff,
Pickup a 6'6" to 7' ultra light spinning rod blank.
Build your fly rod and try various fly line weights.
Should be a 4-5 weight. This handles wind better and is more flexible for fishing conditions.

Gene

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Re: Fly Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Eugene Moore (---.dhcp.stls.mo.charter.com)
Date: January 11, 2018 12:12PM

Jeff,
Pickup a 6'6" to 7' ultra light spinning rod blank.
Build your fly rod and try various fly line weights.
Should be a 4-5 weight. This handles wind better and is more flexible for fishing conditions.

Gene

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Re: Fly Rod Guide Spacing
Posted by: Jeff Horan (---.sub-70-209-140.myvzw.com)
Date: January 11, 2018 03:58PM

Bill,
I love the thought of a glass rod and that is on my list.
Gene,
A spinning blank? Will it really respond well in a fly application?

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