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Old 06-20-2014, 11:26 AM
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Default Ceramic one foot guides

Why haven't the rod makers switched over to ceramic one foot guides to replace the old SS snake guides...35 years ago, I built up a 4wt Scott blank with ceramic one foot guides and am still using that rod today. There is less wear on the flylines and less guide weight overall, (about half) and only one thread wrap instead of two per guide. Logic should dictate action...but I haven't seen it used anywhere.

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Old 06-20-2014, 11:37 AM
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Default Re: Ceramic one foot guides

Imho single foot guides are down right ugly and I know I'm not the only one that feels this way. It's actually what's holding me back from buying one of those new glass rods offered by Green Caddis Outfitters.
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:39 AM
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Default Re: Ceramic one foot guides

If I had to guess, it would be two things: expense and 'it's not traditional'.

I've heard custom rod builders say that their clients sometimes want the 'traditional' snake guides.

Top-of-the-line ceramic guides from Fuji cost about $80 per set - a lot more than most snake guides.

I used the Fuji guides on two rods I built. Everything you say is true. They're better in every way, but do cost more.
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:10 AM
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Default Re: Ceramic one foot guides

Weight em.... Yes the single wrap and finish will weight slightly less than two wraps, but we are talking splitting hairs.... probably less than a gram over the entire length of the rod. Single foot guides without the insert weight the same as a snake. Plus you have the added weight of the ceramic insert. I would like to see somebody do a blind test, with single vs. snake guides, for both weight and rod sensitivity. I am betting the results would be 50/50. And in my personal opinion they look butt ugly on a fly rod. Never had a customer ask for them yet. If I do get a customer who wants single foot guides on a Bamboo rod, I'll definately send them to another builder. Breaks with my traditional style.

Maybe, just maybe on a heavy weight rod they might help with line wear and friction when fighting really big fish, but for a lighter weight rod... not so much.

I have yet to wear out a fly line with snake guides. Guess I don't get to fish enough

Pete
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:34 AM
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Default Re: Ceramic one foot guides

Obviously, I wasn't going for 'traditional' when I built this rod.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

It's an 11' 3 wt rod.
The guides are "Fuji Silicon Carbide Concept Guides with Titanium Metal frames".
Because of the rod length I wanted a grip that could be held in more than one place. This grip is 12" long and carbon.

I get a few comments on it.

When someone says "What's that?", I can't always tell whether he means,

"Gee, that's a nice rod. What is it?"
or
"What the hell is that?"

That's especially true when I'm in an FFO area.
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Old 06-23-2014, 06:43 PM
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Default Re: Ceramic one foot guides

I don't buy the weight argument, may be some difference but I'd be shocked if someone could notice. Actually a builder on another forum weighed a rod each step of the way to see how much wraps, finish etc added. Don't think the extra wraps made much difference at all.

Some people like single foots, some don't. I don't but think it is a personal preference. I do my builds with snake brand guides - like the look and the experience wrapping them better than single foots.
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Old 08-08-2014, 02:37 PM
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Default Re: Ceramic one foot guides

Quote:
Originally Posted by petee View Post
Weight em.... Yes the single wrap and finish will weight slightly less than two wraps, but we are talking splitting hairs.... probably less than a gram over the entire length of the rod. Single foot guides without the insert weight the same as a snake. Plus you have the added weight of the ceramic insert. I would like to see somebody do a blind test, with single vs. snake guides, for both weight and rod sensitivity. I am betting the results would be 50/50. And in my personal opinion they look butt ugly on a fly rod. Never had a customer ask for them yet. If I do get a customer who wants single foot guides on a Bamboo rod, I'll definately send them to another builder. Breaks with my traditional style.

Maybe, just maybe on a heavy weight rod they might help with line wear and friction when fighting really big fish, but for a lighter weight rod... not so much.

I have yet to wear out a fly line with snake guides. Guess I don't get to fish enough

Pete
don't forget you have to weigh the extra thread to wrap the second foot on the snake guide. Also, every place you wrap with thread, you loose flexibility. Its not much but it is noticeable if you were to use the same blank with two different feet.
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:10 PM
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Default Re: Ceramic one foot guides

Quote:
Originally Posted by tex View Post
don't forget you have to weigh the extra thread to wrap the second foot on the snake guide. Also, every place you wrap with thread, you loose flexibility. Its not much but it is noticeable if you were to use the same blank with two different feet.
I've not built the same blank with different guides to test them. Did you weigh the rods after building them? If the difference is noticeable, I'd be interested to know the difference in weight between a rod with snake guides and an identical blank with single foots. Would particularly be interested in the weight of the top half of the blank since weight differences would probably matter the most near the tip.

Check out this link (don't usually link to other forums, but it is a great thread). He is building a float rod but weighs each step and component including thread and finish. Interesting to see how little a coat of finish adds to the weight of the rod. Would love to know the weights on your identical blanks if you have a chance.
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:32 PM
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Default Re: Ceramic one foot guides

My opinion is that the advantages of a ring type guide over a snake guide is that it keeps the fly line from slapping against the rod blank on the forward cast. This "stand off" from the blank reduces frictional losses, when shooting line.

Whether this is enough to compensate for the additional weight, I am not sure. I have been told that snake guides weigh less than single footed guides.

Weight seems to be not that great an issue for the rod companies that put two stripping guides on a rod when only one is really needed to "gather" the line during the shoot.
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Old 08-09-2014, 06:22 AM
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Default Re: Ceramic one foot guides

Another data point in this discussion.

I have two Sage ZXL 8' 2 wt rods.
One is a factory-built rod. It has two-foot snake guides.
The other was built from a blank. It has single-foot guides. Wire, not ceramic.

I weighed them.

The factory rod weighs 76 grams; the rod built from a blank weighs 65 grams.
However, most of the difference is in the butt section. That section has no guides on either rod. Factory - 57 grams; blank - 48 grams.

The total weight of the three sections with the guides differs by only two grams. Factory - 19 grams; blank - 17 grams.

Looking at the butt sections, it's pretty easy to see where the weight difference is. There's more epoxy on the factory rod. More over the Sage logo - the logo takes up more room on a factory rod vs the blank. More on the hook keeper wraps.

There's more epoxy on the upper sections, too. There has to be to hold two guide feet rather than one.

So, how do they feel? Quite similar, as you'd expect. I tried them both, using the same reel/line. I really can feel the weight difference at the end of an 8-hour fishing day. Would I see much difference on a shorter day? Probably not so much.
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Last edited by plecain; 08-10-2014 at 02:10 PM.
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