3 pages of Snake Guides Effect on Casting and Fishing
Rod makers, whether bamboo builders, or companies like Sage, Loomis, Winston, Scott etc. have a hell of a lot more time and money invested in their designs of rods including the number of, and size of guides, than any self proclaimed expert rod builder like Fox, or others that feel you need more than the standard 10 guides on the 9' fly rod. Like nobody's ever thought of that in the past!
Keep your fly line clean and lubricate it, it'll shoot a lot farther than you've been used to. Follow blank manufacturers recomendations as to spacing and sizing and forget the rest. If you really want to tweak the placements, tape the guides on the recomended places, tie a string to the tip top and tie some weight on the string. Run the flyline thru the guides and check the spacing when you raise the rod and the weight puts the bend in the rod. You'll find very little adjustment is necessary. Does this static guide spacing really make a difference? Is the factory spacings just as good? When you're fishing it really going to make a difference?
Just like finding the spine on a blank, spine up, spine down- are we really that good of casters to really notice? I really doubt it.
The shape of the grip, and the correct action of the rod and the line that is matched to that rod, is a lot more important to me then worring about the effects of guide spacing. Let the blank manufacturers worry about that. It ain't broke, so it doesn't need to be fixed.