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Part Eight

  • Montaje de una caña de grafito

  • Guide Preparation

    by Al Campbell

    Hopefully, you've already purchased the guides you want to use. Just in case you're not there yet, I'll review the choices for you.

    Guide Choices

    First, there is the traditional guides you see on most fly rods. These guides have two feet and consist of one or two stripper guides (ceramic guides closest to the reel) and snake guides (wire guides farthest from the handle). If you're looking for the traditional look, these are the guides for you.

    Next, you could use single foot guides. I usually use single foot strippers like the ones you might find on a spinning rod. The rest of the single foot guides are wire snake guides (made by Pacific Bay). These guides are lighter and require less thread and finish than traditional guide sets.

    Finally, you could use single foot ceramic fly rod guides. These guides are unlikely to wear out and usually provide more casting distance than traditional or single foot wire guides. They also r equire less thread wraps and finish, so the rod will be lighter and have a lighter action than rods built with traditional guides.

    Ceramic Guides

    After you've selected the type of guides you want to use, you need to select the size of guides you'll be using. Some people like to use over-sized guides on larger rods, but this isn't always necessary. If you purchased a kit, the guides will be selected for you; if not, you'll need to select the right size and number of guides for your new rod.

    For size, I usually use size 12 and 10 stripper guides, and sizes 4, 3, 2, and 1 snake guides. Depending on the type and size of rod you're building, you might need to alter this size range by one size, but for 90% of the rods you'll be building, this is a good size range. I never use an over-sized tip-top unless it is requested by the customer. I feel over-sized tip-tops look out of place on the rod, and usually create a slight loss of control by failing to direct the line to the target properly.

    Listed below is the number and sizes of guides I use on most fly rods. You might want to change this a bit, but for most rods I've found it to be a good range to work with:

    Guide Numbers

    Most guides need some preparation before they are ready to use. If your guides were delivered with the feet already filed, you are blessed. Usually the guide feet must be filed on the ends so the thread can work its way up the guide foot without gaps or skipping. If you use guides without filing the feet, you're likely to have spaces in the thread or a tendency for the thread to start wrapping back on itself when it reaches the guide foot. Neither of the above possibilities is acceptable if you want a good looking rod with secure guides.

    To file the guide feet, clamp the guide in a hemostat or similar device. This will give you a firm grip on the guide while filing. Using a small, fine tooth file, carefully file the end of each guide foot. You want the foot to have a smooth transition from the tip to the main shaft of the foot. Make sure all of the edges are rounded and smooth and no burrs are present. Don't forget to check and prepare the hook keeper. The same rules apply to the hook keeper.

    Guide Filing

    If you use a rotary tool to sand the feet, be careful not to sand too much or get the foot too hot. Keep in mind the guide and hook keeper feet are thin and overheat easily. Be sure to use a hand file to remove any burrs caused by the rotary tool.

    Next, you need to check the guide foot for straightness.



    If the foot curves up (away from the blank) or arches on the blank, you will need to straighten it with a pair of small pliers.


    If at all possible, the guide should rest on the blank the entire length of the foot. If you find this impossible, a slight (very slight) arch is acceptable but not optimum.

    Now that you have the guides ready to install on the rod blank, arrange them on a flat surface in the order they will go on the rod. Remember to add the hook keeper and tip-top to this set. Next time we'll mark the blank and install the guides on the blank. ~ Al Campbell

    [ Part 1 ] [ Part 2 ] [ Part 3 ] [ Part 4 ] [ Part 5 ] [ Part 6 ]
    [Part 7] [Part 8] [Part 9] [Part 10] [Part 11] [Part 12]

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