Here is a question from Volume 6, Issue #2 of RodMaker
I've started paying very close attention to grinding
my guide feet, in hopes of having very few occasions
where the epoxy cracks right near the toe of the
guide. I grind the guide feet to a long shallow angle
and I grind them to be quite narrow. Further, I've
gone to a slightly higher thread tension (understanding
the danger of possibly breaking a flank) and I make sure
to completely fill the "tunnels" on either side of the
guide with epoxy.
Here's my question. On some Fuji guides, there are little
flares that stick out on either side of the guide foot.
They're about half-way up the guide foot. In my effort
to narrow guide foot is it helpful or hurtful to go ahead
and grind those off? I've done it both ways, but haven't
fished any of the rods long enough to know how the guides
will react. Andy, Siloam Springs, AR
In theory, a wider or flared foot provides more surface
area between the guide and the blank, also more contact
area between the foot and the thread. So again in theory,
this all combines to make a more stable and secure fastening
of the guide to the blank.
But in reality we find that it makes little difference.
The contour of the foot underside rarely matches that of
the blank, so the actual contact area between guide and
blank amounts to a very narrow line right down the center
of the guide foot underside. Grinding off the additional
width doesn't seem to undermine guide stability in the
least. In fact, during our tests for the article we did on
the use of color preservers, we found that the number one
thing that created a stable guide was having either color
preserver or epoxy rod wrapping finish completely filling
in the tunnels alongside the guide foot and providing a sort
of shoulder for the guide to rest upon and against. Guides
finished in this manner could withstand roughly 2 to 3 times
the sideways pressure than those that did not have this
build-up could withstand.
In terms of guide stability, the most important thing
you can do is make sure your guides sit absolutely flat
upon the blank. You do this by bending and flattening the
feet. One of the best tricks I've utilized is to run the
guide bottoms along an appropriately sized chainsaw file
to help the underfoot take on the same contour as that of the
blank where the guide will ultimately reside. Chainsaw files
are available in several sizes and aren't very expensive.
Consider investing in a set.
It's also imperative that you make sure you get plenty
of wrap finish or color preserver in those tunnels that
run alongside the guide feet and blank. As mentioned
before, this makes a world of difference in terms of
If removing that extra width or flare makes for a neater
wrap and less of a tunnel alongside the guide (the smaller
this tunnel is the easier it will be to fill in), I'd go
right ahead. In fact, I've been doing so for 20 years or
more and guide stability hasn't been a problem.
~ Tom Kirkman
If you have any tips or techniques, send them
along! Help out your fellow rodmakers!
~ Publisher, FAOL