Stiffen or Soften?

By Tom Kirkman, (RodMaker Magazine)

Here's a question from the July/August 1998 issue of RodMaker magazine:

"I am in the process of building a light-power rod for a customer and cannot convince him that the use of double foot guides will significantly stiffen the rod. He wanted the double footed guides for durability reasons. Just how much is a rod stiffened by the use of such guides? Joseph . . .Cranston, RI.

RodMaker Magazine

Contrary to popular belief, the use of any guides, single or double footed, will soften a rod, not stiffen it. With a double footed guide you may indeed stiffen that tiny area between the guide feet but this makes up such a small area of overall rod length that any stiffening effect is negligible. What is significant however, is the additional weight added by guides of any type. Prove it to yourself. Take a bare blank and holding it at the butt end give it a good shake. Now securely tape the guides you plan to use onto the blank and shake it again in the same manner. Surprised? The blank will now deflect further and dampen more slowly than before due to the extra weight of the guides.

If you wish to preserve the orginal feel of a blank as closely as possible, it is vitally important to use the very lightest guides that will still offer the necessary durability for the job the rod is asked to do. ~ Tom Kirkman

Publishers note:

If you have any tips or techniques, send them along! Help out your fellow rodmakers! ~ Publisher, FAOL

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