ROD BUILDING TIPS
Simulating The Effect of Guides on Rod Action

By Joseph A. Kissane

I have developed a method to estimate the effect of the number, spacing, and wraps of guides on the action of a fl rod blank. There are numerous tables on the web and in books on guide spacing, and regardless of what you use, it stands to reason that you may have to modify the spacing because of the placement of ferrules (if you're using a 4 piece blank and your table was set up for 2 and 3 pieces, or if you've found a 5 or 7 piece blank.)

With new graphite blanks, it is a good practice to limit the number of times you assemble and disassemble rod blanks. Typically the ferrules are nearly unreinforced, and a band of wrapping and flex coat will be recommended at the female end of each ferrule to reinforce it - it will add strength and reduce the chances of splitting. But to find the rod's overall spine (the direction of preferentail flexure inherent in any non-uniform rod blank), and to see what the overall action is, you should carefully assemble the parts, without overtightening the blank at the unions.

The major factor is likely to be the wraps, rather than the guides, as the guides are not major weight factors, compared to the weight of the wraps and flex coat. Several things can be used to simulate the effects of wraps and guides on the rod's action. Use the tables, or estimate the placement locations using a similar rod as a reference to start from. Then use rubber bands or masking tape wraps (that can be a problem if they leave gluey residue - so clean the rod up afterwards). By varying the number of wraps of tape, or the size of rubber bands, you can demonstrate to yourself the effect of the spacing, number, and the size and thickness of flex coat can have on varying the action of a rod. There are no equations here - you will have to tinker around a bit, but this is one way you can keep from being surprised at how severely adding an extra guide, or a lot of ornate wrapping can change a rod's action. ~ Joseph A. Kissane

Publishers note:

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

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