honest reliablemade by kiwis

Fishing rod guide development

It is extremely important that the guides used on a fishing rod perform up to the standard required and to this end, they have evolved and improved markedly over the past few years.

4 x guides development(copy)

The evolution of Spinning and Casting rod guides. Oldest design is on the left with the second generation, with ceramic inserts with and without shock ring in the middle, with the most modern design on the right. The "frame height" for the purposes of this article is measured from the foot of the guide to the bottom of the inner ring material.

The guide on the left is a modern design, with a high profile, one piece, double foot, stamped Stainless Steel or Titanium frame and very hard ring inserts. These materials are more robust and can take more punishment than older ceramic guides. They are available with or without a plastic shock ring. This style of frame has a higher frame height than previous designs, flexes more than older designs, controls the line better when casting and is lighter and stronger. These come in sizes from 6mm up to 50mm, are available in different finishes and are suitable for many spinning and casting rods.

BSVLG and SVLG(copy)

scg type guides


This guide is representative of the early Ceramic guides. The frames on these guides were of double foot welded construction, available in black or chrome finish and much more prone to damage than modern designs. The frame height was lower than modern guides, but higher than the older Chrome Wire variety. The centre rings were black or white ceramic and came with a shock ring, as the ceramic inserts were rather fragile and easily damaged. These were also available from 6mm up to 50mm size. In the day, they were used for light to heavy spinning and casting rods.

The guide on the right was available in a much larger ring diameters (from 8mm up to 70mm ), and were made out of welded chromed brass wire. They were available with or without a welded bridge support at the base of the ring. The frame height is substantially lower than the other two designs. It used to be thought that the larger the guide, the bigger the spinning reel you could use. The theory was that the line would be reigned in by the large diameter butt guide.
Chrome wire guide lrg(copy)
Like many theories, this was eventually proven to be incorrect and under high speed photography it was shown that a guide with a higher frame, even though the centre ring was smaller, would perform much better in controlling the line.
See the diagrams below:
Diagram 1.

In this diagram you can see how the high frame guide, although with a smaller centre ring, controls the casting line better than the larger ringed low framed guide.
Diagram 2

Shows the modern "Cone of flight" of the line with high framed guides and smaller centre ring as occurs with a fixed spool spinning reel.
Cone of flight 1(copy)(copy)
Diagram 3

Shows the older traditional "Cone of flight" of the line with low framed guides with large centre rings as occurs with a fixed spool spinning reel.

Cone of flight low frame spin(copy)

The butt guide positioning is critical, no matter what type of rod, and is normally measured from the centre of the reel seat. If it is placed too close to the reel seat, it can constrict the line when casting, but if it is positioned too far away from the reel seat the line can end up getting out of control and slapping the blank. The approximate placement can be worked out with a special formula, but the correct final positioning is done during rod assembly.
Diagram 4

Shows the effect on the line when the right size butt guide is placed the correct distance from the centre of the reel seat. The line is not unduly restricted by the guide or the blank.
Diagram 5

Shows the different effect on the line when it is restricted by the smaller size guide at a closer  placement in relation to the reel seat.

line restriction 2 x rods no txt(copy)(copy)
The guides must control the line during casting and retrieval. The line must not be allowed to make contact with the blank and must distribute the applied forces evenly to the blank without placing undue stress to any single part of the rod.
Diagram 6

Shows that with a guide frame that is too low, the line can contact the blank when the rod is flexed.

Diagram 7

Shows that with a higher framed guide, the line clears the blank when the rod is flexed.

Line slap 2x rods no text(copy)


Blank tapers explained
18-actionillustration The Taper of the blank and the Action of the blank determine the quantity, size and placement of the guides. When the blank flexes over a greater distance, it requires more guides to prevent the line coming into contact with the blank on a casting rod and to give a natural curve for the line to follow on a spinning rod.

The critical places for accurate guide placement are on the blank where it flexes and the initial positioning of the butt guide to control the line during casting and retrieval.
  • An extra fast taper deflects in the top 1/4 of the blank.
  • A fast taper deflects in the top 1/3 of the blank.
  • An medium or moderate taper deflects in the top 1/2 of the blank.
  • An slow taper deflects in the top 1/4 of the blank.
The Roberts Wrap ( spiral wrap )



roberts wrap3

What is commonly referred to overseas as the Roberts Wrap was basically invented to allow the use of an overhead freespool reel with the guides placed underneath the blank for the majority of its length while the spine remains on the top of the blank.

The Butt guide is placed 360mm from the centre of the reel seat at 90deg to the axis of the rod and the 2nd guide is placed in an intermediate position 115mm up from the butt guide. The 3rd guide is a further 230mm up the blank and at 180 deg from the axis of the blank.

All the further guides are positioned underneath the blank. Best practice must be used in the positioning of the guides to ensure correct line flow under load without creating any unwanted stress points.

btn login facebook small   Follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/roluxfishingrods 

Contact us
Privacy Policy