Breakthroughs are often defined as a new combination of existing ideas, and there’s no question that Fuji® engineers and designers knocked it out of the park when, over a decade ago, they experimentally combined a variety of guides and tops that resulted in some of the best performing rods anyone had ever seen.
Those myth-shattering results drove the development of the “Concept Guide System™”, a unique combination of Fuji-born features that have reshaped the industry and filtered not only into many Fuji® product offerings, but also into a myriad of “me too” products that are not specifically designed to take advantage of Fuji’s proprietary innovations.
The “Concept Guide System™”, referred to as the ”New Guide Concept” (or NGC) changed the way many rods were built, and led to a host of information that resulted in not only a wide variety of Fuji® Concept Guides, but also to the development of Fuji’s new “K-Series” guides, and most recently the evolution of the NGC into a further refined ”KR Micro Concept”.
Fuji’s original NGC discussed two major goals in build layouts. First, improve the overall performance of the rod and second, do so with the smallest possible guides that would accomplish the angling goal at hand (smaller guides, researchers believed, would reduce tip section weight and improve rod dynamics, recovery, speed etc.).
Fuji’s pioneering work resulted in some radical new thinking for researchers. Suddenly, because smaller guides were suggested, rods needed to carry at least one and sometimes two additional guides. In addition, particular attention needed to be paid to the reduction train of spinning rods since such a large portion of the rod’s performance centered on how effectively line was managed as it uncoiled at lightening speed from the spool of a spinning reel. As the theory progressed, it became apparent that there were major benefits to the new ”concept”.
Additional guides INCREASE casting distance.
Guide rings are far more slippery than rod blanks. The real culprit in robbing distance is line slapping the rod on the cast. More guides hold the line away from the blank and casting distance improves dramatically.
Guides are largely responsible for a rod’s sensitivity.
Additional guides add “contact points” along the rod that transmit information. Amplifying these signals with more contact points makes subtle strikes easier to detect. Smaller, lower guides are closer to the blank and transmit more of these subtle vibrations.
More guides INCREASE rod power.
Additional guides help the line track the curve of the rod precisely and allow the angler to use more of the energy stored in the bend for better hook sets and more fighting power. Guides located further apart create a ”bowstring effect” that negates portions of the rod’s power.
More guides REDUCE line twist.
In spinning applications more guides create a slighter angle between guides, reducing the tendency for twists to push forward toward the lure.
SMALLER rings perform better than larger rings.
Because line traveling along the rod through smaller rings is better controlled, smaller rings actually improve line flow and result in longer casting distance, less torque and more accuracy.
More guides DECREASE the need for taller framed running guides.
In the past, taller frames were used in tip sections to lift the line away from the blank. More guides in the tip section eliminates the need to do this, allowing a low profile rod with less wind resistance and lower torque. Torque is the tendency for taller casting guides to try to twist the rod sideways under load. Torque, when loading the rod on a cast, has a significant effect on accuracy. Less torque means better accuracy.
TO FULLY REALIZE THE BENEFITS OF THE NGC FOR TIP SECTION LAYOUTS, PLEASE VISIT OUT STATIC LOAD TUTORIAL.
The Second Challenge
Fuji ”broke the code” for smaller, lighter tip section layouts that showed a vast improvement over conventional layouts, but they still had one major hurdle to overcome - the question of how to better manage the line as it flew in chaotic coils from the spool of a spinning rod.
To address the issue, engineers noted two characteristics of all spinning rods that they could work from. First, spinning reel bodies angled upward toward the blank (called ”upsweep”, it is measured in degrees of angle). Theoretically, line coming from the spool would cross the blank even if no guides were present. Second, the diameter of the spool represented the maximum width of the line coil coming from the spool on a cast. That coil must be managed down to ”zero” at the crossing point predicted by the angle of the upsweep. The triangle formed by line coil and the angle could predict which guides would best manage the line and allow it to flow smoothly to the tip section guides. The illustration below shows these relationships and the problems ultimately solved by the New Guide Concept.
NGC guides produced by Fuji are designed to be of the proper ring size when guides of proper height are selected for a point on the upsweep axis. For example: 19 inches from the spool axle tip the centerline of the triangle might measure 44 mm off the blank. This height would be matched by a K-Series KL guide with a 25mm ring. All Fuji Reduction Guides are designed to be of sufficient ring size at a given height to allow for excellent performance. Based on upsweep information, Fuji guides will ”automatically” position themselves in the reduction train for any blank. Builders will have options and should choose the final layout they desitre. For example: Based on calculated upsweep, there may be five guides of a particular frame design that will position themselves in the reduction guide train. The builder must experiment with the different heights and sizes to see which guides create the most efficient reduction train.
NOTE: Anglers Resource has created a new proprietary Guide Placement Software available on our web site. This software can generate exact placement based on measurements from the reel that you can enter to determine a precise upsweep angle for any reel. Click here to visit GPS!
RECOGNIZING A ”CONCEPT” GUIDE
Fuji redefined component technology with the advent of ”concept ” guides. These guides must fulfill the parameters of the New Guide Concept and be lighter, stronger and smaller than traditional guides. Fuji’s efforts resulted in new technologies that have changed the entire industry. Concept guides can be recognized by many characteristics including:
All of the above design improvements were developed by Fuji to support what was learned from experiments with the New Guide Concept. Each innovation was targeted to satisfy and enhance performance in a particular area of the guide train. Each was refined and improved until it made the most substantial contribution possible to the overall performance of the rod. Many companies have imitated Fuji’s original designs, often without a full understanding of the synergies in the design and often without a working knowledge of the original concept. Fuji remains the only component manufacturer with the research and development resources and manufacturing capacity to create products that are exactly matched to the performance goals set forth in the New Guide Concept, still the most widely accepted rod building concept worldwide.
1) NO-WELD construction
Concept Guides™ are stamped from a single sheet of high-grade, corrosion resistant stainless steel and sent through a series of 20 shaping molds to attain their final form. This series of micro-bends assures no compromise in tensile strength, better recovery, proper hardness and lighter weight.
|| 2) DEEP PRESSED design
Concept Guides™ feature a super-strong ring housing first introduced by Fuji® that offers unmatched protection to the ring. The housing is similar to a shallow bowl with no bottom. The ring presses into the open “bottom” of the bowl and the edge of the bowl “wraps” to protect the outside of the ring. The result is a ring that is fully seated, more enclosed and totally protected by the frame. Best of all, the Deep Pressed design is lighter than previous ring housings. Because of Fuji’s development of the smaller diameter ”J” Ring and materials like Alconite®, The ring of Fuji guides is almost completely housed by the deep pressed frame and offers protection superior to other ”locking rings” using wider diameter rings.
The development of the Deep Pressed ring housing provided a level of protection that makes a thinner ring perform as well as its bulkier predecessor. The result is a smaller frame that offers a larger ring opening with no compromise in strength and a substantial weight reduction as well.
|| 4) HIGHER BRACE contact
A few millimeters of elevation in the point where the brace attaches to the ring frame provides a huge difference in performance. Not only does this modification improve overall strength, it sheds most tangles in braided line AS THEY FORM. This design innovation is the forerunner of Fuji’s TANGLE FREE™ K-Series™ Guides.
90-DEGREE BRACE SPIRAL
Other stamped guides feature braces that butt the ring frame with the wide, flat portion of the brace. Fuji® Concept Guides™ feature a brace that spirals 90-degrees before it contacts the frame, putting the much stronger vertical portion of the brace against the ring frame.