Choosing Guide groups for the perfect reduction train


Originally posted on 8/2/2016

KW Double-Foot Guide: Graphing published guide heights is an easy and fast way to choose a guide train before you ever place an order

In the world of guide layouts there is no question that the single biggest stumbling block for most new builders and many experienced ones is getting from the stripper to the choke guide with the proper number, size and height of “reduction guides”. I would even venture a guess that most rod builders who still tout the advantages of a “Cone of Flight” layout are, in many cases, a little unsure of exactly what they need to do to update their thinking. That uncertainty almost always comes back around to the the reduction train.

For those of us who live every day with the New Guide Concept it becomes so easy we lose touch with the possibility that anyone could be confused by something so simple. However, one glance at the shear volume of information makes the confusion easier to understand.

We (Anglers Resource) are as guilty as anyone. In an effort to offer all the secrets of a truly magnificent finished rod, we tend to split hairs to help the true “addicts” who crave all the technical information they can get. But, like so many other endeavors, it’s not as hard as it seems. In fact, if you’ll follow the guidelines outlined here, you can not only save money, you can layout a great rod in 10 or 15 minutes.

For purposes of illustrating this technique we have used the double-foot, K-Series “KW”  guide. Using a piece of graph paper, and the height information in our catalog as a reference, draw a sloping line across the paper and use the tick marks on the graph paper as millimeters for scale. The angle of the line is not important, what we are looking for in this diagram is the distance relationship the guides have to one another when spaced along the angle BY HEIGHT.

The picture that emerges here is not what most folks imagine when they begin this experiment. Fuji does not offer guides that are progressively shorter with smaller and smaller rings that are equally spaced along the slope.

Instead, Fuji tends to “group” guides according to their suggested use a the “stripper”, second reducer, third reducer and so on. As guides get shorter and rings get smaller it’s more difficult to pick out “groups’ but they are there.

Obviously the 50 and 40 are in a different group than the 40L, 30, 30L and 25. The 25 would likely be the smallest stripper choice for a KW guide train. Below that it would be best to move to the KR Concept designed for smaller strippers.

So, how do you choose a group? If you cast lighter line, say 15lb braid or 8lb mono, choose a smaller ring…the 25. If you cast 30lb braid or 17b mono (stiffer lines)…choose the 30. Most fishermen fall in between, around 20b braid and 10-12lb mono. If you are in this group choose the size 30L.

Always choose the smallest guide that will work because your ultimate goal is to reduce the final weight of the finished rod and make it MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE TO FISH. This is the ultimate goal of the New Guide Concept – great performance at reduced weight.

Next will be figuring out the rest of the guides (you’ve determined your stripper size) and while most would consider this the most difficult part of the job, you can do it quickly from the reference you’ve charted. Study the graphic representation and choose guides that space properly along the slope. The New Guide Concept calls for a “bullseye” of concentrically smaller rings to reduce the line coil down to the blank. This happens “automatically” if you choose guides that are equally spaced along the graph slope.

This method works for any Fuji guide model offered in sizes large enough to be considered as strippers for spinning rods.

The New Guide Concept and the newer KR Concept offer specific recommendations for how far the stripper falls from the tip of the spool axle and how far beyond that the choke guide should be placed.  If you would like the short version, in about 95% of layouts, the stripper will end up between 19 and 24 inches from the front of the reel spool and the choke point will be an equal distance from the stripper (give or take a few inches). Assuming you have the seat installed before finalizing your layout, simply add the reel, make the measurement and tape the stripper in position. For smaller reels try the closer distance in the range…say 19-inches. For larger reels or bigger spools – push the stripper further away.

Get that library started for fast, EASY reduction train choices in the future.