GPS: Reel Measurement VS 27X


Originally posted on 12/13/2011

There has been some discussion lately about the relationship between Measured Upsweep and 27X and Tom Kirkman has, as he should, suggested that 27X is usually best for a variety of reasons. Tom developed 27X and his position is both expected and respected. 27X is, in fact, a big part of the inspiration for developing the GPS software. GPS automates the ”upsweep angle on the table edge” outlined in Tom‘s original work. Tom and I collaborated on the original idea of GPS and we are in 100% agreement on the importance of guides being positioned along the resultant line from the spool to the choke point. The only fork in our thinking occurs in a discussion of how to locate a choke point.

Tom’s original work strives for a methodology that solves the choke point puzzle on a large scale and allows builders to get on with the business of building the rod. Such a method makes perfect sense, and removes a rather tedious extra step from the whole building process (reel measurement). This allows custom rod builders to maintain an efficient and profitable work flow.

In our extensive search of Fuji’s New Guide Concept, we found that 27X was an excellent and practical application of the ideas put forth by Fuji engineers many years ago. However, the fact remained that 27X gave little play to reel spool angle and its contribution to overall rod performance.

Still, there are many technically oriented builders out there who we believed would appreciate a method for determining upsweep and it’s resulting impact on choke point location. We believed that if we provided the software and the proper support, people would choose for themselves the importance of ”upsweep” in various layouts.

Obviously, Angler Resource’s based its research on Fuji’s original work. For that reason, we chose to offer a technique for determining and working with spool axis angle . The fact remains that a spinning reel’s angled spool axis, when projected, INTERSECTS the blank at a single, definable point. Paying attention to where that point is creates a reduction train that ”manages” what already wants to happen, resulting in less energy lost on changing the line path and more energy used in the work of casting the lure.

GPS strives to do this by placing guides in this critical, computed line path and reducing the diameter of the line coil as quickly and efficiently as possible. That line path is UNIQUE TO EACH REEL based on the angle it WANTS to send coils being pulled from the spool. The more the reduction train respects this tendency, the better the line will travel. Every rod builder knows this is true based on experience with the noise and vibration of misplaced guides.

The goal of GPS is to amass a library of information that will make placing guides as easy as clicking a reel model (note the ”reel” tab in GPS is under construction. In the future we hope that measurements supplied by builders will make this section a valuable resource). With measurements already made, GPS will instantly provide starting point positions based on prior information from reels already measured.

One other variance bears quick discussion when comparing Upsweep vs 27X and that is the importance of spool diameter. 27X brings spool diameter into the equation as a key factor in choke point determination yet a growing body of knowledge from micro rod builders all but negates what has until now been considered critical in proper reduction train set-up. Even Fuji’s new KR CONCEPT (with over a year of hard data to back it up) shows that large spool diameters can not only be successfully cast through smaller and smaller stripper guides but also that these layouts are actually BETTER in many cases than conventional NGC layouts with large ring strippers. Put another way, Fuji thinks this information is so important it is willing to dispute its own New Guide Concept to offer a refined and updated micro-build theory! Research and experimentation seem to support the idea that spool axle ANGLE and guide HEIGHT are the two most critical factors in optimum layout. By building with these factors in mind, builders are producing rods that have choke points up to 25% closer to the reel. These rods use at least one less reduction guide and end up lighter, faster, more sensitive and longer casting than comparable NGC rods.

Cone of Flight, New Guide Concept (GPS), 27X and now KR CONCEPT: all have a place depending on the ultimate goal of the rod builder and each rod builder should be familiar enough with these methods to pick and choose what is best for the particular application at hand.

27X has been a lifesaver for many rod builders and will continue to be for many more. I would like to personally thank Tom for his collaboration in the development of GPS and hope that in some way it too can become an accepted and useful tool in the rod building community.