Revised on 5/3/22
Fuji components for this exciting new rod building strategy are readily available, and yet, the question of building the KR Concept spinning rod keeps popping up. Currently, many builders choose to use the new GPS for KR Concept software which makes a solid KR CONCEPT layout a simple click away. Of course, it makes sense that even with GPS, rod builders might appreciate information on a ”manual” layout. We agree.
To fully understand the KR CONCEPT, it helps to have a little insight into Fuji’s philosophy on such things. Few companies better manage a combination of pride and humility in their products. Fuji monitors the market, anticipates trends, outlines the research, develops the products, and delivers the highest quality again and again. They somehow manage to do this in an incredibly humble way. Respect, honor, integrity, and humility aren’t mission statement words, you get the sense that it’s actually the way they were ”brought up”, as if it were part of the culture.
It’s important to understand this point of view and how it relates to any ”new” product Fuji introduces. New products are accompanied by new ideas and information because Fuji feels a true sense of obligation to let you know exactly what problems they were addressing, exactly what solution they uncovered, and exactly how you can benefit from the proper use of the products they’re introducing. To top it off, Fuji consistently understates the claims they make about new products.
KR CONCEPT is a good example. Fuji watched the market trend toward smaller guides, did the research independent of any outside influence, developed the products, and introduced them – along with a complete rationale to the consumer. Their position is clear; KR CONCEPT is an extension of the New Guide Concept and is not a micro-build strategy. In fact, they prefer to think of the KR CONCEPT as a New Guide Concept for braided line. How unique; a rod building strategy that falls somewhere between the New Guide Concept and Micro Rods. KR CONCEPT is a layout idea that comes down squarely on the side of performance, pulling the best of the New Guide Concept together with the best of the ”micro-movement”.
Now all you need to know is how to build one.
Since its introduction in 2011, we have studied and built KR CONCEPT rods to be able to convey, to the best of our ability, the essence of the theory and Fuji’s outline for a successful rod. Fuji’s english translations are challenging to say the least, but combined with video footage and lots of email, we believe we understand.
Start with the New Guide Concept, end with KR Concept
KR is an evolution of NGC. Fuji suggests we start there. The most literal interpretation of Fuji’s NGC that we have found is our own GPS software. It follows Fuji’s original concept to the letter.
The fastest and possibly the most effective method to quickly establish a layout for a KR Concept rod is simply to click on the home page link on this site and locate “GPS for KR Concept”. Fill in the requested information and your results will provide an excellent layout for 99% of the rods being built with this concept
If you don’t have access to GPS, remove the spool and lay the rod on the edge of a table (Fig 1). Align the spool axle parallel to the edge of a table. The point where the rod crosses the edge of the table is the same choke point GPS will compute for you.
Select a KL-H16, 20 or 25 and position it where the guide foot is on the blank and the top edge of the frame is aligned with the edge of the table. In GPS for KR Concept, the work is done for you, simply jot down the measurements. The results with GPS and the ”table slide” should be the same. Choose the guide of proper height to fall at around the 19 to 21-inch range. If you are using mono or fluor line from 8 to 12 lb test or braid of 15 lb or above, try to choose the size 20 stripper. Lines below these weights will pass well through a size 16, lines above these weights will work best with a size 25 stripper.
With the stripper in position and the rod still positioned along the table edge, you can place the choke guide at the point where the blank crosses the edge of the table. Work between the stripper and choke to position additional reduction guides roughly on the blank. You will do this with the proper “GROUP” of KL-H guides. Using a suggested group will assure you a “bullseye” configuration. The suggested groups are as follows. Note that not all the groups require that you build a micro rod. There are KR Concept layouts that are considered “conventional” layouts:
For Micro Rods up to 15lb braid or up to 8lb mono:
KL16H, KL8H, KL5.5M
For Micro Rods 15 to 20 lb braid or 8lb – 12lb mono:
KL20H, KL10H, KL5.5M
For Micro Rods above 20lb braid or 8lb – 14lb mono:
KL25H, KL12H, KL5.5M
For Conventional Rods up to 20lb braid or up to 12lb mono:
KL20H, KL10H, KL6L or KL7L
Note: For a 4 guide reduction train on long rods use KL20H, KL10H, KL7M, KL6L
For Conventional Rods above 20lb braid or up to 14lb mono:
KL25H, KL12H, KL7M or KL8M
Note: For a 4 guide reduction train on long rods use
KL25H, KL12H, KL7M, KL6L or
KL25H, KL12H, KL8M, KL7L
Once these guides are positioned and your choke guide is taped at the choke point you have successfully set up the reduction train of a New Guide Concept rod. This rod will likely perform very well under the NGC rules, but this is the point where Fuji makes a modification that transforms the rod into a KR CONCEPT rod.
Remove the last reduction guide and replace it with the choke guide in the same position. This will usually move the choke point 4 to 6 inches closer to the reel. Fuji has determined that we can ”cheat” a little here and bring the line down to the blank a little faster than the New Guide Concept would allow. The smaller rings of the KL-H guides control line faster which allows quicker control along the blank and actually increases rod performance. Fuji calls it ”Rapid Choke” and it is the heart of KR Theory.
With the new choke point established, go back and “rebuild” the reduction train by either using the table edge again or by stringing a line from the top of the new choke guide to the top of the original stripper position. Do not move the stripper guide from it’s original NGC position. Line up the top edge of the guide frames along the new line as you did when assembling the original reduction train. For Ultra Light rods, you may need to remove one guide in the reduction train, but at the very least you will need to move the second and third reduction guides to line up with the original stripper and the new choke point. You will have created a more compact, lightweight reduction train when complete.
The choke guide and the next guide in the running train should be Fuji’s big-footed KB guide. The remaining running guides should be KT guides. Use static load testing (the tutorial is on this site) to position the remaining guides. KR CONCEPT suggests at least two KB (wide foot) guides in the belly section of the rod after discovering that a shorter reduction train moves mid-rod stresses into small running guides. This problem is solved with the wider, longer foot of the new KB guide.
(Click for larger version)
1) Some rod builders do not realize that NGC in its current form works to move line down quickly to the blank. Note how the spool axis and the yellow line flow cone do not exactly match from the reel to the stripper. NGC recommends the top edge of the guide frame be positioned on the projected spool axle line, NOT through the middle of the ring. This slightly changes the angle of line travel toward the blank without affecting performance and contributes to faster, smoother line control.
2) Rapid Choke pushes the limits even further by reducing ring size, removing a reduction guide on light action rods and shortening the overall reduction train.
3) Stripper position does not change from NGC to KR.
- KR Concept rods can be either micro or conventionally built rods
Tape the guides in position, mount your reel and test cast. Use any preferred method you have learned from previous NGC set-ups to fine tune your KR CONCEPT rod.
In our testing, KR CONCEPT rods are a little smoother and quieter than a comparable NGC rod when casting braid. KR Rods cast slightly longer in most cases and occasionally much longer depending on the rod/blank combination. All of Fuji’s testing and high-speed photography was done using fluorocarbon, before a final test using braid. Logically, Fuji felt that if the theory was tested with stiffer fluorocarbon the results with braid would be far better. The final tests with braid were performed and the theory was modified only slightly before finalizing the design of the new KL-H and KB guides that make up the KR CONCEPT.
KR developmental work was done with Fuji’s newest K-Series guides. Although Fuji was unable to quantify this claim, there is a widespread belief that the forward-leaning ring contributes in some way to a more effective ”Rapid Choke”. Further, the tangle-free design of K-Series guides became very important in the design of high-frame, small-ring guides for the KR CONCEPT.