Custom Engineered / Technique Specific
Fresh Water / Salt Water / Fly Fishing

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Guide Theory

Some of the most exciting advancements happening right now in the world of fishing rods is Guide Technology.  Not just materials but new designs, tangle free, micro guides, and more.  When new guides are introduced it usually takes a year or more before you see them on production rods.  We can start testing them and using them immediately.  
Spiral Wrap

CONE OF FLIGHT: A properly designed guide train will affect, casting distance, accuracy, load distribution, rod torque, sensitivity, and the over all feel of the rod. All of us have been fishing with standard cone of flight guide placement for the last century. It was believed that this offered the smoothest flow of line from the reel to the tip of the rod and that the number of guides was a function of load distribution. If you wanted to cast further the idea was to use less guides to reduce line slap against the guides.  The trick was to find the right balance between enough guides to distribute the line across the blank evenly or use less guides to increase casting distance. Fuji then developed the NEW GUIDE CONCEPT which more rapidly chokes the line down to a predetermined choke point and then runs straight through the remaining running guides which are all the same size. The new concept was that line slap against the blank causes more energy loss than line slap against the more slippery guide rings. The sooner you can get the coils of the spool to run straight and true the farther and more accurate it will cast. 

Original Cone of Flight

Cone of Flight all the way to tip

Fuji New Guide Concept

Does every one agree with these concepts as they are introduced? No, but as long time shore fisherman, especially salmon and surf fishing,  we have been experimenting with casting distance for years.  There are additional benefits other than casting distance and accuracy:

Smaller guides decrease weight.
Lighter guides steal less power from the blank.
Additional smaller rings improve line flow with less twist.
More contact points along the rod increase sensitivity.
More contact points along the black transfer more power.
Smaller guides closer to the blank increase bite detection.
Shorter guides cause less torque especially on casting rods.

NGC Guide Train

Go to our Media Page for Fuji Videos on the original K series guides and the new KR Concept.

FUJI KR CONCEPT: More recently Fuji developed their new K series guides with a 30- degree up swept frame to reduce wind knots.  That has lead to their new KR concept which matches taller guides in the reduction train to better match the angle of the real face and choke the line down to small running guides even faster.  Instead of 4 or 5 guides to get to the small running guides or micro guides you can get to the choke point in only 3 guides.  

FUJI KR Concept Guide Train

Not everyone agrees on all of these concepts and to Fuji's credit the standard NGC theory can be applied to most guides on the market.  Is the KR concept even better?  We are working on it now.  To prove it to ourselves we tested NGC micro guide layouts on both spinning and casting rods.  We temporarily mounted standard guides vs NGC micro guide layouts on the same blank with the same reel and casting weight and tested casting distance.  In both test the micro guide layouts cast 5% to 8% further.  We have also field tested all of our new guide layouts over the last year and you have to fish with one to feel the difference.  We have installed the new KR concept guides on our 9' travel rod and it's a dream to cast and fight fish with.  We will be doing side by side tests with this guide set and more very soon.

Fuji KR Concept Guides


This is not new. Custom Rod builders have been building casting rods with spiral or acid wrapped guides for years. When fighting a fish or setting the hook, especially on heavier fish, the natural tendency is for the rod to twist or turn over in your hand.  This is do to the fact that the guides are on top of the rod.  It only takes two guides to make the transition. By moving the guides to the bottom of the rod you can load up on one of these rods all day long with more leverage. With a longer handle up under your arm you don't even have to hold on to the reel. Less wrist fatigue and no difference in casting distance or accuracy.  It also reduces the need for the trigger grip.  On heavier musky or swim bait rods you can cast and retrieve big lures all day with less fatigue.  Great for a salt water conventional rods as well.  You don't even need to use a gimbal. If you can get used to how it looks and take the time to fish with one you will never go back.  

Spiral Wrap Loaded


At RODTECH we use established mathematical techniques to locate guides on each blank.  We then temporarily install the guides and do a static load test on the blank.  Guides are then adjusted to better fit the angle of the reel used and the actual bend or action of the rod. All single foot guides are installed with additional locking wraps to prevent pull out. Frame and ring materials are a function of durability, weight, purpose, and budget. We can help you make educated selections out of the numerous guide styles and materials available based on your needs, the purpose of the rod, and your budget. The final finish and aesthetics of the rod will be considered as well.

Fuji Alconite Concept Guides

One of the most popular guide sets in the industry and still very popular.  Alconite has 80% better compression strength and is 20% lighter than Aluminum Oxide. Concept guides also come in Titanium Frames and Silicone Carbide (SIC) Rings which are Fuji's toughest ring material.  

Fuji K and KR Guides

Fuji's newest generation in guide design. Anti-tangle.  Up swept frame that also sits higher on the ring. Specifically designed to shed wind knots and tangles associated with today's high speed blanks and braided line.  Available in black, stainless, and Titanium frames. Also available in Alconite or SIC.  We have tested these on numerous rods. They are strong, cast well, and have a unique look. The titanium frames with alconite rings are one of the lightest as well.


We use a number of offerings from PacBay including their zirconia ring guides which have a Physical Vapor Deposition finish and come in a number of colors. We also use their Minima 4 guide.  These guides have double-swaged stainless steel rings that are much lighter than ceramic rings and a come with a TiCH PVD finish. They are very light, slick, and strong.  We have had excellent results with their durability. No sign of wear with braided line and they hold up very well in salt water as well.

TiBlue Zirconia

Minima 4 in TiCH finish

Minima & Zirconia Micro

American Tackle

AT Ring Lock guides are a deep set ring. The 316SS frames are very durable and they also are available in solid Titanium.
Their Nano Plasma rings come in multiple colors like blue, gold, TiCH and Holographic. We also use their micro guides sets in chrome or black with NanoLite rings.

AT  A-Frame

NanoPlasma in Halo

Nanolite Micro Guides

REC Recoil Guides

Made from a special nickel titanium alloy these guides are very light and will not corrode in fresh or salt water.  They also will return to there original shape after repeated deformation.  They work very well and are about the same price point as other Titanium guides. 

NEW - CRB Nano Micro Guides

These are brand new.  They are a high carbon alloy with no ceramic ring to lose. Extremely light.  They come in black, chrome, and TiCH finish. We are installing these on several rods now and will be testing them soon.  You can see the difference in the picture to the right.  They should pair well with the Pac Bay minima reduction guides. 

Nano Micro Guide vs Alconite K Micro

Minima Chrome

NEW - American Tackle Microwave

Also brand new.  Just getting ready to test them now. These step the line down to the running guides in only two reduction guides with a unique dual ring.  We will be testing these along with our other micro guide sets soon.

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