Single Foot Guides

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by TallFlyGuy, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. I have only one rod with single foot guides (trout rod) and have never fished a two hander with singles so I still have some work to do but here is my question. If single foot guides are so much better why are not more rod companies using them? I can remember seeing the first single 15 + years ago. The only rod company that was using them was Loomis they were building mostly spinning rods and I always thought that was the driver force behind the use.

    I grew up with the under standing that snake guides were designed to dampen the vibration of the thicker line used in fly fishing. When casting a fly line the line goes through the guides in a circular vibration. As the line passes through the guide the guide acts as a funnel. As the line nears the tip the guides get smaller reducing the vibration even more. This straightens out the line so there is less friction. Less friction longer casts.

    The stripping guide was added because of the extra friction added to the guide when stripping the line in. The stripping guide impedes the cast but is necessary to dissipate the heat (friction) created by stripping not by casting. They add more on big game rods to dissipate heat created by long hard runs. Each stripping guide added effects the cast but there has to be a balance to keep guide wear to a minimum.

    With a single foot guide you only get ½ the design of a snake guide. This may or may not have an impact on line dampening. The rod that I have seems to do fine shooting running line but tends to stack up when casting the belly. I guess I am a traditionalist when it comes to fly casting. I use fly lines to get it done, not some glorified weight to jack out a bunch of mono. If you look at Dec’s new Echo’s they have snake guides. There must be a good reason why all of the top rods still have snake guides.

  2. Good points Marty.

    I agree with you on most that you have said here when Non ceramic single foot guides are the thing. The Sic. titanium single foot guides on the other hand I'm not sure about. They are expensive as hell, so this is why I believe most rod companies do not use them. I have a sage 896 sp with sic tits ptyd(sic titaniums) on it. It is noticeably easier to shoot line. Almost no "friction" feeling when I shoot line. Again, the guides were expensive. I think close to or over $100. Regular cheap guides would of cost only $20 or so. Not sure/can't remember.

    Spey rods have almost double the amount of guides, so therefore I would think double the friction, and double the wear on line. It's kicking at tradition I know, but so are skagit lines, graphite rods, weighted flies, sink tips etc. etc.

  3. Justin
    I am sure you are right when it comes to cost and about kicking tradition. I used a Skagit line (one of the new ones from airflow) for the first time last week. I was up in BC fishing big flies in off colored water. The line performed well but I did get tired of stripping line. Yes it is a break from tradition but the line was not much different from the lines I used to build back before wind cutters. So is it really a break from tradition. The single foot vs. double foot debate is no different than the Skagit line vs. long belly line or the intruder vs. old school flies. It’s in the most part a feel good thing. I fish a strip wing or dee style fly, why because it feels good and I try to add a little tradition it all aspects of my steelheading. I use hardy reels for that same reason. Is my way better, I would even say no but it is what makes steelheading so special for me. I will always try to stay connected to the traditions, mostly out of respect for sport but I am not so set in my ways that I wont try something new. Single foot guides are just not high on my list.
  4. I personally feel that the larger the rod and the larger the payload of the line, the less likely you'll notice any difference in performance between SF and DF guides. For instance (as a generality), a skagit head system can be anywhere from 350 grains to 750. The difference between SF and DF guides is roughly 2x, and somewhere around say 120 grains. Most of that isn't in the tip, so as such, as the higher the grain loads on the rod goes, the smaller the addition of mass that DF guides have as a ratio of that and the payload. For smaller rods, SF all the way. Feels crisper, casts better. Bigger 2 handed rods? Dunno, but I'd err on the side of safety than performace, especially since the performance gain (IMO) would be negligable.

    -- Cheers
    -- James
  5. In an earlier post I said the DH costs less that the classic that was wrong it is the other was around. The DH with the snake guides retails for more than the classic with single foot guides. Still think the cost of the guide is not the reason rod companies use snake guides over single foot guides.
  6. Ah a great discussion. No real facts out there, just opinions and feelings to pour out on to the computer.

    this is the description...

    "Silicon Carbide Concept Guides with Titanium Metal frames are 45-65% lighter, over 3 times stronger than guides with stainless steel frames and will remain totally corrosion-free in saltwater use. Titanium is the ultimate frame material and only Fuji has it. Just think of it; a guide you will not have to worry about again. Guaranteed!"

    Marty, mabye the cost isn't the reason rod companies choose to put snake guides on all their rods. I'm sure the cost helps!

  7. The cost of those guides hovers around $100 a set. The other thing is, they are lighter when compared to other standard framed steel guides, but single foot wire are still lighter and they are equivalent to or only marginally lighter than double foot guides. That's not to say that you can't or shouldn't use the other guides. But like I said, for rods that I build, it's generally SF guide for smaller rods, DF for spey and larger single handed....
  8. Like Salmo,

    I use only double foot guides on 2-hand rods. These are the reasons for doing so: 1) they have two feet holding them onto the rod, making it much more difficult to pull one out of its wraps when walking through the woods; 2) the large size double foot snake guides I use for running guides don't stick up nearly as far from the blank as similarly sized single foot ceramic, SIC, etc. guides do, making catching a guide on a tree branch less likely when walking riverbank trails; and 3) double foot snake in sizes #6, 5, and 4 (which are the sizes I use on 2-hand rods) have a pretty large working diameter and are less prone to having interchangeable tip loops hang-up on a guide than the similarly diametered single foot ceramic guides.

    I do use ceramic double foot casting guides as strippers in sizes 20 (or 18) and 16 (I only use a single stripper in size 16 on rods of 12'-13', and I use 3 strippers size 20,18,and16 on 17' and 18' rods). I also like ceramic tip tops with a #10 ring guide on 6-9 wt rods, and on 10 and 11 wt rods, I like a ceramic tip top with a #12 ring guide. I use such relatively large strippers and tip tops to help the thicker spey line shoot and on tip tops to prevent the line from being squeezed by the top as before the running line is out the rod.
  9. I got an Echo rod from Red Shed on Peck Idaho and was quite please to find that Echo builds their rods with single foot guide. I built a St. Croix last year using single foots, and it was much harder to build that the double foot. I think that it is an improved way to build rods.
  10. The Echo Classic has SF guides but the new Echo DH has snake guides, there has to be a reason. If SF guides are the answer why are the major rod manufactures not using them.

    Cost? I don’t think so, a $100 guide set for us would only cost $40 for them and that is not all that much more then what they are spending on guides.

    Kicking tradition? Maybe, but I don’t think so. Fly fishing equipment changes every year with all kind of improvements. SF guides have been around for a long time. If they were better, with the techno movement it would have been an easy sell and you would see them on all fly rods

    SF guides have pros and cons. Most all of them have been posted. You just have to add it all up and decide for your self.
  11. The only reason why double foots might be used in my mind are for heavier fish. If you look at gear rods, heavier rods usually have double foot guides (although that is not always the case)

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