Single Foot SiC Guides

Discussion in 'Rod Building' started by Southsound, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. I have been building fly rods for a couple of years now and have maintained what I guess would be a "traditionalist" approach to rod building in that I have stuck with snake type guides. I received a very sweet G&L Flycraft (out of Alberta) rod for my birthday that was built using the newer single foot SiC guides from Fuji. I wonder - what are the advantages with using these guides? I know they are spendy so there must be something special about them. Anybody else with experience using these guides? Thanks - Steve

    Hope is that Thing with Feathers..
  2. The thing about SiC guides is that they are really tough and slick. They shine in rods that get a lot of casting and retrieving. I doubt you could ever wear a groove in one. On the retrieve they also help because they have so little friction (saves line wear). They weight no more than snake guides because they have only one foot to epoxy. Granted, they look odd, but they are really bullet-proof, and now come in a variety of colors, even holographic ones. Commercial rod builders have always used them for stripping guides, so why not use them all the way up the rod, including the tip?

    Try it, you'll like it...


    Good things come to those who wade...
  3. I'll second what Roper said and add that one more advantage is half the wraps of snake guides. Standard snake guides although flexible are relatively stiff compared the the action of a fly rod. Then after you wrap them in on both ends you create all these little segments along the rod where it can't flex naturally. Single foot guides reduce that effect. I just completed a rewrap of a rod using the ultra lightweight snake guides which are on average about .009" smaller wire than the originals. I used minimium wraps and epoxy in this experiment along with 16,12 and 10mm ceramic stripping guides. The difference was remarkable as the line just seems to accelerate through the guides now. It looks a little different with the large guides and extra stripper but the proof is in the pudding. I like it so well that I stripped another 4 wt I built last year and am rewrapping it with all ceramic guides and larger strippers. Since I only wrap for myself I will never build another rod with snake guides on it. Another benefit of SIC guides or other ceramic relatives is how much quieter than are than standard guides. Happy wrapping, Ive
  4. Dear Gang,

    I've been using SiC guides on fly rods forever, and I still wince when building yet another rod and have to shell out extra cash to enjoy the benefits they offer.

    I use them for all the same reasons mentioned by the other respondents, but in addition, because they are next to diamonds in hardness ... your fly rod can be used (I'm almost afraid to say this to a bunch of fly fishing purists ) with monofilament line without damaging the guides. Hey, I admit there have been times when a small spin reel and a few tiny Rooster Tails in my pack have saved the day. A clear plastic float with that spin reel will put a fly farther out in a lake than can be reached any other way at times. I'd be a lier to say I've never resorted to those tactics when fish are not feeding, but can be provoked into striking a tiny lure to remedy a fishless day.

    So far, the best prices on Fuji SiC single foot guides I've found have been at the Angler's Workshop in Woodland, Washington.

  5. I started using single foot fujis for fly rods starting in the 1970s. The reason was very simple. I hate replacing guides and refinishing fly rods. As other responders indicate they are very hard, low friction and last, and last, and last! I have used them for fly rods for fresh and salt water and have really been impressed by their performance. They may look strange (as in non-traditional) but I never have had to replace them because of wear. Breakage, yes, when a guide was stepped on, but otherwise I only had to re-wrap because of the the wrapping needing replacement. They do have some disadvantages. In the smaller sizes they do not easily pass a Rio junction loop (easy fix-don't use a rio line or increase diameter by 1 or more sizes). In freezing conditions they have a tendency to freeze up a little more readily because the shock ring does not conduct heat as well as a snake guide. But for casting they are tough to match.

  6. Okeydoke... Thanks guys. I am convinced even if Art Scheck isn't (read his cut on SiC guides last night in his book "Fly Rod Building Made Easy" and he is less impressed saying that the SiC guides ADD stiffness and tend to get hung up on stuff when you are out and about). The only drawback other than price that I see is the mass of the guidefoot when it comes to installing them on smaller rods where the tip sections get so skinny. As to best prices... I looked on Greg's Custom Rods website this AM and he had the BFSG (PacBay?) starting at $2.71 for size 6 up to $3.10 for the size 10. Bingham Enterprises listed their Fugi SiCs for between $3.25 to $4.31. Anger's Workshop :D started at $4 something and up. Any big difference between the PacBay's and the Fujis?

  7. We're dealing with several issues here: the performance characteristics of SIC guides in particular; and the mechanical advantages/disadvantages of single-foot vs. conventional two-foot snake guides. As to the former: I've used single foot SiC guides on a 9-1/2 foot 10-weight winter steelhead rod that I built in 1986. They work fine, except that the smaller ones near the tip limit the bulk of a line splice or line tip/leader butt knot that will pass through them.
    I've used single foot guides on most of the rods that I've built in recent years, from 4-weight trout rods to 11-weight spey rods. Normally I used black stainless steel, but I've used the more expensive TiCh (shiny dark gray) guides on several more expensive blanks. They've held up well to heavy fish and lines. I've knocked one or two loose against limbs. Single-foot guides are very fast and easy to wind on, using heat-melt stick glue to hold the guide in place. I can literally wind one on during the three-minute commercial break during t.v. programs! A way to make them more secure is to take a wrap around the foot (350 degrees) with several of the last few wraps.
    For a given material, single-feet cost the same or slightly more than double-feet; after all, they have about the same amount of wire. I think their prices will equalize as single-feet become more popular.

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