American Tackle or Fuji Guides

Discussion in 'Fishing Rod Building Forum' started by J Borchard, Aug 6, 2010.

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  1. J Borchard

    J Borchard Member

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    I have always been a fan of Fuji guides I looked at the American Tackle guides and liked a couple different styles. Since I have not used them on any of my customs I am looking for some feedback on the long term quality of there basic stainless steal guides with the ring lock?
     
  2. Capt Richie

    Capt Richie Atlantic Custom Tackle

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    I also like fuji..And use Fuji 95% of the time I do think they are the best..

    AMT some of the new guides are better the the older ones..I have fix so many rods with AMT , Batson & Pac Bay guides I lost count...

    Fuji two guides to date....And both were bent buy the anglers..
     
  3. calicohunter1

    calicohunter1 calicohunter1

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    stay with Fuji this are the best that is all i' have on all my rods .
     
  4. Darrin Heim

    Darrin Heim Newbie

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    Hi,

    I am sure you can guess which guides I would suggest…. I do want to say that our new Ring Lock guides are completely different in material and design and unlike anything else we‘ve ever had. During development we were careful to examine every guide of the past to improve short comings and expand on positive attributes. We focused on longevity and application with different materials, added sizes, and new design ideas making continual improvement to offer guides unlike anything else out there.

    Obviously I want to encourage everyone try our products but I realize some will and some won’t so in order to understand why or why not I have some questions:
    1. Which guide series from both companies are you considering?
    2. Why do you think Fuji is the best guide?
    3. Why not try something new?

    Best Regards,

    Darrin Heim
    American Tackle Company
     
  5. SALTYDAWG

    SALTYDAWG Advertiser Advertiser

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    Darrin, since youre asking, I'll give you my 02, I like fugi because they are consistant, very little grinding or bending to conform to the blank, it upsets me when I buy "high end" guides that have guide feet that need to be bent into the right position or that havent even been deburred and Fugis are the most consistant guides in that regard and I too have replaced a lot of non Fugi guides do to inserts coming out
     
  6. BakerStBobby2

    BakerStBobby2 GET BIT

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    I have had zero(at least unknown) failures on all the customs in which I've used American Tackle guides-both Titan Turbos & Virtus ringlock. In that respect I have no issue with them. I love the titanium frames because they will never corrode nor rust, plus hardly weigh a thing!
    On the Fuji guide plus list:
    Only the BNLG hardloy guides get replaced frequently(here). This is why I replace them with BNLG-H(thicker insert) guides for repairs. These don't crack nearly as much. Problem is, Fuji is /has discontinued this insert.
    Fuji now has ring locked alconite BMNAG and sic MNSG's, these are very nice.
    Bobby~
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2010
  7. Darrin Heim

    Darrin Heim Newbie

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    Hi Bill,

    I’d prefer to not grind the feet at all like Fuji has done for years but the added step is needed by manufacturers even though most feet have to be touched up or de-burred. I remember at Pac Bay in the early ‘90’s when we were the first to offer it to rod factories and they loved it enough to be required by them for ever more (The US Fuji distributor later had to offer the options as well). I also remember box after box of Perfection guides that had a lot of material to be removed with feet shaped and de-burred before production so I know how they feel. Unfortunately, at this time it remains a human task that can’t be done by machine. Whether it’s done in-house or at the guide factory it’s an ongoing issue to have workers shape and grind as consistently as possible. We continue to monitor progress and work hard on improvement.

    As far a foot manipulation, some issues arise from the grinding process. Frame material, gauge, tooling, stamping, folding, and molding might also offer challenges that cause additional alignment. It hasn’t been a huge problem for me, but I never had a problem working with Aftco roller guide frames either which also need grinding and frame alignment. There is no doubt Fuji has some fine fit & finish but ours is getting better all the time.

    Replacing guides where rings have come out is never a good thing which is exactly why we employ our Ring Lock system. Some manufacturers replace rods when a ring falls out and when poling them for what we can do better then Fuji, many told us to make a guide that eliminates ring loss (yes even Fuji guides can lose rings). Total elimination of ring-loss might be impossible since it’s a ceramic ring in a stamped metal frame guide design we’re talking about but we went to work on it. One thing we learned during our research was that although a frame might have a deep-press look or shape, not all address this issue. We arrived at excellent results by employing several different steps in design and process above and beyond what other factories use. Now we can offer our Ring Lock guides with complete confidence in their durability hence their name…

    I still feel our guides have more to offer then Fuji and we continue to make improvements all the time.

    Respectfully,

    Darrin Heim
    American Tackle Company

     
     
  8. okie man

    okie man I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    i don't know about that bill. i have not found any guides that i don't have to prep before wrapping.i just wrapped a couple phenix bass rods and used fuji's on them i i kept saying to myself that i spent alot of time getting them ready to put on the rod for top shelf guides. i've not had any recurring problems with any name brand guides from any company . my only complaint is the price that some of these guides is getting a little steep and driving some potential customers away from custom rods because of the cost. they'll spend $600 plus for the latest super shiny reel but go the budget route on the rod. thanks for chiming in darren, it's nice to see that you pay attention to what the builders say and take the time to respond to our comments.
     
  9. MKUHN138

    MKUHN138 Newbie

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    I've never used amtak guides, but can say the biggest deterrent for me is two things. First I think the price is ridiculous - comparing the Amtak turbos and the fuji HBSG you're looking at a $35 difference between size 25 guides - I understand it's not exactly apples to apples, but they are very comparable guides in application. Second, the marketing information supplied is in my opinion illusive; nanolite rings are marketed as a zirconium blend - I have no idea what that is. The manufacturing location is also illusive - the FAQ section states you have manufacturing agreements with US and asian manufacturing companies, but never actually states where they are made. I feel that if you expect people to pay top dollar for your product you need to provide them with some solid information first. I try to be a very conscious consumer and make decisions based off of facts. It seems to me like your product information is loaded with buzzwords and no substantial data...
     
  10. SALTYDAWG

    SALTYDAWG Advertiser Advertiser

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    Kerry, All guides need to be prepped of coarse, but you should have to reform and wear a groove in a grinding wheel to dress a $30 guide, my point was, Fugi is consistant, others are not there is something lacking in QC when you line up 3 or 4 size 24 strpper guides of the same make and each one is different
     
  11. okie man

    okie man I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    i have not had any that bad to were i had to grind them that much .i think the titaniums frames seem to need more work than ss or brass. must be they flex easier and get knocked out of shape when tumbling and polishing. it just sucks that a ringed guide cost $30 plus now.the perfections work fine with spectra as long as you keep it clean. my just go back old school!
     
  12. Darrin Heim

    Darrin Heim Newbie

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    Kerry & Bobby,

    Thanks for the encouragement. We absolutely pay attention to builders and anglers not just manufacturers. Personally whether I am selling parts, building rods or on the water “testing” products, I am devoted to this venture almost every day(and night) of my life. Sad for sure, but as an owner of the company I feel that it’s incredibly important to participate and figure out what is needed or wanted by way of rod components. I do have to laugh though, I don’t see Mr. Ohmura posting about his company’s products on a Saturday (dodging boat work) or ever. Maybe that’s the secret to his success. True I am trying to change some minds here but I feel we have some excellent products and we realize without builders and anglers we wouldn’t be in business so appreciation doesn’t even come close to explaining how much our customers mean to us.

    Kerry & Bill, Titanium is definitely tougher to grind which can cause a shape change with force on the grinder. The thick gauge material certainly isn’t as easy to dress as stainless. For me the added cost and difficulty is worth it in the end product just hope it is for other. (although my “cost” for the guide is easier to accept)

    Thank you for the comments Matt and this opportunity to respond.

    First I’d say, true the HBSG & Titan Turbo guides are not apples to apples. Also true that the titanium material is much more expensive to purchase. The biggest difference is in performance, titanium frames offer much more by the way of reduced weight and increased flexibility. It would be like comparing a heavy solid glass blank to a high modulus carbon blank in performance.

    As for “illusive”, wow I figure we are probably the most direct company in the business. The owners of American Tackle not only take calls and emails daily regarding products and our business but publish our home office numbers on our web site, catalogs, and on these boards as well. I am certain it’s significantly more difficult to contact Fuji’s owners with questions about their guides. Granted we are a very small company but my point is we are available to correspondence and in fact would pitch each and every one of you if given the opportunity.

    Regarding manufacturing, I am unaware of any brand that discusses their sources at all. The truth is that we use as many as 8 different factories for various items where some are proprietary and some are not. The countries of origin range from the United States, Taiwan, China and Korea. Fuji certainly doesn’t tell people in which factory their products are made in or even the country of origin(everything says made in Japan so I am not sure what they are making in the Chinese factories).

    We definitely use buzzwords and bullets in our marketing. It’s a good way familiarize consumers with unique characteristics and features our products offer. As I understand it, studies have shown that long detailed ads don’t hold consumer attention well so I am not sure how else to do it effectively. I don‘t feel that the “new guide concept” was any easier to understand with the stick figures. In the Nanolite explanation we did add the Zirconium blend info to help classify it by giving a base material used. I don’t believe Fuji has published the mixture content of Alconite or Hardaloy (must be an Aluminum Oxide base) Every ceramics vendor will tell you there is no such material other then titanium and aluminum oxides etc, I know I talked to them personally in Korea and China trying to figure it out. Obviously we did our own thing with rings.

    In conclusion, I still feel we are an extremely open and straight forward company but by the response maybe we can do more to explain in detail. Certainly hope you can give us a chance Matt, we do have stainless frames as well. I would be more then happy to expand on any of this with you, so feel free to give me a call. (866)516-1750.

    Respectfully,

    Darrin Heim
    American Tackle Company
     
     
  13. SALTYDAWG

    SALTYDAWG Advertiser Advertiser

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    Darrin, I understand the expence of titanium and the difficulty in grinding and all, what I'm talking about is, some of them come at least roughly ground down so all we have to do is lightly dress them and install, but some of them come through that have not been touched with a grinder yet leaving quite a lot to be ground off.
     
  14. venturarodlure

    venturarodlure ventura rod and lure co

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    I have used Amtak guides on a bunch of rods. I like the Virtus Ring Lock heavy and light. My only issue is the price. They are too expensive for what they are(ring material wise). I could be wrong, but looking at their catalog it seems the Nanolite ring is pretty standard throughout their guides. In other words, their cheap guides and expensive guides use the same ring, just different frames. Fuji and ALPS seem to be fine on their lower end guides(failures at about zero except through operator error), and definitely have different rings on different guides at different price points. To me hardloy,SiC, and SiN ringed guides are reasonably at different points. Amtak guides, while good, haven't shown me any real reason to buy their high end guides. The price seems to all be going to frame material, which is nice, but a very pricy guide should include higher end rings that a less expensive guide from the same manufacturer. That being said I will still put them on customers rods at their request, just haven't been sold on suggesting them to customers yet.
     
  15. okie man

    okie man I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    i have a question for you darrin. i like the virtus heavy guides but don't want to spend the money for the titanium frames.what material are the crome and black frames made of, 316ss or brass?also what tips match these guides. thanks,kerry
     
  16. Darrin Heim

    Darrin Heim Newbie

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    Bill, every guide foot is supposed to be ground. I realize they are not always perfect which is what we want but they should be correctable with minimal effort. If they are not ground at all, then it is a mistake I am unaware of. Sometimes manufacturers request them un-ground but not on the Virtus guides. I will check into this and as I said we continue to strive for improvement in the consistency of the grinding. I apologize for the hassle.

    As for the pricing, Nanolite is the top of our line however we offer Duralite rings to reduce cost. The most expensive guides are the titanium frames which only offer Nanolite rings but the least expensive are the stainless frames with Duralite rings(we don’t use brass). Here are some basic retail comparisons in stainless heavy boat guides:

    Fuji HNSG / AT Nanolite Virtus Heavies
    #8 = 6.85 vs. 3.29
    #10 = 6.85 vs. 3.65
    #12 = 8.75 vs. 4.22
    #16 = 10.55 vs. 5.18
    #20 = 12.75 vs. 6.51

    Fuji BHNLG / AT Duralite Virtus Lights
    #8 = 2.50 vs. 1.99
    #10 = 2.89 vs. 2.13
    #12 = 3.49 vs. 2.36
    #16 = 4.29 vs. 2.84
    #20 = 5.29 vs. 4.00

    We beat Fuji every time, and in a set the savings is significant. There might differences since I compared the Heavy frame which may be a slightly thicker material gauge plus we offer the light frames as well. Oh and we have 25mm, 30mm, & 40mm sizes to use on heavy spinning rods, jig-sticks, or heavy stand-ups that need larger stripping guides.

    Regarding the “high end” guides, solid titanium frames are without a doubt the most durable and performance oriented choice out there. They are certainly more expensive but they offer a lot more as well. Fuji does not have anything to compare (no boat guides at all) so I had to use their standard concept titanium frames to our standard casting Ring Locks.

    Fuji TLNSG / AT NIRLC
    #6 = 7.25 vs. 3.89
    #7 = 7.65 vs. 3.89
    #8 = 8.75 vs. 3.89
    #10 = 9.99 vs. 4.92
    #12 = 11.35 vs. 6.80
    #16 = 16.49 vs. 11.53

    Absolutely huge differences here. We also have a new series coming for inshore & medium spinning guide trains, the Typhoon Series. Which will be in both SS and Ti material frames.

    Best Regards,

    Darrin Heim
    American Tackle Company
     
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  17. Capt Richie

    Capt Richie Atlantic Custom Tackle

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    Darrin I mean no disrespect..But you cant compair Made in China to Made to made in Japan as far as quality & price...People work for $200 a month in China......

    I have used your guides on some seeker rods..My customer is a very large seeker dealer...There ok but not the same quality as fuji...

    I have another question ..Amtak , Pac-Bay & Batson made in the same or different factorys in China...
     
  18. Bill Batson

    Bill Batson Bill Batson Advertiser

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    Batson GUIDES>>ALPS and FORECAST are not made in China>> All of our Quality Guides and reelseats are made in Taiwan. We feel the quaity is much better for these types of products produced in Taiwan. I have researched many different Chinesse component factories and have have yet been able to find one that has the quailty that the Batson TEAM expects.

    Bill Batson
    CEO
    Batson Enterprises
    877-875-2381
    Batson Enterprises - World's Premier Supplier of Fishing Rod Building Blanks and Components
    [email protected]
     
  19. okie man

    okie man I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    hi bill, can you tell us when there will be alp xn heavy type guide for the heavier tackle. 80# and up. thanks!
     
  20. Bill Batson

    Bill Batson Bill Batson Advertiser

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    We will have a new series of ALPS Heavy Guides available next year>>
    Bill Batson>>
     
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