Steel vs composite guides

NukeDawg

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 27, 2008
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San Diego, CA
Name
dub-dub-dub
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17' Arima Sea Angler
i'm trying to learn a little about rod making. i'd like to have to rods built:
8' calico stick
8' surface iron/jig stick

most i speak with suggest steel guides are the way to go, more durable, worry free, etc.

Any arguments for using the composite guides? Is weight the only issue? when would it matter? Anything else to consider?
 

bassmandan

as "Bruce, a philosopher"
Mar 21, 2010
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Dan Troxel
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How are ya Bruce?
It's really up to personal preference, wire framed boat guides have worked for a long time and provide a certain aesthetic. "Ceramic" guides (a blanket term for any guides rings inserted into a frame) have certainly earned there place as the best technology. If your wallet is thick enough, can't go wrong with titanium framed guides, never gotta worry about them and durability is unmatched.

Just my 2 cents,
 

BakerStBobby2

GET BIT
Dec 6, 2006
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nope...
It's really up to personal preference, wire framed boat guides have worked for a long time and provide a certain aesthetic. "Ceramic" guides (a blanket term for any guides rings inserted into a frame) have certainly earned there place as the best technology. If your wallet is thick enough, can't go wrong with titanium framed guides, never gotta worry about them and durability is unmatched.

Just my 2 cents,
X2
Been repairing rods for many years. All I can say is i replace SS ringed guides about 5-1 over inserted guides. Just a thought...
Bobby~
 

yft1979

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Sep 7, 2004
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Garrett
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-
It's really up to personal preference, wire framed boat guides have worked for a long time and provide a certain aesthetic. "Ceramic" guides (a blanket term for any guides rings inserted into a frame) have certainly earned there place as the best technology. If your wallet is thick enough, can't go wrong with titanium framed guides, never gotta worry about them and durability is unmatched.

Just my 2 cents,
In the smaller bass rod type guides the stainless w/ceramic style inserts are stronger the the titamium framed ones.
 

bassmandan

as "Bruce, a philosopher"
Mar 21, 2010
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The University of Wullamaloo
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Dan Troxel
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How are ya Bruce?
In the smaller bass rod type guides the stainless w/ceramic style inserts are stronger the the titamium framed ones.
I will agree with that. I build alot of FW bass rods and that's what I know best. If you're building something on the FW/Light SW side, I really like Fuji Alconites with the SS frames. They are tough to beat as an "all around" choice; good price point, lightweight, and great durability (very braid capable).
 

NukeDawg

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 27, 2008
282
239
San Diego, CA
Name
dub-dub-dub
Boat
17' Arima Sea Angler
thanks for the responses...so if i read this right, everyone is actually suggesting the "ceramic" guides? what technical impact does the choice have? for all the steel guide fans, the issue most brought up is that the guides break if dropped. not the whole story?

Any suggestions for "ceramic" guides for 8'/40lb surface iron rod? 8'/kelp cutter for inshore?

thanks again.
 

BakerStBobby2

GET BIT
Dec 6, 2006
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Costa Mesa
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Bobby Gowin
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nope...
thanks for the responses...so if i read this right, everyone is actually suggesting the "ceramic" guides? what technical impact does the choice have? for all the steel guide fans, the issue most brought up is that the guides break if dropped. not the whole story?

Any suggestions for "ceramic" guides for 8'/40lb surface iron rod? 8'/kelp cutter for inshore?

thanks again.
Most of the ceramic guides are lighter and flex more than SS ringed guides. Which will help to prevent wraps cracking at the feet of overwraps.
If you want to stay super economical, around $20 a set, Fuji BNLG's are good guides up to 40#. Step up to a better insert like the Alconites and spend around $40 a set. Most of my customers go with NIRLVL or NIRLS titanium framed, and these are in the $80 range. Hope that helps...
Bobby~
 

Russ57

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 1, 2009
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Russell Brunt
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None
I think you would do yourself a great diservice to have "all steel" guides. As mentioned above the wire framed boat guides beak more often. The wire snake guides are very durable but weigh a ton, aren't flexible, and aren't braid friendly. Now the old foulproof spinning rod guides aren't such bad choice for a mono only bullet proof surf rod.

As mentioned titanium is considered best as it won't rust and weighs the least. Some have claimed if bent and straightened enough they break. And they do cost the most.

Next is 316 stainless. If it is the same grade as normal 316 rust won't be a problem in salt water. It matches my price point and is what I often buy. I like the ring locks with nanolite rings. Others like Alps better.

Fuji is the established name. Their stainless frames are 304 which will corrode over time. With a little rinsing they have proven adequate. They offer Sic inserts which is about as good as it gets. Alconite is fine and has the advantage of a thinner insert.

If it was me I'd go virtus lites on the jig stick and pac bay minimas, acid wrapped, on the calico rod. If you are freaked about the whole durability thing and want overkill in that area consider turbo guides on the jig stick and virtus or fuji msng on the calico (but I think you would be making a mistake). I'd wager you would break the rod before the guides would those choices.

You know, it ain't that big a deal to replace a guide....even in the field. Compare that with the advantage of a lifetime of lighter, more flexible, and better performing guides.