Here is how-to series from Salty Dawg Bill with Salty Dawg Custom Rods. Bill demonstrates how he lays out the guides and tests them when he is building up a custom blank.
I first start with a couple sizes of surgical rubber hose that when cut into small bands will fit snug on the blank you are building.
Next, I place the guides in their approximate places on the blank.
After all the guides are banded in their approximate places, I chuck the rod up in my lathe. It is a big plus to have a chuck with locks on 0, 45, 90 and 180-degrees.
Clamp a reel of similar size to that which will be fished on the rod in the reel seat, and adjust to 0-degrees top-dead-center.
Tighten up the chuck and glue on your tip-top, sighting down by eye and making sure it is aligned with the reel at 0-degrees.
Now you should have the reel on and all the guides attatched temporarily with the surgical bands. Take the rod out of the lathe and pull some line off the reeel and thread through the guides and top, hang a weight on the end of the line to keep it taught (I use a metal spring clamp).
Now I have an old rod harness lag bolted to the wall of my shop to put the rod in for static testing, with a strap that holds the fore grip simulating where your hand would be and giving the correct fulcrum point.
With the weight of the clamp keeping the line tight, grab the rod by the tip and put a bend in the rod, and adjust the guides by just sliding them up or down to follow the bend of the blank and keeping the line from touching the blank, , I do a fine tune with a full bend in the rod.
I find this method much faster and easier than taping the guides on, and from this point, put back in the lathe and start laying out your under wraps.