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  • By Tom Kirkman
One of the hottest catch phrases in the fishing rod world these days reads someting like this, "This rod features the Fuji New Guide Concept System." Any such rod carrying a tag  with that phrase may well feature Fuji's New Concept Guides, but whether it really features the New Guide Concept SYSTEM itself is another matter.  Fuji's website has a brief explantion of the system and some suggested guide sizes and spacing  locations for various length and type rods, but these are only suggestions.  Rarely will they provide the same benefits of a system that has been properly set-up and implemented.  With that in mind, here is a very brief overview of how to properly size and locate guides for the New Guide Concept System.  *(This article orginally ran in the Volume 7 #1 issue of RodMaker Magazine, and more detailed information on the system can be found in the Volume 3 #4 issue of RodMaker.)


Nearly all spinning rods can benefit from the use of the New Guide Concept. By reducing guide size near the tip of the rod, weight is reduced in this critical area and more of the imparted energy can be used for casting rather than starting and stopping the rod.  Rod response and recovery are noticeably improved and overall rod balance shifts that much closer to the place where your hand holds the rod.

One common misconception is that you must use a particular type or style of guide.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The key is in selecting and placing guides so that you achieve two straight line paths; one from the reel to the intersection guide, and then from the intersection guide on to the tip top.  Do not preselect your guides.  Instead, allow the reel and intended line path to show you what you what guides will be required.

1.  Install the reel you plan on using into the reel seat.  Remove the reel spool and align the spool spindle so that it is directly in line with a table edge.  (Be careful not to allow your outfit to fall off the table edge.)

2.  Note the point where the rod blank intersects with the table edge.  Set your smallest and lowest guide against the blank in the location where it¹s outer edge just touches the table edge. (Generally, lines from 2lb to 8lb will easily pass through a #6 ring.  10lb to 15lb lines may require a #7 or #8 ring size.)

3.  Now set the guides between the reel and the intersect guide by selecting guide sizes and locations that put the guides' outer edges so that they just reach the table edge.  Ring size should generally be at least 1/2 the diameter of the reel spool OD and the required height is usually attained by utilizing fairly high frame guide styles.  Butt or stripping guides should generally fall between 17 to 23 inches from the spool face on most freshwater type rods and 21 to 30 inches on larger saltwater rods.  Select a guide size and style that puts you into these categories.

4.  With an eye on good stress distribution, set as many guides as needed between the butt guide and the intersect guide.  These should also be sized in such a way that their outer edge just reaches the table edge. Once these guides have been set, check your work by taping them  in place and sighting down through the butt guide. If you have done this properly, each guide will be perfectly and concentrically framed by the one preceding it.

5.  Now set the guides between the intersect guide and tip top.  Use the same size and type guide you used for the intersect guide.  Measure the distance between the tip top and the intersect guide.  Divide into equal segments and set the guides so that they are no closer than 4 inches to each other, yet no further apart than 5 inches from each other.  *(On heavier saltwater rods, you may set the distances between guides at more than 5 inches - use your judgment with an eye on good stress distribution for the particular rod at hand.)

It is permissible to progressively space each ensuing guide a bit farther apart. However, equal distance spacing is quicker and easier and works very well.

6.  Test cast the rod and check for good static stress distribution.  If you have set up the system properly, however, you should find that you¹ve attained perfect guide spacing on the initial go around!

*(This article orginally ran in the Volume 7 #1 issue of RodMaker Magazine. More detailed information on the system can be found in the Volume 3 #4 issue of RodMaker.)

~Tom Kirkman