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1st Rod Build, 3 Weight Epic Fiberglass, What Guide Sizes?
Posted by: Ian ODonnell (---.s9254.c3-0.smt-ubr1.atw-smt.pa.cable.rcncustomer.com)
Date: October 14, 2018 07:31PM

Hello, I just bought my first fly rod blank, so I can assist a friend, who's been building for 30+ years, in making a fly rod for me. It's an Epic 370 Fastglass II 3 weight 7' fiberglass blank, I am trying to figure out what size guides I'll need to buy for it. I am considering either REC Recoil Single Foot Titanium Guides or Fuji Titanium Silicone Carbide, leaning more towards the REC's. Can anyone help steer me in the right direction as to what sizes I'll need? My friend said I should start with a size 10 stripping guide. He also told me I can use a caliper to measure the width of the blank in the spots where I need to put the guides, but I have no idea what the spacing should be on it. I am looking to get the best possible components for it, as it's my first rod build, he has built rods for me in the past, but this is the first one I'm getting more involved with. I would like to start making them myself someday.

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Re: 1st Rod Build, 3 Weight Epic Fiberglass, What Guide Sizes?
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---)
Date: October 14, 2018 08:49PM

Swift publishes guide locations and sizes on their web site here: [swiftflyfishing.com]

I've found their suggested guide locations are usually very close requiring only minor adjustments. I don't hold with their snake guide size suggestions as 4 different size snakes on a short 3 weight is two too many different sizes

Size 10 or 8 stripper will work.

I've no idea about single foot guides as I am an an excessive traditionalist and snake guide guy.

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Re: 1st Rod Build, 3 Weight Epic Fiberglass, What Guide Sizes?
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---.hsd1.or.comcast.net)
Date: October 15, 2018 01:22AM

Since REC doesn't as far as I know make a single foot under a size 1, I don't see your dilemma, that size is more than large enough.

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Re: 1st Rod Build, 3 Weight Epic Fiberglass, What Guide Sizes?
Posted by: Bill Hickey (---.nycap.res.rr.com)
Date: October 15, 2018 07:02AM

Like Don stated, Swift does give you a location guide for spacing and sizes on their website. While I don't agree with the amount of different sizes listed, their spacing chart is usually very close.

A size 8 Stripper, followed by a #1, then 1/0 snakes for the rest. On a personal note, I do not like single foot guides, Snake Brand Universals is the way to go in my book. I have built out a gang of short 3wts using this set up, to include Epics.

Also, a #10 stripper is just to big on a short 3wt, it will do nothing to improve casting, just add unnecessary weight.

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Re: 1st Rod Build, 3 Weight Epic Fiberglass, What Guide Sizes?
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---)
Date: October 15, 2018 08:39AM

Ian

Bill H's size suggestion for snakes is spot on. And while weight and corrosion are important considerations for all guides, it is a 3 weight that will most probably never see salt. Just something to think about.

At risk of confusing you, we nonetheless ought to introduce you to stripper sizing which is not uniform. For a 3 weight, and especially a higher $ value 3 weight blank, I think in terms of agate strippers which are usually sized by their ring's ID. Other stripper guides are sized by their ring's OD. Told ya it would be confusing.

Another guide sizing consideration that I think gets too little consideration is ease of rigging the rod. You'll find snake guide size suggestions for 2/0 snakes on a 3 weight. I don't use 2/0 snakes as I find it unnecessarily difficult to rig up the rod. So while some argue 1/0 snakes are bit too large for a 1, 2 or 3 weights, I'm willing to accept the tiny amount of additional weight in return for ease of rigging up the rod. Your milage might vary.

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Re: 1st Rod Build, 3 Weight Epic Fiberglass, What Guide Sizes?
Posted by: Bill Hickey (---.nycap.res.rr.com)
Date: October 15, 2018 12:37PM

Don is giving you some valid insight on stripper guide sizing. Agates and it is going to depend on the brand and are sized by the builder by their ring size. I'll give you an example: Joe Arguello Agates have a smaller ring and frame vs a Struble Agate. Both are very high quality stripping guides and I tend to use more of the Arguello agates than any other brand, his frames seem to be a bit more rugged and the feet usually do not require all that much prep work. There are several other brands of Agates out there, new stuff called "Perfect" from Europe is also very well made to. If you went with a size 10 Arguello Agate, it would be just fine on that blank and not to big. If using a Struble, I'd lean towards the 8 or 9.

Now another option for a Stripper that is used by lots of Glass builders are the Pacific Bay XBG or similar Mildrum style guides. Here I'd go with the #8 or #9, both are cheap enough for you to buy both, and see which one just looks better.

If your going to use a more modern conventional stripping guide, then I would go with a #8.

Snake Brand Universal guides have a different profile from other brands, their 1/0 size is small, but not too small. I use them as my ending size on rods up to 6wts, no issues with passing leader connections thru them. On a 3wt, they would be right at home. If you went with the Snake Brand Originals, a 2/0 would be perfect for ending size on a 3wt.

While the REC Recoil are a very well made high end guide, personally I don't care for the look of single foot guides on Glass, plus some people say they make a "zinging" noise when casting. They do live up to their claim of being able to bend and return to shape and position.

It comes down to its your rod, build it out to how you want it, I just would not oversize guides, nothing to gain by doing that. That Epic blank is a great casting stick.

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Re: 1st Rod Build, 3 Weight Epic Fiberglass, What Guide Sizes?
Posted by: Ian ODonnell (---.s9254.c3-0.smt-ubr1.atw-smt.pa.cable.rcncustomer.com)
Date: October 15, 2018 02:00PM

Thanks for all the input guys, I really appreciate it! I have a question, I assume 1 and 1/0 are two different sizes, right? Can someone tell me what the difference is? I checked the REC website and they have 1 Single Foot's but not 1/0 as Spencer said, so I guess that would rule them out, if they are two different sizes. I would like to keep the weight down, while still using the best quality stuff, so if something better weighs a bit more, I don't mind too much. I will look into the Agate stripping guides, I noticed them, but wasn't sure if they were ok for smaller rods. I too enjoy being able to easily rig my fly rods, I tend to run flies back through the guides when I am finished fishing for the day, so my leaders last longer, without needing tippet. So 1/0 is bigger than 2/0 then? I guess I have a lot of reading to do before I make my final decisions on everything. I am looking for high quality cork as well, I had a beautiful piece of orange and black Box Elder Burl turned for the reel seat, I plan to buy a Galvan Torque 2/3 in Burnt Orange for it, so it will look great with the reel seat. Anyone have any recommendations for high quality cork grips, I know I want AAAA grade, just not sure where to look for the best stuff, or what style I should get. I did notice a Struble one that looked nice on @#$%&, but have no idea if it would've fit properly. From the wording of the @#$%&, it sounds like they don't make them anymore? I have just recently gotten into fly fishing actually, so everything is new to me. I have been fishing since I was like 4 or 5, but always used spinning tackle until this past summer, when I got my first fly and bait casting rigs. I tend to hit the ground running, so although I bought my first fly rod and reel at the end of July, I already have 3 very nice rigs, a G. Loomis NRX 8 weight with a Ross Evolution LTX 7/8, an Edge Gamma Beta 6 weight with a Galvan Torque 5/6, and a Sage Little One 1 weight with a Ross Colorado LT 0/3. If I remember correctly the two larger rods have a Full Wells style grip, but I'm pretty sure the Sage is different, I'll have to take a look and try each one to see which one I like best. I plan to use the Epic on the local creek mostly, I have a Class A Trout stream within walking distance of my house.

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Re: 1st Rod Build, 3 Weight Epic Fiberglass, What Guide Sizes?
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---)
Date: October 15, 2018 07:20PM

Ian

Oh boy, here we go again with the sizing thing. Guide sizes 1/0 and 2/0 are snake guide sizes which from large to small are 6 to 1 then 1/0 to 2/0, so a 1 is larger than 1/0 which is larger than 2/0. Again, those are snake guide sizes - not single foot ring guide sizes. If I remember correctly, the general rule to roughly equate snake to ring is to add 2 where a size 1 snake would be a size 3 ring. If I'm wrong someone will hopefully correct me.

I'll second Bill H's recommendation for Joe Arguello's agate guides. They are beautiful work at reasonable price.

High quality and cork are nearly oxymoronic these days. Shop around this site's vendors and you'll find wide varieties preformed grips of different lengths and styles. Eventually you'll want to build your own grips, you'll buy a quantity of cork rings, and then reject about a third as something less than AAAA or flor or high grade or whatever the seller labels its best cork.

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Re: 1st Rod Build, 3 Weight Epic Fiberglass, What Guide Sizes?
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: October 15, 2018 10:55PM

The rod you describe will not be called upon to cast a long distance. I think you should select the guides which look the best and that, of course, is totally a matter of personal preference.

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Re: 1st Rod Build, 3 Weight Epic Fiberglass, What Guide Sizes?
Posted by: Ian ODonnell (---.s9254.c3-0.smt-ubr1.atw-smt.pa.cable.rcncustomer.com)
Date: November 12, 2018 09:41AM

I still haven't decided what guides to use, I decided to grab a copy of Advanced Custom Rod Building and Dale really pushes the Fuji guides! It's got me thinking about using them instead of snake guides. I noticed Fuji has a new ring material called Torzite, and I am very interested in trying it. The problem is, they only make them for spinning and casting rods, from what I've seen. Part of me wants to go with the single foot Torzite spinning guides, anyone have any thoughts on that? I have been looking at the ID of the Snake Brand guides compared with the Fuji's and feel like I could probably get close enough to the recommendations Swift has on their website. I'm really anxious to get started on this thing, but the guides are proving to be a very difficult decision!!

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