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Spey guidance and expertise please!
Posted by: Joseph Ortiz (---)
Date: September 08, 2021 04:39PM

Anyone use Snake Brand “Spey-Heavy Wire” guides? Are they used all the way to the tip?

Plan to build a 12.5’ 8wt as I understand that's what folks around here tend to use (with Skagit heads). I am not real confident what size guides to use here. I’ve only ever built a handful of fly rods (enjoy, but I’m just not much of a fly fishermen) and I’m building my first Spey to learn on. Any guidance or resources to check out regarding guide sizes/ recommendations is greatly appreciated!

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Re: Spey guidance and expertise please!
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---)
Date: September 08, 2021 06:04PM

Joe,
No - I have never used them - they are fairly new.
I have read the marketing stuff on SB site - but have never heard of needing heavier wire.
Nonetheless - per the SB site - they are only used for the the 3 largest guides. I would imagine that means the 3 guides after the stripper - but - how many double foot ceramic guides will you use.
On my rods I use 3 ceramics. So does that mean I should use heavy wire for the next 3 guides???

Perhaps these builders only use the stripper - and no other ceramics.
In ant event - don't go nuts over this. I see no harm using the heavy wire guides - but I don't think it will make a hill of beans difference.

On all my 14-15 TH rods I have built - I used REC recoils. Sometimes snakes - sometimes S/F.

Note - if you will be using the SB guides in the salt - they will stain your wraps overtime unless you clean carefully after salt use.
Herb
CTS

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Re: Spey guidance and expertise please!
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: September 08, 2021 07:26PM

The "heavy wire" guides aren't heavy. Just a bit heavier wire than their standard, which is pretty darn light. Don't worry over it. Snakeguide makes very lightweight guides... even the "heavy wire" guides.

.............

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Re: Spey guidance and expertise please!
Posted by: Bill Hickey (---.nycap.res.rr.com)
Date: September 08, 2021 08:41PM

In regard to size, use the smallest size that will pass your connections and keep your drop in guide sizes limited to 3. Snake Brand Makes a very good guide, I use them almost exclusively on my builds.

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Re: Spey guidance and expertise please!
Posted by: Richard Bowers (---.ptld.qwest.net)
Date: September 09, 2021 10:34AM

I concur with Bill and the others, Snake Brand are the best guides in the industry! They have a concave foot that makes them much easier to wrap and they are more stable on the blank. They have a finish using an ECOating, it is a Chrome-like finish but has no Chromium so it is legal in the European market where Chromium is not allowed. It has a harder durometer reading than chrome, and has a natural lubrosity so the line really shoots through the guides. You can see a description and size chart on the website @ [snakeguides.com] and navigate to the Products page. In the left column, there is a link to the pages describing the guides.

I am not associated with Snake Brand, but will not use any other guides on my builds, and I count myself lucky to be able to have met and visited with owner Mike McCoy. Mike is an expert fly fisher and fly tyer, and a more considerate person would be very hard to find. He works with women's cancer revovery groups, tying and donating flies, and then gets them out on the water teaching them how to fly fish. He also consults with major rod manufacturers, like Scott Rods, successfully developing guide trains that are more effective and efficient.

By the way, the American Tackle Mocrowave 18/8 stripper guide would be a great first guide for your Spey build. I use either the 18/8 or the 12/6 Microwave strippers on all of my fly rod builds. I had to learn to back off on my casting with these guides because the line was shooting farther than I could reasonably expect, overshooting my targets by between 5 and 10 feet!

As for guide sizing, I would not go below a size 2 on an 8-wt Spey with a Large Loop tip top.

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Re: Spey guidance and expertise please!
Posted by: Joseph Ortiz (---)
Date: September 09, 2021 12:07PM

Thank you Gents! I really appreciate the feedback once again! Several little details I did not know. I used Rec recoil on my last fly rod, so I thought Id give snake brand a try. I like knowing where my products are made (and supporting US or ally economies). This is just a personal rod because I have been wanting to catch a steelhead on the fly for years and figured it was about time I learned. I am gathering that my inclination was to go much larger guide sizes than might actually be needed...

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Re: Spey guidance and expertise please!
Posted by: ben belote (---.hfc.comcastbusiness.net)
Date: September 09, 2021 09:16PM

Herb, have you tried 4 or 5 ceramics yet..they make the fish fight go so much smoother..

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Re: Spey guidance and expertise please!
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: September 09, 2021 10:23PM

They do indeed, and by leaps and bounds. But if you do use ceramics it's important to select the lightest possible models. Over the length of most spey rods guide weight will noticeably affect rod speed.

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Re: Spey guidance and expertise please!
Posted by: Terje Bendiksby (---.89-10-98.nextgentel.com)
Date: September 10, 2021 01:13AM

One of the reasons Snake Brand guides are light is beacuse they have smaller and lower loops than most other guides, and the foot is shorter (but wider) compared to other snake guides.

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Re: Spey guidance and expertise please!
Posted by: ben belote (---.hfc.comcastbusiness.net)
Date: September 10, 2021 08:34AM

my experience is that if load bearing butt guides are ceramic and the reest are wire or minama, you get the best of both worlds; fish fighting smoothness and casting tip speed..a good light ceramic would be silicon carbide guides or alconite which are twice as hard and smoother than any wire guide..snakes have too much friction under load..the line gets stuck then slips, stick-slip action that you do not get with ceramic at any load..

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Re: Spey guidance and expertise please!
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---)
Date: September 10, 2021 02:19PM

Ben,
The maximum # of ceramics I have used on a 2 hander is 3..
I tend to keep the rod low when I fight a fish to keep the load on the lower portion of the rod. This makes the upper section of the rod irrelevant to the fight. So, very little friction on guides.
This also puts maximum pressure on fish.
I don't fish for trout or steelhead - so I don't need the tip high to protect the tippet.

My single handed rods - that I like the most - is where I built them with a ceramic stripper and REC single foot spinning Recoils (RSPG).
If I'm using a #20 ceramic - I will use a #16, #12, #10 spinning guide. Then I go to "normal" runners.
This set-up keeps the lime far from the blank.
Herb

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Re: Spey guidance and expertise please!
Posted by: ben belote (---.hfc.comcastbusiness.net)
Date: September 10, 2021 03:16PM

Herb, are the 16,12, and 10 spin guides also ceramic? Thanks.

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Re: Spey guidance and expertise please!
Posted by: ben belote (---.hfc.comcastbusiness.net)
Date: September 10, 2021 03:22PM

ok, i just checked and see that the rspg guides are wire..what confused me was that yu stated you used three ceramics for your butt guides starting out..



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/10/2021 03:43PM by ben belote.

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Re: Spey guidance and expertise please!
Posted by: ben belote (---.hfc.comcastbusiness.net)
Date: September 10, 2021 06:12PM

ok, Herb...one of these days i,m going to learn to read..you used the three ceramics for the two handed rods but for the single hand rods you use the 20 ceramic followed by three tall wire spin guides to keep the line off the blank..is there really that much blank contact that you feel the need to use tall heavier guides than normal..just trying to learn..Thanks.

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Re: Spey guidance and expertise please!
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---)
Date: September 12, 2021 10:53AM

Ben,
I'm in RI now chasing Striped Bass - the rods I brought from home are:
Four favorites that are a custom CTS taper of my design #6, #7, #8, #9. - they all have to be overlined. They have the guide train I explained. It was just an experiment.
The other 4 rods I brought with me are CTS stock Affinity-M in #8, two #9', #10
These have either 3 ceramic guides Also an experiment - because not needed on a 9' rod) - then s/f runners. Or, 2 ceramics and then s/f runners.

I don't see line-slab on any of the above.
But it makes me feel better that I have done all I can to prevent it.

In a blind test - my bet is that it wouldn't mean a hill of beans.

The RSPG's are light and fairly low down on the blank anyway - so no harm done. That together with the fact that the CTS custom taper has a very firm lower section(s) - no harm was done with the extra weight over just plain runners.
Herb
PS - there is a lot of room to experiment with this stuff - and not get into trouble. Some builder friends go right to runners after the ceramic stripper. And, they are great casters.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2021 10:55AM by Herb Ladenheim.

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Re: Spey guidance and expertise please!
Posted by: ben belote (---.hfc.comcastbusiness.net)
Date: September 12, 2021 03:57PM

hi Herb, i only fished RI once and that was for largemouth bass..for a small state they sure have more than their share of water full of fish..i hope your catching them..like you i enjoy playing with guide set ups for flyrods and others..when i used to use snake guides i would get some really bad line slap/ wrap between the grip and first guide..however since going to ceramic guides the problem was solved..i came to the conclusion that with wire guides there was too much friction slowing the lines passage especially when making a strong cast..the smoother ceramics let the line shoot..when i read that you were using the tall guides i thought you maybe were working on the same problem by keeping the line away from the blank. now i was using 9wt. line so maybe if i went to larger guides like your doing, that would have solved the problem but i would not have discovered the other benefits of ceramic guides.

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Re: Spey guidance and expertise please!
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---)
Date: September 12, 2021 07:27PM

Ben,
IMO - since I am not a fan of using all ceramics on a fly rod - I think that you experienced a lack of line wrap with ceramics is because the weight of the ceramics caused your rod to lose performance which caused lower line speed.
I'll bet the line wrap happened at the end of your cast where it didn't mean much - except that it was annoying.
If you still have the rods with wire guides - try lowering the rod tip almost to the water - or grass - right after you release your forward cast.
If your loops are tight - that will also decrease the amount of tailing loops you get.
Herb

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Re: Spey guidance and expertise please!
Posted by: ben belote (---.hfc.comcastbusiness.net)
Date: September 12, 2021 07:59PM

OK, Thanks Herb...

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