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Ice Guides
Posted by: David Sytsma (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: December 15, 2022 12:54PM

For you hardwater anglers and rod builders, I have a question. I've been building several rods lately and everyone has requested the REC ice guides, even though they are more costly. I have two I'm building right now and the customer wants one with REC guides and is contemplating using CRB guides on the second one. I've been using REC Ice guides on my builds for myself the last couple of years just because I can and they have been working fine other than requiring a lot of guide foot prep. Decades ago (okay, I'm old) all ever used was fly rod snake guides and they worked just fine and still are. The question is whether I should use the CRB ice guides with the stainless steel ring, or the one with a zirconium insert. Has anyone had any problems with zirconium ring breakage in an ice fishing environment, and do they have more or less tendency to ice up than the SS rings? Thanks!

Dave Sytsma

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Re: Ice Guides
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: December 15, 2022 08:50PM

It is a pretty common practice for ice fishermen to whack the tip of their ice rods against the ice to knock any built up ice off the rods.
For this practice, it is nice to have guides on the rod that do not have any ceramic inserts.

Generally speaking I would suggest that for the vast bulk of ice fishing there is no need for an insert.
1. There is 0 casting with ice fishing.
2. The water is just above 32 degrees, so the fish tend to move slowly.
3. When ice fishing - fish tend NOT to make line burning runs that might require the use of a ceramic insert in a guide.

A lot of folks use inexpensive single foot fly fishing guides for ice fishing guides.

This is a company that really specializes in supplying the ice fishing industry:

Best wishe

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Re: Ice Guides
Posted by: Rick Handrick (165.189.255.---)
Date: December 16, 2022 08:58AM

99% of my builds are ice rods. Here are some of my thoughts:

1) Ceramic inserts on any ice rod are detrimental to the build. The stainless-steel insert spinning and 'SF running' style guides are lightweight and perform flawlessly when battling a 20lb lake trout in 200 FOW on Lake Superior (Apostle Islands). These rods are spooled with 15-20# braid typically on 2000 class spinning reel. Ceramic inserts are more likely to get brittle and crack/fall out. Not to contradict Roger - as I have utmost respect for him, but points 2 and 3 that he makes above do not apply to the lake trout/splake/coho/brown trout that one will encounter on Lake Superior/Chequamegon Bay/Apostle Islands. These fish thrive in cold water and will make impressive drag peeling runs - placing quite a stress on the 5-7 or so guides you typically end up with on a properly constructed ice rod. Even large pike and the occasional wayward musky inland can give your gear a workout. Still, the stainless insert guides are more than up to the task - they do a great job.

2) The REC guides sound cool. In practice, they aren't any more resistant to ice up than a stainless single foot fly guide. I strongly believe that people want them due to seeing (insert popular web angler of the day here) saying in some article or YT video that they need them. I have to upcharge a customer $30 to put a set on a rod, with no noticeable performance increase. I do not recommend them to customers. I realize they are a sponsor here, so I apologize for the harsh words.

3) I use the CRB high frame spinning guide (typically size 12) as the 'stripper' guide on most of my ice builds from the laker rods down to the finesse noodles. They perform very well.

4) Medium light power and up rods get the CRB SF running guides, as mentioned, they perform very well. Anything lighter gets light wire single foot fly guides after the stripper. Light wire is important though - the typical wire fly guide is thicker than I use, and they definitely affect performance due to the added weight.

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Re: Ice Guides
Posted by: David Sytsma (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: December 16, 2022 07:45PM

Thanks for the help, guys. Rick, I routinely use a high frame #12 for the stripper; even when the customer requests REC guides. It always seems to be just right with the small spinning reels that are used for ice fishing. Light wire single foot guides are fairly easy to get, but one of the rods is getting black guides per request. Both rods are to be 56" overall length, the handle being 11" long, so the working blank length is 45". I've got enough CRB SF SSR #6 black guides for that rod, so unless I can locate light wire black fly guides I'm going to have to use those.

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Re: Ice Guides
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: December 17, 2022 04:50AM

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Re: Ice Guides
Posted by: Arthur Lin (---.biz.spectrum.com)
Date: December 17, 2022 01:00PM

Here are both tops and guides with black Adaman.


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Re: Ice Guides
Posted by: David Sytsma (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: December 20, 2022 06:53PM

Thanks a lot, Arthur! That's a great site.

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