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10 wt stripper guide 20 vs 16
Posted by: Chris Baker (---)
Date: February 04, 2023 11:40AM


Looking for comments on the first two guides for my next build. It’s a NFC LMX 9’ 10wt.

I am considering either a 16 and 12 or 20 and 16 for stripper and next gudie.

So the question is really 20 vs 16. What’s difference here? Does really even matter?

After posting this I saw the thread below it with couple folks commenting that 16 is all you might ever need. Any comments still welcome.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/04/2023 11:49AM by Chris Baker.

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Re: 10 wt stripper guide 20 vs 16
Posted by: roger wilson (---)
Date: February 04, 2023 12:10PM

Build the rod with a size 20 that is wrapped, but not coated. Go fishing with the rod.

Then, come back, cut off the size 20 and tie on a size 16 and go fishing.

Document your results and let us know what you will use for the final build.

As the saying goes, "build and test" - Repeat - "build and test". You need to do the testing yourself, because you may have a completely different opinion for the way that you fish - compared to another user of the same rod.

Best wishes.

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Re: 10 wt stripper guide 20 vs 16
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (---.lightspeed.hstntx.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 04, 2023 07:58PM

The way I look at it is in your style of casting. I started building rods by doing fly rods 1st. The only reason I got into it was because I didn't want to spend the money on a top of the line fly rod. The rods I wanted to use were for saltwater. I started to read (no internet at the time) everything I could about saltwater fly fishing and one person's name kept coming up, Left Kreh. In his books he talked about using oversized stripping guides and that is what I did with my first fly rod. Of course, I did not know how to cast once I completed it, so I really wasn't sure if it was correct.

The rod came out great, built on a new Sage RPL 8wt blank. It took me about a year to catch my first fish on it. There was a steep learning curve to fly fishing, especially in saltwater, where a 60' cast is just about the minimum distance you need to be effective. There are shorter 40' site cast that you will do but if you want to cover more water and get a chance at a spooky fish, 60'+ is the minimum. I had to teach myself how to cast and how to double haul, probably a mistake, but I did not want to spend the money on lessons and did not know anyone else that fly fish that lived near me.

Over the years I have learned that a fly rod is lot like a spinning rod in the way the guides are set up. The larger the spool diameter the larger the butt or stripper guide. If you apply that to fly fishing, it is your line position near the reel when you let it go in the forward cast. In order to get distance I carry 50’ to 60’ of line (usually about two or three false casts) before I let go on my forward cast. When I let go, most of the time my hand is below and away from the reel. A larger guide helps gather the line with less resistance. A smaller guide ring is going to give more resistance in this situation where the line is hitting against the outer rear edge of the ring, slowing it down. The next guide will tame the wave in the line and straighten it out to run through the running guides (rapid reduction). I have found this for my casting style to be the most effective to get an 80’-90’+ cast. If you are well disciplined and keep your hand and line near the reel when you release on the forward line and still maintain some kind of line contact then a smaller stripper guide will be fine. I have noticed that on lower weight rods, like a 3wt, I tend to keep my hand closer to the reel. On heavier rods 8+ wt, it seems I am more aggressive and the line is farther from the reel. Sorry about the small novel, but I want you to understand where I am coming from.

Roger is totally correct, try his method and see what is best for you. A 20 is the largest I use and I have done many fly rods with 16 and there really doesn’t seem to be a big difference other than when I am going for that aggressive distance shot. I also won’t use a 20 on anything below an 8wt.

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Re: 10 wt stripper guide 20 vs 16
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---)
Date: February 04, 2023 08:08PM

Last 10 wt I built I used a MW-18 for the stripper and a #4 snake for the transition. Worked well. it just looked a bit odd at first\.

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Re: 10 wt stripper guide 20 vs 16
Posted by: Marc Morrone (---.dsl.airstreamcomm.net)
Date: February 05, 2023 07:53AM

I am not the worlds greatest fly fisherman. But if you measure casting distance, and watch how the line behaves on your cast, I don't think there is measurable improvement with a size 20, but they are more cumbersome putting rods in cases.

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Re: 10 wt stripper guide 20 vs 16
Posted by: david taylor (---)
Date: February 06, 2023 01:25PM

I don't believe there is any reason to go beyond a size 16 stripper. I have an 8 weight I am going to build and will go 16 to 12 (or 10) then to size 2 or 3 running guides. No reason for big honking stripping guides. 16 is plenty big enough.

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