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The K-R Concept 3+1 Specification, and the NFC SJ 703
Posted by: Les Cline (---)
Date: March 22, 2024 10:26PM

About a month ago, I completed a spinning build using the K-R Concept, 3+1 guide specification, for NFC's SJ 703 X-Ray (C602) blank. I have fished it extensively since then, and wanted to share my experiences and thought process building and fishing this guide specification with this rod. Seems to me, not much has been written about the 3+1 specification, especially with the 16H guide group, and I wanted to at least leave a record someone may find helpful. This is how I went about it....

Selecting the Guide Train Group:

The link below is to the Fuji K-R Concept chart for reference. (A big thanks to Michael Tarr for providing this link!) I apologize for the "fuzziness" of some of the smaller text - it is the best copy of the chart I can access at this time.
(Evidently, the fuji tackle eu site where the original chart was located, is bugged and access is risky to hacking. Too bad!)


I went back and forth whether to go with the 16H or 20H group. My first impulse was to use the 16H group to best fit a braid size of #4/15 Power Pro (#4 diameter and #15 pound test). This size of braid (with a fluorocarbon leader of up to #10) seemed just right for my purposes for this build - and it fit the basic guide group recommendations from the K-R Guide Placement Software (Calculator) at Angler's Resource. Fuji's K-R charts also were a big help - lots of details and diagrams to be found there.

I read several forum posts that say the 20H group allows for greater versatility if I ever wanted to up-size line. That made sense! If I were building a rod like the St. Croix 4C68MXF (IP = 482) instead of the 703 (IP = 337.5), I would definitely use the 20H group because I would want the option of using heavier braid and a heavier leader on the St. Croix. I wanted the 703 to be a lighter duty rod, so, the 16H group seemed best for me.

Next, I considered the 3-guide specification (16H, 8H, and 5.5M) versus the 3+1-guide specification (16H, 8H, 6M, 5.5L). I wanted to try the 3+1 guide specification for a couple reasons: 1.) I already have a few builds with the 3-guide spec, and they work great. 2.) The 3+1 guide spec. was designed, according to Fuji, to ease the transition of leader knots through the guides to increase casting distance AND enhance casting lighter lures with stiffer mono line. I like braid to leader as well as straight mono or fluorocarbon line at times, so this also captured my attention. The 3+1 specification has some versatility to it for braid and leader OR straight mono and fluoro. I really liked that aspect!

Finally, to complete the 3+1 spec., I needed to figure out the size of the KB runners (Fuji named belly guides), KT runners (or as Fuji calls them, "tip guide group"), and a tip top (named "top guide" by Fuji).

In the 3+1 guide spec., the "+1 guide" is called a High Profile Belly Guide (in my case, the 5.5L guide). It has a wider and longer foot for added stress support mid-blank - it is still used like a belly guide, it just has a taller frame than the low-frame KB belly guide. I considered using a low-frame KB guide after the 5.5L, and decided it wasn't needed. I could go on to the KT guides instead.

For the Tip Group Guides (KT), I looked closely at the Fuji line recommendations for ring sizes. Line size and ring size are related. I went with 4.5 rings because it was closest to the line size I wanted to use for this build. And this is where I learned a couple new terms: "In-leader" and "out-leader." In-leader is when the leader knot is inside the top guide; and out-leader is outside of it.. According to the Fuji chart, the 4.5 can handle straight mono #5 to #12. However, only up to #8 In-leader is recommended. I suppose this is because the leader knot is going to be larger than the diameter of #12 mono if heavier line than #8 is used. This bugged me a bit because I wanted a #10 fluorocarbon leader to work at the max end, not #8. I went ahead with the 4.5's trusting my gut (and from reading other gurus on the forum) that it would probably work well anyway. (More on the In-leader size when I share my actual fishing experiences.)

Top guide (tip top) of choice was the Fuji LN (also called the LG on the chart), the same 4.5 ring size as the KT's. Small. Light. Plenty strong. I have experience with this guide and have them on heavier rods - so I know they will easily hold up to the job for the 703..

Placement of the First Four Guides of the 3+1 Specification:

Just to help someone get started on the 3+1 layout using the 16H guide group, my final numbers for spacing on this rod and reel are below. This spacing looked balanced and worked well for me on the water. Your mileage may differ. In fact, I found two or three layouts that looked very good - and all of them were a little different. I am confident they all would work very well. I discovered that when one guide is tweaked, it has an impact on the other guides. After a few trials and errors, I began to imagine how the changes I made would create other changes. I learned so much from playing around with the guides this way....it was worth the effort.

The reel is a Shimano Vanford 2500.

From center of reel stem locked in the reel seat to 16H guide = 21 and 3/8 inches or 542.93 mm.
From front of guide foot of 16H to front of guide foot of 8H = 9 9/16 inches or 242.89 mm
From front foot of 8H to front foot of 6M = 7 1/8 inches or 181 mm.
From front foot of 6M to front foot of 5.5L = 5 13/16 inches or 147.64 mm
Front foot of 5.5L to front foot of first 4.5 KT tip guide = 5 inches or 127 MM.

I won't go into the spacing for the rest of the KT guides, only that they are progressively spaced on out to the tip and look right to me in a two-line static test. The "hardest part" for me was getting those first four guides where I liked them.

This rod ended up with ten total guides plus top guide. Six guides are KT's, and the other four are the 3+1 specification guides.

Casting and Fishing this Rig (My Anecdotal Experience, no actual measurements taken to compare yet) :

* This guide group and rod casts far and smoothly with a #10 fluorocarbon in-leader and FG knot. I also tested it with #12 leader and it did not seem to miss a beat. I did not try lighter leaders - I sense it would only cast more effortlessly.

* What I really noticed was that I did not hear that "leader knot rattle" much at all. Granted, #4/15 braid is quite supple and thin, and #10 fluorocarbon is not what I consider heavy line. FG knots are quite thin as well.

* I ran some In-leaders up to 10 ft. in length with no issues. If I were running a 25 ft. leader of heavier line, where I had several turns/coils of the leader on the spool that needed to clear the Butt guide, it might make a difference to my 16H versus 20H guide group choices. I don't typically run leaders that long. It would all depend on how large the line coils were coming off the spool and if they were slapping the rod or being overly constricted at the Butt Guide. I want to test straight fluoro line up to #10 next and see how it does.

* As I cast, I would at times hold my rod in-line with my eye to watch the line flow - no slap on the blank, and I could clearly see the line coils rapidly getting smaller and smaller as they approached the tip guides. With that #4/15 braid, the coils of line never looked to be any larger than the diameter of the spool itself. There was a neat and narrow cone from the Butt Guide to the first KT guide - then a single line flowing from there out the top guide. (I like the Hi-vis yellow braid - and it is pretty easy to see.)

* I was/am fishing from bank for pre-spawn largemouth bass off wind-blown points and elbows/corners. Long casts are needed to cover water. I threw a Salty Super Fluke (no extra weight) or 5-inch Senko (no extra weight) farther than I needed to. The rod and guide group handled it all smoothly - and I could tell when I was bumping rocks, weeds, limbs, or dragging through leaves and moss.

* My largest fish so far in March is a 23-inch largemouth bass. No issues hooking and landing that fish in relatively open water with few obstructions. I felt the subtle tap when she picked up my lure - like a tiny perch or crappie peck. Many of these pre-spawn fish bite very very lightly....so sensitivity is at a premium. My overall totals are around 20 bass, and over half of them are 16 to 20 inchers. Nice fish - they are giving me a worthy field trial.

So, I am very pleased with my rig and the 3+1 spec. I am thinking now about converting that 4C68MXF into a 3+1 rod with the 20H guide group. To be fair, that rod is an NGC concept build from a long time ago - and it casts pretty well, too.

All this is fun to do and discuss!

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/31/2024 09:14AM by Les Cline.

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Re: The K-R Concept 3+1 Specification, and the NFC SJ 703
Posted by: Ed Rose (---)
Date: March 23, 2024 10:40AM

Thanks very much for this Les, this is gold!
I know this is speculation but what do you think the impact would be by going to the 20H guide group and size 5KT running/tip guides, using you same reel/line-leader set up?


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Re: The K-R Concept 3+1 Specification, and the NFC SJ 703
Posted by: David Baylor (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: March 23, 2024 11:16AM

Les, nice write up. I am really glad to read that it's working out as you had hoped. Of course, I imagine you kind of knew that it would. As I'm not a braid kind of guy, I look forward to you reporting how it handles straight 10# fluorocarbon. Personally, I've had the rod I'm building using the 3 + 1 set up, sitting in my wrapper for about two weeks/ Guides on and in position. Ready to start wrapping. Its' purpose is for smallmouth fishing, and the inland lakes with smallmouth around me, are just now getting to the water levels where launching a boat isn't a hit or miss proposition.

That, and I've been setting up the first rod I'll be building on one of the MB 725 C6O2 blanks I have.

Anyhow .....Like I said. very nice write up, and where in the heck do you live that you're catching that number of bass already. It sure isn't northeast Ohio. lol

That 23 inch fish sounds like a beauty. That's close to, or just over a 7 lb fish in my neck of the woods. I bet it was fun on that rod. I've only been out once thus far this year, the first weekend in March. I got one 2 - 2 1/2 lb fish on a jerkbait. My brother got a 5 1/2 lb fish on a stealth blade Jackhammer.

Other than that, our weather hasn't been very conducive to fishing, so I haven't been in a big hurry to get that spinning build done. I'll get it done this weekend though. I want to get started wrapping that MB 725 rod. It's ready to go as well.

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Re: The K-R Concept 3+1 Specification, and the NFC SJ 703
Posted by: Les Cline (---)
Date: March 23, 2024 01:17PM

Here is ONE layout that will get you started, Ed:

Starting Point Placements of the 3+1 Specification for the 20H Guide Group with Vanford 2500 reel:

20H: 19 to 19 3/4 inches from spool axel tip at mid stroke. (For some reason, I have these two measurements written down in two different places for the 20H butt guide. Try them both.)
10H: 8 3/4 inches from front of guide foot of the 20H.
7M: 6 5/8 inches from front of guide foot of 10H.
6L: 5 1/8 inches from front of guide foot of 7M.
First KB belly or KT tip section guide placed 4.5 inches from front of guide foot of 6L. (I used 4.5mm rings so if you use 5 mm it might change this spacing a little.)

Reduction Train Length (RT) or Distance from 20H to 6L = 20 5/8 to 20 3/4 inches. Very Approximate.

Process and Playground:

I mounted my rod on two rod stands allowing for free space between the guide locations. Next, I put the guides on the rod temporarily with rubber bands in their general locations. I then opened the bail of the reel and clipped my line on the bottom of the spool (on the line clip located there), and ran it through all the guides, including the first KT running guide. Finally, I tied a light washer to the end of the line for a bit of tension.. (It helps to use hi-vis line for this.) Leave the bail open so it does not get in the way or move the line later.

With the line clipped to the bottom of the spool, I wanted the line to barely touch the bottom of the ring of each guide while keeping the line straight.

Then, I started playing with it - keeping in mind many of the things Norman Miller had taught me about general spacing and ratios through the forum. Norman has some great advice on how he does things - see if you can pull up his posts with a Forum Search on the K-R Concept. (There are several K-R related articles on the Angler's Resource site that I found very useful and informative, too.)

You will find, I think, that you can achieve a straight line path between the 10H to 6L to the first KT guide fairly easily while maintaining progressive spacing. It is getting a straight line path from the spool to the 20H to the 10H that I could not quite achieve - so, I moved things around to make that angle(s) as small as possible while at the same time NOT getting the 20H too close or far from the reel (not less than 19 inches nor more than 21 inches).

The K-R Fuji diagrams I have seen show this slight angle change from spool to the 20H, or any other "H" butt guide, is intentional by Fuji. It is part of their Rapid Choke concept to have that slight angle change and not a straight line from the spool to the butt guide to the first running guide (commonly called the choker). This is to keep the heavier guides of the RT as close as possible to the butt end of the rod.

I would arrive at a layout that looked good to me. Rotate the spool to different positions and check how the line lays in the guides - and make tweaks if needed..

Do a layout or two that looks good to you, make a build sheet, and record your measurements and other notes. You'll have a great record for future use - or to help someone else! I have a three ring binder just for K-R Concept info with dividers for "Guide Selection", "Guide Placement", and "Build Sheets". I keep Fuji's charts, Angler's Resource articles, and forum notes in there too. I'm always learning something new when I look through it. Hey, I'm making my own K-R textbook! (As a retired teacher, I guess it is only fitting. Ha!)

IMO, achieving perfection is not only impossible, it may not even be necessary for fabulous rod performance with the K-R Concept. With lighter braids #20 and under, and mono/fluoro lines #12 and under, this concept will accommodate "getting close" very well, IME. It is not going to triple your casting distance or anything crazy like that! In some cases, the older and venerable New Guide Concept (NGC), parent of the KRC, can work better in some situations and setups.

It is easy to forget that the KRC is as much about overall weight reduction as much as it is about line control and efficiency, IMO. The combination of weight reduction, especially in the tip section of the rod, with efficient line control for specified line sizes and types is what makes the KRC shine the most.

I hope these placements help you get started - they will get you in the ballpark where you can take your own swings at finding your perfect setup! You will learn so much while playing around with guide placement.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/27/2024 02:51PM by Les Cline.

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Re: The K-R Concept 3+1 Specification, and the NFC SJ 703
Posted by: Les Cline (---)
Date: March 23, 2024 02:18PM


I will share what I find out about the #10 fluoro line test. I suspect it will work fine with the 16H group, but even better with the 20H group! I want to build my next spin rod with the 20H. I may have an excellent candidate in a re-build of the St. Croix 4C68MXF I mentioned above. Man, that is a dandy rod recommended to me by Bob McKamey a couple or three decades ago!

And speaking of dandy rods, that MB 725 is one, too! I built it into a cast rod and not a spinner. Now I have second thoughts - not about the rod, about whether I should have made it a spin rod, too. I might have to get another one to build into a spinner! It never ends! Ha!

I have fished the 725 quite a bit this March, too. Same baits as with the 703 (salty super flukes and Senkos like the Yamamoto and Zoom Zlinkey with a 3/0 Gamakatsu EWG). Very sensitive rod - and I'd even say I can feel bites better with it than I can with the 703! No joke!. I am delighted with the action, power, and especially the lightness of the rig. For example, I hit an amorous 14-inch male bass day before yesterday on a short line, under a laydown close to shore...I laid the wood a little too much and literally launched him out of the water in one motion. Yeah, that 725 has some guts to it. (Oh, and I release all my bass.)

I really think I am pushing the limits of the 703 a bit tangling with these larger pre-spawners; however, the water is fairly open so I don't have to muscle them away from anything too much. I like the long casts I can make with it with little effort. The only drawback for this particular use became apparent to me last week when I fooled around and hit a larger bass than that 23".

When I set the hook, I thought I had missed the bite and was hung up - the whole rod was locked up solid - then I felt a head shake. I started to shake myself. During our tussle, she stalemated me several times. The 703 was bending all the way to the butt and into the handle a bit. I finally got her head up and she spit my fluke like a piece of chewed bubble gum. But I got to see her head and body come out of the water about 1/3 of the way. I think she was too fat to jump! Biggest bass I have ever seen in person.

That was the moment I realized I wish I had that 725 (or that 4C68MXF) in my hand instead. I don't think the 703 had enough guts to get a solid hookset through that bass's clamped jaws on my super fluke. I felt a bit out-gunned.
I really did not build the 703 for pre-spawn bass fishing - I built it for fishing smallmouth and perhaps saugeye on the dam and flats of the Kansas lakes I fish, too. I was just testing the 703 when I started to get into a solid pre-spawn bite at some local lakes (the largest is 44 acres).

Anyway, this story is a good segue into how lovely rod building is for a guy like me who loves fishing so much. I started to think about the ultimate pre-spawn spinning rod for these midwest lakes....and how the 3+1 specification would likely be a big consideration in the build because it suits the factors I want:

* Long casts.
* Leader knots.
* Braid or Fluorocarbon line.
* And a variety of guide group sizes to handle the sizes of line I want and need.

I really should say that I need a couple or three ultimate pre-spawn rods: one for flukes, one for senkos, and maybe another for an up-sized bait like the magnum fluke or larger senkos. I did hook an 19-incher on a mag fluke off a point. I like to cover each location with a couple bait types and colors.

Good to hear from you, man!

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Re: The K-R Concept 3+1 Specification, and the NFC SJ 703
Posted by: David Baylor (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: March 23, 2024 05:05PM

Les ...... I see you've been having some fun my friend. lol So you're in Dorthy land. Nice. I actually came in here at halftime of the Gonzaga v Kansas March Madness game, just to pass some time. Co- inky dink? Maybe. lol

I think you're definitely going to find that the 20H guide set is going to work better with the straight fluorocarbon line. As far as you messing with the size fish you are with that SJ 703 C6O2 blank ..... based on the CCS numbers I've seen for that blank, you've had some tussles on your hands. I'm betting that 20" fish you referenced earlier felt like a tank. I can't imagine what that 23" felt like.

And the giant you lost? I know you had to feel physically sick when that line went slack. Believe me, I feel for ya. I had somewhat the same thing happen to me last year working a chatterbait. I had been throwing them on a little 6' medium heavyish crankbait rod I built. And it had been working pretty good until I saw one that I know would have been 6 lbs or better, come out from underneath a dead fall and inhale the bait. No more than 35' from the boat in very clear water. I laid into that fish hard and barely moved it's head. I watched as it simply opened it's mouth and let the bait come out. That's when I made the final decision that I needed a pretty much dedicated chatterbait rod.

I wish we had some smaller lakes and ponds around here, but there aren't many that I know of. We have some public ones in the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area, which I am close to the south end of, but they get hammered. Timing hasn't been right with our weather, and work, So like I said, only been out once thus far. I know that one local electric only lake I mentioned hitting this year is about to be on fire here real soon. And I have a tournament on the 14th of April on most likely the best bass lake in Ohio (Mosquito Lake) that should be on fire right about then. Probably take a best 5 of 13 - 15 lbs to even sniff a check on that one.

As far as the MB 725 C6O2 blank. Just be feeling it in my hands I know it's going to be just as you talk about. It feels very very special. Be a great fluke and Senko rod I bet, Oh well...... gotta get back to watching the game. The weather is horrible this weekend, but at least I have March Madness to keep me happy. There have been some great games already. I love this time of year.

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Re: The K-R Concept 3+1 Specification, and the NFC SJ 703
Posted by: Chris Rosell (---)
Date: March 24, 2024 08:38AM

Hey Les,

Been following you around on the 3+1, or Oddball Modified Reduction Train as I am calling it. Wanted to ask you have you come to any conclusions about actual casting distance with a lure? Maybe something like a buzz bait that does not fly too well or light and catches wind.

That is the only difficult thing I have now with the KL-H stuff. Maybe I am wishing for something that is not there?

Would love to hear back from every one.

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Re: The K-R Concept 3+1 Specification, and the NFC SJ 703
Posted by: Les Cline (---)
Date: March 24, 2024 06:56PM


A Warning: I'll usually go on about more than you wanted to know, so please speed-read through the bits that are not relevant to your question.

I have NOT thrown a buzz bait with this specific rig because of the rod, NOT because of the guide train. Also, this is my first build with this layout, and I decided to try it out and test it for the first time at some local lakes in early March. Not buzz bait weather here in the Kansas City area yet. I stumbled on one of the best pre-spawn bites I can ever remember. The perfect testing grounds.

As I thought about it, there were two separate things that came to my mind - especially because I will be fishing this same group of lakes all year. Buzz baits are definitely in play at some point!

1.) The 703 Rod:

I would not consider the 703 a particularly good buzz bait rod unless the buzz baits were in the 1/8 to 1/4 oz. range AND I were fishing sparse cover. Same for chatter baits. This is because of the rod's power being a bit light to consistently drive home the heavier and thicker hooks commonly found on the "normal size" buzz and chatter baits. And if fishing around any significant amount of cover like milfoil, smartweed, laydowns, or pads - haunts where I may have to try and control a larger fish - I would not consider it at all, even with lures the rod can throw and drive well.

The MB 725 X-Ray C6O2 (mentioned above) would be a great buzz bait rod - as well a terrific jig rod, fluke rod, and Senko or creature bait rod. It has a light tip to throw and the power to hook fish and control baits in what I call the mid-range-sizes (1/2 to 1 oz.). I came soooo close to building this rod into a spinning rig using the 20H guide group and 3+1 spec. If I had, I would not hesitate to throw any lure on it up to a 1 oz. size in any conditions. As a cast set-up, it is proving to be fantastic with the same baits I have thrown with the 703, but with the added juice to also pitch mag flukes, and the 7-inch Senkos. It will be my new jig rod for this season, too!

Others will have their favorite sticks for buzzing and what not, and maybe you do, too. No argument from me! The specific rod is a separate issue from the Guide Layout and Type.

2.) The 3+1 Guide Train:

Fuji says it designed the 3+1 specification, among other reasons, for throwing light lures with stiff monofilament. That's overcoming a double-whammy in my book - both line and lure. I can only say that I see my thinner and more supple braided line moving in a big hurry getting down range throwing a weightless Zoom salty super fluke, 4 to 5-inch Senko, or Zlinkey stick bait into a 15 mph wind - farther than I can fish it well. Not heavy lures at all. Certainly lighter than a 1/2 to 1 oz. buzz bait.

I have thrown enough buzz baits to know they can catch the wind and stall out, chirping like a fluttering bird all the way. Some crankbaits can also be a pain to throw in the wind. The wind can make any lure 'cast' like a little bird (leaving a nice little bird's nest in my casting reel, too). I throw my buzz baits mostly on an NFC 706 Delta rod in a K-R casting configuration,; Curado 200 reel and #30 straight braid. So, I know how buzz baits fly and fish with this casting rig.

I'd give you a more specific and hands-on answer if I had BOTH the 3+1 specification AND the rod to test out casting buzz baits - together! I would definitely go with a heavier rod than the 703, keep the 20H guide group - and definitely keep the 3+1 specification because I would want to throw #30 braid. Wait! Now that I think about it, a 4000 size reel and the 25H group might be the better way to go with that size line! I'll have to give it more thought.

My next rod build plan is for this very thing - or close to it.

Conclusion, Finally!!!:

I'll go out on a limb, based on my recent experience fishing the 3+1 spec on the 703, that throwing a buzz bait on the right sized rod with the 3+1 spec will be terrific - and save you some backlashes as a bonus. I don't see how it would not be a great way to go. How could it not add the least resistance to the line and the wind on the rod and reel end? Until someone invents the more aerodynamic buzz bait, I see the 3+1 as an asset to wind-resisting lures.

I also hope Mr. Baylor will chime in again on this thread because he has a live-well full of bass fishing and rod-building experience: hands-on, real world, been-there-done-that fishing knowledge. In fact, as he said, he has a 20H, 3+1 rig as close to completion as a good reason to skip work for a day! (Hey, Dave! Call in and say you are feeling "Crappie" or that your arm is "in a cast." I'll write you a note! Lol.)

As a topic, this is rare territory - I have not seen much discussed about the 3+1. And very little about actual spacing or fishing experiences with it. I'm really not intending to put this out there as some kind of end-all be-all God's Chosen type thing. Other concepts and configurations may work better for others. I enjoy learning it all.

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Re: The K-R Concept 3+1 Specification, and the NFC SJ 703
Posted by: Norman Miller (Moderator)
Date: March 24, 2024 10:30PM

Fuji has always considered the KR reduction train to consist of 3 reduction guides, which are engineered to be grouped by size, plus one “belly or choke” guide. This belly/choke guide can be either a normal low profile KB guide or a high belly guide. So, the “3+1” reduction train described by Les is not an “odd ball modified reduction train” but rather one of the many reduction train combinations available in the KR concept. These various reduction train combinations allows one to custom fit a reduction train based rod, reel and line characteristics. I think the reason reduction trains utilizing a high belly/choke guide has not been discussed very much is because most people use the Anglers Resource’s KR-GPS, and this GPS does not include the various high belly guide layouts in its calculations.The KR GPS was developed to simplify the KR concept and and has done a great job doing so. It has now become basically the only game in town for laying out a KR guide train. It was originally designed to give a good starting point for the most common KR micro concept layouts utilizing the KL5.5M as the third reduction guide. Most people don’t realize that the KR GPS can also be used to give a good starting point when using a different third reduction guide coupled with various high belly guides. All the different reduction train combinations makes the KR concept extremely versatile and allows one to customize a well performing guide train.
Les has done a great job in starting a discussion on the value of using a high belly/choke to customize his KR concept guide train. They really do work very well.
It should also be mentioned that Fuji changes it reduction train length based on rod length. They basically place the choke guide at a distance in front of the butt guide which is approximately equal to .42 -.45 X the distance from the butt guide to the tip top. This makes sense because it reduces the number of running guides needed on longer rods, which in turn reduces overall weight. However, there is nothing wrong keeping the reduction train length the same no matter the length of the rod, but you will need more guides to get a progressively spaced guide train with longer rods. I’ve tried both ways and prefer changing the reduction train length. I have found that changing the reduction train length does not make much, if any, difference in performance. As I’ve said many times, there is a lot of flexibility in laying out a well performing guide train. Once you understand the basics the KR concept is not that difficult to master.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/24/2024 10:34PM by Norman Miller.

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Re: The K-R Concept 3+1 Specification, and the NFC SJ 703
Posted by: Will Anderson (---)
Date: March 25, 2024 07:31AM

Great information. I have a 703 ready to be spun up and am going to use this guide setup.

Thanks for the write up

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Re: The K-R Concept 3+1 Specification, and the NFC SJ 703
Posted by: David Baylor (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: March 25, 2024 07:04PM

LOL ...... Les, you my friend give me way too much credit LOL But I appreciate your comments. And the offer to write me a note. LOL Besides being swamped at work, I'm going to save my "I'm feeling crappie today" call offs for days I could hit the lake. Our weather isn't completely cooperating in that respect just yet. But soon !!

I still haven't gotten that SB 724 build I'm using the 3 +1 set up on, completely wrapped yet. Half way there though, so I can't share how well it casts, but I gotta say. based on what you're experiences have been, I am excited to get it out on the water. With that said, I pretty much only use spinning gear for bottom contact baits. I will rarely throw a buzz bait on spinning gear, and that's really only when I need to throw an 1/8 oz one when smallmouth fishing in the early fall. Occasionally a small jerkbait as well, but that's really about it.

I just find that using spinning gear for cast and retrieve baits, is too much work.

As far as the 4000 size reel and a 25H guide group. I know you gotta be talking about a 4000 Vanford. They're the only Shimano 4000 size reel that comes in under 9.5 oz. lol

Anyhow, thanks for the great posts on how that 3+1 set up is working for you, and for the laughs ....... I'm feeling crappie today LOL .... good one my friend LOL

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Re: The K-R Concept 3+1 Specification, and the NFC SJ 703
Posted by: Les Cline (---)
Date: March 26, 2024 12:40PM

Will -

I am curious about the details of your build! We are a rare few exploring this "3+1" concept with this specific rod at this moment.

Please share your thinking for your build! (Grip type and length, reel seat, etc.) What did you find was your final guide group spacing that looked best to you?

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Re: The K-R Concept 3+1 Specification, and the NFC SJ 703
Posted by: Will Anderson (---)
Date: March 27, 2024 10:03AM

Hey Les,

Hey Les,

After a more detailed review, it will not be exactly like yours. I do not have the 5.5 guide available so will be running the 16-8-6 guide train to size 5 running guides and size 5 tip top. I will also be slightly bastardizing the Fuji concept as I won't be using Fuji guides. I will be using CRB so hopefully that detail won't change the effectiveness of the rod! I have it rigged with EVA split grip kit and CRB black reel seat. I plan to use a size 2500 pflueger president reel with #10 braid with a leader of a variety of sizes- #8-#17 mono/fluoro depending.

I appreciate all the info you posted. I used the KR concept calculator for the first marked layout and am currently attempting to find the time to spin up the rod. I will let you know the final details after completion.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/27/2024 10:31AM by Will Anderson.

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Re: The K-R Concept 3+1 Specification, and the NFC SJ 703
Posted by: Les Cline (---)
Date: March 27, 2024 04:17PM


Thanks for the update! I want to hear about your experiences with your build!

That 16-8-6 RT and #5 running guides should work very well for you with #10 braid! As you have read, I tested leader sizes of #10 to #12 up to 10-foot length.

The #17 leader size gave me a bit of pause. How long of a leader at this test would you use? I think it will be okay if your leader knot is going through all of your guides in a relatively straight line from the get go (for example: the leader knot is between the spool and tip top - or only has a turn or two on the spool), I speculate that it will move on down range just fine if it is not too long.

Mono or fluoro line in the #17 range is quite stiff and resists changing directions much more than braid of the same test. This includes resisting changing from coiled around the spool to straight through the guides. This is part of the reason why I believe the K-R Concept maxes out at #14 mono and the 25H guide group - it is not a concept best adapted to heavy and stiff lines. However, I don't see a big issue with a leader that is not throwing lots of stiff coils that have to be pulled through the butt guide first. In-leader or out-leader?

I'm curious about what you find out trying it!

The K-R Concept layout with non KRC guides may be a challenge! (Sea Guide is the only brand I currently know of that is closest to a non-Fuji product that can yield very similar KRC results.) The challenge is about spacing and guide heights. I looked in my new Mud Hole catalogue and see they have "CRB Concept Style Spinning Guides" listed. I have no experience with these. IF they follow the same guide heights as the KRC guide groups, they might work. If not, you may have a puzzle on your hands. (Either way, come back and share what you find out!)

I share this because I followed a thread from David Baylor where he was trying to achieve the K-R Concept using AmTac guides. I hope he will chime in on this thread and share his experiences!

Basically, as I recall, he was frustrated that the KRC spacing was very difficult to achieve because the AmTac guides were not designed to work together in groups like the Fuji guides. The guide height differences were off for a KRC layout as I recall.

I just want you to have a positive experience - and not think you are doing something wrong if you can't get the CRB guides to layout the way you want. Or worse, give up on the KRC! Ha!

Have you considered a New Guide Concept layout (NGC) for the CRB guides? This is in no way an inferior concept! It might just work out better on your build IF you are using non-Fuji or Sea Guide, and give you the performance you are after. I have plenty of NGC builds and they can sling it, brother.

To be honest, it is hard to NOT throw light braided line a looong way. What makes the KRC shine for me is it also enhances other performance aspects like weight savings and sensitivity. That's why I stick with it and want to really understand this concept.

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Re: The K-R Concept 3+1 Specification, and the NFC SJ 703
Posted by: David Baylor (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: March 27, 2024 05:39PM

Les, you are absolutely right. I tired using the American Tackle high frame guides in the same sizes the KR software calls out for the specific rod, reel, and line size I would be using, and had difficulty with achieving bullseyes with the guides, because the guides were of different heights than the Fuji KL-H guides of the same size.

I have used Pac Bay Minima match guides in a KR concept guide train on a rod I built as a gift for a good friend, and they worked very well. But he uses 10 - 15# Spider wire as his line of choice. With the American Tackle high frame guides, I think what gave me difficulty in coming up with a guide spacing I was comfortable with, isn't that the guides aren't the same height as their Fuji counterpart, The Pac Bay Minima guides I just referenced, aren't either. The thing with the American Tackle guides is that one guide was shorter than its' Fuji counterpart, while the next guide to be in line, was taller than its' Fuji counterpart.

The differences in height between the American Tackle and the Fuji's was pretty consistent, in that there's about a 2 mm difference in height. But when one is 2mm shorter and the next one in line is 2 mm taller than the corresponding KL-H guides, you have a difference in height of 4 mm in the pair when compared to the Fuji guides. That alone is going to affect guide spacing when using bullseyes as the standard. That, coupled with the fact that I was also setting it up to use a high choke guide. And the spacing was really off from what I'm used to seeing on my other spinning rod builds.

Norman is the man when it comes to these KR concept spinning set up, and while he says, and I believe him wholeheartedly, that there is a lot you can do with guide placement and still have a good guide train ..... I use fluorocarbon line. I would think it would be logical to assume that the stiffer line is going to take some versatility away in guide placement. I've never had a whole lot of luck just taping on guides to do some test casts with, because when I test cast, I want to cast ...... hard. I want max line speed going through the guides, as I think that higher line speed through the guides is going to show potential spacing issues, that a slower line speed and softer cast, may not reveal.

Of course there have been more than a few times I have caught myself over thinking things. This may be one of those instances.

I'm not giving up on using the American Tackle high frame guides. At Norman's suggestion I picked up a 6M to go along with the guides I already had to see if I can get guide spacing more to my liking. At least visually. I haven't tried it yet though. I will though. The Am Tak guides are pretty nice guides and at $100 for the ones I now have on hand, it wouldn't be fiscally responsible of me not to use them at some point.

Oh and BTW Les ...... seems you're getting a bit like Norman is with these KR set ups. Nice !!!

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/27/2024 05:42PM by David Baylor.

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Re: The K-R Concept 3+1 Specification, and the NFC SJ 703
Posted by: Les Cline (---)
Date: March 27, 2024 11:44PM


I can always count on you to share your experiences in an honest, thorough, straight forward and specific way. Your input on what guides work or not for the KRC (in your personal experience) is just what I was hoping for!

It occurred to me, thanks to Will, there may be builders who see the benefits of the KRC, but wish to approximate it rather than replicate it. This may be for any number of factors like availability, cost, a sense of adventure, etc.

You confirmed that the Concept can work with SOME guides (Fuji, Sea Guide, and Pac Bay Match guides) and not ALL guides. It's a matter of what is dialed in and designed to fit the Concept. Nothing to do with the quality of a particular brand. (I mean, if you want to unload those 'shoddy' AmTac Titanium frames on me, I'll take them, I guess. Won't be checking the mailbox too often for a package, though.)

Knowing what works with the KRC and what doesn't is something I would want to know ahead of time. Save myself time and money; I can make more of one and not the other.

I am also glad you have added to this thread because you are exploring another option on the KRC menu = straight fluorocarbon line. My take so far has been slanted toward braid-to-leader. I am very interested in creating a few options for my own fishing with straight fluorocarbon line and mono. I have a nostalgic spot for Trilene XL mono in low-vis green I cannot shake. I can envision having one rod that will work with two reels (one reel with braid-to-leader and one reel with straight mono/braid), or, one rod and one reel for each of the two types of line I want to use. Options.

I scratched out a crude diagram of how many options the KRC offers from the Fuji guide chart. There are Three Guide Groups (16H, 20H and 25H), with Five ring sizes (#4 to #6), and Two specifications (3 guide spec, and the nicknamed 3+1 spec), with Seven different types of guides (KL-H; KL-M; KL-L, KB, KT and LG/LN or MN tip tops). Following the flow chart of recommendations of what could match well together, I counted 25 different possible set ups for both braid and/or mono/fluorocarbon lines ranging up to #14.

It's a pretty big playground as Norman stated much more succinctly above!

I only wish I knew half of what Norman already forgot!

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Re: The K-R Concept 3+1 Specification, and the NFC SJ 703
Posted by: David Baylor (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: March 31, 2024 04:33PM

Well I finally got my spinning rod build on an SB 724 X ray blank done. Well .... wrapped and on the rod dryer anyway. lol Clearly since it's still drying I haven't had a chance to take it out and cast with it, but I figured I'd share the guide spacing I'm using.

I'm using the KR concept with the high choke guide option Guides are Fuji T2s in sizes KL-20H, KL 10KH, KL 7M, KL 6L. The 6L is the high choke guide. The next guide in line is a KB 5.5, followed by KT 5's the rest of the way out. The reel will be a 5 or 6 year old 3000 Shimano Sahara, using 10# Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon line.

The spacing I finally settled on goes as follows. (All measurements are to the furthest extended part of the guide's ceramic ring)

Tip of spool shaft at a mid position, to the first reduction guide. 20"

First reduction guide to second reduction guide 10 1/16"

Second reduction guide to third reduction guide 6 9/16"

Third reduction guide to high choke guide 5 5/8"

High choke guide to the next guide in line 4 3/16"

The first reduction guide's distance from the reel is the distance the KR software called for it to be, The remainder of the reduction train, and the high choke guide, were placed based on getting the guides to bullseye. I also ran a line through the guides to ensure that the line remained straight as it passed through the first four guides. I placed the fifth guide, the KB 5.5, at the point where the line that I had running through the reduction train and high choke guide, intersected the rod blank. The remainder of the guides were placed using the two line static load guide placement method.

I don't see the sense on listing their spacing, as my preference for how closely the line follows the curve of the blank, may not be the same as others. As evidence, I have 11 total guides on the rod, plus tip top. I probably could have gotten away with 1 less guide, but if it's close, I'll always choose to add another guide. And for the type of line path I prefer, I chose to go with one more guide. Once it's done drying, if the weather cooperates, I'll get it and another rod I have that uses a standard KR concept guide train, and head down to the dock at a local lake to see how they compare to each other, casting with the same reel, the same line, and the same bait. The bait I'll be using will most likely be a 3 1/2" Hog Farmer Spunk Shad, on a 1/16 oz Ned jig.

I'm excited to see how it works out. When you're used to seeing standard KR guide trains on your spinning rods, the high choke guide gives it a different look. A pretty cool look, actually.

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Re: The K-R Concept 3+1 Specification, and the NFC SJ 703
Posted by: Lynn Behler (---.44.66.72.res-cmts.leh.ptd.net)
Date: April 01, 2024 07:53PM

What color Spunk Shad?

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Re: The K-R Concept 3+1 Specification, and the NFC SJ 703
Posted by: Les Cline (---)
Date: April 02, 2024 03:29PM


Thank you so much for this! I know you were anxious to get this build done - and that pesky work-thing got in your way! I can't wait to read about your casting tests because I have a great feeling about it!

I included the address to an image at Angler's Resource to help visualize what I want to ask you in your experience with the 3+1. The diagram is for the 3 guide spec and not the 3+1 spec. However, as Norm said, the KRC GPS can still be used perfectly for the 3+1. You are well aware of all of this, I just wanted to archive the information on this thread for others who may come along later.


To use the KRC GPS calculator to find a starting point for the 3+1 specification (as I understand it right now):

* Enter the measurements for the rod, reel, and line.
* Where the calculator says to place the "Choker" place the High Profile Belly Guide (in my case, the 5.5L).
* OR - place the Butt guide at the specified distance from the spool axel tip, measure to the tip of the blank from the Butt Guide, and multiply that measurement by 0.42 or 0.45 for a starting location for the high profile belly guide from the Butt Guide.
(The builder will still have to arrange the guides between the Butt Guide and High Profile Belly guide. Locating the Butt and "Choker" is most of the ball game, IME. Of course adjust a little here and there as needed.)

Pretty dang simple, really. I was confused by how to use the GPS for the 3+1 because of my history with the nomenclature of the NGC as I learned it I cut my teeth on the NGC and built many rods using this concept. I learned its vocabulary and what the definitions of those words meant to me:

* Butt Guide: The first and largest guide.
* Reduction Guides: A series of high-frame guides that gradually reduce line coil to the smallest guide. (Also called Reduction Train)
* Choker: The first of the smallest ring size guides following the Reduction Guides. This guide is located at the intersection of where the spool axis crosses the blank. This guide is the key to the Size, Height, and Spacing of the Reduction Guides. Therefore, the Choker location is a very important point. I understood this in NGC terms as a low-frame guide and the first of the runners. This is what threw me later.
* Running Guides: The same ring size guide as the Choker.
* Tip Top: The last guide on the tip of the rod, the same size as the running guides and Choker guide.

Fuji has a different vocabulary for the KRC than the NGC as I learned it. I frequently mix these terms. Personally, I see how Fuji's terms fit perfectly with the concept they have developed, and in many respects are more detailed and nuanced than the NGC terms I learned, IMO. Some terms are the same and some different. We guys who have been around the rod-building block understand what things mean for the most part.

Coming from my NGC up-bringing, there was/is a learning curve with the 3+1 spec. around the word "Choker." First, I learned Fuji does not call it a Choker - they call it a Belly guide. Second, in the 3+1, this guide is not necessarily the same ring size as the running guides like in the NGC. I think this is one reason Fuji chose the word "Belly" instead of "Choker." I have come to see the word Belly reflects a larger definition of purpose, placement, and design, not by ring size alone. What do you think? Did these terms throw you for a small loop at first?

Looking at the diagram (above), I see a lot of similarities between the 3+1 and the NGC in terms of where the first running guide (tip group guide) is located. In fact, if I replaced my layout of the 3+1 with the NGC, it would be almost the same. Do you see this, too? It felt a little discouraging at first when it seemed like the 3+1 was nothing more than the NGC with K-R guides.

Then, I realized the KRC 3+1 spec is still a great system even if it looks a lot like its Momma, the NGC:

* Less guess work about what group of guides will work together well to get efficient line flow.
* Less guess work about what guides to use with various line sizes and types.
* Less guess work about guide placement by using the KRC GPS Calculator as a resource.
* High-frame, smaller ring guides reduce weight and enhance rod performance.
* Tangle-free guide design. (Well, maybe "less tangling" for me!)

Momma is still very fetching! Nice family to resemble.

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Re: The K-R Concept 3+1 Specification, and the NFC SJ 703
Posted by: David Baylor (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: April 02, 2024 06:17PM

LOL Lynn .... actually, Sexy Shad. And I have it in 3.5", 4.5" and 5.5" in TW Sunfish Magic. This is the first year I'm trying the 3.5s as a Ned rig bait. Got a good feeling about them for that. And the first year I'll be trying the 5.5 as a Fluke style bait. Been using the 4.5s for a chatterbait trailer for about a year. Pretty nice baits.

As far as my test casting with my newly finished rod. I didn't get out to the lake yet to do a comparison with a standard KR set up rod I have, but I did make a few casts with it out behind my garage when I got home from work today. I made a couple of casts with 8# fluorocarbon just to get something to compare with the 10# fluorocarbon. Switched out reels to one with nice new 10# Tatsu on it and made a couple of 30 - 35' underhand pitches. Nice ..... made a couple half casts...... nice nice. Went to make as big of a cast as I dared because my neighbors fence is only about 60' away. just as I am getting ready to cast I notice my neighbor across the street is out bringing in her trash container .....

I go to make the cast .... rod back .... rod forward...... rod stops.... never came forward. Why? Because I got the bait hung up in the tree behind me. ...... I'm like dang .... just then my the neighbor across the street calls out "Hi Dave" and waves. Having a problem she says. lol
I laugh and said "this here" pointing at my bait hung up in the tree above my head, "is why I have that in there" as I pointed to my garage with my boat in it. LOL We both had a good laugh. She got her trash container, and I got the bait out of the tree and finally made a decently strong cast with the rod with 10# line on it. Marked improvement. I was ear to ear grin how well it cast with the 10# line. And honestly I knew it would cast better than the standard KR set up. When I made those first casts with the 8# line for a comparison reference, it was like I had braided line on the rod.

From memory, when I used 10# fluorocarbon line on the standard KR set up rods, there would be a slight rattling sound as the line was going through the guides. I did not hear the least bit of rattle when I made a decent cast with 10# on this high choke guide set up. I'll get it out on the boat, or at least out to the dock at the local lake to see how well it casts when I can really uncork a cast, but based on the few casts I made with it outside today, I think I'll be using the high choke guide on any spinning rods I build for myself, from now on.

There is a noticeable difference in casting performance. The bait I used today is the bait I mentioned above. Total weight of the bait and jig head was/ is, 1/4 oz.

If you're one that uses real light stuff on spinning gear, I'm sure the high choke guide would make casting that stuff easier than the standard KR set up. At least with fluorocarbon line it will. I am majorly happy with the results thus far. I'm glad I put the time into working with it, and am thankful to those that helped me along the way. Especially Norman. Thank you Norman.

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