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Fishing Tackle Unlimited
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Discussion Starter #1
Well it had to come to this. I am in the public eye and have been met with agreement on micro guides and complete "no way those little guides will work" attitudes. I am posting this on an "FYI" basis, not lobbying everyone to change, but rather to try and get real facts out. I know there are many discussions on forums about this topic, so I thought some of you might find it interesting.

What we did is, Joey Ybarra (FTU Reel Shop Manager) and I have teamed up to build some test rods to at least give those that have never messed with micros, an opportunity to see 2 rods, almost exact replicas, built out in the 2 styles, and see how they perform side by side. We took 2 FTU Green Rod blanks, 6'6" Light Popping and Joey gripped them exactly the same. We weighed both of them and they are within 1 gram of each other. I took the one that weighed 87 grams and he took the one that was 87 grams.

Joey used all Titanium Fuji guides, 8 in total:TLNSG 12, 10, 8, then 5 TLSG 7's with a TFST 6-4.5 tip top
I used 9, a Fuji KTWAG 8 as a stripper, a TLSG 5 and 7 LSG 3.5s with a MCAT 4.5-4.5 tipper, all done in my quick spiral technique. I didn't use TLSG 3.5's because a customer cleaned us out the day before and the weight difference between TLSG and LSG in such a small guide is negligible. I will swap them out later.
The rods weighted in at 89 grams for mine, 90 for his...which equates to a 2 gram gain for the micros and 4 for the traditional.

Most people have heard, and assume, the ONLY reason to use little guides is they cast much farther than conventional setups. The initial phases of this comparison is casting distance. The terms of this shoot-out is, and the statement that led to this challenge is, "there is NO WAY a micro guides rod that is spiraled can cast as far as a traditional setup"…not farther, but as far. What I have always said is these rods will cast just as far, so that is the criteria.

We have done some initial test, so I don't want to drag this out,. I have already cast them and got the results I expected, but I am biased, so Joey was next up. Using his personal Calais and braid he threw 3 cast with his and we marked them, then 3 from mine. He was slinging them too, doing a run-up and cast method (like a javelin), his first was 142 ft, 148ft, then 155ft (using a 5/8 ounce weighted popping cork).
The 3 cast from mine was…143ft, 150ft, then 146ft….he cast a few more times with both and didn't get past the 148 (ie no more past the 2 longest). He then just stood flat footed and cast both…they all landed by both rods in the 140 - 146 range.
Most of the issues ( which is why its hard to prove) is the reels have to be run WIDE OPEN! No Brakes and "thumbing" only…which means most of the time is spent fixing backlashes…once you start kicking brakes out, there are no more backlashes, but the cast only go as far as the brakes allow, regardless of the rod.

I will give more follow-up and pictures as I can. Here are the rods before the guides were installed. The next tests will be by less experienced casters and varying the weights and things cast with…braid/mono types of things.
 

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<'(((()=< On the Fly
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Sorry that I wiped you out of all of those micro guides. But i'm building three with them and needed em.:)
 

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Very cool testing, Terry! Since you and Joey have all the time in the world and unlimited supplies(lol), I'd like to see how an all on top micro would compare using the same components. Jerry
 

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Fishing Tackle Unlimited
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Actually, I need to rephrase my original setup. The setup I did that Joey used in the original testing had 10 guides on it with a stripper moved up 8 inches...it is a setup I had used before that worked very well, but I hadn't spent much time with it. I decided it wouldn't prove much if it didn't perform well, so I changed it back to my 9 guide setup.
Also, in the original post, shpould have said..."Joey took the setup that was 86 grams and mine was 87"....

Jerry, I spent the afternoon testing a third rod.......not the same grips, but with a TLNSG 8 stripper, a TLSG 5, then 7 LSG 3.5s.....all on top! I've never done one all on top and this is one fun rod. I've spent the afternoon testing it with a 3/8'sounce popper and it is sweet. It really supersedes my reel (my trusty Curado E7)...
I will bring it to Joey tomorrow to test and he still hasn't cast the spiraled rod with 9 guides either.
 

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Dang, your psychic abilities are scary(or maybe it's mine)? WOOOO. I'm really interested in hearing about more testing. Thanks for doing this!
 

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I've been hearing a lot about the spiral and micro advantage. But most of the time people were swearing on different blanks, seats and even reels. You guys need to save those rods for later because you know there's going to be specialty builders with diferent opinions. I told you Terry you like living on the edge, good testing. Matter of fact this needs some stars and some green for effort alone.
 

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Fishing Tackle Unlimited
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks John! I think some people may be wondering, if the micros cast the same...why bother?

The biggest advantage to the small guides is their weight. The overall weight savings is a plus, but its not that much... 2 grams is only .07 Ounces (BTW... 90 grams is 3.175 Ounces). Where the difference is, the weight saved is out towards the tip...10 TLSG 3.5's weigh only .41 grams. Blanks designers spend much time developing crisp light blanks..every bit of weight we add, starts to change things.

When I first started building, I figured big guides would cast better. I built a 7'6" popping rod with a 20 stripper down to size 12 running guides!! The thing did cast awesome! I could sling a tout a mile! But this thing was a buggy whip...it made fiberglass rods look crisp. It was virtually useless for working lures, sensitivity, etc...
By adding as little weight as possible to the tip, the blank stays crisp, its recovery rate (dampning), sensitivity are all improved. Also the balance of the rod is better leaving you with a lighter tip you dont have to twitch all day.

By spiraling the guides to the bottom, you have cut the torque that a rod has to endure with guides on top dramatically. This also makes the rod more stable (feels solid like a spinning setup), the line does not lay on the blank, which means the line lays limp through the guides, allowing you to feel every tick and bump. Another benefit is the tip is hanging upside down and is half the size of normal tips, which results in almost no braid looping problems that plagues guides on top setups.

They are also strong and not as prone to breaking as bigger guides that stick up in the air. Their inserts also dont pop out first time you catch a fish and the guides dont pull out easier if they are tied properly.

What are the downsides?

They are hard to tie on...I am used to it and can wrap a rod pretty quick, but they aren't for beginners.

They are hard to feed your line through, especially braid that has been broken off. I usually use 4.5 running guides for wadefishing rods just for that reason.

I bring these points up because there is more to this test rather than just casting distance. I would still use them even if they didn't cast as far because of the other benefits. Casting is only a small part of pursuing fish with a rod and reel.

I will do updates as we do them!

Thanks for the feedback!
 

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Awesome idea! I'm curious what the same rod with recoils would weigh. 2 grams difference wow not what I was expecting to read. Great experiment.
 

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Sweet test Terry. I havent fished with my micro spiral but will Sat evening. I cant wait. You talked me into to it, well not really I have always liked the lidea of it and I it does cast really good from my neighbors yard to mine. They all think I'm crazy fishing in the front yard! But I like the MICROS!
 

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Ok Terry, you've had long enough. New news on the comparison, diffferent people try those rods or is it a push overall between the different rods and the eye set-ups? Johnny.
 

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Fishing Tackle Unlimited
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Discussion Starter #13
We didn't get a chance to do any testing last week because the principles that were going to do the casting were out of town. I was hopeing Joey could cast the 3rd rod (micros on top), but he ws out sick. I was just outside casting with it and flipped a 1/2oz weighted popping cork 158ft flat footed.
Hopefully we can get back on track this week....
 

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Ankle Deep Custom Rods
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I have built a couple Micros and while they are kind of a pain to deal with, I do like the look and the lighter weight on the tip of the rod. All of them have been spiral wrapped micro's think my next one will be on top just to try out. Standing by waiting for the results like everyone else. Good info!!
 

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Fishing Tackle Unlimited
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Discussion Starter #16
Steve
Absolutely! You know my email ! I am always open to trying something different!
 

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I considered building some rods with the micro guides but I have this concern that they will only do well if you have spectra or very new mono on your reel. If your mono is even remotely curly that would be a lot of friction. Unfounded worry? :)
 

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Fishing Tackle Unlimited
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Discussion Starter #18
I considered building some rods with the micro guides but I have this concern that they will only do well if you have spectra or very new mono on your reel. If your mono is even remotely curly that would be a lot of friction. Unfounded worry? :)
I have found it to be unfounded. I throw braid all the time, but I borrowed a buddy's Core that had some old mono on it. He told me it would need to be replaced because the memory was so bad. Since I was testing mono, I thought I would test it first before I put fresh on....it didn't cast as well as what I was used to....but I put the reel on a regular rod with traditional guides...and it didn't cast well either...virtually the same.
 

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MHX Pro Staff
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I think that the friction would be such a minimum amount as to not be a factor. Especially on a bait caster where it is coming off basically straight. Now a spinning rod is a horse of a totally different color as the line is "looping" off and depending on whether you're using mono or braid can make a HUGH difference in placement and size of the stripper guide, in my builds at least. But I'm no engineer.
 

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Fishing Tackle Unlimited
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Discussion Starter #20
I've built a few spinners and you are right about the mono...you need a bigger stripper to handle mono as it delops loops and memory. When line is fresh, i have used a #8 stripper that cast as good as any production rod and isn't a buggy whip (with all those HUGE guides we stick on spinners). Even with a 20 or 25 stripper, you should be down to micro runners (or at least 5's) after the third guide which gives you the crisp tip.
If you are throwing braid...you do NOT need a big stripper (tall but not a big ring). I've got a 6'6" rod with a high frame #7 that will sling a 1/4 ounce . It is one of the easiest casting rods I've ever cast....
 
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