Fly rod / line guide question

troutdude

troutdude

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I recently read in a book about fishing tips, that when fishing in rainy times it is best to use a fly rod with ceramic line guides; and not the standard/typical "snake" style guides. The author's stance is that water on your rod (w/ snake guides), will cause your line to "stick" to the water on the rod--and not function at it's maximum during casting. But, if you're rod has ceramic guides (similar to those used on spinning / casting rods); you will eliminate that problem. Your line won't stick to the rod, and your casting improves greatly.

That tip really seems to make sense. But, I've only barely dabbled w/ fly fishing. And, I've only seen one fly rod, with ceramic guides (that my grey matter can recall). It's my combination fly/spin Fenwick fiberglass pack rod. Are there others?

What do you fly fishing folks think? Are ceramic guides better--and give you an advantage- in wet weather?

How about those of you who have built fly rods? What comments might you have?

An inquiring mind wants to know...LOL.
 
Irishrover

Irishrover

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I was talking to Retch Sweeney about that the other day. Retch said it'd not a problem if you fly line is clean. Truthfully I've never had a problem with that sort of thing. Sometimes if I get a line tangle on the tip of the rod when I'm out in the a river or stream wading i'll let the rod float in the water as I grab the tip and undue my tangle. This gets the whole rod wet. I've alway been able to just start up casting again. Having the right amount of snake guides is more important, at least that's what Retch thinks I'm told.;)
 
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everett464

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Is the suggestion, that the rain will put more water on your line than the river/lake will?
 
troutdude

troutdude

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No. I just didn't word it better. The idea revolved around ANY water on the rod...that it would cause the line to stick somewhat to the rod blank (and not cast as far as if the rod were dry...or the line was traveling through guides that keep the line away from the rod blank).
 
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OnTheFly

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I wasn't aware that snake guides were available in ceramic. Anyhoot , I would think that if there were any line sticking to a wet rod shaft that was fully loaded up and slinging line during a cast would hardly be noticable. Iced up guides however, is a completely different story.:D
 
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Oregon Knights

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This sounds more like snake oil. Been fly fishing for 40+ years and never heard this one. I'd like to see the data on the force and line speed studies this person conducted.

Dale
 
troutdude

troutdude

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No, I do not think that snake guides come in ceramic. The author suggested to build a rod w/ ceramic guides, like those on a spinning or casting rod; or to re-build a rod with them. However, in my opinion, I would not expend the $$$ it would take to re-wrap a good rod. But, I was beginning to think maybe it would be interesting to build a new rod w/ ceramics.

P.S. Not to hi jack my own thread...but GO KNIGHTS! (I was at a party w/ their marketing manager last week).
 
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bigdog

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I'm very new to the fly fishing myself but I would think that normal eyes would slow the cast down more then anything. Isn't the whole reason for the snake eyes to give the line room to move and flow better during a cast?
 
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OnTheFly

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I'm very new to the fly fishing myself but I would think that normal eyes would slow the cast down more then anything. Isn't the whole reason for the snake eyes to give the line room to move and flow better during a cast?

Exactly.:cool:
 
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ninja2010

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i went out in the rain yesterday to test out this tip... and it didn't make any difference for me... i still shoot 3 rod lengths of running line :D

but, yeah, iced up guides are a totally different story - can't even get more than 2' of my running line through the tip.
 
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abibibo

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Ive built several rods, and used ceramic guides on the last two. They are supposed to offer lower friction, which is useful if you're trying to shoot line at the end of your cast (which is why they're so much more important on spinning rods). I've never heard the theory of rain causing the line to stick though; all my rods seem to cast the same regardless of weather. As for how well the ceramic guides really work, I've never casted otherwise identical rods so its hard for me to really say. But, I'd guess its pretty marginal. Technique plays to big a role in whether one makes or botches a long cast and your guides aren't going to change that. Besides, when shooting line, the vast majority of drag come from the coils of line I have laying on the water's surface/dragging in the current. With a low-friction fly line, drag from the guides is minimal to begin with.

I'll probably keep using ceramics on the larger rods I build, if only for peace of mind and the fact that they don't add too much extra cost. But, if your new and just looking to buy a rod I wouldn't worry about it. Focus on getting a decent rod that you'll like for a few years, a high-quality fly line and then learning how to use them. Hell, your equipment doesn't even need to be that nice as long as you know how to use it. I started on a $40 rod-reel-line combo (read: a complete piece of crap) and, despite being a major pain to cast, i could catch fish and get skunked just as well as anyone on the stream.
 
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Oregon Knights

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Great information Abibibo. Thank you for sharing your experience. I would agree, the casting length may not be affected a significant amount either way. Using good line and keeping it clean will make a world of difference. Relative to the pile of loops and line in the water, sometimes for me, that's the line I just tried to cast and didn't quite goes as planned. :)

OnTheFly, it does seem to be a little overkill on the number of guides, however, the concept makes sense. I remember my first fly rod, an 8wt, 8' fiberglass from Sears. I bought in upstate New York when I was stationed there in the Navy. Couldn't afford much more on Navy pay. I'm not sure it had 7 guides, let alone 17. It did have some sag between guides and didn't cast too far. Once I learned how to make a single and double-haul, (like in the video) the distance of my casting changed dramatically.

Dale
 
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GDBrown

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Ceramic versus snakes

Ceramic versus snakes

There is a reason that snake guides have always been used on fly rods! My experience is that water on the rod will not make any difference once the rod is Loaded since that puts enough tension on the line to keep it OFF the rod blank. The snake guides will have the least surface contact with the line as it shoots thus will produce the least friction. I understand the need for ceramic guides on casting rods, especially bait casters, where there is a lot of wear and tear from repeated casting with heavy baits or lures and usually heavy fish as well. With fly casting you are not reeling in ALL the line before each cast, only what is needed to regain control for accurate casting. Watch someone spey casting and you'll notice that they rarely pull in any line before sending it out again.

As the video showed shooting line out is not about the guides but more about how it is done. Having a good rod with the correct line weight for the rod will be better than any advanced guides that can be put on the rod.

An example of this is: I have a 6/7wt rod and a 5/6 wt rod. Using the same reel of WF6F line I get more distance with the 5/6wt rod than the 6/7wt and they are the same length from the same manufacture.

GD
 
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bigdog

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Now see I would have to agree that line sag would shorten a cast. It makes sense because then there is more weight and resistance to try get out the tip of the rod.

CJ
 
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GDBrown

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Now see I would have to agree that line sag would shorten a cast. It makes sense because then there is more weight and resistance to try get out the tip of the rod.

CJ

But if your rod is fully loaded there should be no sag!

GD
 
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bigdog

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Well yeah I guess that makes sense to lol but I'm very new to it and still really don't know if I am casting as far as I can or not even so hey lol. I do know I like the feel of a fish on the other end of the fly rod though. Lot harder to get a fish on the other end of it though lol
 
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GDBrown

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As I have watched others casting with a fly rod the one thing I see them doing that limits their distance and control is where they point the rod tip as the line is shooting out. Some guys get it shooting then change the point of aim with the rod tip so the line is no longer shooting straight but at an angle at the rod tip!
 
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GDBrown

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My biggest problem is fishing in the wind..... I get a great feed and roll out with the fly line then the leader and fly end up at a right angle to the line in whichever direction the wind is blowing. Makes it tough to get a drag free drift of more than a foot or two. It's not much of a problem around here but in Utah or Montana when the days get hot and you're in a canyon the wind always blows. I'm sure it is that way over east of the mountains on the Big D, right?

GD
 

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