What size guides do you recommend

I’m new to rod building I got a kit for Christmas it’s a 7ft blank medium fast action what size guides would you recommend, the rod will be a spinning inshore rod I have 25-12-8-6-5-5-5-5-5-5 guides are they too small or should they work


  • Alex from GAAlex from GA Posts: 1,165 Officer
    If the knots will go through cleanly they're fine. I usually use 4s for running guides because of the weight.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,860 Captain
    Since I've built my own rods for a lot of years - whenever I go into a big box store with hundreds of rods for sale.. .I make a point of looking at them. These days almost all of the guides I see on many rods are just too small for those of us that fish saltwater (where a short leader of heavier material is a routine deal... Put simply, those tiny guides are just fine for freshwater use (where you hardly ever use a leader) but a real problem when your running line is connected to 30, 40, or heavier leaders since the knot just won't come up inside those BS guides...

    And yes, manufacturers do count every penny in the components for fishing rods - smaller guides are cheaper....

    Here's what I recommend - nothing smaller than a #8 guide (that #8 directly measures the inside of the ceramic ring on a guide...). I also want to make sure that the tiptop doesn't have a ring smaller than a #8...

    Here's my guide schedule for a seven foot medium fast blank - rated 8- 17lb line... This is my go to rod for tossing medium sized bucktails (1/4 oz to 3/8) and plugs up to a full sized Skitterwalk.... The first guide (biggest) is a #30... followed by 25, 20, 16, 12, 10, and the last guide is that #8 - all with a tiptop with a #8 ring (tiptops are listed by both barrel size -the part you fit on the end of your rod and the ring size - an example would be a 5.0-8.0.. Note: this rod has seven guides (a classic G.Loomis pattern from the days before they were bought out by Shimano..). The next rod only has six guides since it's a lot lighter and meant for smaller lines and lures...

    For a much lighter blank - still a seven footer (this version would be a classic bonefish rod for 6-12lb line) perfect for tossing an unweighted live shrimp or jigs from 1/8 to 1/4oz - or a variety of small plugs like a Mirrolure #17... Here I start with a slightly smaller #25 guide then add five more - #20, 16,12,10, and finally that #8 (and all of these guides would be single foot guides like the Fuji BLVLG... Again ending in a #8 tiptop (ring size).

    I started building rods long before "graphite" (now called "carbon fiber" when they want folks to pay more - but still the same thing...) or super braids ever came on the scene. That's where I learned this sort of rod building style... Nowadays there's many, many anglers who've never used mono lines or heavier, slower rods (fiberglass...). They've also not been exposed to how much better you can cast a lure if you can reel the leader up into the guides before you cast since all the rods they have (and what they see in stores... ) have those tiny guides....

    Hope this helps. Most of what I know about rod building was taught to me by old timers who really knew their stuff -so I pass it along for what it's worth. These are the rods that all of my anglers use (unless they choose to use their own gear) so I get to see day in and day out how they perform.... As you go up in size and weight I use different patterns and guide sizes - but never, ever, those tiny guides that you see on so many rods these days...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • tarpon41tarpon41 Posts: 185 Deckhand
    I started with Fenwick glass blanks 50 years ago spinning, plug, and offshore ...now mostly Sage and everything in between over the years...I prefer bigger guides for salt...for reasons previously stated knot size...however, I never use less then 10 for tip and first three, then two 12, one 16, maybe one 20, then 25 or 30 for spinning..for revolving spool reels it's depends on rod/line spec but I always use a highest frame for the last guide usually 20 particularly with braid...in the shot my rod hand is not wrapped around the rod but laying line on reel if wrapped around the rod as in level wind inshore reel/rod and a good bend then with a low frame last guide you have braid running across your hand not good...
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,239 Captain
    I use smaller guides than most. The height of the guide, and it's placement is more important than the size of the guide when it comes to preventing line slap. I'm using fuji kl-h frames for most of my plug rods these days, but I do have one I'm working on now that's getting big frames (kw's, it's for 3-5oz plugs). As far as knots and running guides go, I rarely go smaller than 5mm. I pay as much as 50$ for some of the plugs I throw, and have no desire to go swimming after them. I use long leaders, but I never reel them inside the tip.
  • Croaker JOCroaker JO Posts: 8 Greenhorn
    Size 5 to 5.5mm ring would be the accepted standard nowadays. They are pretty much tested and proven in most situations including casting braid to fluoro knots up to about 20#. Beyond that, you might want to go with a slightly larger ring - maybe a 6 or 7.  

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