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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So after a few rods, I still have one aggrivation, GUIDE FEET! Using quality guides, Fugi, alconites at that, be it single or double foot, I have a question.

Can somebody give me a play by play of what they do to their guide feet, how they do it, and what they do it with. Top where the thread lays as well as the bottom side against the blank. Mine never seem to want to sit flat on the blank and almost always, even after sanding down to a gradual grade, have trouble starting up the guide foot with the thread. I always end up using two pieces of tap, on very very thin, 1/8th inch or so right near the tip of the guide foot, to hold it down to the blank to climb my thread up, and one to hold the guide after I start up the guide foot. \


Thanks!
 

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I typically use a small fine grade file to remove some of the material from the guide and get it down to a slop that is about 1/4" from the edge up to the full height of the guide foot. Once I get the top filed to where I want it, I use 150 grit sandpaper to smooth it all out. After that, I have an old scrap blank that I have glued sandpaper to. I get the frame bent so it will sit flat if it is a double foot. I then sand the bottom by placing it on my sanding blank and rubbing it back and forth until it's smooth enough to sit flat on the blank. I usually take a lot of time on guide feet, because it makes the wrapping process easier if they're cleaned up and ready. Sometimes I still have to fiddle with the thread to get it started up the guide foot, but that's mainly because I only use size A thread.
 

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Guide prep

Not a pro but this works for me:

I have a belt sander with a flat top. I turn it upside down and with a 100 grit belt I put a nice long taper on the the tops and sides of the guides. Kinda rock it back and forth slowly. Then I increase the angle near the tip making sure it tapers down nicely but not quite to a knife edge. Take it slow and easy 'cause the belt sand will flat eat up a guide foot.

Then I use my dremel with a synthetic gritty polishing thing...dunno what they call 'em...that I get at Lowe's or Wal-Mart. They are in two colors...purple is the finer of the two and that is what I use. I polish the tops just enough to smooth everything out and then the bottoms just enough to knock off any burrs or sharp points.

Next I paint the ground portions of the guides top & bottom and let 'em set up for a day or two. Cut notches in a cardboard box to hold 'em while they dry. I almost always wrap with black thread so I paint 'em black.

Finally I use a pair of smooth jawed duck bill pliers to bend the feet until they sit absolutely level on the blank. I use a small piece of tape to hold the guide on until I get a few wraps of thread over the tips. Wrap it loosely enough you can move it around to line 'em up when you're all done.

That's how I do it.
 

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I've gotten to where I don't prep at all - usually. The reason being is that I've found that prepping the guide lends itself to more corrosion. They're all gonna crack the epoxy sooner of later, but keeping corrosion down has been more of a concern of mine lately.

I just bend the guides by hand until it lays pretty flat. Starting the thread up the guide can be tricky in the beginning, but after a while you just learn to slow down and let it go where it wants to go. A little light burnishing afterwards and all is well.
 

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I file my feet down to a nice smooth transition taper. THen use a sharpening stone to take off any burrs. Taking the extra time to dress the feet is well worth he time. The thread will walk up the feet much smoother and makes the guide wrap go twice as fast with less fooling with the thread along the way. So far I have done all my rods with "A" thread but one. Getting "A" to climb up an MNAG30 is not hard to do if you take the 5-10 minutes to prep the foot. If using light color thread and no CP paint the foot black where you filed it unless you are using chrome or Ti guides. I picked up a Testors model pen in black and it works great. one coat of testors and a very thin coat of clear fingernail polish will ensure no bleed through or rust.

As far as getting the guides flat I use a pair of small flat faced pliers and tweak them if need be. I like to have a very slight uphill rise in the foot. As you wrap the guide the thread tension will suck the foot down flush with the blank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
single foot bottoms are my only trouble. I can shape the tops just fine and get the doubles to climb, and what clyde said makes sense as well....biggest thing is the gap, when I tape a single foot down, that I get at the tip of the guide foot. I end up using a small piece of take to hold the very tip down, or else I have a hairline gap at the end of the guide foot and it wont climb at all. Thanks guys.
 

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Instead of using tape to hold down the feet try using your tip top glue, the glue stick type. Just heat up the foot only where it is hot enough to get a little glue on it and then stick it to your blank or underwrap. The cool thing about that is it is not strong enough for you to not be able to tweek them after they are wrapped. If its a little out of alignment, just tweek it as you normally would and it will move very easily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
assuming you are using an underwrap, landingcrew? When using an underwrap, I haveno problem, it's these dang 7' freshwater rods that dont need/want an underwrap. Ill just bend and sand the bottoms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
By gosh I think I will.......there more I think about it, the better it sounds.

Seriously, I got to thinking, I think it's probably more so the blanks. I havent had this trouble on other rods. The ones that take a little more TLC are the ones that swampland was selling cheap. I went by spline rather than straightest axis, althought I doubt the curvature is enough to effect one guide at a time, it can't help it. And I know some of those things arent the straightest in the world
 

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personally i have made 2 rods with out a bottom wrap and both had cracks from where the guide feet had dug into the blank, even if its a minor wrap and is easily conciled sp? i will put one on just for the sake of the blank and myself. and yes the more "liquidation" blanks have a nasty amount of headache when it comes to placing guides imo.
 

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I have yet to have problems with any that I built hurting the blank without underwraps, but I tend to clean up the feet a lot to smooth them out. I did just rewrap an old Fenwick 10'er for a friend that had some older Fuji guides that were wrapped straight on with no prep to the guide feet. Talk about gouging the blank! That's an understatement. They were dug in at least a 1/16th of an inch. It almost looked like they were heated up and embedded in plastic.

With regards to the duct tape, I've thought about experimenting with padding the guide feet. Maybe applying a thin strip of finish where the foot should be and use that as a 'bed' for the guide foot. I prefer to prep the feet for peace of mind, but I want to try the padding thing just out of curiosity.
 

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Guide Feet

Some good advice here. Thanks guys!

I date from the bamboo days and am used to marks left by guides and wraps on rods. When stripping down an old bamboo rods, you could actually see marks made by the wraps and guide feet. On the modern rods, the guide feet will cause problems if not properly prepared. Bad guide feet can actually cause a rod to break as well as over tightening of guide wraps. Don't over tighten guide wraps.

I will place short underwraps on rods if some people insist; the same for single footed guides. Another story; another time.

I religiously prepare rod feet. I grind, file, hone and polish the feet until they're shaped and smooth as glass. I even round the underside of the foot slightly with a chain saw file to make them conform to the curvature of the blank, Overkill? I don't think so.

I have tried putting a bed of epoxy and cutting a piece of tape to conform to the bottom of the foot and have mixed emotions about both practices. I think that they work, but I will not rush guide preparation; period. IMHO, there is no substitute for proper guide foot preparation.

Gotta go. Things to do and a short time to do them all. C2
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
On another note, I think I may go Firespyder style in the future when purchasing thread. I may go C on everything, unless I do and over/under. No sure the purpose of the A all the time, but I dont mind the thicker look of larger thread myself, well, for less detailed and intricate wraps anyway. Thus far nothing Ive done lol.
 

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I recently saw, maybe at Mudhole, but not sure, something like hot melt glue put up by Flexcoat. I think it was to hold the guides in place when wrapping, but I imagine it would also cushion the rod as well. Any ideas?

Bill:fishing:
 

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A looks more detailed for wraps IMHO. I use size D in black on occasion to wrap guides, but for the most part I like A purely for the detail.
 

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I file/sand mine to prep them then I put a coat of Testors paint black or silver depending on the frame color let that dry then wrap. I have not had any problem with corrosion since I started doing this it also give a nice looking finish to the guide feet when using nylon without CP.
 
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