Raspberryfisher's Blog

notes on fishing & travel

Fly-Rod Guide Weigths – looking at the top

with 7 comments

Story: An unfortunate accident saw me destroy the tip and of a SAGE RPLXi 9wt rod (my fault) that I had built using the wisdom of the time – double foot guides, large for shooting line. As this rod was called the broomstick, I took the opportunity to use the replacement tip and rebuild the rod up – changing to small single foot fuji titanium guides and a 40+ line. The rod was transformed from a hard stick to a rod you can feel load and would be happy to cast all day.

So, I have been gathering information and refining technique for building rods (on a semi-modest budget), so today I present some information on guide weights, that would used on the top of a fly-rod.

Graph 1 – Fly-Rod Guide Weights from Several Manufacturers

Guide-Weight Graph

Graph 2 – Fly-Rod Guide Weights from Several Manufacturers – Concentrated View to the Light Guides

Guide-Weight Graph Close In

Table 1 – Fly-Rod Guide Weights from Several Manufacturers

Guide-Weight Table


  • With the exception of REC the weights listed are averages based actual measurements on guides on hand, minimal sample size of 5. Measurements were done before any dressing was done.
  • Actual weights are subjected to unknown changes-documented by the manufacturers.
  • Lighter is often seen as being better, but as demonstrated with the RPLXi change, the move to the heavy guides was not a badthing.  Was being heavier better, or increase flexibility by moving to a single foot guide better, the line change and-or the new tip?
  • Not measured is friction (resistance to shoot line), strength and resilency – or in other words, how effective it is.


  • A lighter guide does not necessarily mean a better rod, but there is variability in the brands.  The data shows there is a noticable increase in weight (from lightest to heavivest) moving from REC to Snake to Hopkins&Holloway and then to the cermaic insert guides from Fuji.

Whats next?

  • Tomorrow, publish the data models on affixed guides and static reationships.
  • Later, samples from REC to validate datasheets as reported are correct.

Written by raspberryfisher

2013/07/02 at 19:48

7 Responses

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  1. Interesting stuff. I have never built a rod but think I might want to. Is there any literature you’d recommend for a new rod maker for a first fly rod project?


    2013/07/02 at 21:52

  2. Website > http://www.rodbuildingforum.com/index.php?act=idx

    There are some great books on building bamboo rod making I would recommend, but for graphite I think you will gain more by trolling throw the above website. Now you are not really going to save a lot of money (or any) and the real advantage becomes, building a rod that you like.

    It is worth getting a lathe to turn a handle that you like to fit. Or create a counter-weight on a long rod. Or some people create “bling” and keepsakes with their rods, but for me, I am looking for a better fishing tool. In some cases, such as in some fiberglass rods, it is easier to get a blank than a finished rod.

    Last suggestion …. before you build your first rod, using a wood dowel, create some samples – working on your thread wrapping and epoxy.


    2013/07/03 at 00:18

    • Thanks. I will visit that site. Like all things fly fishing related, I harbor no fantasies that it will be about saving money. If that were the objective, I wouldn’t even consider another rod — I’ve got more than enough. The thing is, I don’t have one really great rod — I’ve got plenty of serviceable ones that work but are not ideal. .
      If I go down that road, I will use a dowel to practice as you suggest. And likely ask you many other questions,
      These posts are great but too advanced for me yet, I suppose, one day if I get into rod building they will be a tremendous resource.Either way I find them interesting. You are obviously a skilled craftsman and a very methodical, logical and organized thinker — someone worth paying attention to.


      2013/07/06 at 15:43

      • Steve,

        I think I aspire to be a craftsman, hence the analysis and detail.
        I will continue to post my experience and learning, and hopefully I can contribute to some understanding.

        If you venture on this path and have Qs, please ask. I note there is a decent starter book from “L A Garcia” that is a little dated, but does step through the process.


        2013/07/07 at 19:32

      • Thanks. I appreciate the advice and benefit of your experience.


        2013/07/07 at 23:56

  3. Hi. just discovered your blog.
    I find this study of yours about guides’ weight and size thorough and most useful for anyone who builds a rod and likes to know what he’s doing.
    great pics also.
    thanks for sharing!

    g0ne fishin9

    2013/10/05 at 09:38

    • Your welcome and thank you for the compliment.


      2013/10/05 at 15:43

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