View Full Version : First Wraps

05-30-2009, 10:23 AM
Mike cc had us over for a rod building class 2 winters ago. About 2 weeks ago with my upcoming vacation I'd decided that would treat myself to a new rod. Being under the gun time wise it would be unfair to ask a builder to have it ready for me in 5 days. That being said I started doing some research and came up with the following. Credit goes to Sargeant S. online I forget where it was but it was a distance casting forum I stumbled across. I've prepared a similar document to the one which helped me. Scotty and Mike Cc were also a big help.

The document:

The prototypical spacings and the formula for adjusting them because of length / reel seat differences is found on page 41 of the Fuji catalog. (

Looking at page 41 we will use the bottom rod in the third group as our prototype. It has seven guides plus the tip.

Blank length -- 425cm
Butt to center of reel seat. 88cm
center of reel seat to gatherer guide -- 120cm
Space on rod that has guides = 217cm

Guide spacing - tip down

Tiptop to first guide -- 17cm
first to second -- 20cm
second to third -- 25cm
third to fourth -- 28cm
fourth to fifth -- 33cm
fifth to sixth -- 44cm
sixth to seventh (gatherer) -- 50cm

17 + 20 + 25 + 28 + 33 + 44 + 50 = 217cm

217 is value "A" in the Fuji formula.

Again, formula is found on page 31 at: (

New layout . . .

New butt length & keeping reel seat to gathering guide spacing to Fuji recommended 120cm:

Butt to center of reel seat. 68.58cm
Center of reel seat to gatherer guide -- 120cm

We must now solve for the remaining rod which will have guides placed on it. . .

(Total length of rod =132.2 inches or 335.78 centimeters)

Total Length of rod (minus) Center of reel seat to gatherer guide (minus)Butt to center of reel seat= B in Fuji formula

So assuming the following:


147.2 is “B” in Fuji’s formula

B" divided by "A" gives us the ratio to grow the spacing: 147.2 / 217 = 0.678

Tip to first guide – 11.52cm or 4.5inches
first to second – 13.56cm or 5.5 inches
second to third – 16.95cm or 6.5 inches
third to fourth – 18.984cm or 7.5 inches
fourth to fifth – 22.374cm or 9.0 inches
fifth to sixth – 29.832cm or 11.5 inches
sixth to seventh (gatherer) – 33.9 or 13.5 inches

11.52 + 13.56 + 16.95 + 18.98 + 22.37 + 29.832 + 33.9 = 147.112 cm or 57.95 inches (58)

Suggested spacing, still needs deflection testing etc.

Butt to reel seat 68.58 cm
Center of reel seat to Gathering guide 120cm
Portion of rod with no guides on it: 188.68
Portion of rod with uides on it: 147.112cm

05-30-2009, 11:48 AM
So what blank are you going to build on Vic?

05-30-2009, 10:16 PM
xra 1322-1 Its built I stink at pictures :(

06-01-2009, 12:21 AM
The formulas used give a starting point. I am glad to see you will adjust based on a stress test.

This fuji system is flawed in several ways. It biggest problem is that it does not account for the action of the rod.

A better method is graph the equation y=X*GF where GF is the growth factor of the space between the guides and X is the spacing of the first guide from the tip.

Now go to an excel spread sheet and in the first column top cell (first column /first row) enter 1. Define the second cell down in that column (first column/second row) as the value of the cell above it times 1.2. The value 1.2 will appear in that cell. Now copy the equation in that cell down the column ...say 15 rows.

Now go to column 2 and inter 1 in the top cell (second column/first row). Define the second row in that column as the cell above it times 1.4. The value 1.4 will appear in that cell. Now copy that formula down 15 rows.

Now go to column 3 and in the first cell enter .5. In the cell below it (row2/column3) define that value as the cell above it times 1.2. The cell will read .6. Now copy that cell formular down 15 rows.

In column 4 enter .5 in the top cell. Define the cell below it (row2/column4)
as the cell above it times 1.4. The cell will show a value of .7. Now copy that formulas down 15 rows.

Now the fun part. :) Highlite all 4 columns and hit the graph button on the tool bar. Choose the line equation function. Create the graph of the 4 columns. You will see 4 curved lines. Now expand the X axis way out and envision that these curved lines are actually bent fishing rods. Each line is a rod with a diferent cation from very fast to very slow.

The data sets you created to describe the action of each of those bent rods required two inputs by you. In these examples , the multiplier of 1.2 or 1.4 is the multiplier to calculate the distance between the guides as you go towards the butt. Its a meaningless number to describe the bend in the rod without the first number (in this case 1 and .5) which represents the spacing from the tip you choose for the first guide.

Their formula would be totally bogus except they do supply you with pictures. These pictures in the own way (either you see this or you don't , its too hard to explain in words) attempt to define the rod action but they in fact do not. What they define is the number of guides to choose based on rod length. They adjsut the spacing of the first guide from the tip by having more or less guides but its based on the length you have to fill with guides (different rod lengths with the same butt spacing and gathering guide spacing or same rod lengths with different butt and gathering guide spaces). No where are they accounting for the difference in the way the rods bend based on their fast or slow action. (remember action defines where the bend takes place and how much , not just how much. Fast action more towards the tip and slow action deeper towards the butt).

So that's the weakness of the fuji method just interms of the raw math and geometry problem. They also do not account for your fishing prference. I;ll be damned if I;m going to be stringing 12 guides 6 times a night in the pitch black of fishing at 1 AM. So me as the fisherman should be choosing how many guides based on my own prefernce as a fisherman as well as based on the geometry of the rod.

So the better builder will take all this into account and then on top of it all , see if he can get away with the number of guides he chosed based on fishing prefernce by looking at the rod after its all strung up with line going through the guides in the stress test.

The best factors to use (in the equation I show above) for the first guide spacing and the growth exponent require experience looking at the rod action. If you have a nimble mind and can roll the equation around in your brain , you soon get to know how to closely estimate the first guide spacing and growth exponent just by looking at and building many rods.

The second decision about how many guides is arrived at by experience with the various fishing applications and input of prefernces from the customer to the rod builder.

Botton line is that equations can be very useful in estimating the layout of the rod but only if you have the right equation and the experience to choose the two main factors in that equation. You also must keep in mind that fishing experience of the builder and the customer overrides all suggestions generated by the equations. So its rod building experience and fishing experience and customer preference that should determine the layout of the rod between the tip and the reel seat. The butt length behind the reel seat is almost totally dependent on the cistomers preference.

06-03-2009, 12:36 PM
Agreed that the formula is basically a jumping off point and testing and deflecting etc should still be performed. You think the stringing up 12 guides is tough try their 34 inch butt to reel seat :) Theyre just theoretical rods :)

There was no customer in this build as I was building for myself. I wanted 7 guides plus tip so in looking at the fuji guide I selected their 7 guide plus tip theoretical rod. I'll have to try out your excel tips and tricks on the next rod I build. The rod was basically built to throw topwater and tins a long way and its done nicely with fish to 35-37 lbs this passed week. I'm happy with the results.

7 guides plus tip
cork foregrip
butt section is split cork grips tapered and and overwrapped with heat shrink x-wrap

06-03-2009, 04:13 PM
The spreadsheets just illustarte the idea of how you can tailor the guide placement based on the rod action. The values for the multiplier and the first guide spacing are not anything you would use on a rod.

Just for the heck of it you could use 5 or your chosen 4.5 inches as the first guide space and use a multiplier of 1.2 and see how the guide placements compare to what you used. . For a conventioanl a first guide distance of about 5 is a good place to start and for a spinner , 7. Of course you adjust that first estimate and refine the multiplier using several iterations on the spread sheet and then finally with the stress test.

What you used looks pretty close to being a 5/1.2 type set up which is what I might use for a conventional with a medium action.

Its pretty interesting to see how you can use this type of calculation and get pretty close on all different blank lengths and actions.