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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Years ago I built several fly rods with back-wrapped single foot guides. Never had a problem popping one off except for one ornery False Albicore in Montauk. I'm building a 9' one piece Northfork composite Gama and I'm wondering if any of you guys have any thing to offer regarding the use of single foot vs. traditional snake guides?
Appreciate any feedback.
Vinny
 

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Zephyr Cove is on FIRE!
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I would use traditional double foot snakes with size A thread and light finish, no problems! I’m about to spin three up real soon.
 

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Your lightest option is REC nickle-titanium snakes (either single or double foot).
Most guys, however, would not use single foot wire guides on an 8wt. The minimal weight saving from less guide wraps isn't worth the cost in terms of knot clearance or potential for guide bending during transport on an 8wt rod (6wt on down, different story). The REC guides are standard on a lot of high end rods these days. Their Cerecoil ceramic guides also are very light and work well as collector guides. The major downside of the REC snakes is that they tend to vibrate and are noisy under load. The REC tips are ugly as sin. Most guys use something else.

Single foot ceramic guides, the best by far of which are the Fuji TKTTG (titanium torzite), provide the least friction and are used on a lot of custom saltwater builds. The torzite ones (matched with a Arowana tip) are painfully expensive and will add $100-150 to the cost of the build. They weigh a bit more than the REC stuff above, about the same as standard chrome snakes, but need less wraps/epoxy. Whether they provide a performance advantage or not has not been objectively settled as far as I can find, but subjectively most guys who use them feel that they do (how much is yet another unknown). Knot clearance and bending risk during transport remain an issue (I've used titanium KT guides for years on big surf spinning rods and bent plenty....they bend back easily enough and so far I've not broken any off doing so although sooner or later I'm expecting it to happen). Snakesurf, on this site, has a lot of experience with ceramic builds and would be worth talking to if you go this route.

Standard chrome snakes (Snake Brand is reportedly a high quality choice) are the cheapest option. They are quieter than REC snakes. They weigh about twice as much as the RECs, and about the same as the TKTTG ceramics (but lighter than other cheaper ceramic options).

If you go the single foot root you can use a locking Forhan wrap and the guide will not pull out.
 

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Good info so far.

I like the traditional look of snakes but have used single foot wire on rods up to 10wt and have not seen any issues clearing knots. I did it more as an experiment just because I build a lot but as mentioned I prefer snakes. Also, I do not use the locking wrap on any single foots and never have guides pull out.

For the snake guides, the REC recoils are nice but they can be loud. I think the Black Pearl are a little quieter but does bother some people. I typically builder with either the Snake Brand Eco coated or the newer CRB Snakes as they are PVD coated and pretty nice. They can

As mentioned, if you use the Recoils, do not use their tops, use a Snake Brand top.

Size A thread, Threadmaster Lite and you are good to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Your lightest option is REC nickle-titanium snakes (either single or double foot).
Most guys, however, would not use single foot wire guides on an 8wt. The minimal weight saving from less guide wraps isn't worth the cost in terms of knot clearance or potential for guide bending during transport on an 8wt rod (6wt on down, different story). The REC guides are standard on a lot of high end rods these days. Their Cerecoil ceramic guides also are very light and work well as collector guides. The major downside of the REC snakes is that they tend to vibrate and are noisy under load. The REC tips are ugly as sin. Most guys use something else.

Single foot ceramic guides, the best by far of which are the Fuji TKTTG (titanium torzite), provide the least friction and are used on a lot of custom saltwater builds. The torzite ones (matched with a Arowana tip) are painfully expensive and will add $100-150 to the cost of the build. They weigh a bit more than the REC stuff above, about the same as standard chrome snakes, but need less wraps/epoxy. Whether they provide a performance advantage or not has not been objectively settled as far as I can find, but subjectively most guys who use them feel that they do (how much is yet another unknown). Knot clearance and bending risk during transport remain an issue (I've used titanium KT guides for years on big surf spinning rods and bent plenty....they bend back easily enough and so far I've not broken any off doing so although sooner or later I'm expecting it to happen). Snakesurf, on this site, has a lot of experience with ceramic builds and would be worth talking to if you go this route.

Standard chrome snakes (Snake Brand is reportedly a high quality choice) are the cheapest option. They are quieter than REC snakes. They weigh about twice as much as the RECs, and about the same as the TKTTG ceramics (but lighter than other cheaper ceramic options).

If you go the single foot root you can use a locking Forhan wrap and the guide will not pull out.
I am very familiar with the Fuji titanium frame torzite ring guides. I have built many bait casters/spinners with the KT, KB, KW’s with Arowana tips.
Years ago Fuji offered a single foot titanium frame nitrate gold ring. I built three fly rods with SIC strippers. I have two of them left, one fell pray to a scumbag at the ramp..
If I were going to go the KB KT route I’m thinking 7 ring. What are your thoughts..
Your lightest option is REC nickle-titanium snakes (either single or double foot).
Most guys, however, would not use single foot wire guides on an 8wt. The minimal weight saving from less guide wraps isn't worth the cost in terms of knot clearance or potential for guide bending during transport on an 8wt rod (6wt on down, different story). The REC guides are standard on a lot of high end rods these days. Their Cerecoil ceramic guides also are very light and work well as collector guides. The major downside of the REC snakes is that they tend to vibrate and are noisy under load. The REC tips are ugly as sin. Most guys use something else.

Single foot ceramic guides, the best by far of which are the Fuji TKTTG (titanium torzite), provide the least friction and are used on a lot of custom saltwater builds. The torzite ones (matched with a Arowana tip) are painfully expensive and will add $100-150 to the cost of the build. They weigh a bit more than the REC stuff above, about the same as standard chrome snakes, but need less wraps/epoxy. Whether they provide a performance advantage or not has not been objectively settled as far as I can find, but subjectively most guys who use them feel that they do (how much is yet another unknown). Knot clearance and bending risk during transport remain an issue (I've used titanium KT guides for years on big surf spinning rods and bent plenty....they bend back easily enough and so far I've not broken any off doing so although sooner or later I'm expecting it to happen). Snakesurf, on this site, has a lot of experience with ceramic builds and would be worth talking to if you go this route.

Standard chrome snakes (Snake Brand is reportedly a high quality choice) are the cheapest option. They are quieter than REC snakes. They weigh about twice as much as the RECs, and about the same as the TKTTG ceramics (but lighter than other cheaper ceramic options).

If you go the single foot root you can use a locking Forhan wrap and the guide will not pull out.
I’ve used a lot of
 

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Recoils are nice because they also bend with your blank when it is under load, not creating stress on the blank. I personally like snakes on saltwater rod, a stuck knot could cause to break rods if you messing with big fish, but I am guessing the 8 weight is not for the big fish.

What attributes do you want to maximize with your guides?
 

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Funny - I just ordered a Sexyloops HT #6 which comes with single foot as standard and was reading through this thread on SL today about this exact subject out of curiosity: Fly rod guide selection.

Full disclosure, I am not a rod builder but am very interested in this kind of thing. From that thread I am getting that the benefits of a Single Foot are:
  • Are a bit lighter
  • Anecdotally single foot guides help maintain a more "uninterrupted" action of the blank because (according to Paul) snake guides stiffen the blank by
    • Being longer
    • having 2 connection points
    • Require double the epoxy/thread (which would also add stiffness as the epoxy/thread flexes less than the blank)
    • Heavier guides will slow the recovery of the rod, at least on the lighter line weights - stiffer rods it's not very noticeable
That seems to be confirmed later in the thread, both anecdotally (through reports of folks who replaced the single foot guides on their rods with snake guides and said the rod then felt a 1/2 line weight stiffer) and "mathematically," though the additional stiffness seems nominal (I think it was around 1% in the tip section).

I admittedly took the benefits of snake guides for granted, namely that they are less prone to catching any knots and are more secure to the blank.

So I think @Greg Allison is asking the right question: "What attributes do you want to maximize with your guides?"

Would love to hear what you decide to go with and how you like the Gamma - I'm not super excited about any of the rods by major manufacturers on the market right now, so am looking at the Sexyloops and Edge/Northfork rods as alternatives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Recoils are nice because they also bend with your blank when it is under load, not creating stress on the blank. I personally like snakes on saltwater rod, a stuck knot could cause to break rods if you messing with big fish, but I am guessing the 8 weight is not for the big fish.

What attributes do you want to maximize with your guides?
I’m not really sure what attributes I’m looking for. I guess it would be easier for me to narrow down what attribute I’m trying to attain if there wasn’t any room for discussion on the merits of a single foot being better or worse then a traditional snake guide. I 🤔!!
Single wraps are always less labor intensive then double then there’s the finishing aspect of it all😉. I guess I’m just looking for experience, pros cons etc.. I have all kinds of guides to choose from. Just not sure what I want to do. I have a couple of Sectors with recoils. They’re noisy but I kinda like them. I also have a lot of Fuji tkw etc.... not real sure. I like to make things a little different I guess. That’s what makes them custom.
 

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I build fly rods and still prefer snake guides over single foot. All the recommendations listed above are spot on for guides, tip tops, thread and epoxy.
I wanted to also mention that building with snake guides are to me way easier than single foot guides. They stay in place way better in alignment while being wrapped. When one side wrap is completed, check alignment and adjust as necessary and the second side of the wrap secures everything down without any movement.
I have had problems with the single foot guides moving when I wrap them.
Also, if by chance one side of the snake guide pulls loose, it can still be used with a temp repair with a little electrical tape. Single foot guide pulls out and chances are the guide is lost in the water or boat and can not be found.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I build fly rods and still prefer snake guides over single foot. All the recommendations listed above are spot on for guides, tip tops, thread and epoxy.
I wanted to also mention that building with snake guides are to me way easier than single foot guides. They stay in place way better in alignment while being wrapped. When one side wrap is completed, check alignment and adjust as necessary and the second side of the wrap secures everything down without any movement.
I have had problems with the single foot guides moving when I wrap them.
Also, if by chance one side of the snake guide pulls loose, it can still be used with a temp repair with a little electrical tape. Single foot guide pulls out and chances are the guide is lost in the water or boat and can not be found.
Mike
Thank you for that. Excellent information!
 

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I don't see any real issues with the single foot guides as long as you are aware of the potential for leader knots catching them. More to go wrong, with a slight performance advantage (less weight = faster blank recovery, and less stress concentration/ flat spots at the guide wraps on the blank). You could always size up a single foot, to try to reduce that problem.

I totally get wanting to make something a little different when going custom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I don't see any real issues with the single foot guides as long as you are aware of the potential for leader knots catching them. More to go wrong, with a slight performance advantage (less weight = faster blank recovery, and less stress concentration/ flat spots at the guide wraps on the blank). You could always size up a single foot, to try to reduce that problem.

I totally get wanting to make something a little different when going custom.
Yea, my wife says I’m never satisfied. In fact she thinks that should have been my boats name🙄
 

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My vote is for REC RSNX snake guides. Also, keep the number of sizes simple. For an 8 weight I would do size 20 & 12 stripping guides and then a single #5 snake and #3's out to the tip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My vote is for REC RSNX snake guides. Also, keep the number of sizes simple. For an 8 weight I would do size 20 & 12 stripping guides and then a single #5 snake and #3's out to the tip.
#3's? I thought they might be a little small, I'll take a look when I get home..
Thanks for the recommendation
 

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#3's? I thought they might be a little small, I'll take a look when I get home..
Thanks for the recommendation
3s are more than enough. If you have fished something like a. Sage ONE that is more of an all water rod it is 16,12, and then works down to size 1s. On the other hand something like the Salt HD which Sage has geared more to Saltwater is 16, 12, and then down to 3s like mentioned above. I see no reason to go larger than 3s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
3s are more than enough. If you have fished something like a. Sage ONE that is more of an all water rod it is 16,12, and then works down to size 1s. On the other hand something like the Salt HD which Sage has geared more to Saltwater is 16, 12, and then down to 3s like mentioned above. I see no reason to go larger than 3s.
Excellent!
 

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I just finished at CTS 9' 8.

I ended up going with strippers which were 16 and 12 and then I think a #5 to RSNX #3 for everything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I just finished at CTS 9' 8.

I ended up going with strippers which were 16 and 12 and then I think a #5 to RSNX #3 for everything else.
Yep that's the route! 16, 12 couple of 6s, 5s finish with 3s in RSNXB. Just not sure if I want RSGB in16 and 12 or Fuji Titanium frame torzite ring. I have quite a few left over from other builds.
 
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