Micro guides are now more popular and available yet not too many fishermen know why. Micro guides, like anything else, have their pros and cons, but when used in the right fishing application, they can really improve the performance of your rod.
Distributing Stress and Reducing Line Slap—Essentially, the more guides that help absorb stress along your rod, the less load any particular rod section will have to handle. Micro guides can improve your rod by distributing the stress equally across the entire blank, making them a great choice for the many fishing applications.
In addition to equally distributing the stress of a load, micro guides also help reduce line slap. As previously mentioned, more guides on a blank can absorb stress better, but adding more micro guides along a blank will actually help minimize the slack or line slap of the line travelling between the guides.
Comparing Micro Guides to Standard Guides—Below is a comparison of two generic rods, one on the left with micro guides and the other on the right with standard guides.
As seen above, micro guides maintain a closer distance between the line and the blank when compared to the standard guide setup. By constantly keeping the line taut and free on any line slap, stress between micro guides is cut down significantly to improve the rod's overall performance.
The figure above also displays the higher bend radius of the blank between each standard guide which when given the same force as the micro guides, may increase the chance for rod failure between those conventional guides.Harnessing More Original Rod Performance
When it comes to rod blanks, the original performance of the blank is weakened each time it is manipulated with the addition of components, materials, and weight.
Theoretically, the blank itself has the most performance before manipulation so if you could run a line through the center of the blank, it would perform at its peak because it would maintain its original action.
Although this concept is unrealistic, micro guides are realistic and they help harness the closest possible performance to that of the original blank due to the proximity of the line to the blank.
Extending Casts—At first glance, you may doubt that these tiny guides can improve the distance of your cast, however, these setups cut down friction as the line travels from the spool through micro guides and out the tip top.
In contrast, conventional guide setups permit more space for the line to bounce and twirl down the rod as you cast. Contacting the edges of the guides and occasionally the rod itself adds friction to your cast, cutting its potential distance down considerably.
Basically, micro guides improve casting by keeping the line tight between guides and away from the blank, reducing the overall amount of rubbing as the line travels down and out of the rod.
Cutting Down Material & Weight
Some rod builders assume adding more small guides will increase the overall guide weight on the rod blank, but in actuality, a complete set of micro guides for a casting rod can weigh less than the first two conventional guides on a manufactured rod.
Since micro guides are so small, they also cut down the amount of thread and epoxy used to secure them on the rod blank. Simple math, less material equals less weight and in this case, more performance.
Increasing Sensitivity—So what's the catch, it must be sensitivity right? Wrong. Remember micro guides cut down material and weight while also harnessing as much of the rod blank's original action as possible. All these factors combined attribute to an added sensitivity while fishing with micro guides.
Reducing Oops Factor—If you are a frequent fisherman, there is no doubt you have popped out a guide insert knocking it against a hard surface while excitedly packing for a trip. Micro guides cut down this factor tremendously, fitting exceptionally well in rod tubes and other compact packing locations.
Some even suggest micro guides have a higher rate of survival when stepped on, but we do not suggest attempting this test for obvious reasons.
Knowing When to Use or Avoid Micro Guides—Generally speaking, any scenario that calls for increased casting distance and performance are perfect for micro guides. For example, both flipping and crankbait fishing are ideal applications for micro guides.
When flipping, you want the line to cast smoothly in order to create a gentle and low ripple entry into the water. An additional benefit of micro guides for flipping is a decreased chance of tip top line loops making pitching around docks easier than ever.
For crankbaits, you usually aim for a long and accurate cast so that your line will have enough time to reach the desired depth. The added sensitivity of micro guides also allows you to feel the bait better as it runs along the ground and over obstacles.
Micro Guide Worth Consideration—Micro guides are great for many fishing applications, but not necessarily all applications. For example, if your leader knots with heavier line will not fit through the smaller micro guide diameters, then you will obviously want stick with conventional guide setups. So your fishing application may vary, but one thing is clear, micro guides are certainly worth consideration.