The Following Tips are Offered by:
Ron Crandall of Ron's
Guides and Epoxy
We are seeing a number of rods in for repair where the customer says "I have grooves in my guides." What we are finding is that the Far East rod builders put so much epoxy on the windings that it ran onto the guide. Since the epoxy is much softer than Hardloy or Aluminum Oxide the line will wear grooves into the epoxy, and these grooves will totally destroy your new super-braided line, that you scrimped and saved and skipped donuts for.
If you're looking at a new rod, "let them laugh." (You know more than most clerks anyway.) Take a magnifying glass with you to the store and check the guides to see if they are properly done or just slopped out. If there is epoxy in the guides, don't buy that rod. If that's the level of their work, what else is wrong that won't show up for awhile, and then cause you grief.
If you already own a new rod, check to see if you have this problem. If you do, you can usually take a hobby knife and very carefully cut the epoxy out of the ring area of the guide. I use a number five blade. It will fit most guides. Try to follow the curve of the ring and leave the other areas alone. Beware, if you are able to cut the ring of the guide, your line will also, and you should either replace the rod, or have the guides replaced with a Hardloy or Aluminum Oxide type.
If you are looking at a new rod remember there are a lot of companies trying to get your dollar. Real Fuji guides are marked on the arm area of the guide. If a clerk tells you that some other guides are just as good and that the ring pops out of Fuji guides, you're in the wrong store.