Thursday, May 14, 2009

Supreme Xtreme

Project: Supreme Xtreme
Project "Supreme Xtreme" is my latest adventure in rod building, and it just happens to be for me!
The SX is built on a St. Croix 5C70MHF-B blank.
This blank utilizes St. Croix's state-of-the-art technology and their best materials.
As far as St. Croix blanks are concerned; This is the best they offer... period!
The build is somewhat experimental for me. As someone who enjoys learning and expanding my capabilities; I found some information on a rod building forum about something call Micro Guides.
I sat at my computer for the better part of three days reading and learning about the theory behind the guides, and why some builders thought they were awesome; and others thought they were a fad. In addition to using micro guides I also tied up my first "Simple Spiral" wrap.
Spiral Wrap:
With a traditional casting rod setup the guides are placed on top of the blank, and this can lead to a few problems:
  • Line contacting the blank
  • Torque created by the forces applied to the guide when under load
  • Excess weight from the use of double-footed guides
The spiral wrap eliminates these problems - completely!
By rotating, or wrapping the guides around the blank so that they end up on the bottom of the rod; like a spinning rod, line contact issues and torque are removed from the equation.
Micro Guides:
Micro guides are nothing more than extremely small, single-foot fly guides.
The theory is, because of their size and ridiculously light weight; more guides can be added and still weigh less than traditional guides - and/or - excess weight can be reduced by using fewer, smaller (micro) guides.
Traditionally a casting rod is tied with all double foot guides; with the exception of some newer rods that employ Fuji's Concept Guide System.
All of the guides on the Supreme Xtreme are single-foot with the largest guide on the rod being a size 6.
The running guides, or guides just below the tiptop, are a size 4.
To give you some idea how small these are; the inner diameter is .077 inches.
That is just over 1/16th of an inch!
The entire set of guides for this rod including the tiptop weighed 1.1 grams!
Do the Micro Guides create line friction and reduce casting
I have not spent a lot of time fishing with this rod yet, as I just finished it
a few days ago... but from experience casting with it: NO
I was able to cast a 3/8oz sinker more than 60 feet with the flick of my wrist.
This was done with 50# PowerPro braided line.
If those puny little micro guides are able to cast 50# braid like that... I can't wait to hit the water with 12# Flouro!
Here are a few pictures of the Supreme Xtreme that I took during the build process.
More pictures to follow - I'm headed to Enid, Oklahoma to test it out this Friday
My first impression of the micro guides and the spiral wrapped happened before the rod was finished; I was testing guide placement and took it out for a cast or two.
This past week I took the rod to Enid, Oklahoma and tried it out for several hours while casting and flipping various lures with it. To say the least I was extremely impressed.The small diameter of the micro guides did not seem to interfere with casting distance or accuracy whatsoever.
I was using a Pfleuger President with 50# PowerPro and was able to cast a 5/8oz Trap upwards of 100 feet with little effort. Flipping accuracy didn't seem to be affected either. I was dropping 1/2oz footballs in a coffee cup sized target from 15-20 feet away with ease.
The spiral wrap accomplished exactly what it was intended for. The line does not contact the blank; I used fewer guides to reduce weight, and the static guide test was nearly perfect.This certainly will not be my last rod built with micro guides and a spiral wrap.
I would recommend them to anyone who uses a casting rod for Bass fishing. I will surely be recommending them to my customers in the future!

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