I was contemplating the purchase of a new spinning rod and as I was looking at likely suspects at my local tackle store, I noticed that many of the better rods featured much smaller guides than what I'm used to seeing on spinning rods. I asked the clerk about it and he said they were called "micro guides" and were developed by Fuji. Evidently they've been around since 2013, but since I've been out of the game for many years, they were new to me.
Naturally, I fired up YouTube and I was able to find a video that shows the slow motion research videos shot by Fuji engineers that proves the concept. It's amazing.
As you would expect, the engineers at Fuji looked and both spinning and baitcasting rod guide design requirements.
The basic problem with spinning gear, with regards to casting, is the way the line comes off the reel in fast moving coils, which causes the line to oscillate and slap back and forth as it passes through the guides.
The slow motion footage clearly documents the issue. And it's this chaotic movement of the line,
slapping into the rod and the guides that creates drag and steals distance from your casts.
The conventional thinking has been that gradually bringing the line into tighter control by starting with large diameter guides and stepping them down a bit smaller at each place along the rod would offer the least line resistance. This size change is called the reduction train and traditionally would cover most, if not all of the rod. It makes perfect sense; you gradually nudge the line where you want it to go.
However, after watching super slow motion video of how line actually moves through the guides, they decided to test different design layouts. They tested traditional large guides on standard height frames, traditional small guides on standard height frames, and a new design concept they call K-R.
The problem with traditional large guide reduction trains is the large butt guide does not control the line well enough and the line remains in coils and continues to bounce and slap through the guides all the way to the tip of the rod.
Guides, Guides so many Guides