Getting to Know Your Fishing Rod Guides

Getting to Know Your Fishing Rod Guides

This article is an example of the kind of valuable information found in our catalog.  Sure, we sell products, but we are also committed to be your source for information.

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Fishing Rod Guides

Determining the type and size of guides for your rod building project can be confusing at first if you don't understand some of the basics.

Rod Guides

As technology has evolved so have the rod guides for custom fishing rods.

Rod guides come in many shapes and in a variety of materials. The quality of a guide depends on the composition of both the guide frame and the ring. 

Guides are measured by the outside diameter (OD) of the ring in millimeters.

Usually, the most common guides are for Casting or Spinning rods!

Fly Rod Guides

Wire guides are available in both traditional double foot, commonly known as snake guides, and single foot styles. These guides also come in a variety of finishes.

Wire guide sizes generally include 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1/0 and 2/0 with 6 being the largest.

There are also single fly rod guides with inserts that can be used in place of wire guides. As with stripping guides, the quality of single foot fly rods depends on the composition of both the guide frame and the insert ring.

Single foot fly rod guides are generally available in sizes 10, 8, 7, 6, and 5.5.  These sizes give the diameter of the guide ring in millimeters.

Pick out your Fly Guides!


There is more to a fishing rod tip top guide than you may think.

Insert Ring/Loop Sizing

The first measurement in a Tip-Top is the OD of the ring (eyelet) in millimeters.  Generally, the inside diameter (ID) of the ring will match the smallest guide on the rod. Standard sizes are 6, 8, and 10mm for conventional rods, while heavier saltwater rods may go as high as a 16mm ring.

Tube Sizing

The second measurement in a Tip-Top is the ID of the tube, measured in 1/64ths of an inch. The tube size should correspond to the size given by the manufacturer of your blank.

Tube sizes generally range from 3.5 to 12, but they go all the way up to 32 (.500") in Big Game roller tops.

Insert Rings

Sizes can vary depending on the manufacturer, and are measured in millimeters. 

On guides with insert rings, the measurement is taken from the OD of the insert ring. On wire guides, the size measurement is taken from the ID of the loop. 

Shop for Tip Tops and Roller Tops here!


Guide Spacing

When it comes to your guide spacing requirements for your rod blank, it is always best to refer to the manufacturer's spec sheet.

For you shopping convenience, Mud Hole offers useful links like Guide Spacing under the "Resources" tab on our homepage!

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