You may have heard the latest buzz word “micro guides” being bandied around, but what are they and what benefits do they offer over conventional guides?
By Sensational Angling Supplies
For years now the focus of development on bass rods has centered on lighter, stiffer and ever-stronger carbon materials and resin bases. Stiffer Carbon fibers mean less material can be used resulting in weight reduction. Unfortunately these materials can be extremely expensive and they tend to be exposed to higher breakage rates because the material is more brittle. Ultimately it has taken some innovative American manufacturers to come up with the idea of using smaller guides to reduce overall rod weight.
Beyond the weight saving achieved by using micro guides, several other benefits have also become apparent, which we will look at just now.
When Sensation’s first micro guide samples arrived, I was quite indifferent. Lets face it – these rods look completely different and I suppose they are so different to the norm that they did look somewhat odd. They felt very good, not only light, but the balance was superb. When weighed we found that the micro guide rods were 7% (10g) lighter than the equivalent rods with standard guides. Not a huge difference, but if you take into account where the weight saving occurs it makes a big difference.
MAGMA ROD RANGE
I couldn’t wait to get to the water to try them out, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. My first impression was how crisp the rod felt. The Magma micro guide rod seemed to respond immediately to my every movement.
Casting accuracy was also noticeable. The smaller guides and particularly the tip guide turned me into a “point and shoot” fisherman. Being a bit rusty of late, it felt good to be able to put the worm exactly where I wanted to.
Although it is reported that the micro guides increase casting distance I can’t say I noticed, but they certainly didn’t impact negatively. Another obvious benefit was the ease with which the rods could be taken out of the rod locker. For once I could easily remove individual rods from the locker of the boat without having to pull the whole entangled forest out – I’m sure all boat anglers can relate to this?
As for sensitivity, the micro guides definitely made huge strides here. I suppose it’s a combination a combination of the lighter rod as well as the smaller guides that keep the line close to the blank. I was amazed at the increase in sensitivity and I immediately could form a clear picture of the bottom as my worm ticked across rock and grass.
I had heard that micro guided also reduce overwinds and this was noticeable, but not the key feature. When I finished braid, 0.23 mm diameter Strike Wire with 16lb Gama Edge Fluoro-carbon, the knot passed through the guide with ease. Probably because the micro guides tend to force the line to travel in a straight line.
Overall the experience with the micro guides was an enjoyable surprise – indeed I found a normal guide rod to feel awkward after fishing with the micro guide rods. This seems to be the next big development in bass rods and it will definitely have a big impact on the market.
The Magma Casting Rods are fitted with Pacific Bay Minima Reel Seats. These give unparalleled blank exposure resulting in increased sensitivity as well as further weight savings. Fuji Alconite micro guides have been fitted together with a very practical open-ended hook keeper.
PRO ELITE RODS
The Pro Elite rod range now features 2 new micro guide models, a 7’0” MH (123g) and 7’2” H (125g). The Pro Elite Micro Series rod features Fuji ACS reel seats and Fuji Aluminium Oxide Micro Guides. The retail price on these rods will be in the region of R750.
The specs on the fittings have also been upgraded and only Fuji and Pacific Bay components are used throughout. The rods also feature open-ended hook keepers as well as AAA grade Portuguese cork split grips. Other grip materials were investigated but in the end the functionality of cork seemed to be the most practical.
All in all the new ranges of micro guide rods promise to bring the latest technology to anglers at an affordable price. These rods represent our flagship ranges and promise not to disappoint.