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Rod Review

What a Difference a Guide Makes: Kistler's Micro MG TS (continued)

How often do you get to fish the same blank wrapped with two different sets of guides side by side to evaluate not just the blank, but the effectiveness of a set of guides on a blank’s overall performance? This experiment accentuated to us, the importance of having the lightest possible set of guides on a rod, and not just micros, but any set of guides, because the inherent weight at the end of the rod as a result of the guides and their associated thread and epoxy, directly impacts the performance of the blank. It is something that up until now, we had taken for granted, but thanks Kistler Custom Fishing Rods, we were able to experience the real correlation of this effect with these two Magnesium TS sticks in our hands.

Thanks to the micro guides, the rod's lure weight rating goes up from a max of 3/4 ounces to 1 ounce.

Micro Guide Disadvantages: But certainly as with anything new and exciting let’s not overlook some of the inherent disadvantages of Micro-Guides. Most of these should be rather obvious, but I sat down with our resident TackleTour GearCrew custom rod builder, Matt Davis, to discuss some of these points.

On to other parts of the rod like the standard Fuji ECS reel seat.

1 Dirty Water: If you fish a body of water where there’s a lot of debris floating around, micro-guides might not be the best solution. Dirt and debris are easily lifted out of the water with your fishing line – especially if you use braid – and this can easily get caught in the guides causing any variety of issues during a cast or while fighting a fish

The top of the reel seat is finished off with a rubber grommet.

2 Icy Conditions: It’s difficult enough, during icy conditions, to keep standard guides free and clear of ice. Micro-guides would only exacerbate the issue essentially making your combo unfishable in these conditions

Kistler employs their standard hook keeper on the Micro Mg sticks.

3 Connection Knots: If you use any type of knots to connect leader material to your main line, you need to understand, micro-guides are going to make casting a bit more challenging than usual. We actually tested this aspect with an approximate six foot fluorocarbon leader tied to braid with an Alberto knot. The knot was not far enough up the line to go all the way into the reel, rather it was about a third of the way up the rod from the reel but on several test casts, the line slipped through the guides with little to no difficulty. At the same time, if this is something I did often (using a leader) I’m not sure I’d want a rod with micro-guides.

The finish of these rods is very attractive.

4 Slip Bobber: This should be rather obvious, but if you fish with a bobber stopper up your line for use with a slip bobber or modified Carolina rig, micro guides are not going to work.

The recommended uses for the McMag70MHC.

5 Line with Memory: If your gear sits for any length of time with line on your reel that is memory intensive, micro-guides could pose a problem during that period of time that it takes to get the memory out of your line while fishing.

We really liked this rod with the Vision 110...

6 Line Rub: If the issue of your line coming in contact with your blank is a sore point for you, micro-guides may not be the answer. The line sits closer to the blank with these guides to begin with and while proper spacing can help, contact is inevitable. We point out though, that this occurs quite frequently with standard guides as well and with varying degrees of load. In the case of the McMag70MHC, it only took six ounces of load on our RoD WRACK for the line to come in contact with the blank as compared to sixteen ounces on the MGSWSB70 (the same blank but with Fuji Hardloys).

...as well as with Luhr Jensen's Speed Trap crank.

7 Line Wrap: Despite their diminutive size, linewrap is still a possibility with these guides and because they are so small as compared to their standard guide counterparts, micro-guides are more prone to damage in these instances. Occurrences of guides being pulled out of their wraps or even decapitated off a rod do happen, so be aware and proceed with caution.

Of course, what do you get with these relatively small baits?

8 Appearance: No matter which way you cut it, Micro-Guides look odd on a rod because they are so small and different and some people might have a difficult time getting over this oddity.

...Small fish.

Next Section: More on micro guides










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