Posted on 07/05/2018 ยท Posted in Interesting, What's New
Differences in Structure

REC Recoil RSG stripper guide as our Wired Guide example in this post.
The differences in structure are almost visually self evident. The wired guide is made up of a twisted wire where as the Ceramic ring guide is constructed with a steel frame and inserted ceramic ring. In regards to Ceramic Ring Vs Wired Stripper Guides, the REC Recoil RSG is actually super tough. Made from a Nickel Titanium Alloy wire it can easily boast as being the toughest guide in its category. Ceramic ring guides on the other hand are made from a Stainless Steel frame and contain either a Hardloy, Alconite, Zirconium, Silicon Carbide type ceramic ring inserted in the middle of the frame. Depending on the quality of the stainless steel used, these type of guides are fairly tough and corrosion resistant but finish second to their titanium framed brothers. Ceramic ringed guides made from titanium frames share similar characteristics to the REC Recoil guides and are basically corrosion proof and weigh half the amount.

Differences in Friction

Friction with respect to fly casting is a reference to line contact i.e. fly line contact with the surface of the stripper guide. Even though the REC Recoil is built from such a tough material this very attribute works against it when it comes to friction. Stainless steel snake guides can be highly polished resulting in ultra smooth surfaces aiding in line slickness, however the REC Recoil wired guides do not share the same characteristics. Ceramic Ringed guides have a major advantage in that matter since the ceramic material itself is very smooth and hard. Due to the higher friction caused by the REC recoil, casting has been known to generate jarring and grabbing of fly line especially during the hauling process and especially when using highly textured fly lines such as the Airflo ridged textured lines.

Differences in Durability

There’s really no question here; the REC Recoil guides are definitely more durable, which means they will last longer than your standard Ceramic Ringed guides. Silicon Carbide might have a rating of 2300 on the Viker’s Hardness scale, (which is 10 times that of stainless steel) but this very strength is also a disadvantage making it prone to cracking through misuse and abuse. On the other hand, the REC Recoil stripper guide is not only hard but also tough which allows it to be bent and twisted and still regain its original shape.

Differences in Weight

The following are the weights of the REC Recoil RSG and ALPS MXN guides in size 16;
ALPS MXN Titanium Z = 1.3g

Heavier guides means slower rod recovery after cast. Lighter guides means faster recovery, however the concept of “built for purpose” should always come first. This ultimately means the type of guides used on the rod build should suit the job the rod was intended. If a customer requires a rod specifically for Bonefish use, then you would expect that the guides on his fly rod would meet at least 2 very important criteria; they must be durable and above all saltwater corrosion resistant. The weight of these guides would definitely not be neglected but it would clearly be a secondary concern, even though the addition of any extra weight on a blank directly impacts the performance of the completed rod.

Differences in Noise

When it comes to noise there’s really not much of a comparison. Ceramic ringed stripper guides are almost mute in sound compared to Wired stripper guides, especially when you’re using a textured fly line. Textured fly lines might increase the buoyancy rate but they definitely hinder the friction rate through the guides and work against ease of casting and as a result sometimes loud jarring occurs. On the other hand, non textured fly lines are more quiet and cause less friction (possible jarring) providing the caster’s haul angle is less than 90 degrees.

Differences in Cost

Pricing between the REC Recoil Wired Stripper guides and Ceramic Ringed guides is a little tricky to compare due to branding levels and the shear numbers of different Ceramic Ringed guides on the market. Although, most Rod Builders would admit that Fuji would be the most logical candidate for comparison and as such pricing between these two is a “no brainer”. A size 20 REC Recoil Wired Stripper costs around $18 where as a Fuji Stainless MN ceramic ring guide costs about $8 which is where the ALPS MN series guide also sits. You might argue that the REC Recoil is titanium and that the comparison is unfair, well the Fuji Titanium MN in size 20 goes for about $22 which really isn’t much more than the REC, especially considering the benefits attached.

In my opinion as a custom rod builder, I would like to imagine that the customers I build for take care of their equipment. Barick fly rods need to perform at the top of their game and the amount of line friction the REC Recoil RSG stripper guides produce under varied circumstances are again in my opinion, a major disadvantage and possibly a deterrent. This disadvantage outweighs the other strengths of the REC Recoil RSG guide and is the reason why when it comes to Ceramic Ring Vs Wired Stripper Guides I always choose the the Ceramic Ringed guides.