Personally, I now use American style high stand off snakes. U can get them coated in all sorts of *extra slippy* coatings now. I have rods with Fuji SIC's throughout, but they are heavy and slow a rods action down too much. I always put on 2 stripping rings though, both lined.
Without doubt the line shoots better through snakes than single leg Fujis. The snakes are lighter too. I think the bottom line here is that the very best top name fly rods use snakes with perhaps a couple of stripper guides. If single legs did perform better, I am sure the top names such as Sage, Loomis, Scott, T&T would all use them. They don't, they use snakes.
It's partly a matter of fashion. Years ago all fly rods had snakes, then single legs came out and they were supposed to be the dog's doo-dahs - light, less friction and because they only had one whipping they affected the action of the rod less. Then someone realised that properly designed snakes would do the job just as well. I prefer snakes but have rods with both - it doesn't really make much difference.
Chris, when I made rods commercially, we offered a custom build service. I made up two identical blanks, 9 ft, for a 6 weight. One was with single leg Fuji SiC's, the other with Snakes. The Fuji rung one was noticably softer and *floppy* compared to the snakes. Also, the line tended to bunch when trying to shoot line any distance, even though the eyes were of a good size.
I decided to re-ring my Beast rod, 10ft 3in for a 10 weight, with snakes after discovering this, and I found it much easier to shoot an extra 5 yards of line.
I certainly agree that if I were buying a rod today I would go for good quality snakes. I was just pointing out that when Fujis came out 25 years ago one of the arguments put forward for their use was that they interfered with a blank's action less. So presumably the choice of rings offers a "fine tune" for a rod blank - i.e.making it a bit softer or stiffer. After reading Rob's comments I am tempted to re-ring one of my old rods with snakes to see if it tightens it up a bit.
If you think about it, if a rod blank weighs, say 2 oz, and then you add an extra half ounce of weight by adding lined Fujis along its length, you are adding to the mass that that rod has to recover from on a cast. I re rung all my carp rods with single legged rings and found that even on such a beefy rod, there was noticably less sag on the rod, and that casting felt *tighter* Maybe its a phschological thing, but i think it makes a difference.
Den I already know your views on the subject ( seeing as I fish with you once a week ) and I don't know anyone who can throw a line further than you but I've seen you throwing a good long line with my rod which has lined rings. Although you thought me how to fly fish and there's not many better than you I just thought I'd see what the rest of the world thinks. I think that snake rings are better for casting but lined rings are better for playin big fish.
It's all a question of the snake ring type and how many are on the rod. On cheap fly rods, some of the snakes are awful. There are also too few of them at the wrong spacings. I have caught Sharp Tooth Catfish up to 40 lbs and several salt water species that can outfight anything in UK waters with no problems at all, with my snake ringed weight 8, 9 foot Sage.
Hi Guys,Looking @ the debate on fly rod guides, Fuji (or type) v snake guides. I am also a pro rod builder of 30 plus years, with lots of experience with tournament casting rods etc. In my opinion the best guides for modern fly rods with med/fast tip action are Hopkins and Holloway high stand-off single-leg snake guides. The fly line certainly zips through these rings, with little interferance to the blanks action.
Stay with big snakes guides as used on the better American fly rods You will get resistance from using lined guides these cut down on your casting distance. Also if your using lines 9 weights and above make sure your first two stripping guides are a minimum of 20mm and 16mm. Cheers Martin James
What Martin says is quite right. Most of the very best American rods are ringed in this way. They have spent a great deal time and money getting it right and with reputations such as Sage or Loomis have who can deny they have to do it the best way.
By the way Martin I have just aquired a Greys Greyflex 9.5 foot 7/8 rod. Super value for money at just over ?100.00 and performs like a dream