See how to prepare guides and space them along your custom rod for easy installation and excellent performance!

Step 4 – Guide Set/Spacing

Now we’re ready to select our guides…

Shop Guides here:

Pick up your Guide File Set now:

Grab a Guide Grinder Holder:

Before we get to spacing the guides on the rod blank, we want to inspect the guides.

Prepping the guides

What you want to look for is at the top of the foot, at the very tip where it meets the rod blank, to check to make sure there is a nice smooth transition for the thread to move up.

If you run your finger over it and kind of feel any bumps or irregularities, all you need to do is take a standard nail file, support the foot of the guide and make a few passes over it.

Keep doing that until the top is smooth. What that might do is create a burr underneath so what you then want to do is double check and take the bottom of the guide foot and run it over your fingernail. It scratches your fingernail, it probably will scratch the rod blank.

If you do find something, take a few more passes with the nail file and keep checking it until it is smooth again. Once that’s done, you’re ready for the spacing on the blank.

Mark the guide spacing

Now you are ready to mark where the guides go on your rod blank. If you are using the CRB guide system, for example, they already have the different rod lengths and the spacing charts right on the packaging.

If you are using other rod guides, you can refer to the vendor’s website for guide spacing, or contact us at Mud Hole for assistance.

In either case, remember guide spacing is always going to be measured from the tip of the rod blank down to the butt end.

Before starting, there are a few tools you will need in order lay out and mark your guides properly. One is a china marker, and something to measure out the blank like a tape measure.

Once you’ve got it ready to go, you are going to make a mark with your china marker on each of the designated measurement points.

TIP: What’s important to remember about these points is that this is going to represent where the ring of the guide is going to line up, not the guide foot. The mark represents where the ring lines up on that rod.

Once we’ve got all our marks in place, we’re going to secure the guides to the blank and move on to the next step.

To secure these guides to the blank itself, you are going to be using some 1/4 inch, rod building masking tape.

Take an inch or two of masking tape and press it about halfway up the guide foot. When we’re ready to place it on the rod, we are going to line our ring up with the mark we measured out earlier.

TIP: Remember align the guide ring with the mark, not the guide foot.

Once the guide is secured and aligned with the spine mark, finish the masking tape wrap by folding over the end making a tag end. This will make it easier to remove later.

Now secure the rest of the rod guides.

Tip: Very important to remember to line the rod guides up with the spine mark you made earlier and ultimately the reel seat.

Once you’ve got everything in place, you’re ready to move to wrapping our guides. 

EXTRA TIP: Another way to adhere the rod guide to the blank is to use the CRB guide foot adhesive. Tape works great but lower profile guides tend to be more difficult to work with as far as taping it to the rod blank. The CRB guide foot adhesive is really easy to use, you just melt the tip over an alcohol burner, run your guide foot over it. Then, place it on the blank, keeping in mind to line up the mark with the ring and there you go. It will dry and it’s a lot easier for smaller profile guides.



Click Here:

Rod Building Classes:

400 Kane Court
Oviedo, FL 32765
Local Telephone: (407) 447-7637
Toll-Free: (866) 790-7637
International Fax: (407) 447-7640


  1. chris cote

    April 15, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    another wonderful video that doesn't mention what the best measurement from the reel is. The tip and middle are a no-brainer. If the rod is truly custom, measuring from the tip is no good. And I haven't found anything on the websites like everybody claims.


  2. Randy Eggleston

    April 15, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    Mud hole has really been great to deal with; ive delt with Ben most of the time. I wish you guys would open up a shop in southern Oregon.


  3. Randy Eggleston

    April 15, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    Ive been using the little rubber bands for holding the guides on, ive found them to work great.



    April 15, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    Does the placement of the reel seat have any effect on guide placement?


  5. Mr. J Pag

    April 15, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    doesn't the spacing change if the reaction on the rod is different? Isn't a fast tip rod guide placement differ from a slow action rod guide placement?


  6. Josh Peters

    April 15, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    What is the part number or web page for that guide measuring tape? Thanks!


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