Snake Brand Universal Guides vs. Foreign Guides

  • June 19, 2012

When Mike McCoy of Snake Brand Guides designed the Universal Guide he wanted to create a user-friendly guide that would be easy to wrap and to provide a labor savings for the rod builder or for any OEM company keen on saving the man-hours used in aligning guides on their rods. Mike understood the importance of weight and how it affects the performance of even the finest designed rods, and with this in mind he created the Universal Guide.


  1. Snake Brand uses only the finest heat-treatable stainless steel alloy available in the market.
  2. We have provided to the industry results of Salt Fog Tests performed by an independent testing laboratory in California. Please see our website.
  3. We demand only the highest quality finishes from our platers.
  4. Snake Brand's round loop design allows the line to shoot through the guides on the back cast.
  5. The concave radius allows the guide to orient to the round surface of the fly rod blank.
  6. The guide foot design allows the guide to be self-homing and self-aligning.
  7. The guide profile on the rod blank is lower resulting in less epoxy used, thus reducing weight.
  8. The concave radius allows for more surface contact to the rod, while this may not seem important at first glance, it becomes important when you are fighting a trophy fish.
  9. The guide feet are identical in length thus allowing for more consistency and enhanced appearance.


  1. Foreign guides are flat stamped, and a flat guide does not orient to the round surface of the rod section.
  2. When thread wrapping, any pressure applied causes the guide to roll to one side or the other.
  3. Offshore guides have a tear drop shape or a V at the bottom of the loop which acts as a drag point on the back cast. Multiply this by eight to nine guides and the problem becomes clear.
  4. Guide feet are often not in alignment.
  5. Guide feet are often ground differently, thus one guide foot may be longer than the other.
  6. Sharp points as the result of grinding may result in damage to the rod blank over a period of time.
  7. Grinding of the feet may result in changing the temper of the steel and lead to rust issues even though the guide has been plated.
  8. Many of the foreign guides use alloys that can only be work-hardened and are not heat treatable
  9. The quality of the plating seems to be an ongoing issue.
  10. Additional weight is added when epoxy is applied to try to fill gaps that are present when trying to orient a flat foot to a round blank. More weight can defeat the action of even the best designed rods.