I first heard about the MicroWave Line Control System when it won the best of show award for “Innovation of the Year” in June, 2013 at EFFTEX (Europe's equivalent to ICAST). Then I saw were the new guides won “Best of Show – Fishing Accessory” at ICAST in July. I was certain there must be something special about this new innovation in rod guides.
Then, during the annual convention of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association, I had the chance to take the MicroWave Challenge. The challenge allows anglers to cast both a conventional rod and a new MicroWave guide equipped rod. The challenge was very revealing.
A conventional spinning rod guide system generally starts with a size 30 guide and steps down gradually until the final guide is a size 8. Casting with this configuration allows the line to come off the spool in coils that continue all the way out through the last guide. Anglers have been casting with this system for years.
The MicroWave Line Control System starts with a size 20 ring, but has a secondary size 6 ring. It is followed by a size 6 transition guide and then a number 5 running guide. The running guides then continue all the way out to the tip.
The rod I used in the MicroWave Challenge was an Aqua Dream Seeker rod from Capt. Mike Hakala. It is one of the first rods to be equipped with the MicroWave guides. It was very smooth and easy to cast. It was almost effortless to make long and accurate casts.
As I watched line exit the spool on the newly equipped rod it looked normal up to the first guide. It came off in tight coils until it reached the first guide with the secondary ring. The line immediately straightened out and continued almost frictionlessly through the remaining guides. A major advantage became obvious. Line friction is substantially reduced with the new guide system.
Ben Stein, an American Tackle Company representative stated, “The MicroWave Line Control System outperforms all other guide trains by capturing and controlling line at the first guide which eliminates friction throughout the rest of the guide train. The result is the smoothest and most efficient cast possible. By eliminating coiled line traveling through the guides, the microwaves increase distance and accuracy like no other guide train on the market.”
I have to agree with Ben. In comparing the Aqua Dream Seeker rod with a conventional rod I could definitely tell the difference. Line speed increased, accuracy and control were improved, the possibility of wind knots were reduced and I didn’t feel the vibration that was present in the conventional rod.
It is no wonder anglers are setting up and taking notice of this innovation in rod building.
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