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Line Angle Deflection to first line guide

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Line Angle Deflection to first line guide.

Why we feel the pulsating effect with ice fishing rods is due to the line angle deflection from the spinning reel line roller to the first line guide.  Everything from the size of the first line guide to the placement distance of it from the reel and the circumference of the actual rotor of the spinning reel.  My spinning reels are Shimano Stradic 1000 size spools and body.  Of course inconsistencies from manufacturing will vary on the same model rod, as well as actual reels used will yield some differences from each manufacture as well as actual radial circumference of reel line roller positioning on the reel rotor.  To simplify if you compare two rods of same make and model, you will notice that the line guides placements will vary usually about up to one inch.  Whereas for reels, some manufactures will make an ultralight spool and reel body, but that reel shares the same rotor from the next size up reel.  Was it really and ultralight reel or just simply a smaller spool on the reel?

The following data consist of distance from median of reel stem to the foot of the first line guide, (to tip guide comparison of actual blank length), top line angle deflection, and bottom line angle deflection.

St Croix Mojo 28" UL: distance to first guide foot 10" (23" to tip), top 0 degree, bottom 15 degree
St Croix Mojo 28" ML: distance to first guide foot 10" (23" to tip), top 0 degree, bottom 15 degree

13 Wicked 27" UL: distance to first guide foot 10 1/2" (24 3/8" to tip), top 4 degree, bottom 19 degree
13 WhiteOut 27.5" ML: distance to first guide foot 8 3/4" (24 1/2" to tip), top 9 degree, bottom 26 degree

Clam Carbon Ice 28" L: distance to first guide foot 9 7/8" (24" to tip), top 5 degree, bottom 24 degree
Clam Carbon Ice 26" UL: distance to first guide foot 10 3/8" (22" to tip), top 4 degree, bottom 23 degree

Fenwick Aetos 28" ML: distance to first guide foot 10" (23" to tip), top 0 degree, bottom 15 degree

Thorne Bros Deadstick 32" custom: distance to first guide foot 9 1/2" (25" to tip), top 5 degree, bottom 20 degree

Most notable are the St. Croix Mojo rods and Fenwick Aetos rod showing a 0 degree line angle deflection with the reel line roller at the top position.  Basically the line stayed straight through the first line guide and is not touching the ring insert, until it moves toward the lower rotor position obtaining the maximum angle of deflection at 15 degrees.
That is in part due to a larger line guide.  It all just happens that their line guide placement as well as the reel seat placement just happen to match up.  These are the rods that when you hook up with a fish, you're gonna feel what the fish is doing and will have better reception in fish fighting while winching them in. 
The 13 Whiteout has the smallest of the line guides of all these rods.  There is a steep angle of line contact with the first line guide at 9 degrees for the top angle and 26 degrees angle for the bottom.  The difference yields a 17 degree cone displacement.  Expect to feel a good pulsating effect while winching your reel.  The 13 Wicked rod here yields a 15 degree cone displacement.  In effect will have about the same pulsating effect with the St. Croix Mojo and Fenwick Aetos rods.  Only that the line have full contact all the time with the first line guide will produce a more pronounce pulsating effect than those rods, but still less than the Whiteout rod.
Now comparing the two Clam Ice Team Carbon Ice rods.  While both rods share the exact same reel seat position and line guide size, just the slight variation from the manufacture of position of that first line guide is enough to vary by a full degree at both ends.  While the difference of both yields the same 19 degree cone displacement, meaning both rods will in effect displace the same pulsating effect if the same winching speed is employ.  Due to the widest cone displacement, these rods will be most prone to produce the pulsating effect.

In comparison to a full sized rod where one will not or barely feel the pulsating effect of the rod from cranking the reel.

Shimano Zodias 7' ML: distance to first guide foot 19 1/2" (n/a" to tip), top 0 degree, bottom 5 degree

Closing note, as much as we like the ease of use of spinning reel set up, the pulsating effect of winching the spinning reel interferes with the playing of a hooked fish at times.  The pulsating effect plays out like the fish is fighting hard or shaking their head whiles it's all false interpretation.  All of that is just from the variation of the line retrieval rate from the high and low angles from the reel rotor in motion to that first line guide.  In effect, if the first line guide is placed further away, the cone angle displacement will be smaller and the pulsating effect will dissipate.  Ice rods are short, but line guide selection especially that first line guide is the biggest contributor.

All this while waiting for ice... ;D

another plus of custom can nealry eliminate the pulsation

I build my own rods as well....I'll have to re read this a couple times, then measure some of I guess what you are saying is the flatter the line to that first guide, the less pulsating, the better........makes sense......boy, we need ice......  and thanks for providing those measurements.....

Yeap, when I see all those expensive retail rods and see that tiny first line guide, I fret how the pulsating effect goes.  I see all the sales rage, but I am not buying.

As much as I like how my Thorne Bros dead stick functions for catching fish, I dislike it equally when I'm trying to winch in the fish and my rod is just pulsating and sending vibrations to the rod tip.  If only I knew then what I know now, I would've requested that first line guide to be moved up another 3 inches.  If I plan to request any custom rod made in future for spinning reel set up, I definite would make that request.

In addition when I see a long stem spinning reel being sold for ice fishing purpose, I cringe at the actual results.

Most long stems seem to be angled more toward the guide possibly eliminating any issue caused by the longer stem


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