A fine fishing rod deserves the very best fittings. The choice of fittings and especially guides is of the utmost importance since their features affect the action of a rod as well as its casting properties, line-friendliness and immunity to tangles. As to the guides, we at Rods Development Lab definitely prefer Kigan products. Why Kigan? Because to make a precision fishing instrument we require not fame alone but also quality and reliability. What good is the most famous name if the products are of dubious quality, overpriced and often unavailable just when needed?
Kigan guides are produced in Korea by the fishing rod component division of the Kigan Industry Group. Since its foundation in 1978, Kigan has gained a deserved reputation as a leading fishing rod guides manufacturer always searching for new, unusual solutions to various issues that arise in connection with the guides design; for instance, they created Zirconia, Triangle and Gold rings and developed the Three-Dimension Guide technology (3D Guide).
It is no coincidence that the essence of 3D exactly corresponds to the RDL motto “Lighter and stronger!” which also applies to our rod blank designs. Since the guides form an essential part of a fishing rod and are spread over the rod blank, their weight makes an enormous difference to the blank performance. The lighter the guides, the better the rod action and the more accurate the casts. On the other hand, all fittings inclusive guides are to be reasonably rigid and any reinforcement of the guides usually makes them heavier. If we now agree with strong but heavy guides being as unacceptable for us as flimsy ones, we must find a right balance between weight and strength. Therefore, it was only natural that when Kigan came up with an extra light and extra strong tangle-free guide design, it suited our team very well.
The Kigan 3D Press technology allows using a frame shape with the maximum amount of rigidity for a given weight and for a given material. Furthermore, regardless of the frame width, the 3D enables а very large gluing surface and а high adhesion strength when fixing a ring to its frame. It represents a vast improvement over the traditional techniques for securing rings to frames. Last but not least, Kigan 3D guides are line-friendly and tangle-free since their frames doesn’t interfere with the line. The corresponding rings are made of high quality ceramics, the best of which is the zirconia. Its outstanding properties, the most notable being high strength, toughness and density, allow producing lighter and slimmer rings.
Based on the 3D technology, Kigan developed their newest 5G guides featuring a unique ring shape. A 5G ring is not round nor triangular but rather egg-shaped. That unusual ovoid shape provides a better management of the line as it uncoils from the spool of a spinning reel. What this means in actual practice is that an egg-shaped ring may be smaller (and lighter!) than a round one. During the cast, the line does flow unhindered through amazingly small and light 5G rings.
Of course, mere rings are not enough to create a new guide type; there is a need for appropriate frames. Kigan succeeded in creating amazing frames, ultra-light, compact, line-friendly and tangle-free. Overall, Kigan’s efforts resulted in truly outstanding guides way ahead of their competitors.
Extensive tests by our designers and consultants revealed that a rod with 5G guides will cast as far as the same rod with significantly heavier and bigger conventional guides, but much more accurate due to the absence of the vibrations of the rod tip when casting. The extreme lightness of 5G makes a rod faster, stiffer and enhances its sensitivity. It is hardly surprising, then, that the latest rod ranges developed by RDL come with Kigan 5G guides. An obvious choice.