When looking at rods take a good look at the guides. A good quality guide is essential to proper rod performance. A good rod should have high quality guides on it. Guides contain a lot of different ceramic inserts these days. The following are the most commonly available inserts (They may have slightly different names depending on the manufacturer)
- Aluminum Oxide- Most economical guides available. Brownish colored ring, Good quality, strong enough to handle braid.
- Hardloy- Middle level price wise. Grey in color, high quality, lighter material, handles braid.
- Alconite- Middle level price. Black colored ring, higher quality, handles braid very well.
- Silicone Carbide- Highest price, hardest ring. Shiny grey color, super hard material, can handle any kind of line on the market.