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He’d taped on guides and was wondering whether his placement was optimal.

My dad made his own surf and spinning rods, and was always wondering how to arrange the guides. He ended up with his own... unusual method. He made up several U-shapes from wire hangers. With the rod horizontal in a vise he hung spaced the wires out on it and vibrated it. The wires migrated to the neutral deflection points, and that's where the guides went. I'm sure there was more to it, but I never watched and that's how he described the process. The rods worked well enough in any case, but I doubt the position of the guides mattered as much on such heavy rods.
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