Micro Guides, as they have come to be known, are guides which heretofore would have been considered outside the realm of anything being used on typical North American fishing rods, most notably bass rods.Â Â In the last 5 years, however, they have exploded on the U.S. bass fishing scene. Over that same time period theyâ€™ve also been responsible for the greatest sales surge that commercial rod companies have experienced in a very long while.
Ask the average bass fishermen who is responsible for the â€œmicro guideâ€ rod concept and the answers will likely run the gamut of any number of well known tournament bass fishing professionals.Â Â A few have even ventured so far as to actually take credit. But the thing is, not a single one of them had anything to do with the introduction of â€œmicro guide rodsâ€ to the American bass fishing scene. This current trend, which has now found its way into nearly every commercial rod companyâ€™s product line, can be traced directly back to a single person – Steve Gardner.
In early 1997, North Carolina based custom rod builder Steve Gardner decided to try using the very tiny mini-guides offered by a few component manufacturers on his bass rods. Yes, the guides already existed, but they were considered speciality guides intended for other markets and other types of fishing. No one was using them on typical bass or even common freshwater fishing rods. Steve is the one that jumped through the hoops to obtain a set. Heâ€™s the guy that did all the initial testing with them. Heâ€™s the guy who convinced an American component distributor to bring them in and offer them to other rod builders. Heâ€™s the guy that wrote the first article on using them on bass rods and the guy who worked to get other custom builders involved with their further development.
None of this was any small feat – nobody could believe such tiny guides would work, or could possibly excel, on a bass rod. Steve ran into a lot of roadblocks along the way but persevered long enough that â€œmicro guideâ€ rods gained a foothold. From that point, itâ€™s all been a matter of others jumping on his bandwagon to such an extent that Steveâ€™s name has almost completely disappeared from any discussion about â€œmicro guides.â€Â Â Â Itâ€™s safe to say that most folks using a â€œmicro guideâ€ rod today have no idea who the heck Steve Gardner is.
Suppose Steve had never dabbled with â€œmicro guides.â€Â Â Surely somebody else would have brought them to the forefront for use on bass rods, right?Â Â Iâ€™m not so sure. Nobody else was looking in that direction and it was no easy sell for Steve to even convince an American component distributor to take a chance on them. Of course, weâ€™ll never know for sure what might have happened, but what we do know for certain is that Steve Gardner is the man solely responsible for the birth of the â€œmicro guideâ€ bass rod.