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I just bought 2 cabela pro guide rods and notice most of the rod does not have clear coating, only at the guides an hook keeper. What's the reason for this, us it to cut back on weight or add flexibility? Thanks

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That's what is considered a raw blank. It does help to cut down on weight.

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Doesn't it also supposedly help with sensitivity?

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Raw, unfinished, or unpainted blanks will have the most feel. Nothing has been applied to the blank to add weight and dampen feel. They also do not weigh as much. There are lots of factors and variables that make certain blanks better than others...

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Weight savings is the advertised reason but in reality modern quality finishes don't add enough weight to notice. In aid level blank it's a style and cost consideration more than anything.

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Most have s matte finish but either way i don't see them significantly more prone to damage. Anything that will harm the fibers won't be stopped by paint

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on all my blanks , i take them down to the raw graphite with Citri-strip , the raw graphite looks better than any paint that could be applied . i don't know how much sesitivity you gain from it compared to a painted blank but i certainly love the look and don't mind spending an hour or two to properly remove the clear coat and paint from a blank ( it took me over two hours to strip my St.Croix Big Nasty ) 

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They look nice. Not slick, but they look refined to me. I prefer that on all my rods.

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I've removed the finish on several rods when reconfiguring them and sometimes just removed the paint and clearcoat on an inexpensive rod to make it lighter and more responsive.  I've never regretted doing it.  The way 99% of rod blanks fail is through impact damage, which the finish does little to protect against, in my experience.  

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Blank color is very important to me and most of my customers. If the blank is painted, I leave it painted. If it's raw, I leave it raw. It would take a pretty sensitive scale to measure the difference between a painted and unpainted blank. There are orher things you can do to a rod to save more weight than what you loose by stripping the paint.

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I've broken two rods in my life both where on the first big hook set on big fish but both where painted. I dont think the paint really helps protect the rod much. As DVT said if it breaks on an impact the paint won't be helping you much. I own two rods without paint and clear coat. A older loomis IMX and a ***. Both are for sure very sensitive rods and I think that may have something to do with it.

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agreed, the final finishes do not add much weight. as fas as damage.. scratches and boatrash is all the finishes "protect" against.

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It think this really depends on how much coating they use. Its pretty much a given that coatings will help protect the graphite. But you have a good point because how necessary is that protection? Its really difficult to pinpoint. I have probably only broken 2 rods because of wear just based on how easily they broke when they finally did. One of them was painted with very little clear coat and one of them was naked. I have broken another 5 just fishing too hard/heavy or due to stupidity or accident. Every one of those was naked come to think of it. ***  (1ea. happened last night), Certified Pro (2ea), Lamiglas XP (2ea). I always lean towards performance over durability when selecting rods and have come to accept that there will be a few broken rods along the way. I stay away from rods that have lots of gloss and gimmicky blank material for those high sensitivity applications but don't care as much for cranking, jerking, or top water. 

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