ultralight casting rod guide placement

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ultralight casting rod guide placement

Post by NorCoMike » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:51 am

So im working on a really lightweight ultralight blank. planning on using the airwave guides. The only problem im running into is that im going to end up with close to 10 guides on a 6'8" rod. Im going to do a spiral wrap as well since that seemed to help keep the line off the blank. Any suggestions on what you guys would do in this situation?

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Re: ultralight casting rod guide placement

Post by ShimanoFan » Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:58 am

A spiral wrap will only keep line off blank in certain areas like 180's on underside, but maybe not through entire spiral. Guide height and placement are critical. Even height of reel's line guide helps determine where guides go on rod. And side of rod you fight fish on also makes a difference. Bend a spiral wrap away from spiral side and line can rub but not detrimental.

I have specialized in building custom spiral wraps for 25 years and today I have it dialed in. There is no right or wrong way to spiral wrap, only more efficient and less efficient.

A correctly built spiral wrap will help line flow through guides straighten out under load only. Correct guide design is to move into alignment under load only. This is a learned art.

I put all known guides on rod. All 180's go on first and tip. Lock 'em down. Special blank test to determine where on rod 180's begin. Those won't change but now work your way back to reel. Wrap on spiral guides thread only. Put reel on rod and run line through new guides. Load rod straight as if with fish on. Now is when spiral guides are correctly aligned. Here is where the secrets of physics and art come together for custom spiral wraps.

Under load adjust guides for straight line flow through guides. There is the secret to a great spiral wrap.

The line flow under load dictates. Not what the rod builder read in some book that first guide is 12 o'clock or 10 degrees opposite spiral wrap, etc.

Every rod is different. No 2 are the same since rod blank itself dictates guide placement.
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Re: ultralight casting rod guide placement

Post by hoohoorjoo » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:20 am

I defer the particulars to you, since you have been building for so long, but I will say wholeheartedly that a spiral wrap is the only way to go on an UL casting rod. I have a custom rod built on the ULM Immortal popping blank and its a ton of fun with little cranks and spinners.
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Re: ultralight casting rod guide placement

Post by Hobie-Wan Kenobi » Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:16 pm

I did up a 4'6" NFC IM blank spiral.

The rod demanded a quick turn and I feel it may hinder casting distance.

Should I go conventional next time and deal with the line rub?

I got 2 more of the same balbks and guides
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Re: ultralight casting rod guide placement

Post by hoohoorjoo » Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:42 pm

Hobie-Wan Kenobi wrote:I did up a 4'6" NFC IM blank spiral.

The rod demanded a quick turn and I feel it may hinder casting distance.

Should I go conventional next time and deal with the line rub?

I got 2 more of the same balbks and guides
On a rod that short, I would go conventional with a high-frame double for stripper guide(maybe the Fuji Ti/Sic reverse guide, which is what's on my ul Immortal casting rod) , then true micro Ti/SiC singles, and just bunch them together. I think it would help a lot since you have to put that 1st guide very close to the reel seat. Here's a link to it:
https://www.getbitoutdoors.com/componen ... uides.html
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Re: ultralight casting rod guide placement

Post by Hobie-Wan Kenobi » Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:16 pm

hoohoorjoo wrote:
Hobie-Wan Kenobi wrote:I did up a 4'6" NFC IM blank spiral.

The rod demanded a quick turn and I feel it may hinder casting distance.

Should I go conventional next time and deal with the line rub?

I got 2 more of the same balbks and guides
On a rod that short, I would go conventional with a high-frame double for stripper guide(maybe the Fuji Ti/Sic reverse guide, which is what's on my ul Immortal casting rod) , then true micro Ti/SiC singles, and just bunch them together. My rod has a tall Fuji reverse stripper guide. I think it would help a lot since you have to put that 1st guide very close to the reel seat. Here's a link to it:
https://www.getbitoutdoors.com/componen ... uides.html
I was thinking of that. I didnt really think of that until after I ordered the components. I have to order some more components for other projects so, those high guides will end up in my cart
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Re: ultralight casting rod guide placement

Post by Mattman » Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:56 am

NorCoMike wrote:So im working on a really lightweight ultralight blank. planning on using the airwave guides. The only problem im running into is that im going to end up with close to 10 guides on a 6'8" rod. Im going to do a spiral wrap as well since that seemed to help keep the line off the blank. Any suggestions on what you guys would do in this situation?
I do tend to put an extra guide or two more than normal on my lighter weight rods. There is just so much flex in the blank that you need more guides to distribute that load properly. I actually could wind up with 10 on a rod like that. My rule of thumb is a guide for every foot of rod length, rounded up, plus one more guide. So, normally, I'd figure on 8 guides for a rod of that length. And an extra guide or two due to how light the power is.

With any rod, but especially light rods, I lay my guides out how I think they'll work out best. And that comes from a bunch of experience with what works and doesn't. Then I mount the reel and run the line thru the guides and tie off to a door knob. Then I really put a load into the rod and watch the flex and how the line travels thru the guides and where on the guide ring the line lands. I will walk across the room and load the rod and walk forward as I reel watching how the line path changes with the level wind. I'll adjust those guides a few times to get them just right. I can easily spend a half an hour tweaking guides.

I really can't give a formula or a spacing. Everything is so interdependent. Guide height, ring diameter, level wind height, blank taper, etc. They are all important, all play off one another, and must all be taken into consideration.
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Re: ultralight casting rod guide placement

Post by NorCoMike » Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:27 am

Thank you for all of the suggestions guys! im going to order a couple more runners and throw them on and see what it looks like before I start wrapping it all up. There wont be any level wind on this rod since it is for a spincast reel. The main problem I was having was the line was rubbing the blank before the stripper guide since it bends so far down the blank. Hopefully moving it down towards the reel and adding a couple more runners will help with the rubbing but not kill the sensitivity totally.

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Re: ultralight casting rod guide placement

Post by ShimanoFan » Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:50 pm

Minor line rubbing is not an issue really when doing spiral wraps.

I now use exclusively micro guides so my placement is far more critical than larger taller guides. I spend a lot of time on alignment. Even to the point of taking the rod fishing once or maybe even twice before it is finished. I'll have the 180's in place, but all spiral guides with thread only so I can adjust them as I use the rod under real fishing use.

Then back into the shop and more checking of alignment.

I use upwards of 60% of the rod length for the 180 spiral wrap.

Notice in following image how ruler straight the line flow is from the reel all the way through the spiral wrap. Also, on stripper guide when rod is loaded straight up and down, the line sits in bottom center of stripper guide. As fish loads up rod to left side, the line in stripper guide will ride over to the left side of stripper guide and same for a right side load up.

And I have to admit I made a mistake on this old spiral wrap rod. Look at the stripper guide. It is at 12 o'clock. I don't do that anymore. Also notice the angle of line flow through stripper guide. I see a couple of degrees of line bend. Unacceptable to me these days! Today, I have a new process for stripper alignment... And they are all offset as line flow dictates as I missed it on this one. On this one I went with a book rule and it bombed big time. A mistake I don't make any longer...

So you see, there is a opportunity to further refine and improve this rod's performance by simply tweaking that stripper guide into place where line flow under load dictates it should be. I can further reduce load friction if I would have only let the line tell me where... not some rule in a book, or what some guy online said to do.

My idea of where it should be was wrong- because I listened to some guy online (kidding)- and because the line flow under load says so and it is clear to see right there at the bottom of the photo the bend in my line flowing through that guide is telling me the tight line wants that guides to move to the left slightly. I did not listen to the materials in my hands that time...

This is a rod I did about 15 years ago using titanium oxide double footed guides. Not any more...

Image

When guides are aligned correctly in spiral, they actually move into alignment under load and line straightens out more and more reducing friction through guide train as these rods are suppose to do.

Do it less efficient and you will see angular bends in the line flow through each guide.

But, my point is, using low profile micro guides, there is no way to completely keep the line off the blank if bent left or right. But such contact at such a small point is not detrimental in any way.

Rod builders who cram the entire 180 sprial into 2' feet or less of rod length are not building an efficient rod. Every degree of angle increase in line flow through the guides is an increase in line flow resistance through those guides.

So please keep in mind, when the guides all at 0 degrees straight up on a fully loaded rod, now tell me how much line contact you see between each guide in the bent section. The line will touch in between almost every single guide when under load. But it works. And you don't hear millions of people complaining about it either. They use those rods as is and think it is just fine.

So when building a spiral wrap, especially with low profile micro guides like I use now, I will not keep putting more and more un-needed guides on a rod just to keep a small fraction of line rub from happening. Not worth it to me. A little bit of line rub closer to the reel only makes contact at a small point. Compared to all guides on top, the spiral contact is a mere percentage of the standard rod. If the standard rod were 100% line rub between guides under load... my spiral wraps with low profile minimalist guide use maybe can reach 1% in comparison. So it really is not an issue, especially since it is not an issue to millions of standard rod users.

But if some can not handle a slight amount of rub under load and when bent to one side or another... then put more guides on the rod, but just remember... a good spiral wrap done well and guides move into alignment under load. Line straightens under load.

Watch your line flow. Measure the angle of line bend through your guides under load... please post photos showing it if you can. Load up your rod and see what your line flow looks like as compared to the old spiral I did years ago above...

Reduce the angular bends of line flow by careful under load alignment. I can not state it any plainer so hopefully it will sink in as you build your own rods and some of you will seek line alignment under load.

The reasons we build spiral wraps in the first place is to reduce friction of line flow through the guides... this is our stated purpose, so when we apply guides to the rod, it should be for reaching that goal plain and simple.

If you are putting extra guides on a rod just to keep the line flow through a spiral wrap off the blank, then you could be increasing the overall line resistance through guides under load... if so, then this goes against the purpose of even building this type of rod in the first place.

So to me it is far more important to improve line flow under load than to worry about if the line touches the blank a little bit. So what. Use tall guides then if it is bothersome or use a ton of guides if you choose. Either way, these details are leading the rod builder away from the original goal of this type of rod in the first place.

But hey, what do I know? I am just some guy online.

I'll post some images of my pistol grip spiral wrapped rods later... I have some nice ones like 5' or so... No problem duplicating step by step process on shorter or lighter rods. Here is one- not mine- one I found online that is close... but you can still see some angular line bending through spiral wrap guides. Not much, but a simple tweak and this can be improved on...

Image

Here is a 9' saltwater rod for fish much bigger than bass using some micro guides that look smaller than mine! Think this guy is worried about a little line rub? He's gonna have it here:

Image

Also, be aware that the 180's don't always have to be 180's. Today I am now extending a few degrees of the overall 180 degree spiral into the 180's. It is a further refinement of straightening out line flow under specific loading. And specific loading is key and I can not stress this enough.

Spiral wrap guides should only be aligned under load ONLY! If you build a rod and put the guides on it without testing under load then I want to see it. Show me photos of what your line flow looks like through the spiral wrap section and SHOW us all how straight the line flow is- again- under load when it matters most.

Every degree off from straight is an increase in line flow resistance. I hope to see one custom spiral wrap shown on here with straight line flow through spiral wrap section that is straighter than mine above.

Load the rod. Snap a photo and post it please! I am sure others would like to see how the line flows...

I've spent 25 years perfecting this specific area. You can see above my line flow is dam near ruler straight through the entire 180 spiral wrap. Let's compare!

I'll post some of my newer spiral rods and best wraps as well as smaller lighter ones. I have close to 40 spiral wraps in my collection these days- and growing. I just added a couple more this January and have more than a dozen in various stages of completion.

So come on guys! Let's see some of those spiral wraps with line flow under load! Gotta have line on it under load, or how can it be judged???
Last edited by ShimanoFan on Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:44 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: ultralight casting rod guide placement

Post by Hobie-Wan Kenobi » Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:37 am

ShimanoFan wrote:Minor line rubbing is not an issue really when doing spiral wraps.

I now use exclusively micro guides so my placement is far more critical than larger taller guides. I spend a lot of time on alignment. Even to the point of taking the rod fishing once or maybe even twice before it is finished. I'll have the 180's in place, but all spiral guides with thread only so I can adjust them as I use the rod under real fishing use.

Then back into the shop and more checking of alignment.

I use upwards of 60% of the rod length for the 180 spiral wrap.

Notice in following image how ruler straight the line flow is from the reel all the way through the spiral wrap. Also, on stripper guide when rod is loaded straight up and down, the line sits in bottom center of stripper guide. As fish loads up rod to left side, the line in stripper guide will ride over to the left side of stripper guide and same for a right side load up.

And I have to admit I made a mistake on this old spiral wrap rod. Look at the stripper guide. It is at 12 o'clock. I don't do that anymore. Also notice the angle of line flow through stripper guide. I see a couple of degrees of line bend. Unacceptable to me these days! Today, I have a new process for stripper alignment... And they are all offset as line flow dictates as I missed it on this one. On this one I went with a book rule and it bombed big time. A mistake I don't make any longer...

So you see, there is a opportunity to further refine and improve this rod's performance by simply tweaking that stripper guide into place where line flow under load dictates it should be. I can further reduce load friction if I would have only let the line tell me where... not some rule in a book, or what some guy online said to do.

My idea of where it should be was wrong- because I listened to some guy online (kidding)- and because the line flow under load says so and it is clear to see right there at the bottom of the photo the bend in my line flowing through that guide is telling me the tight line wants that guides to move to the left slightly. I did not listen to the materials in my hands that time...

This is a rod I did about 15 years ago using titanium oxide double footed guides. Not any more...

Image

When guides are aligned correctly in spiral, they actually move into alignment under load and line straightens out more and more reducing friction through guide train as these rods are suppose to do.

Do it less efficient and you will see angular bends in the line flow through each guide.

But, my point is, using low profile micro guides, there is no way to completely keep the line off the blank if bent left or right. But such contact at such a small point is not detrimental in any way.

Rod builders who cram the entire 180 sprial into 2' feet or less of rod length are not building an efficient rod. Every degree of angle increase in line flow through the guides is an increase in line flow resistance through those guides.

So please keep in mind, when the guides all at 0 degrees straight up on a fully loaded rod, now tell me how much line contact you see between each guide in the bent section. The line will touch in between almost every single guide when under load. But it works. And you don't hear millions of people complaining about it either. They use those rods as is and think it is just fine.

So when building a spiral wrap, especially with low profile micro guides like I use now, I will not keep putting more and more un-needed guides on a rod just to keep a small fraction of line rub from happening. Not worth it to me. A little bit of line rub closer to the reel only makes contact at a small point. Compared to all guides on top, the spiral contact is a mere percentage of the standard rod. If the standard rod were 100% line rub between guides under load... my spiral wraps with low profile minimalist guide use maybe can reach 1% in comparison. So it really is not an issue, especially since it is not an issue to millions of standard rod users.

But if some can not handle a slight amount of rub under load and when bent to one side or another... then put more guides on the rod, but just remember... a good spiral wrap done well and guides move into alignment under load. Line straightens under load.

Watch your line flow. Measure the angle of line bend through your guides under load... please post photos showing it if you can. Load up your rod and see what your line flow looks like as compared to the old spiral I did years ago above...

Reduce the angular bends of line flow by careful under load alignment. I can not state it any plainer so hopefully it will sink in as you build your own rods and some of you will seek line alignment under load.

The reasons we build spiral wraps in the first place is to reduce friction of line flow through the guides... this is our stated purpose, so when we apply guides to the rod, it should be for reaching that goal plain and simple.

If you are putting extra guides on a rod just to keep the line flow through a spiral wrap off the blank, then you could be increasing the overall line resistance through guides under load... if so, then this goes against the purpose of even building this type of rod in the first place.

So to me it is far more important to improve line flow under load than to worry about if the line touches the blank a little bit. So what. Use tall guides then if it is bothersome or use a ton of guides if you choose. Either way, these details are leading the rod builder away from the original goal of this type of rod in the first place.

But hey, what do I know? I am just some guy online.

I'll post some images of my pistol grip spiral wrapped rods later... I have some nice ones like 5' or so... No problem duplicating step by step process on shorter or lighter rods. Here is one- not mine- one I found online that is close... but you can still see some angular line bending through spiral wrap guides. Not much, but a simple tweak and this can be improved on...

Image

Here is a 9' saltwater rod for fish much bigger than bass using some micro guides that look smaller than mine! Think this guy is worried about a little line rub? He's gonna have it here:

Image

Also, be aware that the 180's don't always have to be 180's. Today I am now extending a few degrees of the overall 180 degree spiral into the 180's. It is a further refinement of straightening out line flow under specific loading. And specific loading is key and I can not stress this enough.

Spiral wrap guides should only be aligned under load ONLY! If you build a rod and put the guides on it without testing under load then I want to see it. Show me photos of what your line flow looks like through the spiral wrap section and SHOW us all how straight the line flow is- again- under load when it matters most.

Every degree off from straight is an increase in line flow resistance. I hope to see one custom spiral wrap shown on here with straight line flow through spiral wrap section that is straighter than mine above.

Load the rod. Snap a photo and post it please! I am sure others would like to see how the line flows...

I've spent 25 years perfecting this specific area. You can see above my line flow is dam near ruler straight through the entire 180 spiral wrap. Let's compare!

I'll post some of my newer spiral rods and best wraps as well as smaller lighter ones. I have close to 40 spiral wraps in my collection these days- and growing. I just added a couple more this January and have more than a dozen in various stages of completion.

So come on guys! Let's see some of those spiral wraps with line flow under load! Gotta have line on it under load, or how can it be judged???

Image
Not trying to invike an argument but, with having such a perfect line flow under load, wouldnt the guide alignment while not under load like when casting be affected then? The potential amount of line rub would really hurt a BFS rod's casting distance compared to a conventional wrapped rod wouldn't it?

I agree with living with a little line rub for efficiency sake but, I sacrifice for line coming off the reel in a casting setting, not for line flow under load.
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Re: ultralight casting rod guide placement

Post by NorCoMike » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:09 am

Very good information guys! Once I get guides all taped on and put under a load I will post some pictures and see what you guys think. This rod is going to be used for fishing small jigs with plastic and spoons mainly. The main thing I want it to do is be able to cast a jig a reasonable distance as its for the girlfriend and she is unhappy with other spincasting rods she has but she doesn't want to fish a 200+ dollar rod because she is afraid of breaking it.

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Re: ultralight casting rod guide placement

Post by ShimanoFan » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:11 am

Hobie-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Not trying to invite an argument but, with having such a perfect line flow under load, wouldnt the guide alignment while not under load like when casting be affected then? The potential amount of line rub would really hurt a BFS rod's casting distance compared to a conventional wrapped rod wouldn't it?

I agree with living with a little line rub for efficiency sake but, I sacrifice for line coming off the reel in a casting setting, not for line flow under load.
You bring up an excellent point so let's take a look at the physics of it for a second...

First of all, spiral wrapped rods are NOT made this way for casting reasons. Spiral wrapped rods are made largely for 2 reasons... reasons that are detrimental to standard rods with guides on top...

1)Purpose is to prevent negative rod twisting when under load.

With guides on top, a big fish is pulling those guides on the top down to the bottom literally trying to twist the rod around when under load. This is what I call negative twisting because when spiral wraps are done well, then any twisting of the rod blank can be turned from a negative twist as on top into a positive twist when spiral wrapped because now those underside 180's twist the rod only a fraction of the former amount, and this time the slight blank twist is actually bringing the 180 guides more into alignment with the spiral guides when under load. So the twist is now less and in the same direction as the fish pulling it, not the reverse.

So preventing negative twist is first reason for building spiral wrap.

2)Second reason is the reduction of resistance and friction to line flow under load.

This is WHY we build these rods! Not for casting improvements, but for under load corrections of standard rods' negative characteristics spiral wraps address and turn around in our favor.

As a standard rod bends under load, the top side guides force the line to stay on top of blank, but the more the rod bends, the more line touches and rubs the blank between every guide increasing line flow resistance under load, and off to the side and out of alignment of the guide train.

Spiral wraps eliminate this problem.

It is MOST important to reduce the friction under load of fish. Casting is a no load situation. Line is limp during a cast. It moves around from side to side and up and down and all around when casting- no matter what the rod or guide design system.

And since a cast is a no load situation, there is no real friction or resistance of the line through the guides. A lure is all that is pulling the line to contact a guide. Very very little weight and virtually no friction whatsoever because the line simply is not pulled tight across the guide at a steep angle. There is no real resistance to casting on a well done spiral wrap.

It is clear to see all spiral wrap guides are not in a perfectly straight alignment when under load any way. So it is not important for them to be perfectly aligned for casting.

Spiral wrapped rods should only be aligned under load only because that is precisely why they are being made in the first place is to reverse 2 critical negatives of standard rods.

So after 25 years of making spiral rods, I can safely say I have been able to unlock each secret step by step moving towards the most efficient spiral wrapped rod made.

And it matters which side the wrap is on. Gotta keep the wrap on the reel's handle side! Pure physics dictates this is the best choice for good reasons to than can easily be seen by measuring line flow angles of the 2 choices and then going with the best of those choices.

Reduction of line flow friction under load is the goal! This is why these rods are made this way. Casting is not it. Casting will not be affected.

Just keep in mind... angular physics... when line passes through a guide perfectly straight, there is no real line resistance flowing through the guide.

But when the guides are misaligned and you see angles of 5 degrees, 10 degrees of angular bends in line flow, then you KNOW with each degree of bend increase in that loaded line, the MORE resistance it will have inside the guide.

Straighten out line flow under load. That is the key to these rods. Pure physics has dicted each step of the process necessary to make these rods operate at their most efficient level.
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Re: ultralight casting rod guide placement

Post by mark poulson » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:29 am

"And it matters which side the wrap is on. Gotta keep the wrap on the reel's handle side! Pure physics dictates this is the best choice for good reasons to than can easily be seen by measuring line flow angles of the 2 choices and then going with the best of those choices." Plus it keeps the guide off the carpet when you lay it down, since the reel handle is up.
I've always thought of spiral wrap as really important on rods for big fish, like tuna, but not as critical on bass rods. Now, big stripers are another story... ;)

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Re: ultralight casting rod guide placement

Post by ShimanoFan » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:32 am

The last few degrees of the spiral under load finds it clearance in the bend of the rod and flows through the arch as it flows around the side of the blank at that location. As the rod bends, the arch opens up and the line flows right through the same spot where the straight rod was before it was loaded up.
Last edited by ShimanoFan on Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ultralight casting rod guide placement

Post by ShimanoFan » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:48 pm

Here is another critical detail a lot of spiral wrap rod builders miss...

The spiral wrap should be stretched out along the length of the rod for as much of it that can be accessed for the 180 degree wrap around.

A lot of rod builders bunch up the 180 wrap around in 2 feet or less or rod blank length. Use from the first guide on the rod- the one inside the reel that moves back and forth, all the way out to the first 180 degree guide under the blank.
Last edited by ShimanoFan on Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
Why is there a concerted effort of hate? And why is it allowed?

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