I know allot of guys use the OTI stuff and I've read all kinds of praise on a number of sites. I had never seen nor used any of their rods until recently. A couple days ago I had a charter that brought a 7'6" OTI 60-80# popping rod mated to a Stella 18000. Seemed like a very solid combo and seems to be how allot of guys would have theirs set up. I was very currious having spec'd out my own custom rod how the OTI would compare. My rod is physicly heavier, and rated higher 40-100 as opposed to 60-80, both have the same reel and the OTI is 6" longer. But none the less very similar in purpose. What I found was the OTI would cast a bit farther than mine (both had Streamline Wind-Ons and 80# braid and same lure. HOWEVER!!!!! About every dozen casts the OTI rod would wrap the bottom guide with the mainline. The line would half hitch and cut the cast to 30' or so. You could hear it when it did it every time. This is not the first time we have seen this issue on the boat. When we were using the Fin Nor OS 9500 reels we had the same issue on nearly EVERY rod. The Fin Nor has a HUGE diameter spool which seemed to be the cause. Because of the Fin Nor issues when we spec'd out my custom rod we went with a 50mm first guide. It's larger and heavier, but it "swallows" the loops or coils of line as the line comes off the reel. The larger the diameter of the reel spool the larger the loops going into the bottom guide. If the bottom guide is too small the loops go over the guide not through the guide causing this half hitch situation. Since going to the Stellas which have a smaller diameter we have not seen this even on the St Croix rods and a GUSA Predator custom we have (both with smaller than 50mm rear guides) But the OTI seemed to be plauged with this issue dispite having the same guide size as the St Croix and the GUSA. The only thing we could figure was the guide placement was causing it, since the SC, GUSA and OTI all had the bottom guides at different distances from the top of the reelwhich may influence the loop size as it impacts the first guide. Now being that this OTI / Stella is a seemingly popular combo, has anyone else had this happen? If so how did you deal with it? If not, why on this guys rod and reel?