There are options as to how you varnish the guides. You can wrap the rod before dipping or wrap the rod after dipping, many builders do a hybrid. Great looking rods have very little varnish on the guides, just enough to cover the wrap smoothly with little or no "build up".
I see rods with little football blobs of varnish on each guide wrap. This is the result of too thick varnish and too much varnish. Keep the varnish thin and plan on four coats or more. Look at the older rods and see how little varnish there is, yes, the varnish has shrunk over time but this is clearly a case of less is more.
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