I’d heard of American Tackle Company’s MicroWave guides, but figured they were just gimmicks.

I mean, they just look so weird — really a guide within a guide.

But Mississippi’s Dana Sanders of David’s Custom Tackle couldn’t wait to get on the water to show me the benefits on a custom rod he’d had built that included the guides.

“Just try it and see if you can tell the difference,” Sanders said as we stood on the dock waiting for our fishing trip to begin.

So I dutifully accepted the spinning rig, opened the bail and flipped the lure into the harbor’s waters.

With almost no effort, the popping cork rig sailed about 30 yards.

That was really surprising, considering I really had made a half-hearted cast.

But there was something else that pique my interest, so I quickly reeled in and made a real cast.

There it was again.

Or rather, there it wasn’t.

“Did you feel the difference?” Sanders asked. “You didn’t feel that whomp, whomp, whomp did you?”

Indeed, it felt pretty much like using a baitcaster, with the braided line running through the guides without any looping.

After we made the short run to the marsh island around which we would be fishing, I was standing on the front deck with Fisher-Man Guide Service’s Capt. Ronnie Daniels with another MicroWave guide-outfitted rod in my hands.

This one was a baitcaster, but it was driving me nuts. I kept making casts that would end a few yards out because of what seemed to be the braided line digging into the spool.

 Daniels heard me grumbling, and finally told me the problem was not in the reel but in how I was casting.

“You’re casting too hard,” he explained. “When I first started using (MicroWave guides), I was trying to muscle the cast. You can’t do that; the line stacks up on (the guide).

“You just make an easy cast and it’ll go just as far.”

So I flipped the rod tip, and my jig sailed out — landing in the water as far away as if I were whipping my regular rod rigged with traditional guides.

Very cool, and a lot less tiring than having to whip the rod every time to get maximum distance.