ringmaterials_platingALPS and ForeCast Ring Materials

“Z” Rings

Blue TiO – TiN Gold – Bronze – Chameleon
Zirconium – PVD TiCH Over Zirconium

Zirconium rings offer similar performance to SiC but are not as brittle. Rings made from this high-end zirconium ceramic offer superb hardness, thermal dissipation, and a low coefficient of friction. It also provides the perfect surface for (Physical Vapor Deposition) PVD Coatings.


PVD is a sophisticated process of vaporizing a solid material within a vacuum chamber. The vaporized material condenses onto a substrate and forms a complete and perfect coating. In general, most coatings produced by the PVD process are vey hard and offer superb density. PVD coatings also improve hardness, corrosion resistance, and the coefficient of friction. PVD is done at a low enough temperature to protect the integrity of the substrate material. Components that offer PVD are as follows: TiN Gold coating is Titanium Nitrate, TiN. PVD TiCh is the bright titanium chrome coating referred to as Titanium Hydrogenation. PVD TiO reffers to Blue Titanium Oxide. All three of these coatings are harder than the substrate they cover. They dramatically improve the smoothness, hardness, and the coefficient of friction. When PVD is used on a guide frame or ring it improves the durability and resistance to corrosion.

“H” Rings

Short for hard aluminum oxide, this is the highest grade of aluminum oxide available, and the ring of choice for many major rod manufacturers. This highly polished ring offers excellent hardness, wear, and a very low coefficient of friction. It is hard enough to stand up to all super braid lines and offers unsurpassed value.


Vickers Hardness

The Vickers hardness testing method was developed in 1920 to test material hardness. A diamond pyramid is pressed into an object until it makes an impression. The force required to do so is the hardness rating. How does this apply to fishing? It is a way to compare the hardness of different ring materials commonly used in guides today. The harder the ring, the less chance there is for wear to develop.


vickershardnessWhat it Means to You

There are a lot of variables while fishing:

What type of body of water?
Is it clear, or is it murky?
Are there sediments in the water?
What type of line will you be using, mono or braid?

All these questions play into what type of guide ring you will need to put on your rod based on the hardness of the ring. If there is too much sediment in the water, it will build up on your line, making the line abrasive, and grooving will develop in a guide ring that is too soft for the conditions. It is always best to plan ahead and select the hardest ring available, like the zirconium ring, to prevent any grooving from taking place.