Hi Capt. Neil
Here's a starting point for you. From the tip no top installed, on the 9 footer, 5 1/2" 8mm, 12" 10 mm, 19 1/4" 12mm, 30" 16mm 53 1/4" 20mm. I place the reel low on my rods 17" up from the butt. As far as the hatteras guys, HA, Let them dwell in the 80's. 75mm or bigger? you might as well put on one guide and a tiptop. With big guides your not shooting the line straight, it's just floppin around in the breeze & scrubbing off distance. I'd like to take a trip there & see what they would have to say about my rod...