Re: braid and guides
Most newer guides are made of Alconite,silicon carbide,titanium or ceramic these are designed to withstand braids.Most braid MFG's are advancing in there products makeing thier braids smoother due to coatings impregnated on them for ease of abraision & friction and better spool packing qualitys.I wouldn't lose to much sleep over damaging your guides.
One good way to test your guides for cracks is to wipe it with a cotton ball or Q-Tip the cracks will snag the medium making it easyer to spot.
Not to get to far off topic but,there's one common thing that most fishermen forget to do while using braids, which is you need to have a shock leader.
Do not attempt tying braid to leader it will fail you!You can try any knot you want,blood surgeons ect.over time the braid will constrict on the leader & cause it to fail.One of the best method used is a barrel swivel example braid/polomer knot to swivel then polomer knot to shock leader,length & what you use for leader material is entirely up to you I prefer to use Seaguar40# Fluorocarbon & 36" again this is what I use & some do differently.
There is a multitude of advantages for using a shock leaders one example break offs during casts are few & far between when using mono it allows enough stretch when loading up for a cast also when you snag on the bottom the shock will break off easier than the braid thus saving your hands of the braid digging into your hand while freeing up the line another good reason when landing a decent fish you are able to grab the leader and maneuver the fish without worry if you try the same with braid and the fish attempts a small run the braid will saw right into your hand and God only knows how deep it'll go.
On a different note when "you" posters of this thread have noticed break offs from casting is this do to spinning gear failure?I've noticed that my bail was flipping over prematurely therefor costing me $$ in plugs so I shaved off the bail & now I have no more worries.
Secondly I have never had a casting break off while using braid on my conventional gear.
Hope this helps.
Live bait,sharp hooks & timing is all you need.