Hate to tell you this but it sounds like you need bigger cork rings. If the blank is very thick you can get away with a double layer of cork tape - you want to fancy it up, cover that with AmTaks X Flock shrink grip (put a thin coat of slow drying epoxy over the cork tape before you shrink the grip on to keep it from slipping)
Also, never trust another persons guide recipe, you never know if your blank is just a little bit different then theirs was.
As for guide placement the only way to know for sure is to do your reel seat then tape on the guides, put a reel in the seat, line through the guides, tie it off to something immoveable and put a hard flex into the rod. If the line touches the blank you have to move the guides closer together. You also want to avoid large flat spots.
If you want to do something really cool you should try doing an Acid (spiral) wrap. I got to fish with a rod done this way and I'm hooked, any boat rod I ever assemble will definitely be Acid wrapped. (do a google)
"I just wanta play everyday despite small nagging injuries --
and go home to a woman who appreciates how full of crap I truly am"..... Crash Davis