High capacity tape recordings are used for archival storage of data and present a cost-effective and energy-efficient alternative to the hard disk drive data banks, which consume excessive amounts of energy and have considerably shorter lives. However, tape’s recording density should increase in order to stay as an economically viable storage medium. To this end, the 2022 Roadmap of Tape Recording Technology projects the total lateral positioning error to become less than 15 nm. The lateral tape motion (LTM) is defined as the unwanted deviations of the tape from its prescribed, linear path, and can be cause by imperfections in the drive components, imperfections in the tape resulting from its manufacturing, and the interactions of the tape with the tape guides and reels. In this work we present a mathematical model of a tape translating between two tape reels supported by various guiding mechanics are investigated. These include the effects of air entrainment, impact of the tape with guide and reel flanges. It is shown that simple nonlinearity in the guide design can lea to irregular (chaotic) dynamic response of the tape. In addition, in order to predict the tape-to-guie interaction, we measure tape-to-guide space for stationary and roller guides and grooved flanged, smooth flangeless rollers. The experiments have been carried with different tension and velocity combinations varying between 0.56N – 1.11N and 2-6m/s. Steady state flying height responses and concerning dynamic effects are explored.