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Fishing Rod Maintence and Care
Abuse, misuse or simply the effects of time and corrosion can weaken and break a fishing rod.
Hopefully you never have to, but one day - someday, you may have to replace a broken rod guide. Rod guides are the circular objects that run the length of fishing rods. They lead the fishing line from the reel to the rod tip. Guides are either single or double footed. You can buy a rod guide at most sporting good stores. Be sure to get one the right size for the one you are replacing.
If you should happen to break a rod guide while out on the water, typically you should quit using it until you can get it repaired. A rod guide that is damaged should be replaced immediately.
repair to a guide begins with the removal of the guide from the rod.
Removal of old guide
Wrap masking tape around the rod next to the wraps that hold the guide in place.
Some people will have you warm the epoxy coating over the threads with a hair dryer or heating gun, etc. for easier removal. As some of you may know, heat does help in releasing glued down items (floor tile, bumper stickers, etc.) but for this situation, the ease is not really that much of a noticeable endeavor. As a matter of fact it's more time consuming, but most of all, you risk the chance of damaging the rod or scorching the blank if you're not careful.
Simply slice through the epoxy and thread parallel to the rod on the top of the guide foot/feet. (NEVER cut against the blank, only on top of the metal guide surface.)
Use caution so as not to damage the rod with the blade. Do not cut into the rod itself or you may critically weaken the rod which could result in catastrophic failure under a load.
Next, peel off as much of the wrap as you can by hand.
Grab a strand of thread just off the end of where the guide foot was and unwind the remainder of the wrap.
Clip any remaining threads from around the rod or foot of the rod guide with a small pair of scissors.
Remove any remaining epoxy by softening it with alcohol and scrape it off with your fingernail.
Remove the guide from the rod for replacement.
How To Replace a Rod Guide
You will also need something to support your rod off the table while working on it. There are commercial rod holders available, although the following are some inexpensive solutions. You can use car jack stands, couple of milk crates or even use a box in the following manner.
Cut a somewhat shape of a V out of the front and rear of a box. This will allow you access to the rod.
Make small notches on each side of the box to support the rod.
Now you have you rod holder.
Find your first measurement which was the distance between the center of the guide you are replacing and the rod ferrule. Place a thin strip of masking tape there; this is where the center of your new guide will be located.
Hold the new guide against the rod at the same spot where the old guide was connected.
Using two thin strips, tape the foot down to the rod to hold it securely during the wrapping operation. The center of the guide should be directly over the strip of tape you placed on the rod in the very first step above. The strips of tape to hold the guide down to the rod should be placed at the inside edges of the feet. By taping the inside edges will allow you to remove the tape as you will begin threading before the toe of the foot and threading towards the guide itself.
Be sure to position the new guide so it is in line with the rod's other guides.
The best way to align them is to look down the rod at the bottom guide. As you look down the rod the next guide should be in the center of the previous guide. Once the guide you are replacing is aligned your ready to begin the wrapping process.
Position a heavy book on a work surface. Lay the rod wrapping thread spool at the front of the book in a coffee cup. Pull the thread underneath the book, out from behind and then over the top. The goal is to use the book to apply tension to the line while working.
The thread tension should be quite firm, but not excessively tight. If the tension is too light, put one or more books on top of the first to put more pressure on the thread as it comes through the pages. If the tension is too tight slip the thread between pages closer to the top of the book to reduce the pressure on it. Place a second heavy book inside the cardboard box to give it some weight and stability.
Make sure the area on the shaft to be repaired is clean! You can use a little rubbing alcohol if necessary Also make sure the area on the shaft to be repaired is completely dry. Cradle the rod in the notches so that the area to be repaired is centered in the working field.
Begin wrapping the rod with the rod wrapping thread using a moderate thread tension; you want the wraps to be fairly snug, tight pressure is not needed.
Now begin wrapping the thread at a distance beyond the toe of the guide that you used for the second measurement above; the length of the thread wraps on the new guide will then be properly sized to match those on the rest of the rod.
When you wrap toward the guide, wrap the thread as close as possible up to the toe of the guide. Then make the next wrap carefully; it's the first one that will "climb up" the toe of the guide. When making the wrap, keep the thread squared up to the rod shaft and make the wrap as seamless looking as possible.
Once you've wrapped over about half the foot, it will be secure enough so that you can remove the tape.
As you approach the end of the guide foot, bind in the loop of tippet material that will be used to help secure the wraps; the tippet loop points away from the toe of guide.
Make sure that the loop is bound to a part of shaft that is well away from the guide. There is a small hollow space beneath the tread on each side of the guide foot. If you mount the tippet loop too close to this space and pull the thread tag through the hollow beneath the wraps, there may not be enough tension to hold the tag in place, and the tread will unravel.
At this point, sight down the rod blank to make sure the new guide is aligned with the others. If it's not, adjust its position. Rather than pulling on the guide ring, use your thumbnail to push against the side of one foot. Move it just a short distance; then adjust the position of the other foot so that the guide again lies along the axis of the rod shaft. Work in short increments rather than trying to adjust the position all at once. And work carefully; remember that the wrappings are not yet coated with finish. You don't want to fray them with your thumbnail or spread the wraps apart.
Carefully trim off the tail with scissors or razor knife.
Coat the new wrap with a clear protective coating. Clear fingernail polish makes an excellent clear coat and will hold up well to the flexing and impacts common in rod guide areas.
Repeat the process on the other side of the guide.
Allow the lacquer to harden fully before using the fishing rod.
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