Introduction: Replacing a Guide on a Fishing Rod

About: hgv driver but only because it pays more than I can make otherwise

Quite how the first guide on this rod got to be in this state no one seems to know. It was only a cheap rod, but even so with a new guide costing £3+p&p it had to be worth trying if only for the practice. I got my new eyes from

They also sell whipping thread sealing epoxy and by the looks of things anything else you need to repair or build a fishing rod at a price!

Step 1: Remove Broken Guide

using your cutting tool of choice, cut away the epoxy and binding holding the old support to the rod, a little twist and it's off.

Step 2: Remove Old Whipping

A little more cutting, a rub with fine wet and dry & a quick wipe over with acetone, and it's ready for re assembling.

Step 3: Position & Tack New Guide

I used cable ties to hold the new guide in place while I lined it up with the reel mount. Once I was happy with the position I tacked it in place with a dab of glue. I happened to use cyanoacrylate glue(CA), but nail varnish would have done. My Dad would have used cellulose nitrate dope which is pretty much the same thing.

Step 4: Whipping

Whilst I remember the technique from helping my Dad build split cane rods in my youth,( this is the first time I've tried this in 30 years+) I forgot some of the detail. I thought ordinary sewing thread would be OK I was wrong it isn't strong enough to stand being pulled back under it's self to finish off.

I went to visit my Dad his old work box yielded the remains of a reel of yellow nylon and a reel of button thread which he assured me would work and as the nylon ran out I tried it and it did. I suspect braid fishing line will be up to the job, but I'll probably buy a new reel of coloured nylon next time I buy some eyes.
Double over the end of the thread. The loop wants to be somewhat longer than the length of rod you need to bind around. Secure the loop end to the rod in the middle of the guide with tape, it needs to be a low tack tape, masking tape or as I use paper surgical tape. This helps keep the loop flat if you let it twist as you are doing the binding it makes it much harder to pull under the binding when finishing off and it looks messier. The free end wants to be below the point that needs binding.

Hold the thread to the rod at the point where you need to start the binding wind the thread around the rod a couple of times and keeping the tension on the thread push the winds together, the loop running up the rod should now be held in place by the winds around the rod. For later ease and neatness it helps if you adjust the loop now so both sides are touching. Keep winding the thread around the rod keeping the turns touching and the thread tight.

Once you reach the rise of the guide hold the thread and cut leaving a good tail, keeping the thread held down remove the tape holding the end of the loop. Pass the tail though the loop and maintain tension on it. Pull the original end of the thread so it reduces the size of the loop. Once the thread is starting to go under the wrapping, trim the tail so it is half the length of the binding, keep pulling the end of the thread until the tail passes under the binding. Then cut the end of the thread as close to the binding as possible. If done right this should now be secure but belt and braces I added a dab of CA
Repeat on the other end of the guide.

Step 5: Intermediate Eyes

This rod has been knocked about a bit and had an eye missing from further up. The process is the same, here I used rubber bands to hold the eye whilst the alignment was made (see another instructable for details of custom making small rubber bands) I checked the visual alignment by passing a dowel through the eye above and bellow as well as the one being replaced. As you can see from the last photo this is where the yellow nylon thread ran out and I tried the button thread.

Step 6: Sealing Trials

My Dad would have used Cellulose nitrate or in later years polyurethane varnish for this. Two coats of clear nail varnish gives a nice finish still but not knowing how it would react with the coating on a modern rod I decided to go the epoxy route, the rod building supplies firm sells a kit for it. You are sealing the binding from the elements, not so important with nylon thread but definitely needed with the linen button thread as damp will affect its tension. The sealing also glues all your binding together, and especially if you are going the epoxy route adds strength as you are effectively turning your thread binding into fiber reinforced plastic.The epoxy sold for doing this is rather expensive,a 500ml clear resin kit from a fiber glass suppliers costs less than a 24ml sealing kit true the kit has mixing pots and brushes but... I'd got some fast set two pack epoxy glue (less than half the price for 30ml) so I decided to do some tests to see if that would work.

I whipped a few test sections onto a section of bamboo cane, found some assorted pieces of plastic film to test their release properties, I mixed up some glue and tried it on one of my test sections. I wrapped this with waxed backing paper thinking this may work as a release agent but it failed, foil from a crisp packet worked best of the other samples I tested ,I think being slightly less flexible it gave a better finish but you can't see air bubble through it. So I opted for the heavy polyethylene from a zip lock freezer bag.

Step 7: Check Then Seal

Recheck your alignment, at this point you can still tweak the position of the guide, or remove the binding and start again.

Quick set epoxy glue has a working time of only 5 minutes at best, so preparation is a must.

cut your strips of polyethylene to width and length, attach a piece of clear tape long enough to go round the rod at least twice and tack some where in easy reach of where you will be working.

Measure out and mix your glue, I find an old glossy magazine makes a good mixing surface and cocktail sticks good mixer/ application tools. Work a thin layer into the bindings go around a second time and check for missed spots then apply a thin but visible layer over the whole binding. Make sure there is a thin bead of glue above and below the binding and fill the void under the guide legs as well.

Wrap with the polyethylene strip try and work out any air bubbles then secure with the tape, leave the applicator stick in the remains of the glue to check for set. Once set peel the plastic strip off.

My results were not as smooth as I would have liked, especially near the tip where the rod is smaller, and I think two thinner applications with a set in between may work better.

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