How to Install Fishing Line Guides

How to Install Fishing Line Guides
Stepping on a fishing rod may crush a line guide without harming the rod. Replacing the guide could save a favorite piece of fishing gear. Tackle shops often sell rod guide replacement sets, but in different styles for baitcasting or spinning rods. Finding one replacement guide to match the set on the pole could be difficult. Check for loose or broken guides before the fishing season starts and fix the problems at home.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fishing rod
  • Cardboard box 18-by-18-by-6 inches
  • Box knife
  • 2 heavy books
  • Coffee cup
  • Fingernail-polish remover
  • Cotton cloth rag
  • Rod guide
  • Acrylic tape
  • Rod wrapping thread
  • 1 wrapping thread, 3-foot piece
  • Clear fingernail polish
Step 1
Cut V-notches 1 inch deep in the top center of opposite ends of the cardboard box. Cut 8-inch wide gaps in the other two sides of the box to within an inch of the box bottom. Set a heavy book in the box to hold the jig in place.
Step 2
Slice carefully along the metal guide feet with the box knife. Pry the cut sections of wrapping loose and wiggle the broken guide free.
Step 3
Cut any remaining wrapping carefully, severing the thread without damaging the rod. Peel off the cut thread and old adhesive.
Step 4
Dissolve adhesive residue by rubbing with a cotton rag dampened with fingernail-polish remover. Scrape off any stubborn bits with the razor knife.
Step 5
Set the second book behind the box jig and set the coffee cup behind the book. Drop the spool of line wrapping thread in the cup and run the free end of thread between the pages of the closed book, placing resistance on the line.
Step 6
Set the new rod guide in the same position as the original and tape the right-hand foot to the rod.
Step 7
Lay the rod on the jig's V's, centering the new guide in the large gaps. Tape the free end of the wrapping thread 1/2 inch past the taped foot. Lay the line to the left, 1/2 inch past the left foot. Starting 1/4 inch from the guide foot, wrap the line over itself by rotating the pole for eight turns.
Step 8
Pull the free end of the line snug to tighten the first turns. Cut off the free end close to the windings and wrap the foot of the line guide to within 1/4 inch of the eye.
Step 9
Double the 3-foot piece of thread and lay the loop over the wrapped line, pointing to the right. Wrap over the loop up to the foot of the eye. Cut the wrapping thread 6 inches from the rod and run the free end through the loop. Pull the loop holding the end of the thread back under the last section of wrapping.
Step 10
Pull the free end to the left to tighten the last turns. Cut the free end flush with the wrapping.
Step 11
Reverse the rod in the box jig and repeat the same procedure on the other foot of the line guide.
Step 12
Paint the entire wrapping of the line guide with clear nail polish. Let the repair dry for at least two hours.

Tips & Warnings

Use "A" wrapping thread for ultralight and fly rods; "D" for medium or heavy bass rods; and "E" thread for saltwater fishing rods.

Article Written By James Young

James Young began writing in 1969 as a military journalist combat correspondent in Vietnam. Young's articles have been published in "Tai Chi Magazine," "Seattle Post-Intelligencer," Sonar 4 ezine, "Stars & Stripes" and "Fine Woodworking." He has worked as a foundryman, woodturner, electronics technician, herb farmer and woodcarver. Young graduated from North Seattle Community College with an associate degree in applied science and electronic technology.

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