This article provides accurate instructions and videos for wrapping rod guides on a new fishing rod blank, or as repairs on an older rod.
General Guide Wrapping Notes
Place the first guide in the proper position on the rod blank. Remember if you’re building a spinning rod, the guides will be mounted on the blank 180 degrees from the spine, a casting rod the guides will be mounted in line with the spine.
Manufactures typically supply guide placement for particular blanks.
Tape the forward foot of the first guide in place. If a single foot guide, wrap a small piece of tape about center of the foot of the guide leaving exposed the front portion of the foot to wrap thread onto.
Advanced rod builders often thread a base color which the guide sits on called an under wrap.
(Video tutorials provided below).
Guide Wrapping Instructions
Starting 1/4 inch (this distance is personal preference) from the guide, begin wrapping. You’ll be wrapping from left to right.
To get started, wrap once around the blank. Be very careful here and place your finger on the blank where the two threads meet and slowly rotate the rod while simultaneously crossing the running thread over the tag end.
In essence, you are cross-stitching an X pattern which locks the thread in place.
After approximately eight wraps, stop and trim the remaining length of the tag end off as close to the wraps as possible.
Continue wrapping while constantly monitoring that each wrap is tightly seated next to the previous wrap.
Be careful when making the transition from rod blank to guide foot.
This is where it is easy to make the mistake of allowing the threads to sit on top of each other rather than next to each other.
When you get about 1/8 inch from the end, take a small piece of thread and fold it over into a simple loop.
Slide the loop under the running thread (the loop goes in the same direction you are wrapping), making sure it’s tight to your wrap. Complete your wrap over the loop, about eight to ten times.
With one finger on the top of the wrap, use your other hand to cut the running thread from the spool.
Grab the tag end you just created and slip it through the loop.
Gently pull the loop back through the wraps until both the loop and the tag end of your thread come through.
Take a razor blade and lay it flat on your wraps right next to where the tag end comes out from under your wraps
Take the tag end and pull towards the razor blade, cutting the tag end flush to your wraps. Do not use your razor blade as a saw; this could possible damage your wraps.
Repeat the process for both feet of each guide, making sure that each guide is aligned and spaced properly.
Make sure you have your rod guides lined up perfectly with your spine mark.
The eye test is really the best way to do this. Just hold up your rod eye level and glance down and make sure the centers match up.