How To Clean Rod Guides The Right Way

Fishing Reels, Fishing Rods, and Casting Videos
Bass pro Aaron Martens explains how to clean rod guides, including micro-guides.

I got the questions about the fishing line and the backing. Another thing I do that is different - if you guys are doing it now, too - because it works really well. I learned this fishing Lake Mead a lot and Havasu. You have to do it down there. It's a must-do because... what are you doing back there?


Because of the alkaline in the water, the hard water is really hard, and your boat's just covered in it at the end of the tournament. It gets on your guides. So, keeping your guides clean will help your line last a lot longer. A lot longer. If you don't clean your guides at Lake Mead, the first fish you catch basically just ruins all your lines. It just your guides. So, I learned from experience that you had to clean your guides at Lake Mead.

I learned that back east it's the same thing. It's just not at severe. It's dirty, and you get a lot of dirt and sediment in the dirty water. It just builds up on your guides over a day of fishing if you're reeling in a lot.

So, on the microguides I use a couple different things. They have some Q-Tips at Wal-Mart that have a hard tip on them. They're for nails. They're for cleaning your nails.

Woman: They have a little pointy tip.

Aaron:  Pointy tip, and they're hard. But they get in the microguides really good. I use a lot of microguides now. I use Reel Magic. You can use anything like that. WD40 if you want, or wax. I know guys use Pledge and stuff on them and spray them. But just get in there and clean both sides. You know, twist it in your guide.

If you haven't done it ever, you'll notice that if you do one it will turn a Q-Tip black. When you're reeling normal you get a clean strip inside your guide. It will be like a polished section, kind of like when you put a shoelace on your bicycle wheel, how it keeps it nice and shiny. You'll have that on just a little section of it. But once you put pressure on a fish and the angle of the rod changes, you'll start to hit the edges where it's dirty, and that will just shred your line. It ruins it. That's what turns your line white usually. It gets a kind of white, chalky look. It's normally the dirty guides.

So, I clean them really good. Also, stretching it really hard and pulling on a fish will turn it white. But it's a huge difference. You'll get almost twice the life than if you don't do it. If you just clean them, you'll get a lot more life out of your line if you do that. But, I use a Q-Tip on most normal rods and normal guides.