4 Creative Tips to Prevent Fishing Rod Guides from Freezing (updated for 2023)
The cold weather will keep many anglers staying at home and the hunting season lead many anglers to switch lakes for the woods. But fish still have to prey even in winter, and that means there will be more fish for cold-weather anglers. However, fishing in winter presents several challenges that anglers don’t face during the warmer months. Everything from head to toe will be cold, snow tends to buildup on your fishing rod guides and lines as well. Generally, if air temps are below 20 degrees, frozen guides are inevitable.
So what can you do to alleviate ice build up on your line and guides during this season? Here are 4 of our favorite ways to prevent fishing rod guides from freezing. These methods are not just for ice fishing. They can be applied for any frozen situations in cold weather.
Tip #1 Use monofilament or fluorocarbon instead of braid
Most anglers love the sensitivity that braided fishing line offers through the ice but can’t stand the freezing problems in cold temps. When being throwing in the water, braid tends to catch more water than other fishing lines. And that’s the reason why braid is more likely to get frozen than other fishing lines.
If you still want to use braided fishing line, spool up with braid but with an extra long fluoro or mono leader of 10 to 15 yards. Otherwise, you can spray the spooled line with silicone spray or WD-40 to reduce the water being trapped into the braid.
Tip #2 Spray down with PAM cooking spray
Using Pam or generic cooking spray has become a popular solution when you want a quick solution to frozen rod guides. This is only a temporary fix, so if you want to reapply, remember to carry a bottle of cooking spray next time you plan for a long time fishing trip.
Tip #3 Try chapstick on guides
Compared with anti-freeze paste, chapstick is not the best defense against freezing ice fishing lines, but it is amazingly effective for reducing ice build up on rod guides. More important, it is easy to reapply. It will displace water but inside a lock cylinder there is nowhere for the moisture to go so the remaining water freezes.
This is a simple and cost-effective solution that you should consider.
Tip #4 Bring a spare reel spool
This is certainly not your cheapest method, but it is the fastest fix if your fishing line and even the reel gets frozen. If you get a second spool, put some line on it and bring it out on the water. What to do with the frozen spool and line? A simple dry towel can go a long ways in combating freezing line and iced up guides. Tightly wrap the frozen spool in a paper towel or dry rag and put it in the warmest pocket you have. In less than ten minutes the line on the spool is thawed and the towel absorbs all the excess water from the line.
Winter is tough enough as it is, so there’s no sense making it any more difficult. Rather than risk breaking your rod, give one of these 4 easy solutions a try and enjoy your fishing time all day!