07 Wrapping The Guides

What do I need for this lesson?

Components Checklist:
  • Rod
  • Guides
  • Thread
Tools Checklist:
  • Rod stands
  • Guide holders
  • Bobbin holder
  • Thread scissors or blade
  • Burnishing tool
  • Pull through
Materials Checklist:
  • Tape

Wrapping The Guides

Wrapping the guides (also known as binding the guides) is an integral part of the rod building process. This not only binds the guides onto the rod but also is where most rod builders get to add their own personal touch to their rods. There are a number of different bind or wrap styles to create unique looking wraps. In this course, we focus on a basic single colour wrap. If you are interested in other types of wraps please see the Advanced Lessons section of the course.


  1. Wrapping the Guide
    1. Place your rod in the Rod Stands ready for wrapping.
    2. Make sure the foot of the guide is pointing towards the butt of the rod. Align the guide to the reel seat hoods. Using your spacing from lesson 5 fix your guide into position using either a UBR Guide Holder or a thin piece of tape. Perfect alignment is not essential. You will realign the guides in the next lesson.
    3. When taping the guides on try and use a thin strip of tape so that a large portion of the foot is still available to wrap.
      For a two footed guide ensure the larger foot is facing down the blank.

    4. Looking at the guide you are ready to wrap, tape the end of the thread to the right of the guide. This thread will end up being the tag end and will get cut off.
    5. Slowly but firmly turn the rod (top away from you) and wrap the thread around the rod a few time times to the left until it is about 5-8mm left of the guide. This is now the starting position of our wrap.
    6. Pull some length of thread off the bobbin and drop the bobbin between you and the work bench. The weight of the bobbin keeps tension in the thread
    7. Now you can continue to turn the rod and wrap the thread back over your tag end. You are now going from left to right. Your thread running to the spool of thread wants to sit just to the right of each existing turn. Don’t overlap your existing wraps. Keep the thread tight under pressure.
    8. When wrapping you will need to “feel” the right pressure or tension in the thread. If you apply the right pressure and hold the thread just slightly angling back (to the left). You should be able to get a nice tight wrap.

    9. Rotate the rod 7-9 times then trim tag end off as close as possible to the last wrap.
    10. While wrapping if you notice any gaps appearing stop and with your fingernail or burnishing tool push the threads back together – right to left. This will tighten up the bind and remove the gap. If your wraps do not look perfect and there are still tiny spaces between the wraps don’t worry we will fix this up later.
    11. Keep wrapping up along the rod. Continue up onto the foot of the guide until the guide is secure.
    12. Once the guide is secure you can now remove the guide holder or tape.
    13. Continue wrapping until you are about 3mm from the leg, or base, of the guide foot.
  2. Finishing the Wrap
    1. Using a braid pull through – Tuck it up under your thread and tape it to the rod up above the guide (to the right of the guide). The tape helps keep in place while wrapping.
    2. U Build Rods suggests using a braid pull through as they are stronger and thinner than the wrapping thread. It will be easier to pull back through and there is less risk of the pull through breaking and needing to unwind to place a new pull through. Alternatively to a braid pull through you can use a piece of thread. Cut about a 20cm length and tie it into a loop and use in place of a braid.

    3. With the pull through in place continue wrapping until you have bound the entire foot of the guide.
    4. IMPORTANT: Do not wrap up the leg. This creates a large gap underneath the thread which compromises the quality of the wrap and can lead to excess water intrusion and there is more chance of the wrap becoming loose and needing to be replaced.

    5. While keeping the thread on the rod under tension. Cut the thread about 10cm from the last wrap. This end of thread will be called the tag end. Do not release the tension or the wrap may unwind.
    6. For these steps it is good to work on the top or opposite side to the guide so it can’t get in your way.

    7. Apply pressure with one finger to the end of your wrap so it does not unwind. While keeping pressure on the wrap you can now release pressure on the thread and insert the end into the right hand loop of the braid pull through.
    8. You are now going to pull the braid pull through back (to the left) under the wraps which will take the tag end of the thread with it. Once again apply tension to the tag end of the thread so you can release your finger from the wrap. While keeping tension on the tag end you can slowly pull the pull through back underneath the wrap (to the left). Make sure the pull through is nice and square to the wraps and doesn’t have any twists in it or it may not pull through smoothly.
    9. Once the pull through comes out from under the wrap keep pulling the tag end until it is completely through and the wrap is quite tight.
    10. Pull the tag end with a good amount of pressure directly up away from the wrap. Using your thread scissors cut the tag end as close to the wrap as possible.
    11. If you are using a blade to cut the thread. Use the same process but hold the blade flat against the wrap where the tag end comes out and pull the tag end back against the blade to cut it.

  3. Burnishing the Wrap.
    1. Using your burnishing tool place the flat part on the wrap and rub the entire wrap while turning it slowly. You will notice this flattens out the wrap and gets rid of any small gaps.
  4. The wrap for this guide is now complete.

  5. Continue wrapping the next guide and complete with each guide on the rod.
  6. Wrapping the ferrule
    1. The ferrule of the blank is where the two blanks meet. Specifically it is the female part. To strengthen this we wrap about 4cm up from the end of the female side of the join.
    2. Start your wrap in the same way as you would if you were wrapping a guide just ignore the fact that there is no guide.
    3. Straighten up when you are about 1-2mm from the end of the blank.
    4. Continue wrapping about 4cm up the blank before finishing your wrap.
  7. Wrapping the Rod Tip
    1. If the Rod Tip has a little tag you can also wrap the Rod Tip. This is for aesthetics only and is optional.