Gone Outdoors

How to String a Roller Guided Fishing Pole

by Jillian Downer

Roller guides are frames placed on top of a fishing rod. The frame contains a small roller, which helps to guide the fishing line, while helping to eliminate the friction that can be placed on the typical eye guides of a fishing pole. Roller guides are typically used on big game fishing, for marlin and shark, particularly those used in trolling and can also be found on some spin casting and bait casting fishing poles. A roller guide sits on top of the pole and is usually placed in the front third of the rod, nearest the handle. Changing the fishing line on a roller-guided pole is very similar to normal line replacement, except that in addition to guiding through the eyes on top of the rod, you must also guide through the roller guide as well. Roller guide frames are available in stainless steel and anodized aluminum and are are typically found on high-quality trolling rods.

Purchase the correct line weight for your pole type. New fishing poles will come with a recommended line, which will work best for your pole. Most roller-guided poles will require a heavy braided line.

Remove the old fishing line. Clear the eyes, barrel, roller guide and reel of any leftover line and be sure to check if any old pieces have broken off and gotten snagged in the fishing poles various parts.

Thread the line through the eyes and roller guide. Carefully guide the end of the new line through the eyes along the top of the fishing pole, like you're threading a needle. The roller guide will usually sit between the eyes, so be sure to thread directly through the roller guide as well. The roller guide will have an eye hole at the bottom of both the front and back of its convex frame where the line should be guided through. The line should sit in the indention of the roller between the roller guide frame, but should not be wound around it.

Tie the line to the reel. Using a knot, tie the line to the reel. Check to make sure the line is properly threaded through all of the eyes and the roller guide.

Prevent twists and folds. If the line twists, it will eventually bunch up and fold, which can damage both your pole and the line. Be sure to keep the line straight and relieve the tension from twisting by rotating the spool from time to time.

Roll the line onto the barrel. Crank the handle 20 full rotations. Some fishing poles vary on how much line they hold, so watch the reel carefully. You should a small space between the top of the line wheel and the lip of the reel. The average rotation is between 16 and 24 full rotations.

Lubricate your roller. If the roller inside the roller guide frame begins to stick or squeak, you should use some kind of lubrication like WD-40 or Corrosion Block.

Items you will need
  • Fishing pole
  • Fishing line
  • WD-40 or other lubricant

Warning

  • Not all roller-guided fishing poles are created equal and some of the variations will require you to thread them differently. If your fishing pole has more than one roller guide, for example, or the roller guide has two rollers, instead of one, you may need to string the pole differently. Be sure to follow the provided instructions when using more elaborate pole

About the Author

Based in New York, Jillian Downer has been writing travel, fashion, and active lifestyle articles since 2004. Her work has appeared in "Travel + Leisure," "Outside Magazine," "Women's Health," "Footwear News," and "US News & World Report." Downer holds a Master of Arts in comparative literature from New York University.