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Replacing the Ceramic Eye on a Fishing Rod: 6 Simple Steps

You’ve finally caught that stubborn fish that you’ve been trying to lure for hours, and you’re planning for tonight’s special dinner. Yet, when you get home, you take one look at your fishing rod and find out that the ceramic guide insert is damaged. Such a turn-off, right?

Still, you shouldn’t let that discovery cast a shadow on today’s victory. In this guide, we’ll help lift your spirits again by educating you on how to replace the ceramic eye on a fishing rod.

Let’s dive right in!

How to Replace a Ceramic Eye on a Fishing Rod

Whether you’re someone with substantial experience in rod parts and components or are still learning your way around a spinning reel, the following tips should be pretty clear to follow.

Author Note: Generally, there are two options that you can pick from when it comes to replacing a guide insert on a rod. The first is to let a pro handle the job, or just do it at home using a few basic items.

Option 1: Visit Your Nearest Fishing Supply Store to Get Professional Help

Going down this road may be better if you’re a busy person who can’t find enough time to replace the ceramic eye yourself. Or, this could be a good option if you have no experience repairing fishing equipment and are worried about making mistakes.

The greatest thing about getting help at a store is that replacing your guide insert should take almost no time. Plus, it should be affordable, costing you about 20 bucks or so.

Option 2: Replace the Ceramic Eye Yourself

fishing rod close up

If you love being involved with the tiniest details of your fishing rod and have plenty of time on your hands, it’s time to learn the right way to fix your issue.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you out.

Step 1: Make Sure You Have Everything You Need First

For a smooth workflow and no minutes wasted, you must have all the items you’ll be using for this job. Thankfully, the following things most likely already exist in your garage. If not, you could simply order them online or get them at your local fishing supply store.

  • Super glue
  • Box cutter blade (any razor blade will do)
  • String or thread
  • A magnifying glass or an opti-visor
  • A new fishing rod guide insert

Once these items are within reach, you can get to work.

Step 2: Inspect the Guide for Cracks

The next thing you should do is put your opti-visors on and take a close look at the guide where the eye has slipped off or been damaged. See, because the fight with the fish has apparently taken its toll on the insert, chances are the guide may be broken, too.

The condition of the guide will let you know how to proceed.

For example, if the guide has no cracks, then you can go ahead to fit the insert inside following the next steps. On the other hand, a guide with simple breakage may need you to heat it first so that the metal or epoxy tip will melt and close over the crack.

Top Tip: Another reason why you’d have to heat the guide of your rod is that you can’t just cover it with superglue and place the insert there. If you do that without closing off the crack, the insert will come bouncing off again.

To properly heat the guide on your rod, use a typical lighter. Hold the flame real close to the ring for about five to ten seconds. By then, the metal or epoxy will have melted and the tiny crack will have disappeared.

If the guide has suffered a huge break, then your best shot is to replace the tip of the fishing rod altogether. You’ll just have to take your rod to the fishing supply store, and they should replace the damaged guide with a brand new one.

Now that you’ve made sure that the guide isn’t broken, or you’ve fixed it with a lighter, let’s move forward!

Step 3: Remove the Old Ceramic Eye

The damaged ceramic eye may still be hanging between two guides. In that case, just use the box cutter blade to cut it down the middle and remove it.

Or, you may be facing a different situation. If the old insert is still attached to the guide, you can use the blade to scrape the insert off your rod. You’ll have to pay more attention in this case so as not to cause damage to the fishing rod.

As well as focusing on the safety of your pole, concentrate on how you handle the blade while scraping off the ceramic eye to prevent injuries.

Step 4: Apply Super Glue to Fix the New Ceramic Eye in Place

Take your fresh ceramic insert out of its package and get ready to put it where it belongs. Note that the insert will have two parts. The first part is the ring, while the second is the part that sticks out from the ring.

Carefully, add a few drops of super glue to the stick part of the guide foot. Then, place the insert in the exact same spot where the old one used to sit.

Step 5: Use the String or Thread for More Security

For a stronger bond, you must pair the super glue with a secure wrap of string or thread. Simply enough, wrap the string around the stick end of the ceramic insert and rod tip.

However, don’t use too much thread here or it might interfere with the performance of your fishing rod. You don’t want the string to interrupt the smooth movement of your fishing line, right?

Step 6: Add a Second Layer of Super Glue

Now that the string is in place and is holding the ceramic eye together, consider applying some extra super glue. The insert must be stable enough to withstand the force of your next fish fight, don’t you agree?

Here, all you’ll have to do is encase the string and the part of the rod around it with super glue. And, voila, your task should be finally over!

You can enjoy your hard-earned dinner with no more worries about a broken guide insert.

Why Should I Replace a Damaged Guide Insert on a Fishing Rod?

damaged fishing rod

The first thing you should know is that having a damaged guide or ceramic eye will highly affect your performance as an angler. Even if you’re using the best fishing line out there, having a rusty ceramic eye can quickly damage your line.

As a result, this might lead you to miss even the most straightforward catch, which is not very appealing.

For that reason, you must replace a damaged or rusty guide insert as soon as you’re able to.

Is It Possible to Use a Fishing Rod Without a Guide Insert?

Although it’s not recommended for the aforementioned reasons, you can still use a fishing rod without a guide insert. You may do this once or twice until you get the chance to replace the ceramic eye.

Just don’t make a habit of it not to chafe the fishing line.

How to Replace a Tip Guide on a Fishing Rod?

While you can get a tip guide replaced at a fishing supply store, here are a few steps you can follow to DIY:

  • Use a sharp blade to cut along the resin part that surrounds the metal guide
  • Expose the guide to 5-10 seconds of lighter flame to make removal easier
  • With a pair of pliers, separate the guide from the fishing rod
  • Clean the tip to remove any excess resin
  • Apply some super glue on the tip of the rod
  • Replace the old guide with a newer one of the same size
  • Make sure that the new guide aligns perfectly with the rod
  • Pay attention to fit the replacement guide quickly in place before the glue hardens

Is It Possible to Repair a Broken Rod Tip?

This depends on how much of the tip has broken off. If it’s only a few inches, the rod tip can be repaired without having huge effects on the overall performance of the rod. However, anglers who faced this issue have experienced a slight decrease in the rod’s sensitivity.

Still, you most likely won’t be able to tell the difference unless you face a super-active fish.

To Wrap It Up

Returning from a fishing adventure with the buddies accompanied by an assortment of fishes seems heavenly. Better yet, coming home without a broken ceramic eye is always something to look forward to. But sometimes, anglers don’t get that lucky.

For that reason, it’s always a good idea to know how to replace the ceramic eye on a fishing rod.

This way, you can go back to your favorite spot on the lakeshore the next day with a smile on your face, ready for your next catch!


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