Kayak Fishing Tip: Keep it Ice Free

Simply apply a petrolatum-based product like Chap Stick to the tip top guide every 30 minutes. Photo Jeff Little

Simply apply a petrolatum-based product like Chap Stick to the tip top guide every 30 minutes. Photo Jeff Little

Battle guide freeze with this simple kayak fishing tip

By Jeff Little

My wife called to me from the other room, "Jeff, have you seen my Chap Stick?". I pause too long before answering and she repeats, "Jeff?" My stall to come up with a better answer has failed me, so I go with the honest answer, "It's in my PFD pocket." She asks me to retrieve it, but as I open the door, she asks why it's there. I reply, "I was using it to keep ice off my tip guide." This time she pauses before her disgusted reply, "Keep it!"

The Chap Stick trick is one of the more effective ways that I've found to keep ice from forming on my fishing rods' guides. The waxy material is hydrophobic, or "water fearing". I don't think that my wife's Chap Stick really fears the water, but it does a great job shedding it as I reel in my braided line on a cold day on the water.

Certain aerosol sprays will keep your braided line from icing up. Photo Jeff Little

Certain aerosol sprays will keep your braided line from icing up. Photo Jeff Little

The nice thing about using it on the tip guide is that when it sheds the water there, the other guides down the blank remain ice free. Reapply it every half hour, and you wont have the frustration of missing a bite because your line locked onto your guides.

Another hydrophobic material that I've carried with me winter fishing for years is called "Reel Magic". A can of WD-40 will also do the trick. This aerosol can of line conditioner can also keep ice from forming inside the reel should it be accidentally dunked. It extends the life of spinning reel's anti reverse, and keeps baitcaster gears turning well when you need to set the hook and winch in a big bass.

So if you are out this winter or early spring and know that ice on the guides is likely, do yourself a favor. Grab a Chap Stick at the convenience store with your morning coffee. And leave your spouses lip saver alone.

Keeping guides clear and line moving smoothly during icy weather lets you land bass like this. Photo Jeff Little

Keeping guides clear and line moving smoothly during icy weather lets you land bass like this. Photo Jeff Little