Cermele: The War on Iced Fishing Rods

First off, Happy New Year everybody. I hope many of you found time to fish over the holidays. I did. Just once. It was a flyfishing outing for trout, and though some fish were caught, I had had enough after just three hours on the river. The wind chill put the air temp around 8 degrees, but I wasn’t cold. I could not stand clearing ice off the guides after every third cast. I don’t mind the occasional de-icing, but this was over the top. I’m not entirely sure there’s a perfect cure for ice-build up, but if there is I haven’t found it.


Oh I had a can of Pam out there that morning. I know that trick works well with spinning rods, but when you’re stripping streamers in air that cold, the Pam doesn’t last on the guides long. Water clings to fly line far more than thinner mono, and the more nicks and scratches in your line the worse the ice build-up.

Stanley’s Ice Off Paste is designed to coat your guides and line, protecting them from ice in temperatures to 12 below zero (according to the coampany). One thing this paste does is fill in the pores, nicks, and scratches on your line and guides, thus creating a smoother surface that should repel more water. I’ve tried it and it works, but coating guides and line with a thin layer of Chapstick seems to do the same thing for less money. Even still, the effects don’t last all day.

I happen to know there are patents out there for heated rods, which makes a lot of sense, but I’ve yet to see one in a tackle shop. I’m sure a can of chemical de-icer from Auto Zone would do the job, but that just wouldn’t be too friendly to the river. Do you have any ice-out tricks? I’d love to hear your favorites. – JC