I was doing a rod repair project the other day and thought I should share with you.
One of the first things things you can do is clean the rod. This doesn't have to be a big project and you don't want to use anything like brushes or steel wool. Just take a cloth or paper towel with a little cleaner and wipe up and down the rod. If the rod has been around for very many years, it may end up being a shade or two lighter in color and those yellow rods may really be white!
Next up is checking the line guides. Run a cotton swab around the inside of the guides. If there is any resistance, there's probably a nick or groove in the guide and it should be replaced.
A problem you get into these days, especially with some of the lesser priced rods, is the fact that the guide wrapping is incorporated into the finish of the rod. It's almost impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins.
Rather than take a knife and begin cutting the guides free, for me, it's a little neater to use a rotary tool and skim off just enough to free up the guide. After a little hand filing to neaten things up, you can set the new guide right over where you worked and the mend is hardly noticeable.
The whole process of wrapping is not really that hard but is time consuming. Rather than rehash material already covered, you can get instructions here.
Repairing an old cork handle can make old rods look pretty good.