papaperch, i was messing around in my shanty last night. never forgot about the thread regarding your guide. my poles have always been a bit "sticky" (not too bad, but enough to notice) and i finally figured out the cause of the sticky poles ....its the push buttons. the push buttons are under a lot of tension. if they werent, they wouldnt pop out into the hole of the upper pole. when they are pushed in, they are still under tension and they rub the inside of the upper aluminum poles. look at the buttons. mine all have worn, rough shiny spots from wearing on the upper poles. i havent tried to fix this but i think the solution is to take all of the poles completely apart, somehow remove the button peice. take pliers and crush the folded button "spring" (the fold of the metal that the button is a part of) down just enough so that it will still do its job but yet relax the tension a bit so that it doesnt rub so hard on the upper pole. while its apart, it would be a good idea to wax it like mark said years ago or i was thinking silicone spray, only in the upper part where the button slides against the upper pole. thats the upper pole, from the button hole up all the way, about 2' or so (?) the absloute best solution would be if there could be some way to make that button out of teflon plastic. but thats unreasonable. like i said i havent tried to do anything yet, was just looking into it last night because i always get aluminum particles around the base of the poles and i could never figure out why that was. i thought it might be burred up, but its not, theres plenty of room for the poles to slide into each other.