Re: Guide wax?
Is your "ancient" rod bamboo? It almost sounds like it. The old rods had very small guides because they used silk lines. And it also sounds like your tip top is agate. This could be why you have a casting problem. Modern lines and tiny guides- not a good combination for a beginner.
Life is not like a bowl of cherries. It's more like a jar of jalapeno's. What you eat today might burn your ass tomorrow...