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19 May

What Causes Fishing Rod Breaks And How To Avoid Them

Not all of us have done it, but many of us have. What is it? Break our fishing rod. You know that long slender pole, a sometimes expensive thing we take fishing. It’s a great source of fishing success and can also be a source of fishing frustration. It’s rarely the reason you lose fish, but always a necessary and important part of catching one. It’s something we fish with that’s a must and the reason we have a cuss-fit day when we break one. Guaranteed to ruin your fishing day with that sudden snapping sound, our next big question is, “Why”?

Our next step is to do a post-mortem on the rod to learn what happened. As for me, when I return home, I carry the rod into my garage where I have a long table waiting. I gently place the dead rod on the table and cover it with a clean bed sheet. I go into the house, warning the wife and children not to speak to me during the coming examination. I then return to the garage with a cold beer in hand, or if it was an expensive rod, I return with a glass of my best bourbon and a half-filled bottle standing by. This is when my wife usually quietly comes into the garage to take my truck keys and hide them. I plug in a portable lamp I got for Christmas just 12 years ago and turn on Hank Williams singing “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” on my old 8-track player from my high school days. Putting on my wife’s dishwashing gloves ( please don’t tell her) I start the long and painful examination to learn what happened to my beautiful and expensive friend.

The fact is there are a lot of reasons why fishing rods break that can be avoided. Here are a few of them:

  • Using a rod that is too lightweight for the tackle, line, and species.
  • “High Sticking”. Highsticking happens when you lift your rod up too far. During the fight, ideally, you never want the rod handle to go past about 90 degrees.
  • Allowing heavy weights or lures to bang against the rod while in rod holders. The bouncing of the boat will damage the rod and cause breakage.
  • Leaving the rod in the sun for an extended period of time. This can break down the structure of the rod and create weakness.
  • Multi-piece rods can wear and become weak at the ferrules which will also cause failures.
  • Most frequently, car and truck doors and footsteps while on the boat.

Just remember that a good quality rod is extremely durable. Paying a bit more is one of the best investments an angler can make. Know your rod’s limits and treat them with care. Clean them after every trip and don’t leave them in the truck bed until your next fishing trip. Store them in a vertical position off the floor.

And if you don’t want to do that, then get yourself a bottle of bourbon and a glass of ice, a bed sheet, a clip-on lamp, and conduct your “fishing rod post-mortem.” Then turn on Hank Williams and go to town finding out what happened that could have been prevented.

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