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Old 10-11-2012, 12:56 PM
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Default Can rods breakdown?

I have a few rods that have some age and was wondering about thier quality. In time can a carbon fiber rod breakdown, can minute fibers break over use and diminish the rods performance. This was more just a curiousity than anything else. Personally i have not experienced a problem.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: Can rods breakdown?

Everything breaks down, but provided the rods are not left out in the elements for decades I figure it'll take a long time for a fly rod to wear out. Ferrules wear out, corks wear thin and sometimes the rings crack or chip. In extreme cases I've seen the coatings on windings flake and fade, but the shafts seem to be the last to go. I fished with my 1964 bamboo salmon rod this year and it was fine. My 1979 orvis far & Fine is still working every season too so I think we're safe

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Old 10-11-2012, 01:08 PM
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Default Re: Can rods breakdown?

I have a fiberglass rod that seems to have a little more bend to it than it had 40 years ago... Could be my imagination though
I still use it.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:24 PM
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Default Re: Can rods breakdown?

Carbon fiber and glass rods do "soften" with use. It is not the fibers themselves that cause this but the plastic resin that forms the matrix with the fibers. In the first season, indeed weeks of a new rods use micro fractures quickly form as the fibers bend but the more rigid resin less so. Once the rod is "broken in" this process slows as the rod has achieved a sort of equilibrium but as stresses of casting and fighting the exceptional big fish occur the fractures are added to . We generally don't notice a difference as the process is sooo gradual until we pick up a brand new version of the same rod. Friends who for years operated a popular fly fishing school and were dedicated to a particular 9'/#5 (GLX "Classic") originally made me aware of this phenomenon and illustrated it by comparing the fell of well used "school" rods to fresh versions. They both replaced their rods every spring, retiring their "fishing" rods to use by the students. They, of course, fished a lot on both their home river and on hosted trips and the angler that uses his rod less and/or fishes a few different rods is less likely to perceive this slow degradation. Clearly Rip Tide is sensitive to his rods.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:30 PM
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Default Re: Can rods breakdown?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
I have a fiberglass rod that seems to have a little more bend to it than it had 40 years ago... Could be my imagination though
Don't think so Rip...you're forty years older...that's all
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:35 PM
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Default Re: Can rods breakdown?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpbfly View Post
Don't think so Rip...you're forty years older...that's all
Well I know for a fact that I'm slower than I was that long ago.
You'd think that it would all even out
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:44 PM
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Default Re: Can rods breakdown?

I wondered the same thing about a rod years ago. I used to fish for Lake Sturgeon a ton with a spinning rod. After catching a ton of real big fish and they fight hard, the rod spending a lot of time bent like a U....... well, I wondered if it was doing small bits of damage that add up over time, ending someday with a catastrophic failure. Well if it never noticably effected that rod, I don't think it makes enough change to worry about.
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: Can rods breakdown?

Quote:
Originally Posted by irons View Post
I have a few rods that have some age and was wondering about thier quality. In time can a carbon fiber rod breakdown, can minute fibers break over use and diminish the rods performance. This was more just a curiousity than anything else. Personally i have not experienced a problem.
Perhaps I can offer some perspective from having an advanced degree in polymer composites and also having worked in the field for a while.

The carbon fiber itself is relatively unaffected, but UV, heat & humidity tend to affect the binders and epoxies used in the construction. Generally, these become brittle leading to mechanical fracture due to loss of toughness.

One example of this behavior are some of the hard 'black' unpainted components on vehicles (trucks, cars). One that immediately comes to mind are the wing mirrors on some of the cars that turn 'whitish' from exposure to the UV radiation. What is happening with them is - 1) the polymer (resin) in the glass fiber composites is degrading over time and exposing the surface of the glass fiber (white or transparent) & 2) the pigments themselves fade as well

As long as you store your fly rods properly (not left in high heat / UV environment for months at a time, I would not think that this would be an issue.
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:24 PM
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Default Re: Can rods breakdown?

Good thread.
I was wondering the same thing. Also was wondering if anyone's rods ever take on "Set" (very slight memory bend or curve) or are they still true and straight. Even in the older ones?
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:33 PM
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Default Re: Can rods breakdown?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticm View Post
Perhaps I can offer some perspective from having an advanced degree in polymer composites and also having worked in the field for a while.

The carbon fiber itself is relatively unaffected, but UV, heat & humidity tend to affect the binders and epoxies used in the construction. Generally, these become brittle leading to mechanical fracture due to loss of toughness.

One example of this behavior are some of the hard 'black' unpainted components on vehicles (trucks, cars). One that immediately comes to mind are the wing mirrors on some of the cars that turn 'whitish' from exposure to the UV radiation. What is happening with them is - 1) the polymer (resin) in the glass fiber composites is degrading over time and exposing the surface of the glass fiber (white or transparent) & 2) the pigments themselves fade as well

As long as you store your fly rods properly (not left in high heat / UV environment for months at a time, I would not think that this would be an issue.
I was about ready to say that very same thing.


Word for word.


Except for the first 4 paragraphs.



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