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Old 01-18-2006, 09:51 AM
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Default What to do When Your Fly Rod Breaks?

Have you ever been fishing and your fly rod breaks? What do you do? Do you have a spare rod? Do you quit fishing? Did performe a makeshift repair?

I have broken fly rods more times than I’d like to admit. I suppose it will happen to all of us if we fish hard enough long enough.

Go ahead and face the fact that your fly rod will eventually break at a very inopportune time. So, the question is what will you do when this happens? “Keep fishing” is the only acceptable answer. If convenience provided, hopefully you brought a spare rod that you can easily get to. I never go fishing anymore unless a carry a spare rod (I learned the hard way). I know how I am. I will break a rod. I broke three rods in one week on a particular Colorado trip. Fly rods are expendable to me. I’ve stepped on them and sat on them. I’ve broken them trying to pull the sections apart. I’ve broken several tips buy trying to pull the fly line out of the tip top. I’ve broken them buy using them to break my fall. You name it and I’ve probably broken a fly rod while doing it.

This is one reason why I buy rods with a good warranty. Lifetime warranties are great but not a necessity. All I need is a good no-nonsense warranty that will allow be to send my rod back with a $25 or $30 check for repairs.

One summer I was fly fishing from a boat on Lake Ferndale in East Texas. Somehow, the butt of my fly rod got wedged between by boat seat and the boat. The rod snapped right above the cork handle. There I was in the boat in the middle of the lake without a spare rod. I not only broke the rod but I broke my own number one rule. “Always carry a spare rod”. I was certainly disappointed but was not going to stop fishing. So, I took the real off of the seat, threw the butt section of the rod in the bottom of the boat and kept on fishing. I laid the reel at my feet and coiled up some line beside it. I held the broken rod by the butt section. I could cast and strip just fine without ever needing my reel. I fished all day like that and caught plenty fish.

On another summer day, while fishing deep in the San Juan National Forest in Colorado, I broke my rod tip. I had gotten my fly hung near the top of a small tree. I pulled my fly line and bent the tree over so that I could reach the fly. It was working just fine. Buy the time I pulled the tree over enough to reach the fly; I had gotten enough slack in my line so that the rod was now lying down flat on the rocks. Well, I stepped on it. The rod broke just bellow the tip top. Obviously I did not carry a spare rod. It was a little too inconvenient to pack a spare rod into where I was. You know you just can’t cast a rod with the tip missing. So what was I to do? I broke the rest of the tip section off so that it was flush with the first snake guide. I bent and reshaped the snake guide as best as I could so that the tip would be as smooth for casting as I could possible get it. It was not the perfect fix but it worked well enough for me to finish the day fishing.

Today, I recommend carrying and emergency rod repair kit with you wherever you fish. You can buy them or just assemble the supplies together in a plastic zip-lock. A good rod repair kit is a handy assortment of things needed to repair a broken rod in a crunch. The kit should include
- 1 Stripping Guide
- 2 Snake Guides
- 2 or 3 Tip Tops with different inside diameters
- 1 Bobbin & 100 yd Spool of 6/0 Tying Thread
- 1 Bottle cement (I prefer 5min epoxy)
- Sharp knife or razor

So… good luck on your next adventure… and keep on fishing no matter what.

So tell me... what would you do?
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Old 01-18-2006, 12:43 PM
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Default Re: What to do When Your Fly Rod Breaks?

What I would do is keep my rod the h#@* away from you. (just teasing)





On a serious note, if a crack develops at a ferrule, electrician's tape can prolong the rods fishability. If one is seen/heard, make sure the ferrule is sufficiently together, and then wrap over both sides of the joint with electricians tape, leaving a folded over tab at the finish to assist in removal later. This is standard practice for most of the spey rod crowd for all rod use.

The rod should definitly be sent in for repair/replacement, but this trick can save a spoiled day. Make sure the ferrule is firmly connected to begin with and you shouldn't need this trick. 95+% of ferrule breaks happen after the joint has loosened.
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Old 01-18-2006, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: What to do When Your Fly Rod Breaks?

Actually the tip of my Echo broke the other day as I was removing it from the cloth sock! Just fell off into my hand... I was furious, but I did have another rod to fish with.

I never take only one rod with me on any trip regardless of where I am. If I am in my pontoon, I have two with me at all times and one back in the truck. If I am on a river, I have one with me and one in the truck..

I would hate to have a trip completely ruined by not having a spare..
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Old 01-19-2006, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: What to do When Your Fly Rod Breaks?

Then there was the time we went to Christmas Island.... My friend walked into the room with 10 or 12 rods in his hand and ..... walked the rod tips right into the celing fan. When your on a trip that lasts 7 days and no place to get any kind of fishing tackle.... you carry lots of rods and hope your fishing buddie has extras too.

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Stan
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Old 01-20-2006, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: What to do When Your Fly Rod Breaks?

That's when I place the knife between my teeth and dive into the first big wave ... I like to call it hand-to-hand with Jaws, the Great White...

(It might be easier with a little trout...)
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