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Thread: Rods breaking on first use

  1. #1
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    Default Rods breaking on first use

    I broke a rod a few weeks ago.
    I called the manufacturer's warranty department to see what I needed to do to get it fixed.
    The woman I spoke with asked me if this was the first time I had used the rod. It was. I told her so.
    She said, "yeah, if they're going to break, it's usually the first or second time they get used."
    That got me thinking. If she's right, you'd never want to take a new rod on a big fishing trip. Maybe as a spare, but not as your primary.
    Has anyone else heard this story from a rod manufacturer?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Rods breaking on first use

    Interesting. Sounds like a 'defective' build from the 'get go.' Rare, but Shite happens?
    When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost. - Billy Graham"

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Rods breaking on first use

    Three times in a row. 9wt rod blanks from Batson.
    All busted on the first day. One on the first cast.
    I got pretty good at putting rods together though. It got the point where I'd just call up the supplier and they're overnight me a new one along with a few free components for my troubles.
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements.Ē --- Horace Kephart

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Rods breaking on first use

    Quote Originally Posted by fredaevans View Post
    Interesting. Sounds like a 'defective' build from the 'get go.' Rare, but Shite happens?
    I'm sure they (any manufacturers) don't test every one.
    Usually it's some sort of statistical sampling.
    Any manufacturing process is going to have some level of defects. The trick is to keep the level 'acceptable' and to have a system in place to handle the defective units that get through.
    As you might expect, this manufacturer did have a good system in place. I got a new rod.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Rods breaking on first use

    A similar discussion came up on a bass fishing site. Most baitcasters & spinning rods these days are graphite, just as fly rods are, and apparently there are some issues with breakage with the first use. IMO, it could simply be a handling problem. No matter how well a manufacturer handles a rod on their end, once it leaves them, it's at the mercy of shippers & others who have to handle the rod until it's at the retailers. Even if the rod is sold direct, their is still a degree of handling, and again, if shipped, at the mercy of the shipper. Shippers are not always kind to anything they handle!

    Graphite & the various other hi-tech materials used in fly rods & other rods are relatively brittle & fragile. They can take stresses for which they're designed, but not impacts.

    I've been fortunate with rods so far. I have many, including baitcasters, spinning & trolling rods, and have only had issues with 3. Two arrived damaged, clearly the result of poor handling, and one broke (a spinning rod) the first time I used it. I broke an old fiberglass fly rod I had in a car door, my fault entirely, but that's a different situation. I had used that rod for many, many years prior to breaking it. Got in a hurry, got careless. My fault!

    Also, on another site I frequent, where the majority of the discussion is about fishing the Chesapeake Bay, there have been discussions about rod breakage. I drive a truck for a living & am on the road locally a lot, so I often see boats being towed with rods in holders & big lures, hooks & hardware flopping around against the sides of rods. IMO, this cannot be good for a rod, and when someone says, "hey, my rod broke, only used it a few times!" I can understand why such a problem exists. The old fiberglass rods took a lot more abuse!

    IMO, short of an actual defect, which can occur, my guess is that most breakage is due to either poor handling, or incidental damage.

    At least that's my theory!
    Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!

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  8. #6
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    Default Re: Rods breaking on first use

    In servicing customer rod warranty claims over the years, Iíve heard that same ď If itís going to break because of a defect , itíll happen early on ď generalization from almost every rod manufacturer ( large and small ) we dealt with. From my experience processing claims for customers, I tend to believe that information.

    A singular manufacturing defect does not mean that failures are endemic to the entire series of rods, only that no manufacturing process is without itís flaws. On the other hand, there have been some widely known instances of rod series or models, where new rod failure rates were high enough to cause a modification to that series or for the series to be discontinued, abruptly.

    Come to think of it, this would probably apply to any number of products in our world.

    TT

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  10. #7
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    Default Re: Rods breaking on first use

    In my case the rod sections were improperly matched so that the ferules didn't seat together well. It was the whole batch, not just the 3 that I ended up with. It was pretty frustrating at the time.
    The first attempt was a rod that I built to take with me on a trip to Florida. It wasn't a fishing trip, but I had really looked forward to some time on the water.
    Having my rod bust on the first day kinda put a damper on that.
    Last edited by Rip Tide; 02-24-2013 at 08:06 AM.
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements.Ē --- Horace Kephart

  11. #8
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    Default Re: Rods breaking on first use

    Quote Originally Posted by plecain View Post
    I'm sure they (any manufacturers) don't test every one.
    Usually it's some sort of statistical sampling.
    Any manufacturing process is going to have some level of defects. The trick is to keep the level 'acceptable' and to have a system in place to handle the defective units that get through.
    As you might expect, this manufacturer did have a good system in place. I got a new rod.
    Good point, they can't even if they wanted too.

    By dumb luck, and a very ... as usual .. early up and caught a 'fishing show' as I was doing what I had to do on the lap top ... Don't go there, strictly business.

    And the show was a Lamiglas Love Affair. No issue with that at all. Last 10 minutes was a video tour through their plant (Woodland, WA) and how they build a rod. Guys/Gals obviously knew what the heck they were doing, but the time it took to pull a graf-sheet to end product was 'Holy Cow!' Took longer to 'cook' the new blank than it did to do every thing else to build the thing.

    All of it 'hand labor,' one tick off in the process and you've got a 'problem rod?'

    That aside, the number of 'problem rods' I've experienced can be counted on the fingers of one hand .... and you have fingers left. Three maybe over decades?
    When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost. - Billy Graham"

  12. #9

    Default Re: Rods breaking on first use

    In 50+years of fishing, I've only had 1 rod break. And, that one was entirely my fault. I was fishing for Steelhead, and hooked into a large Chinook (who knew they both liked the same streamers?). In any case, once I hooked it, the old 6wt Fenwick HMG did a the bend down to the water, then snapped in two.

    It did manage to get the fish to me before snapping, but it was snapped with authority!

    Respects,

    Richard
    Last edited by Meatco1; 02-23-2013 at 03:54 PM.

  13. #10
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    Default Re: Rods breaking on first use

    I don't know how many of you folks have interest in bass fishing or the Bassmaster Classic which is going on this weekend, but I was browsing some pictures & saw some of the rod lockers & truck beds where the pro's store & transport their rods. I'm actually surprised they don't have a lot of breakage the way some of them were crammed into those spaces.
    Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!

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