How common is "breaking a rod with a fly."

jportelldh

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I just started saltwater fishing in the bays around San Diego. My time before this was spent fishing the lakes around here. There is almost no room for a backcast at any of the lakes unless you rent a boat, so I perfected my roll cast.

Now fishing the bays I have room to backcast and am having some trouble with tailing loops. I figured out what I'm doing that causes it mostly, every now and then I still goof something up and smack my rod with my fly. Im using 4-6 clouser minnows mostly with a TFO pro II. I know they have a great warranty program but am still terrified of breaking my rod with a bad cast. So my question is in most of your experiences how common is it for a fly hitting the rod to break it?
 

swfl daz

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I've broken a few rods over the years, one was determined to be a manufacturer's defect, one was definitely my fault (high sticking when caught in a mangrove branch), but the first one that I ever broke (TFO 8wt Mangrove) happened out of the blue while playing a small (20") snook. It was a rod that I know had been hit with a weighted fly at least once in the past but didn't think much of it at the time. I sent it in with a note describing the conditions and how it broke thinking that it must have had an underlying condition or something. TFO replaced it but didn't address my thought that there must have been something wrong with it. After that incident I talked to several people who told me that even a small nick or ding from a fly can create a weak spot and under the right stress conditions can cause a break.

That all said, I honestly don't think it's that common. Sure it can happen, but it's not something that should keep you from fishing. Work on your casts and enjoy the rod. If something does happen, it's only $35 (plus shipping to TX) to get it replaced.
 

jportelldh

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I've broken a few rods over the years, one was determined to be a manufacturer's defect, one was definitely my fault (high sticking when caught in a mangrove branch), but the first one that I ever broke (TFO 8wt Mangrove) happened out of the blue while playing a small (20") snook. It was a rod that I know had been hit with a weighted fly at least once in the past but didn't think much of it at the time. I sent it in with a note describing the conditions and how it broke thinking that it must have had an underlying condition or something. TFO replaced it but didn't address my thought that there must have been something wrong with it. After that incident I talked to several people who told me that even a small nick or ding from a fly can create a weak spot and under the right stress conditions can cause a break.

That all said, I honestly don't think it's that common. Sure it can happen, but it's not something that should keep you from fishing. Work on your casts and enjoy the rod. If something does happen, it's only $35 (plus shipping to TX) to get it replaced.
Thanks I absolutely will keep working on my casts. I do try to check my rod after every time I fish to look for nicks and such. I ask as well because I had a redington path 5 wt snap on me. This rod had only ever been rollcasted so I know for a fact that it wasn't from flies hitting it but it was such a clean break the guy at the fly shop said it had to be from me hitting it with something. It broke right at the ferrule for the tip to connect to the piece below it.
 

mtboiler

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If you are throwing bigger flies, with dumbbell eyes, like a clouser, it can happen. I see them from time to time but they are not common. It would take a direct hit on the top 5 or 6 inches of the rod, usually twice or three times in the same spot.
 

LePetomane

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Now fishing the bays I have room to backcast and am having some trouble with tailing loops.
I have no trouble throwing tailing loops. :):) Sorry, I could not resist that one. As mtboiler stated, you would have to take a direct hit a few times in the same spot. These rods are pretty strong.
 

swfl daz

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Thanks I absolutely will keep working on my casts. I do try to check my rod after every time I fish to look for nicks and such. I ask as well because I had a redington path 5 wt snap on me. This rod had only ever been rollcasted so I know for a fact that it wasn't from flies hitting it but it was such a clean break the guy at the fly shop said it had to be from me hitting it with something. It broke right at the ferrule for the tip to connect to the piece below it.
The one rod that broke due to a defect snapped right at the foot of the first stripping guide the very first time it was fished. I had hooked up with a 25" redfish and was starting to turn him when it snapped - Man was that loud! I was able to land the fish though, first time I've ever handlined a red. The rod co. owner told me that factory defects are pretty rare but if they're there, they'll show the first time a rod is put under strain.

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ryc72

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Timely question. I just broke the tip of my 6wt by hitting it with a Clouser. I’ve hit my rod before with a fly but this is the first time I’ve busted it on impact with a fly.
 

bonefish41

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Two rods in 40 years of salt...10 wt TCR tip section lead eye #1 Merkin; 11 Wt Method second section lead eye 1/0 Clouser...the former broke with the next cast; the latter broke on a 50-60 lb Tarpon hooked just after the strike. But I have had numerous strikes which did not result in broken rods which suggests it has to be a particular strike on a particular rod...because I had strikes on Sage RPL, RPLX, Xi2 and Xi3 with no breakage
 

trev

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I think the fly impact break is more common than we might expect; I read an article some years ago, interview with a famous rod designer who said that almost every one of the graphite fly rods he examined and replaced under warrantee showed evidence of impact, His explanation was that any impact can result in internal chipping that external examination won't see. That impact can be from hauling in the back of a pickup or slapping a bridge abutment but a fly is traveling about 200(?) mph when its bounces off a rod and internal delamination should be assumed, imo.
Obviously replacement under warrantee is factored into the sales pricing and the manufacturer never loses money by replacing broken rods so the owner never gets feedback on what the cause actually might have been.
I have had three rods seeming explode for no reason while fishing and suspect all three likely had been impacted by something previously.
Smashing them in car doors has been a lot more common for me. Other people stepping on them has killed a few rods.
 

Ard

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My very best advice is this; since we recognize this as a real possibility we must always be conscious of where the fly is traveling during a cast. The fly follows the line and the line follows your rod tip. Think on that a moment and then as you fish keep thinking about it.

I fish 99.9999% Spey casts which can be described as dynamic roll casts. Generally there is a lot of energy involved in the presentation stroke and you must always be thinking. I guess that what I am trying to say is that awareness of the threat and mitigation brought about by thought is the answer.
 

flav

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Since you already have a good roll cast why don't you consider getting a single hand spey line like an OPST commando and forget the overhead casting? I've fished mission bay a couple times with a 4 weight and a commando and it worked pretty well while wading. No need to look behind you to see if someone is walking by and clousers of that size are easy to cast.
 

quadesherwood

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Just be careful with wind to know when you should switch from a double spey to a snap t and etc. I swapped sides of the river last year and didn't change up my casting for the wind and SMACK. lead eyes into my sage xp 8 wt spey rod and cracked her in half

Quade

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FlymanSJB

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I think its more of a problem and more common with longer single hand rods and spey rods, rods that generate high line speeds with cone head or eyes will take out a rods. Yes Ive dinged a rod and then later it broke.
 

Bigfly

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I have yet to damage a rod with a roll or spey cast, but have bruised (pre-break) or broken six at least. with an overhand cast. Clients have done about the same over the years. If you launch an object on a tether at whip it back and forth, it will eventually impact the rod. I haven't done it in a while due to better control, but it can still happen. When casting in the air I use a Belgan loop to avoid problems (On the down wind side of the rod.).
So I tend away from a cast that may do damage. When you fish with water anchored casts, there is no false casting, so far less danger of issues. (sneakier too.)
Barbels, cone heads, and split shot have been the demise of many good sticks. My personal favorite is when I impaled my best rod with a Clouser.......


Jim
 
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smilingduck

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A few things I do is when your cast is stripped in before you recast make a short roll cast to reposition your fly before casting. This will also give you a few seconds to plan out your next cast so you aren’t rushed. The other thing I have to tell myself is that my casting hand needs to be slightly side ways to keep that fly from hitting the rod. Last but not least is to drop the rod when you recognize a bad cast with line coming toward your rod. I just drop the tip and rod hoping not to hit my rod or self.
Tight lines


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Bigfly

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For a very long time all I used was the overhand cast. Once starting to use spey influenced casts I never looked back, and now rarely use the overhand cast, and only when I have too.....and then I'm careful. Because I hate paying for repair. Sending in my 3 weight today....

Jim
 

jportelldh

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So good news. I went back out fishing last night and followed alot of the advice here. I think my biggest problem is I kept coming forward to soon, and if I tried adding a haul I just overloaded the rod with my rod arm.I definitely slowed down my casting strokes and I only wound up colliding with my rod once, and it was a very slow cast. I do feel like I'm getting there slowly. I think the absolute furthest I got was 50 feet, with no hauls. I have trouble when I haul that I also try to speed up my casting arm and give myself wind knots.
 
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