Protect your rod investment with 8 easy tips
Fishing rods are the foundation of your tackle and should be treated with
special care as they bear the burden of landing those trophy fish we all dream
about. With improvements in technology, available materials, and better
construction techniques, the rods we fish with today offer incredibly high
performance. But the one universal that remains is the fact that these tools can
still be broken. While anglers will always place high demands on rods, there are
8 easy tips that can help you protect that investment for a lifetime of angling.
right rod, with the right specifications to match your application
Choosing the right rod:
Gary Loomis has a great saying "I could build a rod that you couldn't break, but
then you probably wouldn't want to fish with it." This is true for many anglers
who demand the highest level of feel and sensitivity from their rods, but also
yearn for more durability. The first step to protecting your rod is to choose
the right rod for the right application. You could probably fish one rod for all
applications and species of fish, but in many cases you would be seriously over
or under rodded for the situation...usually resulting in either a poor fishing
experience or a broken rod. Pay attention to the capabilities and specifications
of each rod and choose a rod that will adequately meet your requirements. Bear
in mind that there is no miracle rod that can do it all.
piece and 3 piece rods are designed to reduce stress on the ferrule, but a
little grease will ensure a tight fit and a easy separation later
rods: In the past
multi-piece rods were the easiest to break since the ferrule sections of the
rods represented breaking points in the arch of the rod and often times
centralized stress on the connections would cause parts of the graphite to snap.
New designs have not only made the action of multi-piece rods much more even,
but also helped transfer stress to length of the entire rod. Rod connections can
also be a problem when anglers jam them too tightly together and actually break
the connections when trying to yank the portions apart. A little grease each
time you connect the sections can go a long way. Since most of us don't carry
grease in our tackle boxes a little oil rubbed off your nose or paraffin wax
will do just fine. This helps keeps rods tightly together when in use, and easy
to separate at the end of your day.
our hands will quickly darken cork
Old cork doesn't mean bad cork:
performance rods these days come with high quality Portuguese cork handles. Cork
is favored over foam thanks to it's low memory, soft feel, and accurate grip.
The only downside to cork is that it is more prone to wear and tear. Anglers
love holding brand new rods with pristine cork handles, but often marvel at how
quickly the handles start to break apart or darken in color. the oils in our
hands waste no time in changing the look and feel of cork, and there is simply
no amount of washing that can keep them looking new. In addition small sections
of your grips may come off, leaving small pits in the handle. While the handle
doesn't look new it should perform just as good as new.
cork bits may separate from the rod, this shouldn't affect performance in
Often times anglers make the mistake of
scrubbing their handles with harsh cleansers, rubbing course sandpaper over
them, or even pulling them off and changing them unnecessarily. The best thing
to do, as long as your handle functions well, is to simply leave it alone. These
days I look fondly at my well worn cork grips and consider the flaws simply as
battle scars that build character.
Superlines require stronger guides like the new Fuji Concept guides
Braided and fused lines
were touted as major breakthroughs when first introduced years ago, the problem
was that rods simply were not ready for them. The older, softer guides simply
couldn't handle the abrasive surfaces of these new rods and they pitted old
guides, causing reduced performance in casting, and often times a poor grainy
feeling retrieve. If your going to use super lines then make sure to pick up a
rod with guides that are rated to handle these contemporary lines. The new
guides from Fuji do an excellent job of handling almost any line you can cast,
and the new Fuji concept system helps ensure excellent line management.
guides from sharp hooks or impact
While superlines may not damage your high quality guides, lures sometimes
will. Never hang your hooks on your guides, as the barbs of the hooks can
scratch the surface of your guides. Use the hook hanger on your rod, its
designed to handle the sharpest hooks. In addition try not to reel back that
spinner or crankbait all the way to the tip of your rod as the impact can
sometimes damage or knock loose your leading guide. Protect your guides and your
rod will keep casting perfectly for years.
big fish get close to the boat make sure not to high stick your rod
Never High stick: Anglers know that keeping your rod tip high maintains
pressure on the fish, but in the excitement of the fight many anglers become
overzealous when it comes to bringing that fish in. The term "high stick" refers
to over angling the rod which in turn creates too much pressure on the rod tip,
and can result in a snapped rod. When the fish is close to the boat try not to
lift your rod any higher then 90 degrees. keeping the rod taught, but not over arched,
will be sufficient for maintaining pressure on the fish, and reducing stress on your
damage occurs not during fishing, but from transport
More then 80% of rod damage doesn't occur during the act of fishing, but during
the transport of rods. More rods are lost to truck beds, trunks, and car doors
then to fish every year. There simply isn't anything that can put a damper on a
good trip then accidentally snapping your rod in an accident. In fact many rods
that are actually broken during fishing are actually caused by damage to the
rod's graphite during transportation. There are many special new rod tools and
storage devices that can help you stow your rod safely and protect them from the
elements. The best thing to do is just be careful where you put your rod, and do
your best to make sure that it is out of the way of any heavy objects that can
damage the guides or the surface of your rod.
your rod after each trip helps remove contaminates, and reduces any chance
While more applicable to saltwater anglers, it is always a good idea to wipe
down your favorite rods after each trip. this helps keep harmful contaminates
from building up on your clear coat, or any corrosives that might be eating away
at the rods metal components. Keeping your rod clean ensures that you will
isolate any potential problems quickly, and will keep your rod looking as good
as you want it to perform.
Conclusion: While there is a lot all of us can do to protect your rod
investments, unfortunately the occasional broken rod can happen to the best of
us. With the quest for bigger and badder fish pitted against the more sensitive
and accurate rods the equation sometimes just adds up to a broken rod now and
then. But follow these 8 simple steps and treat your rod well, and it will
return the favor by treating you to a lifetime of those whopping lunkers.
Until next time....Tight Lines.