Today's feature ran originally in our companion publication, The Outdoor Wire.
Oops! Darn the bad luck. So you broke your favorite fishing rod. Now what?
Depending on what’s broken, you have options to fix it. Some options are good, some not so much. A simple broken tip is one thing but slamming a rod in a car door is entirely another.
If a tip is broken with very little of the rod involved you are in luck. Most tackle shops and even box stores sell top guides and rod tip repair kits. It is possible you might be able to use the original guide that’s dangling on the line. To remove the original guide, take a cigarette lighter, slowly heat it up and slip it off the damaged tip. You might have to use a pair of pliers to avoid burning your fingers.
To replace it first inspect the end of the rod and make sure it is a clean break without splinters running down the shaft of the rod. Make sure the repair kit guide is the right size then glue it on using the included glue. Typically it is melted with a lighter. If you are using the original guide and opt not to buy a repair kit, a high temp glue stick will work.
If too much of the tip is broken off or by chance you break it mid-way it’s a much bigger problem. It is important to note that even a small repair can significantly change the action. To fix a mid break you can take a section of an old scrap rod and make an internal slice, cut a section that fits inside both sides of the break on the rod you are repairing; slip both sides over the break and glue in place, but this rarely works well even when professionally done. Sometimes it’s best to just scrap the broken rod for parts and be done with it, which is extremely painful for our favorite or premium rods.
The best way to avoid fixing a rod is to prevent breaking it in the first place. Most all rods are broken going to and from your favorite fishing area and not while fishing. The best solution to prevent damage is to transport it properly. Even if you break a rod on a monster fish chances are it was damaged before the first cast. The old adage “That fish was so big it broke my rod!” doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.
Rod protection during travel is easy when using a Rod Vault ST (https://denveroutfitters.com/rod-vault-st/). Designed to fit on most vehicles’ roof racks; rods are stored, locked up and protected from banging around and slamming car doors. They will be also be ready and rigged upon arrival at the water and back home again. Many anglers just leave rods in the Rod Vault ST all the time rigged and ready to fish at a moments notice.
Don’t be that guy that is always breaking rods and blaming it on someone or something else. With proper care fishing rods should last a lifetime.