Transporting Fly Rods Safely

today’s great tips and tricks comes to us from Brad Harris via FlyLife.

as we’d seen previously in Understanding how fly rods break“so, why do rods break ? it can be through improper use under load or by banging it with a fly (vulgarly referred to as ‘Clousering’). another reason i suspect and something i rarely hear about, because nobody wants to admit it… is a lot of anglers damage their rods when they’re not even fishing or casting. bings and bangs during transport, throwing them down (yes, throwing them down… ), the ever-present beer and it’s consequent mind-numbing and slipping and sliding effects and who knows what else, must account for a lot of “huh ?! WTF happened ?” reactions when they’re using them for real later on. in a sense, they’re recreating a ‘Clousering’ without even having the fun of casting ! “

in Brad’s well explained and thought out Racking It For The Road article, we’ll see several options with their respective pros and cons on how to avoid at least some of life’s misery with as bonus, a simple, effective, practical, inexpensive DIY option featured in the image below which particularly caught my eye. click on the pick to access the complete article, and safe travels !

rodrack DIY

Why and How Fly Rods Break

video by Mr. “Normally, I like the rod to Explode”  Tim Rajeff

once we get over the fun of watching rods break we’ll notice that this little clip has a lot of interesting information we can use to help us not break our own.

– while Tim correctly points out that there can be weakening defects during construction, it’s pretty clear that most breaks happen due to improper usage. most of them do occur near the tip but as we see,  the tip itself doesn’t do a whole lot while fighting a strong fish. it’s the lower two thirds of the rod that do the work.

so, why do rods break ?  it can be through improper use under load or by banging it with a fly (vulgarly referred to as ‘Clousering’). another reason i suspect and something i rarely hear about, because nobody wants to admit it… is a lot of anglers damage them when they’re not even fishing or casting. bings and bangs during transport, throwing them down (yes, throwing them down… ), the ever-present beer and it’s consequent mind-numbing and slipping and sliding effects and who knows what else, must account for a lot of “huh ?! WTF happened ?” reactions when they’re using them for real later on. in a sense, they’re recreating a ‘Clousering’ without even having the fun of casting ! and replacing all these sections is probably the biggest reason why high-end rods with lifetime warranties cost so much.

– it takes an enormous amount of force to break the lower half (thicker) part of a rod. except for the biggest of gamefish, this section for all intents and purposes is pretty much unbreakable in itself. it’s bigger, thicker, stronger, it just makes sense.
however, some anglers manage to break them there because they’re holding the rod in an upwards position (high-sticking). my guess is, the fish pulls down and the angler believes consciously or unconsciously that pulling directly in the opposite direction will show who’s boss. well, it’s not a good idea, it doesn’t work that way and if it does it’s just a matter of luck if they manage to land that fish. for our purpose here, fighting a fish properly means using the maximum possible amount of the rod’s strength and length as opposed to just half or parts of it.
a 45° angle is just about perfect but more ‘Hows and Whys’ on this coming soon.