Graphite Rod Care

All too often we see rod’s coming back to us asking for warranties on graphite rods. In the past our suppliers have gone on our good faith that the rod breakage was a warranty issue. Due to current economic conditions, more and more suppliers are wanting to see the broken rod before warranting the break. This means delays, for you the customer. Here is some tips to make sure you have your graphite rod for years on end.

When fishing with your Graphite Rod:

A. Fishing from a Boat

The best way to avoid breaking rods or damaging rod guides is to observe the old Navy saying “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Keep your boat organized, and don’t leave rods laying around where they can be stepped on or have other things like oars, anchors or trolling motors dropped on them. Bruises break rods not fish.

B. Fishing from the Bank

Don’t lay your rod down where someone can step on it. Murphy’s law always seems to apply to a rod laid on the ground. They will get stepped on! If you have to put your rod down, lean it on your tackle box or another support to get most of the rod off of the ground and make it more visible to others.

Don’t set the hook or cast in areas where overhead obstructions like tree limbs can contact the rod blank. Banging a rod against another object will often bruise the rod blank that will result in breakage at the point of damage at some later date. Most rods that break while the angler is fighting the fish were damaged earlier and broke when they were put under strain during the fight.

C.  While Wade Fishing

Don’t lay your rod and reel in the water! You can loose your balance or the drag of the current can put undue strain on the tip of the rod, and you won’t notice It because you’ll be doing something else. Also, if you are wading on a saltwater flat and you put the rod and reel in the water, you’ll get Saltwater and silt/sand into the reel and in every little opening in the rod (i.e. the reel seat). Unless you careful remove this salt and sand with freshwater and soap you will get corrosion that weakens parts and detracts from the cosmetics of your equipment.

Fighting Fish.

A. From a boat or from the shore

Never “high stick ” a rod. “High Sticking” (pointing the rod straight up so that only the tip bends or bringing the rod past a 90° angle with the ground) breaks more rods than any other fishing situation. ( see caution at the end of this document)

B.  While wading

If you are using a Fly rod remember that you can’t bring a fish closer to you than the length of the rod unless you point the rod straight Into the air and have slightly more length of leader/line out of the rod tip than the length of the rod. This will ensure that you will not break the tip of the rod by raising the rod higher and putting excessive pressure and bend on the top 24” of the rod.

Boating or Landing Fish.

It is, Important to remember that a 10 pound fish does not weigh 10 pounds when it is in the water. Many fishermen like to hoist their fish into the boat rather than net the fish. We do not recommend this method of boating a fish unless it is less than 2 pounds.

You should realize that you are placing a lot of strain on the rod during this process. It is very important to avoid raising the rod past a 90° angle with the water and if you grab the rod blank above the handle you risk breaking the rod. The reason grabbing the rod above the foregrlp Is hard on the rod Is because the rod cannot flex through the entire length of the blank. This transfers all of the weight to a much shorter portion of the rod and can often lead to breakage.

If at all possible, use a net. This will be better on the fish and your rod because it helps land a fish quickly and removes the possibility of dropping a fish or breaking the rod.

Setting the Hook.

Is Important to remember that anytime you bringing the rod past a 90° angle with the water you can overload the tip area of your rod. This can cause the tip to break due to the fact that all of the bend in the rod will then be placed in the tip section.

New Low Stretch lines have low elongation factors and don t require the high-energy long-swing type of hook sets that many anglers have used with monofilament fishing lines. If you are using these “Low stretch” lines, you should use a short swing and lower energy hook set to avoid pulling the lure or bait away from the fish or pulling the hook out of the fish’s jaw.

Freeing Snagged Lures or Sinkers.

Many fishermen experience rod breakage while trying to free a hung-up lure or sinker, because they put undue force on the rod during the process of getting free from the obstruction they’re caught on. The best way to free a snagged lure Is to point the rod directly at the snag, and pull on the line while cupping the spinning reel spool with your hand or thumbing the bait casting spool. This method ensures that you are not putting any strain on the rod. You should be aware that monofilament fishing line has a stretch factor of 25-35% and will react like a spring if the lure or sinker suddenly comes loose from and obstruction. This could be dangerous to you or your fishing partners. So exercise caution whenever you re hung-up on a snag.

Reel Seat Care

Don’t over tighten reel seats. Finger tighten them only, and never use any kind of tool.

Protecting Your Rod’s Finish.

Always be sure to clean your rod after a fishing trip, and dry it as soon as possible. The combination of high humidity and heat can be damaging to any rod finish. Never store your rod in a moist bag or tube. Occasionally wipe it down with a good quality auto paste wax remove grease and grime.

Rod Transportation

A. While Flying

If you fly by commercial or private aircraft it is vial that your rods be carefully packaged in a heavy PVC or ABS container.  The airlines are not to be blamed if you didn’t take adequate precautions to protect your investment. Rods should be individually bagged and strapped or taped together in a bundle with the tip and butts alternating. This will prevent abrasion rubbing on the blanks and tip breakage do to the tube being dropped on its end.

B. While Driving

If you travel with your rods in the back of a station wagon, truck or camper and they are carried with other fishing gear, you should be aware that most rod breakage occurs because rod blanks are impacted by some type of object like a tackle box, reel, spare tire or an oar. This damages or bruises the wall of the blank and leads to later rod failure when the damaged area is flexed or put under some stress. Be extremely careful when packing and transporting your rods, because this is the area of greatest danger to a rod.

Rod Storage

A. In your boat

1.  Rod lockers are great places to store a rod on a boat, because the rods are out of harms Way. The difficulty with rod lockers is that rods and reels tend to bounce around in them when trailering your boat or when running down the lake in a rough chop. This results in bruises to the rod blanks from the sharp edges of the reels banging into the blank.

2. Gunwale mounted rod racks are effective rod storage devices which get rods up off the deck but expose them to impact with objects such as oars or anchors.

3.Vertical rod racks are another good storage method with the only drawback being the possibility of impacting the rods while casting.

B. In your garage

1. Storing rods in the corner of your garage will guarantee that sooner or later you’ll have a broken rod. Garages have too much activity to safely store rods without putting them in some type of protective enclosure like a tube or rod locker.

2. Never store rods near a hot water heater or furnace. The heat generated by these appliances will damage the resin/fiber system in the rod blank and lead to warpage and rod failure.

C. In your house

Storing rods in a closet can lead to blank damage and breakage. Always protect the rods with tubes or use a closet that you can dedicate to rod storage. If you store rods with other heavy objects like guns, skis or yard tools you will get blank damage.

Caution

A rod made with today’s new composites, such as graphite or any high modulus composite, should never be sharply bent or twisted. Don’t let your friends; “test” your rod by pulling on the tip. This action if not done properly will result in the tip portion of the rod being snapped off.

If you do not know how to properly flex a rod please contact us or drop into the store and we will show you how to avoid breaking it.

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