Fly rods break – this is a reality. Fall in the river, shut it in the car door, step on it, bend it into a tree, or, as recently happened to me, simply beat the hell out of it in saltwater. It just happens – which is why the better fly rod companies usually offer attractive and reassuring “no questions asked” warranty programs.
Even though rod breakage is a fact of the fly casters life, you can help to minimize it in how you handle your rod.
In this video, we see man fighting a Dorado. At about 40 seconds in, the fish runs deep, and under the boat. The fisherman “high sticks” the rod, pulling the rod up, and into his chest, and then makes an unforgiving mistake – he grabs the rod above the cork, and applies pressure.
In the following video, just after the 40 second mark, the fisherman moves his hands up to the blank above the cork just moments before the rod breaks.
Simple rule – if you need two hands, keep them both on the cork. Applying pressure at an inappropriate point on the fly rod puts all of that futuristic rod design mojo out of whack, and changes the distribution of pressure that has been carefully considered and implemented into the rod. Certainly, nicks, abrasions or other wounds in the rod can cause breakage when hooked up, too. But watch your share of videos of rods shattering, and you’ll notice a pattern – wandering hands help break rods.
I hate to use these poor souls as an example of what not to do, but I think that witnessing something as horrible as a rod exploding will probably keep you from assisting in meeting the same fate.