How to Prevent Breaking Your Fly Rod

Q. "I take good care of my fly rods, yet over the years, I have broken three. In each case, I didn't know why. Some manufacturers have a great replacement policy, but during the repair lag time, you are still without your rod when you might really need it. Can you offer any tips on preventing fly-rod breakage?"

A****. High-sticking in salt water is the number-one cause of a broken rod. High-sticking is when an angler tries to fight or lift a fish with the tip of the rod, which is obviously the weakest and most fragile portion. Another reason has to do with loose ferrules. If the rod joints loosen during casting or fish-fighting, this can cause the rod to snap in half. Graphite rods are especially vulnerable if a sharp surface impacts the blank. Be careful, and never position rods against the edge of a boat seat while in transit; the stress can quickly cause the rod to fail when bent. Grabbing up from the rod butt when landing a fish is almost sure to break any rod. And allowing a weighted fly, such as a Clouser, to hit a rod will have a similar result as someone shooting it with BB.