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Old 02-24-14, 10:44 PM   #1
bassboogieman
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Default Can we discuss "rod breakage"?

I've seen this complaint way too many times and it was mentioned in another thread recently. So stepping out of character and NOT hijacking another guy's post, here we go...

Y'know it's probably just the result of my mind not working like everyone else... but the subject of "broken rods" (aka " rod failure) seems much more common since the advent of the light weight graphite rods that everyone loves because they are light and sensitive. Certainly the modern graphite rod is not as durable as our ancient 'glass rods (in most instances) and those that came before, but they are definitely lighter and sensitive which is what we want.

The other factor (to my brain) is the current love of fast and extra fast actions on our favorite sticks - especially with plastics - all the shock of a slammer hook set (or worse - flipping a large fish aboard with both hands on the rod's handle) is absorbed in a short section at the end of the rod. Now we all love our light, sensitive rods and we want to be able to feel everything we can't see via the line transmission of vibration and what is the best? braid! My feeble brain tells me it's only logical when you match a graphite rod with 30# braid (or more commonly 50# +) and the rod may be rated for 20# line (more or less) that may be a problem. I really believe "rod failure" would be far less of an issue if we were still all using mono in a test comparable to the rating of the rod.

Now throw in an eye crossing hook set (not to mention a heavy gauge hook) and when you're on tippy toe, slamming that hook home with every muscle in your body - that's a lot of stress on the rod - SNAP? Should we really be surprised? Is it really a defect in the rod? I know there are defective blanks in virtually every brand of rod available, but I always want to know ALL the particulars when I hear someone complaining they snapped a rod. Hey! I've done it but on the very few that have snapped - I really believe it was my fault, not the rod. Broken rods happen but I don't believe very many are actually due to a rod defect especially in a quality blank - the bargain sticks, well cheap isn't always the best buy. That's just my opinion as I haven't done any scientific research into the problem.

So your thoughts...

Last edited by bassboogieman; 02-24-14 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 02-24-14, 11:38 PM   #2
Jrob78
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I agree with you. High modulus, thin walled rods, paired with braid, bone jarring hook sets and more importantly, poor rod handling is what causes rod breakage, IMO.

Actually, I think it's more poor rod handling causes weakened blanks that when paired with braid, bone jarring hook sets, high sticking, boat flipping, thin walled high modulus blanks = broken rods.

Check out this video of the new G Loomis IMX being stress tested. If this rod had been banged around on the rack at DOI or dropped from waste high into someone's boat or had a 1oz c-rig weight clang off of it repeatedly, it would have broken much sooner. It isn't that high mod blanks break on their own, it's just that they break much quicker when they are damaged, however slight it may be.

A factory defective rod should break in the first few trips or after the first few positive hook sets. I guess my point is lighter, high modulus blanks can't handle as much abuse as older thick walled blanks but they are still very durable if handled properly.

I'm not sure if anything I wrote makes any sense but the video should speak for itself

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1WLchksJgA
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Old 02-25-14, 01:01 AM   #3
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I really don't know the answer.

But I've only broken one rod in my years of fishing....not counting car doors.
That was an ultra light 7FT ultra fast and a pike.

My rods take a beating too.
I carry min. of 5 rods all season in my car. They only leave when traded out for a different technique rod and then that rides around till traded out.
Often I have as many as 6 rods.

I load my kayak with the rods at site but they stay in kayak for ride home. And that often can be a long ride.

Thats working, playing and usually only three in a sock.
That's guides hitting blanks in extreme heat ALL DAY, EVERY DAY.

I have always felt that if a good hook and I sharpen frequently and a good set technique doesn't need to be bone jarring.
Don't miss understand,. When frogging I have a tendency to slam set and I don't do alot of punching.
I do long cast alot and use braid or flouro on almost everything.
I reset usually on the reel in though, often anyways.
I don't boat flip ever, never have.
I tend to point tip down as opposed to that favorite 12 o'clock retrieve alot of anglers like. I hate jumping spit outs but when frogging grass you have to 12 o'clock reel or you will get a buried bass.
I never bend a rod trying to get out of a tree though either.
Or a snag for that matter. I straight line pull or climb the tree or pull till the line snaps .
I hit alot of trees with braid where I pull boat to tree then have to cut.
I do my share of shorebusting too.

But most of us have a lot of rods and I'm told that rods banging against each other weakens them.

I'm just lucky I guess but I hear a lot of stories of rod breaks.
Like Bruce, I think we only get half the story and it always seems to end with blaming the rod.

I rolled a Blazer on the interstate doing 65+ and had 6 rods in overhead hangers.
Talking 4 rolls. Believe it or not....I checked my rods first when I came too rest.
2 were frogging rods and all are still used frequently......like weekly if not daily..
Again, I'm not a maintance heavy angler and my rods have frequently been in below freezing car for days...keep telling myself I'll get one more outting.

Last but not least...rods in a shop including BP and Cabelas really take a beating so I order direct or bare minuim, ship to store.
In my case, the ones that I've boughten years and years ago off shelf...still fish.
Just remembered...I broke a lighting Rod with braid and frogging a few years ago...but I bought it off shelf as a 15 yearold. My first graphite ever and that was transported by bike for years. Took a beating plus sat many a winter in the garage.

I think I catch my share of pike and 6lb plus bass too. Even 8lb plus pike.
i've told you anglers of my Pike fishing top waters for Pike in the Spring. I'm talking litteraly 50 plus pike in the 5lb = including some 8 lbers.
That/Those rods will all see water time this spring and they are my frogging rods too.

Again, I think I'm probably just lucky.
I'm in Jrobs corner on this topic...if it doesn't break early in it's life....some of the fault has to be blamed on angler, hook set technique and handling.
I have more than I care to admit but I've had alot of extreme rod bends due to high banks, big fish or other factors. Not as much has the video...but extreme none the less.
Can't tell you how many times I thought I was going to snap a rod...but it didn't?

Bruce VERY GOOD topic!
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Last edited by joedog; 02-25-14 at 01:20 AM.
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Old 02-25-14, 02:08 AM   #4
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I broke many older rods usually right at the reel seat or barely above it. I believe that was a design flaw in the older rods. The last rod I broke I broke several inches off the top trying to get a crankbait out of a submerged tree. I pushed down toward the bait and it snapped. That was a case of a rod with a lot of miles on it which included a lot of abuse.

I never swing a bass on board my boat that weighs over a pound or so. Not comfortable with leveraging the rod that way. I don't believe the rods are designed for that type abuse.

I rarely try to cross the bass's eyes & dot his tees. If I do it is usually out of frustration. I find I can get a good hookset while worming with a quick rod snap v. trying to throw my whole body into the hookset most of the time.

I am guilty of carrying too many rods and banging them against each other often fully rigged. I do believe the lighter graphite rods are prone to not take that abuse as well as older heavier options.

I too have closed too many doors & trunks and even rolled up windows on rods. Truly I probably deserve more breakages thinking about the abuse I put my equipment through.
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Old 02-25-14, 12:44 PM   #5
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I don't put much money into rods. For one thing, cheap rods seem more durable. And obviously the replacement/intial cost is less. And I enjoy not being hyper sensitive about babying a rod. And I can make up for much of the sensitivity with braided line and microguides near the tip.
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Old 02-25-14, 03:18 PM   #6
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It's simply a case of an item being purpose-built vs. an all-around, general use build. The build quality of less expensive rods tends to be more "robust", to use a designer's terminology.

Automobiles make for a good analogy. A Lamborghini will run circles around a diesel pickup in a race, but in a demolition derby, there will be a different outcome.....
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Old 02-25-14, 06:00 PM   #7
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Up until last year I seldom if ever used a hard hook set. For some reason it seemed like I was losing more fish than usual. Maybe it was dull hooks. In any event I did start to try to drive the hook home a couple of times but never tried to cross their eyes. I have always been afraid to snap a rod doing that. Since i have been bass fishing and using some rods that are somewhat expensive I try to be careful. I am guilty of lifting a few with the rod but not heavy fish.

So far I have broke 4 rods. Three were trying to get a lure from a snag and one broke during transport. The one that broke during transport lost about 2 or 3 inches and I retipped it.

What's interesting to me is some of the rods that people have issues with haven't given me any problems. I have a Carrot stick and 2 Veritas.

My opinion is if a rod doesn't have any inherent deficiencies and breaks after a few usages it is operator error.
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Old 02-25-14, 06:26 PM   #8
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I'm with y'all. I feel for a rod and just try to personally gauge its integrity by the feel and purpose.

If you want a bank beater, buy an Ugly Stick and work your way up to the level of care they require. I have a Castaway BB2 7'6" heavy wall flipping stick that I would probably dead lift a #5+ fish if I didn't feel like bending over. But it is a heavy blank/rod that would be in the low-mid price range. And then I have a 7'1" Phenix K2 ($225 blank alone), that I probably wouldn't flip a bream in with because I'm afraid to snap it. I'm not scared of the monetary purpose, but it just doesn't feel like it has the integrity to perform like that and I don't want to begin the breakdown process sooner than necessary. It is a high composite and thin wall blank. Never take a cane pole to a tuna fight.
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Old 02-26-14, 09:59 PM   #9
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I have never felt the urge to try to pull their lips off. I'd rather rely on sharp hook and a firm set. The only one I've broken so far was one pistol grip rod years back that let go right at the handle behind the reel seat. That's been it.
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Old 03-04-14, 07:16 PM   #10
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I've never broken a rod on a hook set and I am known to have a fast/hard set. But I don't compare to some of the pro's that I've fished with over the years. Peter T has a wicked hook set!! I was amazed at the speed and power he set the hook. And the noise.....thwap!!
I did have a buddy of mine break one of my demo rods at a show. It was a brand new St. Croix flippin' stick and he was pulling on the line checking out the bend. Broke about half way up under steady pressure. So speed or strength of hook set wasn't a factor in this rod "failure".
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Old 03-05-14, 09:52 AM   #11
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I've never broke an IM-6 or any rod on a hook set. Over the years I've updated to IM-7's but now went with Veritas. The weight & sensitivity sold me. I've launched fish & can't say that with a Veritas I've swung any 5 pounders on the deck yet but will when the need arises....unless it's a tournament. I don't like the Veritas reel seat. They have a tendency to loosen. Almost ALL of my rods were BPS and cost no more than $50 on sale. I abuse the hell out of them & they stood up to it. And YES I know Veritas says don't high stick em. I've never been one to handle NO very well.
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Old 03-05-14, 07:58 PM   #12
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Other than a couple I broke taking out of rod locker and having lid slam shut on the tips,one rod a carrot stix,it broke on a cast,a two handed power cast with a lure near its limitations but not above.If I recall carrots stix wanted me to pay 34.99 and send back the broken rod,rather than do that had a buddy sleve it,it has held since.
They changed the modulous or makeup shortly thereafter,and a well known pro split from them.
In that case either Im a real power caster above and beyond most or twas a weak rod-Im 132lb sopping wet,but a real powerhouse.
While a great deal of whats been said is true its also true some rods just dont cut it
One other rod I broke the tip on a hookset,builder had whittled the tip down so 1 size smaller tip could be placed on it must have been out of correct size,he ended up bulding another to replace that one.

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Old 03-11-14, 07:31 AM   #13
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I broke two BPS Carbonlite rods last year with my trolling battery! Now THAT was operator error. I did cut about two inches off a Bionic Blade rod a couple years ago. I'm not sure, but I was fishing a half ounce spinnerbait at the time and made a cast and the retrieve felt weird. Bait came back in with the end of the rod attached. Looked liked it had been cut with a knife. I'm thinking the spinnerbait hit it during the cast maybe.
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Old 03-13-14, 03:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jrob78 View Post
I agree with you. High modulus, thin walled rods, paired with braid, bone jarring hook sets and more importantly, poor rod handling is what causes rod breakage, IMO.

Actually, I think it's more poor rod handling causes weakened blanks that when paired with braid, bone jarring hook sets, high sticking, boat flipping, thin walled high modulus blanks = broken rods.

Check out this video of the new G Loomis IMX being stress tested. If this rod had been banged around on the rack at DOI or dropped from waste high into someone's boat or had a 1oz c-rig weight clang off of it repeatedly, it would have broken much sooner. It isn't that high mod blanks break on their own, it's just that they break much quicker when they are damaged, however slight it may be.

A factory defective rod should break in the first few trips or after the first few positive hook sets. I guess my point is lighter, high modulus blanks can't handle as much abuse as older thick walled blanks but they are still very durable if handled properly.

I'm not sure if anything I wrote makes any sense but the video should speak for itself

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1WLchksJgA
You pretty much nailed it. A little care in handling will keep the outer layer from being compromised and there is no need or mechanical advantage in any motion that bends a rod tip beyond 90* to the butt. I feel the bone jarring / rip their lips off hooksets are not only unnecessary but disrespectful to the fish that allows our sport to exist.
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Old 07-28-14, 09:10 AM   #15
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A funny story -- A friend asked me to teach him how to fish for bass with shiners. I showed him how to hook the shiner, I made the cast, coaxed the shiner to swim under the floating mat, then handed the rod to my friend. I then told him to keep slack in the line and when he saw the float go under and start moving, point the rod at the bass, take up most of the slack in the line, then set the hook like he was trying to break the rod. First bite he got he broke my rod on the hook-set
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