The Rod Goes BOOM!

I've never blown up a rod before...at least like I just did.  But don't get me wrong, I've broken my share of rods...

Heck, I've actually broken the rod tip section on my Tenkara USA Iwana twice.  Once being in a careless rush when collapsing the segments, another time on a fish...although the fish wasn't that big.  I probably had a small nick in it before I had the fish on...it was back when I used to fish bead head nymphs with my tenkara rods and I probably clipped it with the bead at some point.  

Iwana (not broken in this picture) with beadhead Copper John


Fortunately, tenkara rods are easy to fix...you can just order a new segment without having to send in your rod...or at least you can with Tenkara USA.  I guess I'm a little bit smarter now (not much) and haven't broken a tenkara rod in probably 3 or so years...(is that a jinx or what?)

Then there was the 3 weight I snapped when I fell down on some rocks on the last day fishing with Owl Jones in the Smokies.  (Wow, was that almost 2 years ago already???)  That was a by-product of me being part clumsy and part foolishly confident about navigating the slick rocks and fast-ish water I was wading in.  Much like Tenkara USA, Redington took care of me too...actually sent me an entirely new rod rather than just replacing the broken tip.

Broken Redington and paperwork...

More recently there was the Mangrove.  Oh, the Mangrove.  I really have a love/hate relationship with that rod.  Casting it is kind of like playing golf when you're not all that good.  You can be spraying drives (or in this case casts) inaccurately all over the place all day, then it unfurls the most friggin' sweet straight and long cast ever and makes you forget all about the chaos that just happened. 

Anyway, I snapped the Mangrove when I didn't realize my backcast was stuck in some tall grass as I pulled the rod forward to lay out some line in front of me.  Didn't take much force either...which makes me wonder.  Devastated (since the rod was relatively new), I packed it up, sent in the warranty claim, and yet again, the manufacturer, this time TFO, took care of me.

Mangrove you ignorant slut

On Sunday, I found a new way (to me) to break a rod.  I had picked up what I'd consider a relatively inexpensive backup rod (you know, just in case the Mangrove decided to break again - oh, the irony) from a relatively known brand I won't mention and it finally arrived last weekend.  Excited, I grabbed my reel, strung up the rod, and took it to the backyard.  

The first cast laid out about 30 feet of line perfectly.  Much better than the Mangrove.  Tried to up that distance to 50 on the next cast and although it wasn't perfect, it got it out there.  Third cast I tried 70.  Should have known better than to push my luck, but whatever, fly rods are made to cast line.  One false cast to get some line out, a second false cast to get a bit more, but on the third the rod just exploded on the backcast...as if the weight of the line was just too much.  Didn't hit a thing.  Maybe you've done that before...probably speaks to my horrid casting form...but I never had...and it actually scared the crap out of me when the thing "popped."


So I'm faced with a decision.  Deal with a warranty claim that will cost about 1/3 of what I paid for the rod in the first place?   Or just give up and ditch it?  And while I'm at it, ditch the Mangrove too....just because it pisses me off from time to time...and I ain't got no time these days for rod drama.  As much as it pains me to drop like $600-800 on a plastic rod, perhaps a serious 8-weight is a better option than juggling two mid to low pricepoint rods...

Sigh.  #fishworldproblems

Comments

  1. If you drop $600 on a rod, I'm going to come down there and beat you with it. :) In my experience it doesn't take a major defect to cause a rod to snap while casting. That, or like your other rod, this one had somehow gotten cracked or nicked without you knowing it. It's usually a crack that will make a rod explode like that - and sometimes they're hard to see - almost impossible - until. well, boom. snap. crackle. pop.
    That said, paying $600 for a rod doesn't guarantee it's not going to break, brother. It might get you better service if it does - but then, it sounds like you've been happy with the customer service you're getting already - it has gotten better in the last few years - almost back to 1990's levels when almost all rods over $150 came with a lifetime warranty.

    Get yourself a nice St. Croix Avid and spend the rest of that money rigging up that kayak. :) And let's go fishing this spring. I'll take you to my favorite GA trout stream. You can break all the rods you want there in the overhanging trees. :)

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    1. Yeah, fear not, I don't equate price to durability. More so the original cost to warranty cost ratio. Somehow shelling out $25 or $35 on a warranty repair is a bit more palatable on a $600 rod than a $150 or $200 rod. Most of what I've been shopping has been in the $300-400 range based on some folks' recommendations.

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  2. I'm with the Owl - $600 for a rod is pretty unnecessary, and there's no point in casting a rod you don't enjoy casting most of the time (recall my search for the perfect 7wt? I ditched 2 rods (TFO's Axiom & a Loop rod) at bargain-basement prices before finding my perfect match.

    Currently I'm loving Redington's Vapen in a 6wt w/ the fighting butt paired with RIO's outbound short - probably the best rod/line pairing I've come up with.

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    1. Glad you like the Vapen. Is that the Red, or the "regular?" I didn't care for the grip on the red.

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  3. I know that blue rod....never cast it, but almost pulled the trigger on one. Sucks you have to pay to get it fixed. I wouldn't drop $600+ unless I was getting a sweet custom build.

    I would pick up another Redington rod (or LL Bean rod since you love them so much ; ) ) in an 8wt since they have a lifetime warranty....and they obviously have worked with you before. Save the extra cash for your squatchin adventures!

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    1. I probably will buy an L.L. Bean rod, if nothing else as a backup. They usually have a sale on all their fly fishing stuff in March or April in anticipation of trout season, so I'm waiting until then.

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  4. You know Michael, I have to agree with Owl, Mat, & Steve. I've got two 6wt. I've used since the beginning. One is an LL Bean Combo ($200.00 total) and the other is a TFO (around $200.00 for the rod) and I'm not opposed to whipping a fly out. I've not had any trouble with either so maybe you should go cheap. Just my opinion, mind you.

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    1. All of my rods to date have been "cheap," I own a $150 Redington, a $100 Cabelas glass rod, and the TFO was like $225 (I think). My one Japanese Tenkara rod is probably the most expensive rod I own...go figure...

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  5. Screw it! Buy a good rod and enjoy the hell out of it. It sounds like you keep buying Ford Fiestas when you would rather have a nice BMW. A nice rod doesn't mean you will instantly be a better fly fisherman, but you might enjoy it. Enjoy life as you only get one chance at it.

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  6. Just reading this post, Mike, brings back a few memories of my previous years of fly fishing. I just can't see spending that kind of money on a rod anymore. Now that I am on a fixed budget, it is even more important that I make a good choice within my budget. There are some good and decent rods out there that would meet your needs for sure. High end graphite and beautifully rolled glass rods are good for the statement, "Hey, I am a fly fisherman", but I don't believe they are an absolute requirement to enjoy the fly fishing scene.

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    1. Yeah, I hope nobody is misunderstanding my comment about buying or needing a $600 rod to be happy, that really wasn't the point. But I agree with you Mel, my favorite rod is a $100 glass rod paired with a $40 clicker reel that's just a blast to fish dries with.

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  7. I say do whatever the hell makes you happy and I nice rod sure brings a sense of enjoyment. That being said I have been very happy with my TFO's (impressed actually) and the St Croix Avid is one nice stick as well. I have it in a 4 wt and its my go to rod on smaller trout water.

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    1. I've heard good things about the BVK, I just run hot and cold on the Mangrove. It gives me fits. I've also been looking at St. Croix rods...seem to have a good reputation.

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  8. Yeah, you guys don't misunderstand me - I wasn't saying people shouldn't buy $600 rods if they want to - I was just saying that I didn't think they were any less likely to break - not that Mike was even implying that....basically just me rambling as usual. :) Mike works his butt off and I say he can buy whatever his wife lets him. :) LOL

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    1. Luckily, she lets me buy whatever...it just means she can also buy whatever...so the next time a new rod shows up at the front door...who knows...we might have a new car in the driveway...yikes!

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  9. If that rod was as new as you described it, you need to call the company. There is no reason that it should do that after you just go it. Make it clear that you understand how the warranty works, but you won't be using their rods again if they require you to pay to replace a brand new rod that broke during its initial use, when you were not mishandling it.
    Personally I buy my rods from the cortland outlet store. They are great feeling rods, but cost 30-40 dollars

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    1. I'm not just going to toss aside the new rod, it will be dealt with.
      BTW, love the Cortland Outlet store. Now that I'm in Florida, I'm going to miss my family's annual Fall runs up to Cortland & Ithaca. Some damn good fishing in the water that runs right alongside the store too!

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  10. If you're looking for a solid 8 wt under $200, I'll throw something different out there... try a Worldwide Sportsman Gold Cup from Bass Pro. I have three Gold Cup rods in the arsenal, and I've been very happy with mine. I don't think you have to worry about one of them exploding... and right now they're on clearance: http://www.basspro.com/World-Wide-Sportsman-Gold-Cup-Fly-Rods/product/103566/

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  11. if that blue rod is made by the company im thinking their main goal is customer satisfaction, contact them and tell them what happened they will make it right

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  12. My favorite trout rod of all time was a St. Croix Legend Ultra that I broke in a car window. But my second favorite of all time was a Bass Pro White River that I've now "retired." It has a place of honor on the fireplace mantle. I'm with Jay - bass pro farms out some nice rod work - esp. for the money.

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