Broken Rod Tales

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by chief, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. chief Active Member

    Posts: 348
    Portland, OR
    Ratings: +123 / 1
    Another thread got me thinking. I have broken or witnessed the breakage of over a dozen rods in my fishing career. Sometimes they broke because of stupidity, sometimes because of defects, and sometimes because I just expected too much out of them. I'm sure there are some good rod breakage stories out there. I'll go first.

    This one falls in the category of stupidity and expecting too much. I was standing in an opening on a brushy high bank with a 5 foot drop to the water - more like a small cliff over deep water - no way to get down. I spotted several huge fish laid up in the current. I could get my fly to them, but there was no way to land them. A more responsible person would have passed them up. But I couldn't resist. On the first cast I watched my fly disappear into the mouth of a 7lb Brown trout. Then I had the "oh crap" moment when I realized my predicament. I thought about breaking him off, but then as he tired and I got him close to the bank I came up with a brilliant plan for the release of the fish and the retention of my fly. I stripped in line until I had the tip of my rod tight to the fly and used my rod tip as a release tool. The fish came off and I had my fly back.

    After high fiving myself and shouting for joy I looked down and saw there were more fish in the seam below me. Not one to count my blessings, I stripped out line and cast. Another huge fish took the fly and the battle was on. I tired the fish and got him close. Having mastered the rod tip catch and release on the prior fish, I stripped my line until the rod tip was again tight to the fly. But just as I was about to give the final flip of the tip the fish thrashed its monsterous head and snapped my rod tip like a twig. He came off and I was left with six inches of rod tip dangling (but I saved the 89 cent fly).

    What is the most entertaining way you have broken a rod?
  2. Steve Unwin Active Member

    Posts: 313
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +84 / 0
    I've only broken one rod so far. I found a great deal on a 3wt on craigslist. The second time out with it was at Munn Lake. I was throwing dries with the 3wt, and managed to get a few big ones landed, and decided I really liked the rod.

    Then I did something stupid. I got tangled around the rod tip. In a float tube things are difficult to reach, so I did my best but still had to bend the tip over slightly. Not realizing how much more delicate a 3wt is compared to a 6wt, a bent too much and SNAP! Tip section broke into three pieces.

    On the way home we stopped at Cabela's (it was a cabela's rod), and they have me a small store credit for the rod, which I thought was very decent. I ended up buying a nice glass 3wt from another member, and couldn't be happier with it. All worked out in the end!
  3. Jaydub Member

    Posts: 32
    McMinnville, OR
    Ratings: +11 / 0
    The tailgate of a Ford pickup makes an excellent rod shear. Nice clean cut. 'Nuff said.
    Mark Kraniger and flyfool like this.
  4. Evan Virnoche Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I sent a rod usps and it got broken in transit.


    Pretty dam exhilerating
    Kcahill likes this.
  5. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,594
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,648 / 0
    My first fly rod breakage was by my dumb self.. I was using a 5/6 Cortland rod. I was sliding down a hill to get to the S/F of the Stilly. I hit hard and the rod hit on it's butt, just like I did on mine. The rod tip shattered. End of fishing trip.

    When I was younger I only carried one rod with me because I thought that one rod was all you needed. Boy was I wrong at that time. I now carry from 3 to 5 rods with me when ever I go fishing. You never know what is going to happen.

    I have broke rods just stringing them up, getting tangled in trees, my dog stepping on them, or just break because it felt like it. The last one was a mystery breakage. It was good one minute and broken the next.
  6. Greg Armstrong Active Member

    Posts: 1,024
    Pugetropolis
    Ratings: +342 / 0
    Let one of your kids use your beloved, memory filled, mojoe'd up 40+ year old glass Fenwick 6wt. that's been your friend since it was new.
    Nuff' said, here as well.
    It was kind of quiet around the ol' campfire that night.
    flyfool likes this.
  7. Greg Armstrong Active Member

    Posts: 1,024
    Pugetropolis
    Ratings: +342 / 0
    Another one;
    Back in about 1960 my great Uncle Mike had given me a brand-spankin' new fiberglass St. Croix 6 wt. I let my Dad (I was about 10 at the time) take it on one of his pack trips on a deer hunt. School was in session, so I couldn't go along. As the story goes, he leaned it against a tree with the beautiful trout filled alpine lake in the background, a gust of wind blew it to the ground, and one of the horses backed up and stepped on it.
    Greg Price likes this.
  8. Greg Armstrong Active Member

    Posts: 1,024
    Pugetropolis
    Ratings: +342 / 0
    My last one;
    My Great Uncle Mike (see above) was one of the best steelheaders on the Green River back in the day. He taught me a lot, but no one I knew could ever catch fish like that man.
    Years ago he sadly, was killed in a car wreck (please don't drink & drive!). I had inherited his steelhead rod.
    Time goes by. The rod speaks to me from the corner of the room, and we go fishing together for old times sake (you know where this is going - don't you).
    I make my first cast. I'm fishing deep and catch a snag (wish I could say it was a fish). The slightest tug and old Uncle Mike's glass rod splinters to pieces.
    I smile as I write this, knowing how many steelhead he'd caught with this rod. It was his...
    Thanks for the memories, Uncle . RIP
    Eric Denny likes this.
  9. Kaiserman content

    Posts: 2,590
    Ratings: +401 / 0
    Same rod, twice, landing two stealhead.
  10. joellirot Member

    Posts: 119
    vancouver,bc
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    first one - my favorite st croix 3wt. i generally baby my stuff - even more then as i couldn't afford to buy another one. my girlfriend closes the car door on the tip. i got a lot of mileage out of that... and st croix replaced the tip. well worth it in the long run... :)

    the first rod (i've only done 2) i wrapped myself - i didn't wrap the ferrule enough and applying too much pressure to a king in the salmon river (upstate ny), trying to muscle it around a log after getting it in - i snapped the rod. lesson learned. i had already hit a TON of steel head and 2 salmon in about 2 hours so it was well worth the lesson learned!
  11. bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

    Posts: 2,262
    m-ville
    Ratings: +674 / 0
    In the mid 90's I was suffering from rod envy,After some justification this lead to the purchase of a 9140 sage 2 hander from Skagit Anglers( about 650.00 which was hard to justify back then). That evening I had some buddys over to brag up the new rod, and after a few drinks somehow that new rod got tangled up in my ceiling fan and became a seven piece rod. This after less than 5 hours in my hands & needless to say to this day the ceilng fans are shut off before the rods come out .
    Eric Denny, flyfool and astrofisher like this.
  12. NCL Member

    Posts: 348
    Northern California
    Ratings: +24 / 2
    My most unusual break, at least according to Scott Rods, was a double break at the handle and at the tip. I was in the back of a drift boat and it was near the end of the day, my line came tight but no head shake so it has to be the bottom/snag. We were in moving water and before we could get turned around I heard a sharp crack, almost like a .22 rifle shot, and most of my rod was in the water. I retreived the rod and it had broken at the base and the tip.
  13. Donald Johnson cuttman

    Posts: 121
    Seaview WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Yep. Tailgate of my Ford p/u took a bite.
  14. William Wallace Active Member

    Posts: 602
    Graham Wa
    Ratings: +198 / 0
    " My first fly rod breakage was by my dumb self.. I was using a 5/6 Cortland rod. I was sliding down a hill to get to the S/F of the Stilly. I hit hard and the rod hit on it's butt, just like I did on mine. The rod tip shattered. End of fishing trip. "

    Similar to Old Man,

    The family was also up at the SF Stilly, I was a young 5-6 year old, and my brother and I went up river to fish. Being excited to go with my brother, we walked slowly out of camp, once in the woods, we quickly started running. Well, this little boy, zigged when he should have zagged, lowered the rod tip and snap! Also, was a 7 1/2' Corltand Crown, now down to 7 ft! Was so scared to tell my father, I broke the rod. Well, that shorty of a rod is still in the family and going strong.
  15. PT Physhicist

    Posts: 3,544
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +712 / 2
    Was fishing the upper Sky when a big ol' windstorm started up. It's about a half mile walk thru the woods to get back to the car. Limbs were falling and I wasn't sure I'd make it back to the truck without something hitting me. Big ol' tree branch was falling from about 50' up that I had to dodge. Unfortunately my 2 hander was its target and snapped it in half. Missed me by a couple feet but took the rod right out of my hand. Thank you GLoomis for helping me with the rod repair.
  16. David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

    Posts: 1,904
    Walla Walla, WA
    Ratings: +737 / 0
    Funny you should ask. Yesterday I broke my first rod ever. Well I may have killed a few as a kid, but I don't recall. But never to be one to do something half way...I went ahead and broke two of them.

    Rod one -- throwing a scandi short on a rod I found here in the classifieds, hell of a deal. Nothing super exciting, but about two hours into the trip, BOOM. Snapped where the sections go together. I figured I must have failed to get things tightly connected, but nope. Just a clean break. Yeah for long term, no questions asked warranties.

    Rod two -- my fishing partner says "you can use my nymphing stick." Hell of an offer, nice rod. It was use it or sit with my thumb in my butt for the next 6 hours. Casts good, but I'm thinking...I bet this stick could throw my scandi head. And it could. However, it was...a touch over lined. Take advice from me (Dr. Stupid) that a 7wt scandi short on a 6wt single handed rod is a very, very bad idea. BOOM #2. Profuse apologies, and further praises for lifetime, no questions asked warranties. I will not name who I was fishing with or the brand.

    Names withheld to protect the innocent.

    So now, no rod, and hours to fish left...what's a fellow to do? Well, turns out that a local flyshop was open and willing to sell me a suitable replacement.

    Sigh. I should have a sign on my back warning others.
    flyfool and Kcahill like this.
  17. bigdood fishing hack

    Posts: 330
    PDX, OR
    Ratings: +84 / 1
    The only rod I've ever lost due to breakage was at the teeth of our new furball of chaos (LABNADO!). Sadly it was a Crosswater so doesn't carry the usual Redington warranty, but fortunately we found a closeout deal on a CT two weeks ago so it's since been replaced.


    [IMG]
  18. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,697
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1,744 / 0
    I literally exploded a Lamiglas eight weight fighting a forty pound Chinook on the Samish river. Rod broke in two places at the same time. Sounded like a .357 going off. Both the upper and lower sections snapped simultaneously turning a two piece rod into a four piece rod. And I even managed to land the fish. I used to have it hanging on the wall above my tying bench along with a pic of the fish. I think it is still around in the garage someplace.
  19. Mountain Man Member

    Posts: 63
    North Bend, WA
    Ratings: +45 / 0
    Mine was similar, except the lab was much larger. I found something about 6" lying in the lawn while mowing and thought, "This looks like a piece of my VPS!" Ten feet past that, I found another piece. And then another piece. Then I found the rod tube, zippered end chewed open, with the rod sock next to it. The rod was in about 60 pieces inside the sock. I don't know how many made it into the dog's belly. I called Sage and asked if their warranty covered "Acts of Dog." After determining that I wasn't dyslexic, they told me that, no, it didn't.

    Cute pup.
  20. Lugan Joe Streamer

    Posts: 2,378
    Beautiful View, WA
    Ratings: +760 / 2
    Like KerryS, I once shattered a 10' 8wt Sage XP in two places at once on a pink salmon. That rod, by the way, broke 3 times before I finally just threw it out. I couldn't bear the guilt of selling it to anyone else. By the way, that rod was a glaring anomaly, as I've only ever broken other rods 2 times that I can remember since 1974-ish, and those other 2 occasions were a classic car door and an equally classic stepping upon.