How easy is it to break a spey rod?

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by ChrisC, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. ChrisC

    ChrisC Active Member

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    Wanted to know from the board's experience if spey rods are inherently easier to break and what are the things that cause breakage. I have two, one that I have fished over the past six months w/o any problems. Yet when I took out another rod out (new) last week, the tip section snapped after only about a half hour of casting. My guess it that the line might of hit it wrong due to an errant cast. Any other guesses/other factors?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    You need Mattzoid to answer this question. I have seen him break two Spey rods in a short time and both were Yellow Loops. He told me that the reason they broke is that he is a power caster. The first one broke in two places the tip and butt and the second one on the tip. But that man can really send a spey line flying.

    Jim
     
  3. Matt Burke

    Matt Burke Active Member

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    You know, I haven't discussed this issue in an open forum to often because it is embarrassing. Although, I have been assured by my pears that it does happen to the best of us. It is kind of like admitting I have to take Viagra, just to keep from filling up the bib pocket of my waders when I pee on the river.

    I tried to get some grief counseling for the trauma those broken rods cost me, but my insurance wouldn't pay for it. But here it goes;

    Hi, I'm Matt and I am a Spey rod abuser. My first time abusing a Spey rod, occurred while overhead casting with my 14' yellow line. I was only using a 400 grain head, but I do power it through the cast. It broke just above the handle and it whip lashed up to the top and snapped 3 inches off the tip. It made the loudest crack I have ever heard on the river, which echoed off of everything. I can still see the broken rod pieces floating before me in a heap of line. Now that rod is rated at a hell of a lot higher grain weight and everyone told me, it must be a defect. But I couldn't believe it. I blamed myself. Then my 12' yellow line snapped at the tip while struggling with a frickin' humpy.

    Later, I was actually shown where there was a thin portion of the blank wall where it broke. Nicks from flies hitting the rod can cause disaster. There are a lot of factors involved in breaking a rod that may have nothing to do with the caster. Glass/carbon composites are very brittle and it really doesn't take much to destroy the integrity of the rod. Most dealers that have been around for a while can look at the break and tell you what went wrong. Aaron, at River Run, has worked with blanks more than most of us have gone through rolls of toilet paper, unless you are from Forks. Have a couple people look at the break before you send it off for repair. Whatever you do, get back up on that damn horse and ride it.

    For overhead casting, I do use a rod now specifically designed for it. A Talon Midgar 13' 9/10 wt of Scandihoovian design. Loop rods do make great traditional Spey casting rods, but they were designed by Goran Anderson for his underhand cast. I just don't think they were designed to overhead 400 grains, 130 feet. I guess one has to be realistic about ones expectations vs. abilities of the rod. Is there an answer? Hell, I don't know. Just keep fishing and you will figure it out. But I feel for you brother. Acceptance is the first step to recovery.

    Matt Burke
     
  4. headstrong1

    headstrong1 youngish old guy

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    I also snapped one in the grip section. Seems like if the line isn't the best possible match for the rod, or maybe even if it is, bad or sloppy casts can lead to loading the rod in a way it isn't designed to handle. Just a theory. I am sloppy, and may have nicked the rod with my fly, which doesn't help either. If I don't force myself to relax I use way too much force. Once in a while there is that effortless cast which is so different from all the others. But I digress.
     
  5. Nooksack Mac

    Nooksack Mac Active Member

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    Most modern fly rods are thin-walled hollow tubes made of brittle material. Once dinged, as by a misscast heavy fly, they may well be as doomed to disaster as the latest Space Shuttle.
    Spey rods in particular are subject to additional stresses, because spey casts are change-of-direction casts, wherein the torque vectors twist the rod mid-cast. (Say! That sounded like I actually knew what I was talking about.:professor ) Spey casters frequently tape the joints using common electrical tape. Just make a spiral wrap from about an inch above to an inch below the joint. When not in use, park the tape on the rod; you can reuse a piece at least six times. Taping takes just a few seconds per joint.
     
  6. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

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    Keep coming back, it works!


    Roper,

    Good things come to those who admit they are powerless over spey rods, that their live have become unmanageable...
     
  7. BOBLAWLESS

    BOBLAWLESS New Member

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    Hi. I'm Bob and I try to cast too far. (Very low, very quiet, Hello, Bob). What I hate about AA is the smoke. Sure they don't drink but, man, do they smoke or what? And then someone gets up and begins to jack off about how he was chased dead drunk by the sheriff and how much fun it all was. Don't need it.
    But now I'm worried my rod will break.
    Hi. I'm Bob and I cast too far. (very low, very quiet, almost pissed sort of response, Hello, Bob). So I talk about how I forced everything to the max., how I bent the rod double, and how much fun it was and then the sheriff closed in.
    The rod broke in five places.
    Bob the Is this AA? x(
     
  8. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    Hey BobL. Getting a little testy are we???????????

    Go have a couple of these and relax:beer1 :beer1 :beer1 :beer1 :beer1 :beer1 :beer1 :beer1

    Jim
     
  9. Big K1

    Big K1 Large Member

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    It seems to me that alot of breaks occur from overhead casting. If you try to come forward to soon from your backcast it puts a tremendous shock into the rod. The timing is much slower than with a single handed rod. Most people who start using 2 handers have used single handers and they try to use there same over head rythm that they use with there single hander. You can get away with it using floaters or light sinktips but heavy tips is where it gets dangerous. Your fly hitting your rod is never a good thing especially if its leadeyed.

    Kevin
     
  10. Nailknot

    Nailknot Active Member

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    How easy? easy! I've seen two breaks from regular casting with heavy tips. Watch that water load. Big rods but delicate touch... great fun to cast but personally I don't want to fight a fish under 20lbs on a two handed stick. Seems like two handers are going down market- pretty soon well have a 3wt 11ft brookie rod. I find the two hander swell for thowing line- but lame for stripping streamers, smalll slots, small water, and most of all for fighting fish.
     
  11. Brian Simonseth

    Brian Simonseth Banned or Parked

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    Nail
    It looks like you haven’t fish a two-hander too much!

    The only two-hander I ever broke was falling on it!

    I seen guys break two-hander, but it was there problem with casting not the rod.
    Two-handed rods are like single handed, you use the right line no problem.

    I use T-14 (for sink tips) that’s some weight (some people call it bicycle chain)

    Landing a fish, once you did it a couple times no problem.

    You can control the fish better, better for the fish.

    I bet you had problem when you started with your single handed rod. (I’ll give you a hint they break to)

    I’ve landed a lot fish with both, but a two-hander makes it easy.
    I started on small streams
    :thumb
     
  12. Nailknot

    Nailknot Active Member

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    Don't get me wrong Homer- I dig two handers. Just not for much of the fishing I do. It's not landing fish I have a problem with, it's that I don't enjoy fighting smaller fish on a 8/9 wt spey, that's all. As for breaking single handers- I've been working on an invention- a titanium top top :)
     
  13. circlespey

    circlespey Member

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    I don't believe two handers are inherently easier to break at all, especially well-made ones. When people try to throw extra power into a cast and lose their form, all kinds of things can happen to rods of any ilk. Spey casting is all about the timing and the smooth application of power; when you lose that I guess it's possible that the weight of the rod and line can put a lot of torque on weaker parts of the rod, but I think that's a highly unusual situation.

    I have broken one rod in five years of dedicated spey fishing, and that was one where I cast a lead eyed fly into the rod on a really bad cast. The rod broke a few minutes later when I hung up on the bottom and tried to get the fly loose.

    I have also never seen spey rods break in casting situations. If they do break I suspect that the rods have flaws or that a caster was trying a really aggressive, unnecessary (and badly timed) move.

    BTW, I also don't agree with a variety of posts here recently about the longer rod making it easier to land fish. I think the opposite is true; a spey rod is a very inefficient lever compared to a short, stout 1H rod. For example, BC guides at lodges where I fish think that spey rods hook something like 25% more fish but the landing ratio goes down 10-15%.

    Circlespey
     
  14. speyman

    speyman Member

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    One thing that breaks em fast is having a joint come loose. Always check the joints before fishing a run!

    Manufacturing defects can cause a rod to break. It will usually break early in its life if it is a scrim or sharp guide foot problem.

    Damaging the blank will cause imminent failure. Hitting the rod with a fly or a rock during transport is doom for the modern graphites.

    Overloading or overdriving will not usually cause a blank to fail but will accelerate the problems above.

    Some of the older Graphite III blanks were easy to break by twisting them a bit during the torsion part of the cast. I have not noticed this with IM6 or newer.

    I have only broken 1 rod in 15+ years of Spey work and I fell on it.

    Dry Flies catch Steelhead!

    Speyman
     

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