The fisherman peered out into the early morning waters, watching as the lake swell rose and fell. Fishing for him was not just a pastime, but also a way of life.
He relished coming out on these waters, and he relished outsmarting the fish. He and his friends always had a big crud-eating grin on his mug when he was posing for a photo with his latest catch, the last time being a hefty 25-pound trout.
He was just a couple hundred yards off the rocky peninsula of this tremendous lake, and he watched as his friend guided the boat out to where the trout were swimming plentifully. The tumbling mass of brackish water was like an old friend to him, and it didn’t take long for him and his buddies to find what they thought was the sweet spot, not too far away, not too close, not too cold, not too hot.
They would surely catch some trout here, the angler thought as he casted out his line, which consisted of an industry-standard popper. It was a lure recommended to him by the local bait shop, with employees whom he was on a first-name basis with. The lure plunged down on the watery wave, and from there, it didn’t take long. Not long at all.
Very soon, the angler noticed that familiar brown shape coming up to inspect his lure. Just a moment later, this shape inhaled his lure, and his line responded by becoming taut, his rod bending accordingly. He began struggling with the trout, and he definitely needed to. It was a big one, worthy of a trophy or another great smiling picture, at the very least.
The fish seemed to be superhuman, ripping out what seemed to be hundreds of yards of his line. Yet still, the angler battled this trout monster for what seemed like an eternity, but then, there was this gawd-awful, ear-splitting crack that reverberated throughout the boat. His fellow buddies immediately looked up in a knee-jerk fashion, and the angler immediately went red in a split-second. He threw down his now-broken rod, said a few choice words cursing everyone from the line maker to the bait shop and even to the manufacturer and even his luck, and then he faced facts: he had broken his rod.
Somewhere, in the depths of this watery lake abyss, there was a trout who was going to be sharing war stories about this very event: this angler had just thoroughly broken his rod.
Has this ever happened to you? You’re out on the water, anticipating that large catch and having your smiling mug holding that big fish, and you find a good candidate in those waters, but you just can’t get the job done because your line ends up breaking?
New technology in making fishing rods has lead to much stronger poles using materials such as carbon and fiber. fishing rods are engineered in a way that they are not likely to break as long as they are being used correctly. Each rod is printed with the amount of weight that it is designed for handling and as long as an angler sticks within that range The fishing pole should be able to handle it unless there are any manufacturers defects.
It’s frustrating, to say the least. As anglers, our knee-jerk reaction is to blame the manufacturer, blame the line, blame the rod for being defective, or sometimes even blame the fish itself. Indeed, while that fish is in their proverbial bar or other hangout hypothetically bragging to their friends about how they caused a fishing rod to break, we’re up here in a bar talking about that “nasty monster that caused me to break my rod last weekend” and probably saying a few choice words in the process.
However, are these all excuses in the end? Have you ever thoroughly analyzed some of the factors for why rods might break in the first place? Read on, my friend. Here are some of the REAL reasons why your rod might break:
At some point, the fishing rod developed a stress point.
What is a stress point? Well, it is a weakness that is located somewhere on your rod, yet it is very difficult, if not impossible for you to notice. Indeed, even the most experienced anglers have a difficult time determining if a rod has developed a stress point.
However, unfortunately, one of the main ways that it will be revealed that a rod has a stress point is simply through the hard way. It is only under the intense pressure of a behemoth fighting and struggling fish that these fishing rods will snap like the proverbial twig. Having that type of defect in your rod is bad enough, but there are other reasons why your fishing might break under pressure and prevent you from later on showing off that fishing picture to your work and community buddies.
There are many different occasions where your rod will break because of a practice of high-sticking. Indeed, this is the bane of the existence of many different anglers. From the age of 10 to the age of 100, there has literally been an immense amount of anglers that have experienced this type of issue. High-sticking occurs when you are fighting your fish and you get caught up in the moment and you aim the rod at an angle that isn’t conducive to catching your desired fish (to the sky.)
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to put this except to be blunt about it: high-sticking just isn’t a good technique, and it’s led to many broken rods over the years. However, there is some good news: there are ways to avoid doing this in the future. Consider the following ways to avoid it:
Keep the pressure on the fish, and not on yourself.
One of the main keys to how to NOT have your rod break is to always focus on the fish and not on your rod. It really doesn’t matter how large the fish is, the key is to put as much on it as possible. The more pressure you put on the fish, the more likely the fish will get tired and give in. Of course, the one way that you tend to put pressure on yourself when you are fighting a fish is if you attempt to “lift” the fish out of the water. Always remember: your fishing rod is simply that: a rod. You should do your best not to treat it like a crane. Attempting to lift the fish into your boat almost never ends well for the angler.
Make sure you grip the rod correctly.
High-sticking also has a tendency to occur if you do not grip the rod correctly. If you have a tendency to grip the rod above the handle when you are fighting a fish, then you are at increased odds of suffering through a broken rod. This is because even though you are attempting to gain leverage over the fish, the opposite is actually occurring.
This poor gripping technique will actually place extra tension on the weakest portion of the rod and might make the rod angle increase toward a 90 degree angle. This isn’t good, because the extra pressure you are exerting is actually declining because of the position of your rod. In this case, the fish is actually gaining the upper hand. Naturally, in this situation you will also see the rod bend a bit more, and that will indicate to you that you are applying as much pressure as possible. However, this is a situation where the rod is not working for you. This leads us to our next point.
Make sure that your angle is absolutely correct.
One of the cardinal rules of fishing is to avoid fishing at a ninety-degree angle. Of course, many fishermen have been taught this way, and they pass down this less-than-perfect technique down from generation to generation. However, ask the pros and they will tell you that a much-better technique is to angle the rod at a 45-degree position. In that manner, you are usually pointing your rod directly at the fish, and you are also engaging the butt of the rod. Basically, what you want to do is use the strongest part of the rod to be able to pull the fish. However, even after you have this part down pat, there is yet another technique that could prove beneficial to you.
Avoid lifting the rod straight up when you are fighting the fish.
Of course, it can be easy to get caught up in the moment here, and it happens to the best of us. However, make sure you avoid this knee-jerk moment where there is a tendency to jerk the rod straight up when you are fighting the fish. The one thing you want to do in this situation is to control the head of the fish. You do this by levering your rod to the downstream area of your fishing spot.
By using this technique, you will ensure that the fish has to both work harder not only against the pressure of your rod, but also against the forces of the current. On the other hand, if you do a lift that is strictly upward, you will tend to give the fish the upper hand. They will be more likely to have the ability to use the current to their advantage and push down on your rod and your line and go away from you. Is there a chance that you might still land the fish? Yes, there is. However, it is less likely this is going to occur.
Invest in a good reel to go with your rod.
Another way to avoid rod breakage is to give your equipment some solid backing components. For instance, even the best rod is valueless if you don’t have a good reel to go with it. When you are fishing for big game, you will need a rod that has a reel that can exert 12 to 14 pounds of pressure. Simply put, these trophy fish are tough! You not only have to worry about your rod breaking, but your line as well. Making sure your equipment is top-notch is one great way to avoid one of these fishes throwing you for a loop and off your game.
Treat your rod with kid gloves.
Simply put, you get out what you put in. There are all kinds of situations where a rod might develop a weakness somewhere in the design. This has a tendency to occur either in the transit or handling of the rod. Of course, you cannot control how the rod has been treated at the store or the warehouse. However, one thing you can do is to ensure that once you are in possession of the rod you do everything in your power to protect the design. Keep the rod away from damaging areas such as ceiling fans or immovable objects. Make sure you wrap the rod well so that it doesn’t bounce around in your vehicle while you are headed out to the fishing spot. If you have rambunctious kids, teach them early to be VERY careful with the rods!
Make sure that your rod matches up well with your tackle.
Even if you have a solid rod system, if it doesn’t match up with the tackle you’re using, it could still result in a broken rod. For example, you never should have to wonder when you are struggling with a fish, “If I pull too hard fighting this fish, will it break my rod?” This is why you need to make sure that everything is in alignment when it comes to your rod. Such things as the drag setting, rod ratings, and line weight must all match up for the species of fish you are trying to catch. For example, you shouldn’t try to fish for a large saltwater species if you are only using a 30-pound-test tackle. Make sure it all matches! If you are a novice to this, you definitely can ask your fishing professional at a bait shop any questions you might have.
Yes, there are times where it is the manufacturer’s fault.
Remember when I said earlier that anglers have a tendency to blame the manufacturer when their rod breaks. Well, I wasn’t trying to come off as judgmental by any means. Believe me, I want you to have a successful fishing experience, or I wouldn’t be writing these pieces. However, even though the majority of the time a rod breakage is simply due to poor technique, there are indeed times where the rod breaks because of the manufacturer’s defect. One tell-tale sign of this would be if you and your friends have a rod that is continually breaking in the same place over and over again. In that case, it might be time to try out a different brand.
Whatever the case might be, the last thing anyone wants is to break their rods out on the lake. Study your rods diligently, and chances are this won’t happen to you ever again! Have fun out on the lake!
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