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Snap! The amount of time you took to read the previous word is the exact amount of time it takes for your favorite fishing rod to break into two. Imagine this, you are ready for the fishing season, all excited and upbeat only to find out that one your rod is sitting there in two halves.
And then you remember how this rod had snapped in the previous season and you put off its repair since you had spare rods. Those spare rods are still there but your fishing arsenal has a rod short, doesn't it?
Wouldn't it be better to go into war with all your weapons intact and in good working condition rather than diving into the unknown realms totally unprepared? And no, this is not an exaggeration. An angler is as passionate about fishing as a soldier is for fighting for his/her country.
So in this article, we will learn how to fix a broken fishing rod for good instead of tossing it away. We will try to preserve our favorite rod along with the sentiments attached to it. For whatever reason your rod broke, the steps in this article will be almost the same for all scenarios and anglers. In case you find your situation to be extremely different, we encourage you to think about how can you modify the steps written here for your particular case.
This is the fishing rod we will operate upon in our article. We will try to make it an easy to understand step-by-step guide for you. As you can see above, the guide section was actually pulling away from the binding. The epoxy was chipping away before the rod broke. Our method to salvage this rod will only result in the loss of a tiny bit of sensitivity but the rod will remain to be perfectly usable.
One of the things we do not want to do is take a hacksaw and cut the rod down as a part of the repair process. We surely do not want our six feet six-inch rod to become a five feet six-inch stick all in the name of a repair technique. We would try to maintain it around the exact length it was before breaking.
Time required to do the actual steps: 45-60 minutes depending upon your speed
Total time required (including drying of epoxy): 4 days before you can use the rod again
The following things are easily available at any hardware store near you or can be ordered online.
The way we would want to start is by taking the dowel rod and inserting it into the rod blank. Before that, you need to measure the break at the widest point. In our rod above, it was around an eighth of an inch, so we got an eighth of an inch dowel rod. Now, cut off about a four-inch section of the dowel rod using the tin snips.
Our plan is to now taper down the dowel rod and put about an inch and a half in the lower part of the blank and put the rest of the dowel rod in the upper part of the blank. Our next step would be to epoxy it in its place. Our search for methods to fix broken rods online lead us to many results where the person would take a metal sleeve and put it around their blank.
One angler even cut about a foot of their rod and inserted the upper part into the lower part of their blank and locked it in place somehow. While all these methods are good, we don't want a big eyesore on our rod or lose about a foot of our rod in length.
The reason we use wood is that it would soak up some of the epoxies, is easy to work with and will hardly add any weight to the pole. If we were to use a metal nail and our nail got bent, then we would be left with a permanent bend in our pole. When finished, we would wrap the whole thing in superline and put a layer of rod wrap finish on top. Thus the only thing we would see on the outside would be a new extended wrap essentially.
We are also going to use that to strengthen up the guide. In our rod above, the epoxy on it is kind of cracked, so we are going to lock that back down into place. Also, we are not going to trim down the splinters at the breakpoint on the rod. We will use those once we put the dowel in the place to make sure we line the rod up perfectly as it was before it broke.
It is then we would sand it down and smooth it out before we do our wrap over the top of that. And as mentioned earlier, there is no way we would be hack-sawing some portion of the rod as we don't want to lose any length.
Remove the reel and any line from the rod if they are present. We use the splinters that are left hanging off the ends to line up our blank in exactly the same spot and clean that up. The next step would be to wrap the whole thing past the original wrapping.
To begin with, take the dowel rod and taper it down using the sandpaper. Make markings on the dowel rod using the utility knife. You would want to make sure that you have about one inch to be inserted into the bottom part of the rod. We want a lesser length of the dowel rod in the bottom part than the top because the top part of the dowel rod would be sanded.
Therefore, we are looking at three inches for the top part and one inch for the bottom part in our four-inch dowel rod. Coming back, taper the dowel rod to fit it in our bottom part of the fishing rod. It is a trial and error based method. Use the sandpaper and try to fit it in. Remember, not to do too much of tapering as you cannot add the wood dust back.
Hence, use the sandpaper for a few seconds and try fitting it in. Rinse and repeat till you get a perfect fit for both the bottom and the top part. We want the dowel rod to fit as tightly as possible but don't shove it down by force as it will split the blank even further.
Take your flashlight and see if we have any obstructions at any end of the rod. In case you do, it can be taken out with the help of a pair of tweezers. We would start fitting the dowel rod in the top part of the fishing rod first as it is a snug fit and it is not going to push past where we want it to be. If we were to put it in the bottom part first, then a definite problem will occur.
Since the bottom gets fatter as we go down the rod, therefore if we put pressure beyond a certain point where we want it to sit, it is just going to keep pushing down. Next, take the tin foil and pour some epoxy over it. Using a toothpick, load both the holes from where the rod was broken, with epoxy. Put a generous amount inside till around half an inch from the entrance.
Pick up the dowel rod and dip the top part in epoxy. We would glue the dowel rod in the top portion of the broken pole first as we had discussed earlier. Push it in nicely and gently. Repeat the process for the other end. As you push in the top part of the fishing rod (containing the dowel rod) into the bottom part, remember to use the splinters to align the rod perfectly.
Remove any excess epoxy coming out of the joint as quickly as you can. Check your guides and we are done with this step. At the end of it, you should be left with a complete fishing rod with a dowel rod and epoxy inside the joint from where it snapped. Leave the rod like this for at least 24 hours.
Smooth out the splinters at where the rod was joined. You can do this with the help of sandpaper but do keep a light hand while doing the same. We do not want to mess up the fiberglass construction with our sandpaper. Clean up the area around the crack until it is nice and smooth.
Our next step is to tightly wrap the area around the crack with a braided superline as it would soak up the epoxy and is super strong. Start with tying a tight knot with the superline on the rod at around an inch from the crack on either the left or the right side. Our goal is to wrap the superline as tightly as possible on the rod blank. Thus, start wrapping really tightly and snugly from one end and go all the way to the other end. Tie another tight knot at the other end.
At the end of this, your superline should be tightly wrapped on the rod blank i.e. one inch on either side of the joint crack with the crack being in the middle. Try to keep each turn of the wrap as close as possible to the previous one. Use your thumb nail to set it close if you need to after every turn. Braided superline is slippery and that is why your beginning and ending knot along with each turn should be very very tight.
The end result should look like the picture above. In case a guide falls in the way of the wrap, do not worry. Get as close to the guide as possible and then take the superline to the other side, again being as close to the guide as you can.
Take the flex coat kit and pour out 25ml liquid from each bottle in a bowl. Thoroughly mix the contents with a small brush. Even an old toothbrush would do. Generously apply the mixture over the braided superline that we have just wrapped tightly around the crack. Keep the rod in your hands and rotate it while applying the mixture evenly throughout.
Do not worry about it being in excess as excess is what we want. One important thing to note here is that we want to keep rotating the rod slowly for the next 85-90 minutes while the mixture over the superline dries. Leaving it to dry by itself can result in accumulation of the liquid at the bottom due to gravity. We want an even coating over the superline wrap. Sit outside your house or in front of a fan if you need to speed up the process with a natural breeze.
Now you can leave the coating to dry by itself. We recommend you to leave it like that for at least 36 hours before taking your rod out for fishing. Please give the rod ample time to dry. If possible get a spinning motor that will hold the rod and keep spinning it for the next 36 hours till the flex coating dries off completely.
We took the rod out for testing and thankfully it did not snap when we hooked a fish. Thus we can safely conclude that this method of repairing the rod did work well. A thing we forgot to mention is that you can use a lighter flame to heat the flex coat epoxy from a distance so that no air bubbles remain there once you have applied it on the wrap.
Thank you guys and girls for sticking with us. We know this has been a long and tiring project but that feeling when the rod is finally repaired after putting in so much hard work is priceless. We have come a long way from a busted rod to a pretty good fix that may not look as beautiful as a machine finish but certainly works well.
Neither did we lose any length on the rod nor did we add any weight to it. Go on take your salvaged rod out for fishing. It must be craving to get some action ;-)
If you have any suggestions or more ideas/steps that we can add to this article then please do tell us. Till then, güle güle!
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