Most of us can say that we have been in the situation where our equipment fails us, or even worse, when we fail on our equipment. Whether it is a rod component breaking on a trophy fish, or a car door deciding it has an appetite for fishing rods, following these simple rod repair tips will help you continue fishing if one of these situations sets you back.
Situation: Broken Rod Tip
Arguably the most common break of a fishing rod, the break of a rod tip can occur from fighting fish, and more commonly from human error. No matter the reason that it happened, a broken rod tip can put a stop to a day of fishing if not addressed.
Fix: The best way to repair a rod tip is by using a replacement tip-top made specifically for the model of the rod that you are using, but this is not always an option while on the water. In most cases, if the break is close to the top of the rod and did not affect the tip top guide, the guide can be salvaged. This can be done by heating the guide tube and gently pulling it off of the broken section with a pair of pliers. The heat melts the glue inside of the rod tip and allows for removal. The amount of glue in the guide tube can sometimes be enough to temporarily place the guide back onto the rod in a lower placement while still hot, but additional “hot glue” should be used. Where this can be difficult, is when the rod breaks too far down the taper of the blank to re-attach the tip-top guide. In a pinch, items such as a paper clip can be formed into the shape of a tip-top guide, and attached with a small piece of shrink tube, fishing line, or tape. This should only be done if the tip top guide is broken, or if the tube is too small to be re-attached to the rod blank down the taper. This can also be used to replace main guides on a rod in a pinch.
Situation: Broken Guide Ring
Another very common problem that anglers face out on the water is broken guide rings/inserts. This can happen due to a multitude of factors, but the most common is by crushing or bending the guide beyond its limits. Now this may seem like a situation where you can simply fish with the line going through the guide frame/ring, but this issue should be addressed. The reason for this is the guide frame usually has remnants of epoxy and other sharp edges that can wear and eventually break your line.
Fix: A simple fix to this issue can be achieved by taking nylon thread or small diameter nylon string and wrapping it around the ring of guide until it is completely covered. This allows for a smooth surface for the line to pass over. This fix is only temporary, but will be a substitute if replacing a guide is not an option.
Situation: Loose Reel Seat
A common issue with cheaper rods and custom built rods with incorrect components, a loose reel seat can put a stop to a day of fishing in an instant. Though at the time that the reel seat first breaks loose, it can seem like the fishing rod will never be functional again, that is not the case! Loose reel seats are caused by the interior walls of the seat breaking free from the arbors that support them on the blank. This can be caused by low-quality paper tape arbors, wrong amounts/mixtures of epoxy/glue, and increased stress or torque on that section of the rod.
Fix: Though it may seem simple, the best quick on the water fix for a loose reel seat, is tape. Whether it be duct tape, electrical tape, or my favorite, grip tape, a loose reel seat can be fixed quickly and efficiently with these common supplies. The most important factor to remember when taping a reel seat, is to make sure the tape is wrapped as tightly as possible around the joints of the seat, and less tight when tapering away from the joints. This will allow for no movement at the joints, but still allow for the tape to adhere strongly to the rod handle. A more permanent fix to this issue that can also be done on the water is injecting quick setting epoxy or adhesive into the reel seat through the joints of the seat, or by putting a hole directly into the reel seat to inject epoxy into. This method is more permanent, but is more difficult to perform on the water.
These quick and simple ways to perform repairs for your valued fishing gear will ensure that you will have a successful day on the water. Though these repairs will last a considerable amount of time, in some cases, a more permanent repair will be needed.