How often do rods break?


(Gressak) #41

@CM_Stewart
Great notes.

To add… if any of my rods fail I would never blame the blank or the brand. I have had enough beadheads ping off my rods to justify certain failure…yet they keep on trucking. Pretty amazing. I would consider my rod use as rough but attempting to be within scope of how thin and delicate they are. For the tip top to be pencil lead thickness or thinner…is just insane.


(Mike Kotowski) #42

You’re almost certainly right about all your points. I was careful not to mention snags in my post though…clearly breaking a rod from a tree snag or a nymph on the bottom is almost certainly user error.

I do wonder about the stated tippet ratings for rods though. I don’t expect a “guarantee”, but I do think a tippet rating for a rod should be a margin of safety for correct use. Even in the case you describe with the snag, I’d expect 5x or 6x tippet to break long before a piece of my rod does…without education on the subject like what you just provided, I’d absolutely assume it was a design/manufacturing defect.


(Gressak) #43

Tippet numbers are a funny thing. One company might have a 5lb break strength for 5x…the other 4lb…some might have 6lb. There is some slop in the numbers and qc. Most might use the maximum suggested rating for the rod. You don’t need to.

Most 5X tippet I use is pretty strong. Stronger than one would think. The rod rating is probably under normal fighting posture of the rod…what is often referred to as the power curve or arc. Making a closed loop…or high sticking is a general no-no and even with the tippet rating I would guess one would risk a rod failure. Pulling a snag or hard hookset might cause similar stress.

A buddy of mine uses 6.5x, I have been using both the 6.5x and 5.5x. Thinner is better in general in these presentations. 3 lb test is more than enough to take most fish I catch…the 6-16" fish. These are all fish under one pound.


(Chris Stewart) #44

I have a suspicion that the tippet ratings are more along the lines of “this is what most people use” rather than having anything at all to do with power curves, high sticking, rod breakage, etc. You can high stick a 9" fish all day long with any “tenkara” rod - although I would be a bit concerned with some “seiryu” rods.


(Gressak) #45

It may be nearly impossible to break 5lb mono on a 9" fish…unless you tried to cast the fish…hahhahahahha. My note is more about the force required to overcome the breaking strength of the tippet itself. Most rod blanks are rated for a specific line strength. Most rod blanks may exceed those ratings, yet under certain circumstances they all can fail…even within rating.

We use/abuse these rods. Over time they get weaker. I am just trying to note that using a heavier tippet is not necessary for the fishing part of what we do.

Heavier tippet can sometimes allow one to handline a snag without breaking…but other than that heavy
tippet serves little purpose. I hear the rule of thumb…use the lightest tippet you can effectively use.


(Evan R.) #46

It’s been interesting to see this thread again after 12 months. My original post was on April 25 of last year, when I had just started out, after my second day fishing tenkara. Since then I fished 92 days, caught just under 400 fish and ended up breaking 4 rods. The fourth happened a few days ago, almost on the exact anniversary of the original break.

All four breaks were due to operator error. Two were when I was trying to put away a rod and had a stuck joint. Adam said, “I believe closing a rod is when we should be careful.” In my case, for sure.

One break was when I was casting but didn’t realize I had snagged the hook (that one was loud).

The best break was when I was about to land a big chub and was getting my net ready when the chub darted under some weeds, pulling the line along with him like a rope through a pulley: the rod was already bent and the chub pulled hard enough to snap the third segment. (Still operator error, but the fish and the angle helped.) I made a quick sketch at the time to remember it, so I wouldn’t let it happen again.

Four broken rods in one year might sound terrible, but I’m fine with it. Guitars, cameras, fishing, computers, backpacks, whatever — I use my gear. I do not own any shelf queens or decorative collectibles. I fish in heavy canopy and rough waters and have multiple snags in both directions almost every outing. I don’t really plan on changing my approach, since I can’t really change the landscape. I do plan on buying robust gear whenever I can and being more careful when putting rods away. And of course I’ll keep purchasing replacements as needed, as long as they’re available. YMMV, etc.

Anyway, I guess I have an answer to my original question of how often do rods break. In my case, about every 3 months. :slight_smile:


(Rob) #47

I can honestly say that every time I broke one of my rods was not due to a manufacturing issue. It was definitely my fault.


(David Walker) #48

At the risk of jinxing myself for writing it. I’ve never broken a rod that was manufactured correctly. And I started tenkara fishing in 2010.

I’ve only had one rod break, the Ito. A few months after it was released it became known there was a QC problem with some rods in the pre-order batch. I didn’t break my rod until the following year, long after it was assumed if your rod hadn’t already broken, you probably got one that wasn’t among those with the QC problem, which was I think, some blanks were sanded to thinly. TUSA sent replacement segments, no problem. Now, fingers crossed I’m not cursed this season with broken rods for having written this.


(Gressak) #49

To fish almost once every three days is pretty sweet. 4 breaks in a year is a lot even factoring in the days on the water per interval. If it is on particular model i would suggest looking for another.

I catch flies in bushes on my back cast all the time. Either the fly stays and the tippet breaks or it comes free.

I hear about stuck segments…but knock on wood i have never had one. Perhaps you are seating the with too much force or using the rod to free a fly. I always use my hand to pull the casting line…never the rod.