Thankfully, top manufacturers of angling poles offer extensive warranties.
If you detect manufacturing defects in your poles, inform your seller immediately before they break.
7) Rod Not Matching the Tackle
Poles break almost instantly when fishers don’t match their strength with the tackle they use.
Not using matching tackles can cause even the most high-quality graphite poles to break within seconds.
How do you know that your rod is in danger and that it doesn’t match the tackle?
Just notice whether you’re stretching the rod too much while fighting fish.
If the struggle is unnecessarily extensive, know that your tackle doesn’t match your fishing rod.
That’s why using 25-pound tackles to catch big fish with slender carbon rods doesn’t make sense.
8) Bad Reels
A weak real seat or a poor fishing line can also cause your rod to snap. Fighting big fish with weak reels is impossible.
Unless your reel can handle 14 to 16 lbs. of pressure, line breaking is inevitable. As soon as the line breaks, the rod does too.
Poles with weak rod guides and reels are guaranteed to break in intense situations.
Why Do Fishing Rods Not Break?
Recently, a story of an 88-year-old fisher giving his decades-old fishing pole to his young grandson went viral.
The fisher had made this rod 70+ years ago with four pieces of bamboo.
This six-feet long makeshift rod is still in proper condition.
Now, bamboo has many structural qualities that make it a good material for making poles for catching fish. But, are bamboo rods unbreakable?
So, how did this man’s ancient rod serve him so well for so many decades?
How did fishing rods not break?
More importantly, can you make your rods last for similarly long amounts of time?
The answer is yes. While many fishing poles break after 5 to 6 years of use, many don’t.
Why and how do these fishing rods not break for such long periods?
There are many factors that contribute to the long-term preservation of poles.
They include – routine rod maintenance, using the right rods in the right spots in the right ways, and more.
Let’s explore how you can avoid rod breaks by incorporating these factors into your fishing practices:
1) Tracking and Maintaining the Rod’s Condition
In the earlier example involving the 70-year-old bamboo fishing rod, rod maintenance played a key part.
The fisher in question threaded and varnished his age-old bamboo rod multiple times over the years.
He maintained and stored his rod very carefully in friendly environments for several decades.
Only then was he able to pass it down to his grandson.
Modern angling poles can last just as long (if not longer) if they receive the same level of care and maintenance.
If you store your rods inside protective covers and place them securely on rod racks – they’ll last for decades.
Conversely, if you store them without proper covers inside cold garages where they’re constantly exposed to moisture and extreme temperature conditions – they’ll break much sooner than you expect.
2) Considering the Rod Materials
As stated above, different fishing poles made of different materials serve different purposes.
Modern fishing rods aren’t made of wood or bamboo anymore.
They’re made of advanced materials like fiberglass, graphite, carbon, and composite materials (a mixture of graphite and fiberglass).
The way you care for your fishing poles should vary based on their materials.
These poles come in different degrees of strength and stiffness. The stiffer the rod, the less graphite it contains.
So, a light rod made for freshwater fishing may weigh less than a strong rod made for seawater fishing.
But, both will offer similar levels of stiffness and accuracy.
Inexperienced fishers often confuse stiffness with durability.
They assume that all fast or super-fast action graphite ones are the same. They’re not.
Different grades of graphite fishing poles (e.g., IM6, IM7, IM8, etc.) require different types of maintenance.
You can’t maintain your freshwater graphite poles the same way you maintain the saltwater ones.
Saltwater graphite fishing poles need extra care because they’re regularly exposed to harsher conditions.
Most fiberglass rods are slow to medium-action fishing poles.
They’re light, cheap, and less easy to break than expensive graphite poles.
Since inexperienced fishers are likelier to use these poles, they’re also likelier to make technique-related errors.
That’s why most fiberglass rods crack at their tips. Inexperienced fishers either drag the on the floor or apply too much pressure on them.
These poles are made from a mixture of fiberglass and graphite.
Manufacturers also add other fibers to these poles to make them stronger.
However, many fishers are misled by the durability of these poles. Unlike strong graphite poles, composite sticks are not designed to lift heavy fish.
They may survive harsher weather conditions or not get damaged by salt. But, they’re definitely not as strong as pure graphite poles.
So, many fishers mistakenly apply too much pressure on their composite rods. They either overuse the poles or catch way larger fish than the poles are equipped to handle.
Strategic care and maintenance are essential for the long-term health of your poles. Here are some strategic maintenance practices.
Always clean and store your graphite poles in dry conditions. Never use one composite carbon fiber rod multiple times back to back.
Always carry multiple cheap fiberglass rods instead of fishing with only one or two. Even better – engineer your fishing sticks for extra strength.
A new-age top baitcasting rod will be engineered for extra strength. Manufacturers usually add Kevlar, stainless steel, silica, excess epoxy, and other strengthening agents to these poles. Find fishing sticks that feature these protective ingredients.
3) Thickness and Power
The thicker your fishing rod, the more power it offers.
Fishing rod power is the amount of pressure it takes to bend the rod.
Here are the different power ratings modern rods offer:
So, does that mean heavy poles don’t break that often?
A heavy rod may break very easily if you use it to pick up fish in a vertical position. Similarly, an ultra-light rod will break easily if you use it to target larger fish.
Both low and high-power fishing rods offer different types of strength.
Light power fishing sticks can facilitate lighter tackle much better than their high-power counterparts.
If you’re setting small lures for Trout or Panfish, a high-power, the fast-action rod won’t be of much use.
Similarly, if you have to manage larger rigs & lures to catch catfish or bass, you’ll need thick, high-power poles.
Never mistake a rod’s thickness and power rating for its durability. These ratings only describe how and where the poles ought to be used.
They don’t indicate the level of care and maintenance the poles need. All fishing poles need and deserve proper care.
Never undersee the needs of your high-power, fast-action poles.
Fishing poles lose their flexibility over time.
Graphite rods in particular lose a lot of their flexibility as they age.
That’s because the bonds between the epoxy and graphite break down over time due to repetitive use.
The poles feel softer and weigh less with age.
Fishers often have to get lighter pole guides and weight lines to make their aging graphite rods perform optimally.
Needless to say, such inflexible poles are more prone to breaking and cracking.
To avoid these risks, take the following steps after each time you use your fishing poles –
Wash it down with fresh and warm water. Use soap to clean the rod blanks and the grips.
Apply reel grease on the rod guides to prevent corrosion-related risks.
Check all guides for very small fractures. If you find any, replace the damaged guides immediately.
Store all poles in secure rod covers. Store them on dry and spacious rod stands. Make sure the rod tips don’t touch any surface.
Typically, taller, ultra-light poles offer way more flexibility than shorter, ultra-heavy poles.
But they also have much lower break thresholds.
5) Storage and Transportation
Improper storage is the number one cause of fish rods breaking.
That’s why experienced fishermen have well-defined storage rituals that they follow.
These rituals include the following steps:
a) Pre-Storage Preparation
Thoroughly clean the poles and get rid of any dirt, saltwater, and minerals on the rods’ surfaces.
Storing a rod that still has dirt or saltwater on its surface will lead to corrosion and cracks.
b) Component Cleaning
Fishers don’t just clean their poles or rod blanks.
They also clean their fishing reels, lines, tackles, lures, and other components before storing them.
They send their fishing equipment for professional-grade servicing every year.
They even wax their rods’ joints to keep them flexible & friction-free.
c) Rod Racks
When your fishing poles are not in use or in transit, store them inside rod racks or rod holders.
These storage devices give fishing rods the safety and space they need.
Buy either a vertical or horizontal rod rack and use it to store your precious poles.
Your options include – wall rod racks, freestanding rod racks, and ceiling rod racks.
d) Storage Location
Place your rod rack in a dry and spacious spot. Your home’s garage or backyard bunker are good candidates.
If the room isn’t dry enough, buy a dehumidifier. Place silica gel pouches inside the fishing rod bags or covers.
Store these covers at room temperature conditions, away from direct sunlight exposure.
Loosen the drags of your fishing poles before storing them. Tight drags can damage the tiny mechanical pieces in your reels, causing them to snap.
Storing a rod with tight drags may also cause it to bend.
So, avoid these risks by loosening your rods’ drags. If there are any old, damaged lines attached to your poles, cut them off entirely.
If you’re transporting your poles, pack them properly.
Cover them in multiple layers of bubble wrap. Use packing tape to seal these protective layers.
Then, place the poles inside solid cardboard tubes or PVC tubes/pipes.
Fill up these boxes or tubes with packaging chips and fillers.
Not all fishing poles are created equal. Some outlive others for reasons that are hard to explain.
Some are designed for durability.
For instance, modern, collapsible fishing poles are made for fishers who travel frequently.
They’re easy to store & transport.
But, such a fishing rod also comes with extra maintenance responsibilities.
On the other hand, old-school single-piece fishing poles are harder to transport. But, they’re also sturdier and can function well with tiny fractures.
There’s no easy answer to the question – why and how do certain fishing poles break while others don’t?
Only one thing’s clear – care, maintenance, proper storage, and proper use are key to your fishing rod’s longevity.
So, always buy high-quality fishing poles from reliable sellers.
Then, follow the aforementioned care and maintenance guidelines to prevent them from breaking prematurely.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why do fishing rods break?
Fishing sticks can break because of various reasons. Improper use, application of too much pressure, and improper storage are the most common reasons why fishing sticks break.
Why is a fishing rod so flexible?
Fishing poles have always been flexible tools. From ancient bamboo rods to modern, ultra-light spin rods – flexibility is a key characteristic of fishing sticks. Their flexibility allows them to bend when fish are stuck on their hooks. The bending maintains tension on the line and prevents the rod from slacking and snapping in two. Fish also have a harder time pulling on the lines of flexible fishing rods. Fishers can also cast greater distances with flexible and bendable fishing rods.
Do all fishing poles break down?
No. Countless families have managed to preserve their angling poles for centuries. However, just like any other material object – all poles are prone to degeneration and loss of quality. Improper use, careless storage, and overuse may contribute to the deterioration of your fishing poles.
Can fishing poles snap in half?
Yes. Most of the time, angling sticks snap into two or more pieces due to the fisher’s fault. This happens when fishers apply too much pressure on the weak points of their rods. The pressure causes their fragile tips to snap.