Separating Stuck Rod Joints

There can be a problem that affects all rods with joints, sometimes they just stick and it is the Devil’s own job to separate them.

With the exception of strong surf rods, one of the worst ways to try and unstick the joints is to have a friend grab one side of the joint and you the other side, and pull. It is very hard to keep the rod dead straight and a broken rod at the joint is a common result. Even worse is for you and your friend to try and twist the rod in opposite directions as you pull. Result – same as above. This is especially true of light spinning and fly-fishing rods.

There are two methods that work for me – but I am totally at a loss to know why.

First, put the behind your back, clasp the rod with each hand on either side of the joint and pull apart. I have seen this work, and experienced it myself, on apparently immovable joints.

Second method, and again I do not know why it works, is to pack the joint with a bag of ice or frozen peas for about ten minutes, then pull apart.

Stuck rod joints can be avoided by a couple of quick tips:

  • Before joining the rod give the male joint a good rub down with a cloth to remove dust or fine sand.
  • After cleaning the male spigot rub it a few times up and down the side of your nose. The natural grease imparts a very fine lubricant.

When joining the rod pieces, just seat the two halves firmly together, never force down on the joint. Ramming the two pieces together is a definite ‘no-no’.

And finally, it is a good idea to test that the joint is firm regularly during a fishing session. A loose joint, can lead to a broken rod, because the overlap between the male and female parts becomes too short. This is especially important when fly fishing.

Do 10 foot light line-weight fly-rods make you a better angler?

As an ex-tackle-store owner I guess I got to handle and trial way more fly-fishing rods than most. That included all that was touted to be the latest and greatest. Fact was that handling so many rods lead to the perhaps jaded view that all new rods were merely slight advances on a rod building theme, and big advances in the persuasive power of the rod-makers advertising and marketing people.

Maybe this jaded outlook was the reason for the fact that the rod I used most was a 9′ Sage RPL+ 6 weight that I bought around 20 years ago.

So when I was offered a chance to trial a new 10 foot single-handed 6 weight rod, I accepted, but my marketing hype and BS detection systems were on high alert.

Here is what happened.