10 best ways to break your fly-rod

Over the fifty and more years I have been fishing and sometime guiding I have seen some truly inventive ways of breaking a rod, here are ten of the most common:piontloading

1. Hold the rod tip up to near vertical with the line running down parallel to the rod while trying to net a fish over three or more pounds – it’s called ‘Point Loading”.

2. While walking in to the river, hold the rod with the tip lower than horizontal to the ground – when you trip the rod turns into a javelin, and a four piece into a many more piece.

3. When your fly is snagged, heave back on the rod, with the rod tip behind your head – it’s called Point Loading’, again.

4. When pulling the leader and fly-line out to get ready to cast, pull the line near -parallel to the rod, yes, it’s “Point Loading” again.

5. Lay the rod on the ground, anywhere, anytime, taking a photo, changing a fly, eating a sandwich, staining the bank – you just have to know, you, or your about-to-be ex-friend is going to stand on it. Most effective in long grass.

6. Fail to make sure the rod joints (spigots) are firmly seated. Best outcome, the joint separates – annoying at worst. Worst outcome, the shortened overlap of the joint area breaks – heart break at best.

7. Forgetting to check if the motel has a ceiling fan while you gear up for fishing tomorrow has lead to many a long morose trip home.

8. Strongish breeze, open vehicle door, fly-rod in immediate vicinity – say no more.

9. Hook-up on the blackberries on the back cast again – rod rage – say no more, again.

10. Most spectacular fly-rod demolition? Two words – helicopter blades!

Would love to hear about your rod-breaking experiences.

A Hole in One, Then the Other

I have just returned from a five day fly-fishing trip to the Taupo area (central North Island, New Zealand). The weather was just great, in fact too good, the rivers all being low and clear, not usual in Winter in this part of the world.

But, I persisted, fishing in the Tauranga-Taupo (usually shortened to the ‘TT’) river about 30 minutes south of Taupo for three days. The walk-in is quite long, about an hour, and if you fish the pools out from the beaten track as I do, the walk-in time multiplies rapidly, as does the times the river must be waded. Walking the river-side is not easy as it is boulder strewn. But the rewards are fewer anglers, great surroundings, and because of the low clear conditions, the ability to fish to visible fish.

The fishing was ‘hard’, but I managed to hook a number of fish each day, even landed some to be quickly released. Most of the fish were around 2 kg. or 4 pound-ish in the old numbers, but a couple of Jacks would have nudged 2.5 – 3 kg (5 -6lb.)

On the second day, I had walked for about an hour, fishing the odd pool from the bank without having to get my feet wet, but when I did have to wade in to a pool, I got the nasty cold and wet feeling as a leak in my waders made its presence known. Up and up the water rose to the level of the thigh-deep water I was standing in. There was nothing for it but to soldier on, sloshing on up the river. But the water ‘wicked’ up my clothes and the waders, so by the time I got back to my accommodation I was soaked.

I dried off the waders, slapped on some Aqua-Seal and headed off next morning confident of a dry day. Maybe over-confident. The other leg decided it was time to allow water to inside, so day three was a repeat, of day two. Bugger!

That night I spent more time inspecting the waders, making repairs to the obvious holes, and reinforcing some dodgey looking areas, day four and five were dry.

I was cursing the waders, but considering they are around 12 years old, had a very hard life, with minimal care from myself, I should not have been so unhappy. Like all fishing gear, an ounce or two of care and if necessary repair, will protect from gear failure, if not accidents. So does a bit of careful inspection prior to a trip.

Guess it just goes to prove that even in my advanced years I am not immune from learning something new everyday.