How are fly anglers breaking all of these rods?

One rod tip broke on a forward cast - manufacturer determined it was a manufacturing error.
Another broke when another person was trying to help me get a fly out of a tree and stepped on my rod.
My other break was my fault trying to yank a fly from a snag and the tip broke.
What T/b said in Post 16.
1. Car trunk lid
2. Tree limb
3. Large black drum (Banana river)
4. Didn’t watch where I stepped
I was casting to a trout in the 18 in class rising in a smooth tailout. It was very windy but I extended my leader to get a better drag free float. With the wind and trying to time the rising fish getting the March Brown in front of the fish was difficult. Finally I got a take .... a smaller fish of about 10 inches. When landing the fish 6 in of my rod tip was at the fly in the fish. Dont know how it broke as I did not go vertical with the rod. I beleive the rod was defective as it had about a hour on the water using dry flies. Maybe the lomg tippet wrapped aroumd the tip in the wind. Who knows. I paid a 70.00 repair. No issues since.
Anything hard hitting the blank will do it. A small nick in a graphite blank and it’s game over. Splits shot or the lead eyes of a fly hitting it or even a piece of hard plastic in my case.

I had a horrible failure a few years ago. In my pursuit of trying new and creative things I decided to use a new and unique strike indicator. I was at a local tackle shop and saw these small clear hard plastic bubbles. I believe they are used by spin fisherman to fill with a little water and add weight to be able to cast a fly on spin gear. I wondered had anyone ever tried these for fly fishing? It had a little clear plastic peg to secure it in place and make adjustments easy. It was small enough I figured to get away with small short casts. Because it was clear I thought it would be super stealthy on spooky fish.

First day I added it about 5 feet up my leader to my fly rod setup with a march brown wet fly with a nymph dropper while on the stream. Adding it once I was at my spot was my only saving grace as I would soon find out. Three casts in a wham and I hooked and landed my biggest wild brown up to that point that spring. A beautiful 20-1/2” male couldn’t resist that March brown wet under an invisible dropper. I fished for a few hours and caught a few more small trout. Then things really went downhill.

After fishing a little while longer I decided to walk back to my car. Drove to a new spot and hiked in a long long ways. At the new spot I went to make a cast and my 9’ fly rod snapped in half on the very first false cast. Not thinking much off it ( I’ve broken many rods over the years, it’s just part of fishing) I walked back to my car and headed home.

Two days later I had some time in the evening so I rigged up another rod complete with my new hard plastic indicator and headed to a local stream. After another long hike in I got to a nice pool and started to cast. Very first false cast and snap another 9’ fly rod snapped in half! What the heck I thought. I definitely didn’t hit the blank with the fly’s or the indicator. I was slightly more frustrated this time and confused. I hadn’t broken s rod in roughly 5 years. Now i broke two in three days. But I am stubborn and it gets worse.

Two days later yet again, on a warm overcast afternoon I decided to head out again. Yet again with another 9’5weight. Same mistake, I rigged up at home. I got to the stream and once again walked a very long way to get to a specific stretch I like.

But as I walked I noticed something. Every step I took that tiny hard plastic bobber would tap against the rod blank making a small ticking sound. Over and over for hundreds of steps. I couldn’t help but start thinking. I wonder if that small ticking against the blank was somehow weakening it. So I decide to take a mental note of exactly where it was making contact. A little more than halfway up the rod and evenly spaced between between two eyes. I stepped into the water and nervously started to cast. On the forward motion of my first false cast. Snap my rod broke in two. At exactly where that stupid clear hard plastic bubble bobber piece of junk was at. Exactly where it was tapping the blank. Yes I feel dumb. That hard plastic taping the blank as I walked weakerned the graphite.

I got home and threw the rest of those spin bubbles in the trash. Lesson learned, the hard and stubborn way. Anything hard that puts even the smallest nick in the graphite blank can break a rod. Unfortunately it took me breaking 3 rods in 5 days to fully grasp this concept. I haven’t broken a rod since.

That about sums it up. Using equipment designed for spinning gear on a fly rod is one way fly fisherman are breaking all these rods. At least one way I did. Lesson definitely learned. 😢

All I can do now is look back and laugh. Hopefully you all got a laugh too!

Happy Easter!
Wow! What a lesson to learn! Is that why your screen name is 5footfenwick?
Wow! What a lesson to learn! Is that why your screen name is 5footfenwick?
Oh I wish it started there, but Sadly no. My mom closed the tip of my 6ft 6weight Fenwick in the station wagon door as a kid, knocking off about a foot. Put a new tip on it and been using it to chase Brook Trout ever since. Although unconventional, it’s a phenomenal little rod. My favorite rod actually. Hence the 5footFenwick! I’m happy with my screen name though. I’m sure Sixfootfenwick is happy also! 😉
Misstep on a rock and speared another with an old Sage 590 RP. Goodbye tip. Damned Lehigh R.

Sage replaced the whole rod with the 590 LL. Nice rod but like the RP better.
Broke the tip 3 inches On a custom rod last spring, fixed. That was the first one a long time due to me being stupid on a tree
I don't think Shakespeare Wonder Rods had a lot of breakage problems.
The leader on my reel was pretty knotted up and due for a replacement. I was impatient when setting up my rod - one of the knots caught on my tip guide, I tugged it a bit too much, and it snapped 2 inches off the end. Was fishing for toothy fish, so the leader was straight 15 lb
I've broken 2 tips total in a touch over 10 years. The first one, the rod wasn't completely in the car before I shut the door. Oops. So I called St Croix and had them send another tip. That 2nd tip got caught in a branch. I very gently tried to get unstuck and it snapped. Honestly I still don't think it should have broke. But it did so what do I know?
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I've broken 3 fly rods, so far. In saltwater fly fishing it's part of the game.

I slammed my truck door on an 8wt DS2.

I broke the last 2" off an 8wt Sage One when I smacked it with a lead-eyed clouser.

I broke a 10wt Igniter about 8" above the cork pulling a 70 lb tarpon backwards to the boat.
I've had 2 rod failures that were likely defective blanks. One while casting and the other while pulling some line out. Now that I think about it, both were Cabela's rods.

Broke some in car doors, hit the tip with a dry fly when picking up a long cast, had one pop right above the grip while try to break off a snag. Basically, 95% were user caused 😁
I've had 2 rod failures that were likely defective blanks. One while casting and the other while pulling some line out. Now that I think about it, both were Cabela's rods.

Broke some in car doors, hit the tip with a dry fly when picking up a long cast, had one pop right above the grip while try to break off a snag. Basically, 95% were user caused 😁

My only non-idiot failure was also a Cabelas branded rod. Failed twice actually. It was a 9’ 6wt, forget the model, but fairly high up in the Cabelas lines at the time. $300 sticker price maybe, bought on close out for closer to $200. It was my go to WW rod, and I don’t know that I’ve found a rod I liked as better for creek WW fishing, but I’ve stayed away from Cabelas branded rods after this.

First failure the tip broke off just stripping some line out. This rod threw a lot of streamers, with shot sometimes, so it’s absolutely possible this failure was also user error after prior unknown impacts to the tip by a weighted streamer or shot.

I snipped the tip, and put a new end ferrule on and it still casted and fished pretty well as an 8’6” 6wt, so I kept it, and still enjoyed fishing with it for another year or two. Then, on Pine one Fall I hooked a high teens Fallfish (not kidding, it was a Fallfish), and while fighting it the female end ferrule of the second section exploded. MacGyvered a repair to get me through the day. Took it back at this point, and they gave me store credit for the last (lowest) sale price they had on record for the rod. $119 IIRC. Forget what I used that credit for, a new spinning surf reel, I think, but haven’t and won’t buy any more Cabelas branded FF rods.

Edit: My Dad had the same exploding female ferrule on a Cabelas CGR. My rod was graphite, but still. They did do an even exchange for a new rod for my Dad, as that model was still available.
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I break a lot of fly rods - probably one every couple years on average; mostly broken tips but I have probably managed to smash every part of a fly rod at some point. Haven't busted one this year (fingers crossed).

I fish a lot, often in difficult terrain like salt jetties, Susquehanna boulders, and dense rhododendron. I'm tough on equipment. Nevertheless, I'm careful about falls and don't yank my leaders through brush. . . but still manage to crack 'em.

I build almost all of my fly rods and have for years. It's strange - I have some rods I built in the 1980s that are still being used and others I broke within months or even weeks after they were built. Oh well. When I break a rod I can usually recycle some of the parts and it's an excuse to build another one.
  1. Slipped while climbing down a steep bank
  2. Truck rear sliding window
  3. Backcast caught on a bush
  4. Random break while casting x2
I worked part time in a fly shop many years ago and remember quite a few busted rods showing up at the counter. A prerequisite of mine was to have them tell me the story because all broken fly rods are accompanied by a story. Some of them were very unique and entertaining.

But one of the wildest ones I remember over the years was this one. I was gearing up to fish a section of the Little J many years ago when another pick-up truck pulled into the parking area. Two guys jumped out of the truck totally all over each others crap about who’s fault what was!

As it turned out they had a pickup truck with a sliding rear window in the cab. They had the reel end of the assembled outfit on the dashboard and the rod back through the sliding window into the bed of the truck. In transit the fly line worked its way loose and went down between the cab and the bed of the truck and eventually became wrapped around the driveshaft. The reel on the dashboard started screaming and until they actually figured out what had happened they totally destroyed the rod (busted in 3 pieces) as well as torching the fly line which they had to cut off of the driveshaft. The ways to bust a fly rod are literally endless!
I had a 6 piece Cabelas 5 weight pack rod break on me last year about 3 inches from tip. First day using it. Was pulling fly line knot through the top guide and heard what sounded like a toothpick snap in half. Not much force by me at all imo. Gotta believe it was a defect.
Took it to Cabelas store and they replaced it no questions asked. New rod has been fine.
Only other broken rod was due to a car door, an Eagle Claw glass rod. Totally my fault.