3 Broken Rods While Casting - Question

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AlexP
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3 Broken Rods While Casting - Question

#1

Post by AlexP »

Hello All,

I have been fishing bamboo for the last three years. I have a number of rods and I like to fish them all. Some get more attention, but if a rod has not been fished for a couple months, I get it out. In these three years three have broken the same way. I have started fishing and within 5 minutes of casting one of the sections snapped:

- Unknown rod from the big auction house, 5 wt, 2/2, broke right below the female ferrule. Not fixed.
- Bill Critchfield 3 wt, 2/2, broke right below the female ferrule. Bill fixed it by extending the grip without compromising the length, great job. I like it even more now.
- Dennis Stone 3 wt, 4/2, I finished this rod from Dennis' blank. This one broke yesterday, in the second section male ferrule. Dennis is going to take a look and see if he can fix it. Another great rod.

Any theories as to why the rods broke? Is it just bad luck? Could be my casting? I take care of the rods. Before getting hooked on bamboo, I fished graphite for over 20 years and never broken a rod while casting. The ones that I broke were accidents due to my own negligence (don't put a rod on the bed of your truck with a 10 year old jumping in it).

Wondering what people opinions are. I have multiple rods by Bill and Dennis and love casting them. I don't want to be paranoid every time I go fishing. Just bad luck would probably be the best option.

Tight Lines

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kevinhaney1
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Re: 3 Broken Rods While Casting - Question

#2

Post by kevinhaney1 »

If you fished graphite, it is probably that you are trying to do a power stroke on bamboo. Bamboo cannot handle the power stroke at the end of the cast that graphite can. Try a more fluid casting motion without the power stroke and you will be OK. And slow down.

Kevin
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jim royston
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Re: 3 Broken Rods While Casting - Question

#3

Post by jim royston »

I beg to differ. I have not a clue as to why you have a propensity to break bamboo rods, put without a "power stroke" you can't achieve tight loop control.
Last edited by jim royston on 09/08/21 08:25, edited 1 time in total.

Pterrano
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Re: 3 Broken Rods While Casting - Question

#4

Post by Pterrano »

kevinhaney1 wrote:
09/07/21 13:03
And slow down.
impossible to say without seeing you fish them, but the frequency of breakage seems suspect. Graphite feels like I'm fighting the rod to cast whereas bamboo feels like it almost casts itself. No idea if your situation is user error or manufacturer but the above it's probably good advice.

headwaters
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Re: 3 Broken Rods While Casting - Question

#5

Post by headwaters »

I suggest that you consider having someone videotape your casting, and then posting it so those having constructive thoughts can offer them based on some actual visual information.

oquassa
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Re: 3 Broken Rods While Casting - Question

#6

Post by oquassa »

The two newish rods you mentioned are both from quality makers yet each was for a 3 weight line. A 3 weight bamboo is by design a tool for specific applications where delicacy is prioritized over power. If used where power was needed they may have been subjected to too much stress. I have broken one bamboo rod, 4 weight, in such a situation. Looking back I realize that my rod wasn't going to cast the extra five feet of line I thought I needed.

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Seabowisha Salmo T
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Re: 3 Broken Rods While Casting - Question

#7

Post by Seabowisha Salmo T »

oquassa wrote:
09/07/21 17:05
The two newish rods you mentioned are both from quality makers yet each was for a 3 weight line. A 3 weight bamboo is by design a tool for specific applications where delicacy is prioritized over power. If used where power was needed they may have been subjected to too much stress. I have broken one bamboo rod, 4 weight, in such a situation. Looking back I realize that my rod wasn't going to cast the extra five feet of line I thought I needed.
hello, oquassa; i am going to agree with you blindly without further information. in 70 years of bamboo rod fishing, i have broken two rods; one a repaired, bad wood at ferrule, the other on a striper which inhaled my trout and i was not fast enough in pointing the rod and bowing to the monster.
regards, jim w

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kevinhaney1
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Re: 3 Broken Rods While Casting - Question

#8

Post by kevinhaney1 »

I think it is not the power stroke per se that breaks rods, it is the sharp stop or snap at the end. I think that if a rod has any weakness or propensity to break at all, that is when it will break. At what point in your casting stroke did your rods break AlexP?

Kevin
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carl otto
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Re: 3 Broken Rods While Casting - Question

#9

Post by carl otto »

I have been fishing bamboo for 45+ years. Worked along side a noted maker testing new rod designs. We put his rods through all sorts of torture, as well as, a number of his competitors rods. Along with that, I have owned 100 year old rods and brand spanking new rods and everything in between. There are times, like in a wind casting to a tight spot, one has to really put some snap into their cast. There are stupid times when one tries to pick too much line off the water...all sorts of ways to stress, strain and overtax a rod. BUT NEVER have I or anyone I have fished with broken a rod in these extreme conditions when you might say, "I maybe shouldn't do this with this rod."

I agree with the note above, someone needs to evaluate how you are casting these rods. The two makers you note are known for the excellent work. There is some sort of "user error" affecting and promoting these breakage situations.

Carl

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Re: 3 Broken Rods While Casting - Question

#10

Post by jim royston »

I've edited my comments and retracted the ferrule station part because a well made bamboo rod is very difficult to break. I agree completely with Carl's comments.

AlexP
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Re: 3 Broken Rods While Casting - Question

#11

Post by AlexP »

Thanks everybody for your thoughts.

Difficult to know when they snapped, but I think it was at the end of the cast, definitely forward casting. I will have somebody look at my casting. I am not great at it. I am self taught, never got a lesson, my friend who introduced me to fly fishing told me the 2-10 and I was on my way. I few years ago in a convention a professional from the American Casting Association looked at my casting and gave me a few tips, but asked me how long I had been fishing, once I told him, he said that if it has been working for me "don't worry about it".

What I find strange is that all broke at the beginning of the outings, although they could have suffered the stress in previous outings I suppose.

"Try a more fluid casting motion without the power stroke and you will be OK. And slow down." Good advice.

@Jim Royston, hopefully I do not have to reach out to you because I break your rod (#39), awesome little wand.

Tight Lines

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Brian K. Shaffer
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Re: 3 Broken Rods While Casting - Question

#12

Post by Brian K. Shaffer »

heed the good advice above - Just slow down.
" There's no such thing as a fly fisherman wholly satisfied with his casting performance. " ~ Jim Green (1971)
" Just once I wish a trout would wink at me. " ~ Brian Shaffer

But that's just fur and feathers on a hook ?!

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Re: 3 Broken Rods While Casting - Question

#13

Post by jim royston »

Alex, in that case follow the instructions laid out by Simon and Garfunkel many many moons ago "Slow down, you're moving too fast"
And thanks for the plug!!!

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Re: 3 Broken Rods While Casting - Question

#14

Post by NshTrtBum »

While I'm definitely not perfect I've come to appreciate that my boo rods cast themselves I'm just there to enjoy the process. Let the rod do the work and everything else will be fine.

Over a decade ago I took my son up to one of our favorite spots in the Smokies and within his first few casts he totally blew up a nice St. Croix graphite only to follow it up by blowing up his backup rod. Thank God he calmed down when he started using my Orvis...

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Re: 3 Broken Rods While Casting - Question

#15

Post by bluesjay »

Hi Guys, I suspect your back cast is too slow, and that you try to make up for it by 'overpowering' your forecast. Both directions should normally be the same speed. Boy, is that a 'sight unseen' analysis or what? I agree that a 3wt. shouldn't get the same stroke as a 6wt.

Jay Edwards

AlexP
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Re: 3 Broken Rods While Casting - Question

#16

Post by AlexP »

I think you are spot on, Jay, thanks. Good suggestions above that will help me. I just hope I have not compromised any other rods already.

Thanks

red 1
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Re: 3 Broken Rods While Casting - Question

#17

Post by red 1 »

jim royston wrote:
09/07/21 13:47
I beg to differ. I have not a clue as to why you have a propensity to break bamboo rods, put without a "power stroke" you can't achieve tight loop control.
I would politely disagree with that. Been fly fishing 35 years. At least 10 of them with bamboo. I can throw open or closed loops but never felt the need for a "power stroke" I do break a lot of rods. That is because I am well let's say unlucky.
To the original poster how much line did you have in the air when the rod broke? If you had a lot of line and were casting a DT line it could be the amount of weight, effectively doubling the line weight the rod was designed to handle, could be the issue?
When I just got into bamboo I picked up some old rods that would cast a country mile to use in the surf and they snapped at the ferrules too. I assumed b/c there was a full line in the air the weight was too much.
I could be wrong too....
I want to be buried with my favorite rod.
I hear the Styx River has Fish.

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cdmoore
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Re: 3 Broken Rods While Casting - Question

#18

Post by cdmoore »

Before you assume the fault is with your casting, a knowledgable maker (other than the original) should look at the rods. A good casting maker might be able to diagnose your casting as well. While it would be highly unusual, it's possible that you have ended up with a very unlucky sample of rods in your collection. Someone has to live at the tails of the bell curve if you know what I mean. Each of these rods may have had a fatal flaw, presumably unknown to the maker, that decided to crap out under duress. Unlikely, but possible. You might learn more than you bargained for about bamboo rods along the way. Good luck!

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OldCane
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Re: 3 Broken Rods While Casting - Question

#19

Post by OldCane »

A question I am thinking about has little to do with casting, but with how you assemble the rods. Are you twisting the sections to align the guides as you seat the two sections? Over time, if you do, you can delaminate the bamboo segments near the ferrules if you twist time after time. Once the rod has delaminated there a good chance the rod will break near the ferrules. If the sections aren't going together correctly and the ferrules are nearly seated, stop, pull them apart and try aligning them again. DO NOT twist to align. Just a guess, but ......
I don't have a PhD, but I do have a DD214.

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Re: 3 Broken Rods While Casting - Question

#20

Post by ted patlen »

Aside from the possibility that the rod was improperly constructed, how much line did you have out?

hello, oquassa; i am going to agree with you blindly without further information. in 70 years of bamboo rod fishing, i have broken two rods; one a repaired, bad wood at ferrule, the other on a striper which inhaled my trout and i was not fast enough in pointing the rod and bowing to the monster.
regards, jim w

Same for casting. All rods, no matter the material, are tapered. The heavier butt sections should be used to power the fish AND cast and not the upper finer sections.

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