Posted by: Tom K.
November 3, 2011

Tom K.

Getting Stuck Tips Apart

As the weather cools off we anglers start to think about taking down the rods that we’ve had assembled since the spring.  While most of us fish all-year-’round, we nevertheless reduce our number of rigged rods from a lot to a few.  And sometimes when we try to take apart of few of our rods we find that they are stuck.

During the season a rod tip and butt can get firmly connected to each other. Every time we reseat the tip to the butt we create a strong bond.  Add the changing temperatures and the sections can be very difficult to separate.  I keep most of my rods in tip-top shape, but every year there are one or two that get away from me.  The struggle I go through trying to get them apart mostly looks like two cats in a bag, with lots of cussin’ and fightin’ words getting thrown in for good measure.  Here are a couple of tried and true methods that I use to get my rod apart without too much effort.  Hopefully yours won’t be too difficult at all.

The Two Hand Approach. Have your buddy place one of his hands on the tip and one of his hands on the butt.  You do the same, with your hands right next to his.  Push the tip away from the butt.  Two hands are better than one….

The Behind the Back Approach. If you’re alone, position the rod behind the back of your knees.  One hand should grip the tip section just beyond the female ferrule, the other one just beyond the male ferrule.  Place your arms against your knees for solid traction.  Keep the rod straight and slowly spread your knees apart.  The additional force usually gets the job done.

A thin piece of rubber like the kind used to open stuck jar lids gives you a firm grip. Or, use an old section of a bicycle inner tube.  Your hands won’t slip and you’ll avoid tearing off guides.  And when you finally get them apart, make sure to add some wax to the ferrules for next year!

Tom Keer is a freelance writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He regularly writes for over a dozen magazines, and is the contributing editor of Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America and a columnist for The Upland Almanac. His book a “Flyfisher’s Guide to the New  England Coast” was published by Wilderness Adventures Press in 2010. Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or at www.thekeergroup.com.

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