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Top 10 Ways to Break a Tenkara Rod

How to properly care and maintain the rod. <b>Rule #1- always push pieces straight in when closing the rod, NO SIDEWAY PRESSURE....</b>, etc.

Top 10 Ways to Break a Tenkara Rod

Postby wrknapp » Tue May 31, 2011 1:34 pm

Top 10 Ways to Break a Tenkara Rod or Telescoping Fishing Pole

1. Connect the line to the lillian with the tip section of the rod with any part of the tip except the lillian outside the nested rod.

Note: even slight pressure side to side on a partially nested tip section may cause it to snap

2. Try to free a snagged fly with the rod.

Note: Anytime a fly or line is stuck in an underwater snag like a submerged rock, tree branch, heavy weeds, or streamside vegetation, it should be freed by carefully grasping the line and pulling steadily while making sure there is no more than a slight bend in the rod. A snagged fly may take up to 10lbs or more steady pressure to pull free. If possible, it is best to nest the rod sections completely, detach the line from the lillian, put the rod in a safe place and then work on removing the snagged line or fly.

3. Point the rod directly at a heavy fish or snag and pull the rod backward.

Note: Anytime the rod sections are extended with great force there is a risk that one or more sections may become permanently stuck so tightly that only breakage can release them.

4. Extend the rod by whipping the sections out of the rod with centrifugal force rather by than by slowly extending each section until snug starting with the tip and working toward the base.

Note: see #3

5. Try to remove an overhead snagged fly or line without first removing the line from a nested rod.

Note: see #2 and #3

6. Walk through the woods or brush with an extended rod.

Note: allowing the tip to hit an immovable object like a tree, tree branch, or rock while moving forward or backward (backward if you carry the extended rod with the handle forward) will inevitably end in a broken tip section.

7. Drag a heavy fish to the net, hand, or bank with the extended rod arced behind the fisher and not straight up.

Note: an excessive rod angle (usually caused by the extended rod handle angled backward rather than straight up) will inevitably cause the weakest or most strained section of the rod to break. Beach a large fish by backing up with the rod handle in your hand held at a forward angle of no greater than 90 degrees and preferably in the 45 to 60 degree range. This includes having a guide or friend netting a fish too heavy to bring in with rod alone. After a heavy fish is sufficiently subdued, if alone, it is best to bring in a heavy fish by grabbing the line, laying the rod on the ground in a safe place, and then pulling the line in hand over hand. A really big fish can then be netted, unhooked and released or scooped onto the bank with a free hand. This particularly true of fish weighing 50 to more than 100 percent of the tippet strength.

8. Leaning an extended rod against a car, tree, or rock.

Note: an extended rod that falls down unto the ground or other immovable object can break or be weakened by impact.

9. Casting the rod without first clearing it of overhead branches or other obstacles (like the underside of a bridge).

Note: striking the a rod section on an immoveable hard object will either brake it or weaken the integrity of the rod structure to the point that it later breaks under a normal load.

10. Step on the rod, fall on the rod, or run over the rod with a car.

Note: One must be aware of where the rod is at all times and be especially aware of others nearby who may not see where you laid your rod.

I have posted this on other sites also in the hopes it will save others from the errors of my ways. These rods are very durable, but they also need special care not readily apparent to the new fisher.
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Re: Top 10 Ways to Break a Tenkara Rod

Postby erik.ostrander » Tue May 31, 2011 1:57 pm

What's your experience breaking tenkara rods? How many, and how did you do it?
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Re: Top 10 Ways to Break a Tenkara Rod

Postby RockyMtnTenkara » Tue May 31, 2011 2:26 pm

I'm guilty of violating a lot of these rules (especially #'s 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, and 8), and I haven't broken a rod yet, but I'm sure that is primarily a function of luck. I even had to fend off a huge bird that attacked me on the edge of a pond by whipping it with my Amago - got lucky there too.

In my opinion, the rods are much more durable than most expect and no less durable than any other rod. You don't need to study a list of rules to know whether you are doing something stupid that might break your rod - I don't mean that in a pejorative manner, and I mean no disrespect toward the list.

Just my two cents...
Last edited by RockyMtnTenkara on Tue May 31, 2011 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Top 10 Ways to Break a Tenkara Rod

Postby goneflyfishing » Tue May 31, 2011 2:48 pm

... don't forget no. 11:

Dont forget to tell your wife (of friend) to completely collaps the rod before shutting the car dor.

(This happened to me on my first fishing outing with my wife, granted it was not a tenkara rod though).
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Re: Top 10 Ways to Break a Tenkara Rod

Postby bobkatzz » Tue May 31, 2011 4:44 pm

That's where the $8 Walmart (Crappie Pole) Tenkara Rod comes into it's own. You can violate ALL the rules and it literally laughs at them. Plus, when collapsed, it makes an excellent wading staff! Probably something the the ORIGINAL Tenkara rods had to perform. B^)
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Re: Top 10 Ways to Break a Tenkara Rod

Postby adventureR » Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:47 am

Thanks for the list. I should read that before going out to fish every time... I am stupid enough to try all of the your Tenkara commandments. I am hoping to get replacement tips soon. But don't think I'll be breaking anything again. The Yamame rod is tough but put into the hands of a klutz anything can and will probably happen.
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Re: Top 10 Ways to Break a Tenkara Rod

Postby tnitz » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:36 am

Thanks, Randy. Good list. Some rods can take greater abuse, but there are those out there that simply cannot, so this is very good practice and advice to heed.
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Re: Top 10 Ways to Break a Tenkara Rod

Postby Daniel @ Tenkara USA » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:02 pm

Thanks for the list Randy! It's pretty good.
#1 is by far the most common, amounting to at the very least 90% of breakages I have seen.

I'm very rough on my rods since I know them pretty well and can get a quick replacement (usually). I always carry only one rod and never carry spare tips, so I'm not really pushing it super hard when I'm fishing. But, people are always very surprised when they see me freeing a fly from a snag, I do use the rod more than I recommend to do it. It's not a tool that has to be "babied", it will take more than most people thing. Though, caution is always advised.
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Re: Top 10 Ways to Break a Tenkara Rod

Postby Stan Wright » Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:37 pm

The #1 was the way I broke my tenkara, when I dropped the rod while trying to connect the line. Ceiling Fans have take a few fly and spinning rod tips. My most dangerous rod killer is the car. Wheels, doors, and electric windows. :lol:
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Re: Top 10 Ways to Break a Tenkara Rod

Postby Jason Klass » Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:32 am

Luckily, I haven't broken a rod yet. :D

In general, I'm really careful with my gear and if I let anyone borrow it, I always give them some advice about how to properly treat it.

I usually carry an extra rod or 2 so even if I break one, I can keep fishing.
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