Important Tips in Caring for Your Graphite Fishing Rods and how to use them.
Graphite Fishing rods are great alternative to fiberglass and composite rods. They are as tough, if not tougher, and can give you all the fish-fighting power needed to land your next big catch. Not only that. These rods are also lighter, and you can expect to go home less fatigued even after a whole day of fishing. Their superior design offers more sensitivity so you can easily feel the fishes nipping at the bait Graphite rods can give you great fishing experience if used correctly; if not, they’ll snap on you and leave your hands and net empty. But don’t worry, just follow these easy steps and you’ll feel like a pro in no time
Spooling fishing line, braid onto a reel using a graphite rod
Traditionally with fibreglass fishing rods it has generally been safe to spool new line onto your reel running the line through all the runners. With today’s modern graphite fishing rods we highly discourage spooling new line onto your reel in the same manner as depending on how you are spooling line onto the reel particularly if you have another person holding the spool of line applying pressure to the spool of line by hand or similar it is possible you could hit a dead spot or apply too much pressure and accidentally break your rod. One misconception about spooling line onto a reel is that it is like fighting a fish. Spooling line onto a reel is definitely not like fighting a fish just one main reason being; fish will not automatically stop dead in its tracks and apply the same sort of force that would happen if you accidentally hit a dead spot whilst spooling your line along with applying too much force with a chance of also accidentally high sticking your rod whilst spooling up, It’s just a deadly combination that can have unwanted consequences. We hear of too many people breaking graphite rods whilst spooling line onto a reel usually with the breakage occurring towards the top of the rod within vicinity of the first few rod guides. This is accidental breakage which is usually not a warranty issue. In general, rod breakage is very rarely a result of a manufacturing fault or flaw with probably less than 1% of rods being an actual fault. 99% of the time rod breakages occur due to angler misuse, abuse or accidental error. Therefore to avoid breaking your graphite fishing rod we strongly recommend spooling your new line onto your fishing reel using only the bottom 1-2 guides only on the rod. Or if you have a 2 piece fishing rod, the guides on the bottom section of the rod. Even better! Why use a graphite rod to spool your line on? If you have other rods in your collection such as fibreglass rods and you really want to insist on spooling the line on your reel using all the runners on the fishing rod, use a fibreglass fishing rod instead that can handle much more punishment then just take the reel off once finished and place it on your intended graphite rod. No matter how long you have been fishing for, how many reels you have spooled up in your life time or how much of an expert you think you are accidents can happen especially with graphite fishing rods therefore we recommend spooling line onto your reel in the manners advised to avoid breakage of your graphite fishing rod.
When Fishing Using a Graphite Fishing Rod in these situations
A. Working aboard a Boat The worst thing that could happen to you while fishing from a boat is breaking your fishing rods or damaging rod guides. Not that they break easily as they are tough as nails. But don’t tempt fate by being lazy in organizing your fishing rods. As the old trusted navy saying goes “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Keep your fishing gear tucked in a safe place when not in use to avoid people stepping on them or getting hammered with heavy objects. Bruising the rods will eventually lead to breakage.
B. Casting from the Bank If you lay the rods around haphazardly, expect someone to step on them. So don’t. People will not be looking at the ground all the time while walking, so keep the rods away from where they can be stepped on. Keep them in places where they are seen easily, like leaning them on your tackle box. Avoid hanging branches of trees or other overhead impediments when casting from the banks. Smashing your rod against tree branches or other hard objects is the surest way to bruise it, significantly weakening that part of the rod blank where it hit another object. Damage may look minimal initially; however it could result to breakage later. Take note that most fishes that got away during a fight are the results of broken rods that suffered bruises before.
C. Wading in the Waters What you should avoid while fishing from the bank should be also observed while you are waist deep into the water. So keep your rod and reel safely tucked somewhere safe. Think its okay to lay them on the water? Think again! You have a lot going on while fishing so you won’t know what’s happening to your fishing rods if they are laid flat on the water. The current may drag them away, or put undue strain on the rod tip. This is a bit worse if you are fishing in saltwater as saltwater or sand can get into the reel, through the reel seat or other tiny crevices. Saltwater is notorious for corroding fishing gear, and you don’t want it inside your reels.
A. On board a Boat
No matter how desperate you are to land a fish, listen to the voice of veteran fishermen and never “high stick” your rod. The most angle that you should coax from your rod must not exceed 90° when trying to subdue a struggling fish. Most rods that break during a fight are the result of high sticking and carelessness on the part of the fisherman.
B. Wading in the waters
Users of fly rods must remember that, you will need extra preparation to bring in fish safely if you expect a good fight from your catch while wading waist deep in the waters. Allow a little more line to run from the rod tip, usually longer than the length of the rod itself so you can pull the fish closer to you. The extra line will help your rod bear the weight even if you pull rod high up into the air.
Next Step, Safely Landing or Boating Your Catch
A fish will weigh more in the water. Remember that and you’ll avoid breaking a lot of rods. A five pound fish weigh more while it is in the water. Many rods were broken because fishermen were tempted to hoist their catch instead of using a net. Avoid boating a fish this way unless your catch is less than two pounds. Hoisting heavy fish puts a lot of load on the rod. This is made even more untenable when you “high stick” the rod and raise it more than 90° off the water. Another bad habit is grabbing the rod above the fore grip. You don’t want to do this as you need the rod to be flexible by using the entire blank for support of the heavy load. The golden rule is to always use a net if allowable. This way, you won’t lose your fish and you won’t break your rod.
Setting the Hook
The right energy hook set used with your fishing rod can go a long way in preventing damage or breakage. It cannot be stressed more that “high sticking” your rod, or bringing it high straight above your head at more than 90° angle with water, puts a lot of strain to the rod’s tip. Newer lines, like the Low Stretch lines that are popular with anglers today, are bringing new ways to avoid damage to the rod. These lines have low elongation factors, allowing you to use short swing and low energy hook sets, instead of the traditional high-energy long swing hook sets. The combination prevents the lure or bait from getting accidentally dislodged from the fish jaw.
The correct way to free snagged lures and Tackle
The trick in freeing a snagged lure without breaking your expensive fishing rod is to pull on the line while the rod is pointed directly to the position of the snag. Do this while your palm is firmly cupping the spinning reel spool or your thumb firmly planted on the bait casting spool. This takes away the strain from the rod. But you have to watch out for the lure or sinker coming at you like a bullet when it suddenly gets freed from the snag. Remember that a fully stretched fishing line will act like a spring when one end suddenly comes loose. Never pull back the rod at an upward or downward angle or in a jerking motion as this can cause a graphite fishing rod to snap. a
Proper Care for Reel Seat
Do not use any kind of tool when tightening your reel sets. The force from your fingers is enough to do the job.
Keeping your Rod’s Finish Shiny and New
No matter how tired you are from a fishing trip, make sure that you clean your rod thoroughly before storing them. Heat, high humidity, sea water, and sediments can damage your rod’s shiny finish. Store them in a dry place when you’re done cleaning. An occasional paste wax treatment is good too
Transporting Fishing Rod
A. In an Airplane You won’t be having trouble if you fly your own jet. But when flying commercial, make sure you pack the rods in tough PVC or ABS casement. The best practice is to pack the rods individually. If individual packaging is not possible then strap and tape them together, alternating tips and butts to prevent breakage due to abrasion. And most of all, avoid dropping the rod containers at all cost. Commercial airlines will not take responsibility if your fishing equipment ends up damaged, so take the necessary precaution.
B. Road Trip Store the rods and other fishing gear at the back of the truck or wagon where there is ample space for them. Again, make sure that they are carefully packed or taped to avoid rod blanks getting damaged by heavy objects like tools or spare tire. If possible, separate these things from your fishing gear. Even slight abrasion or damage to the rod blanks can cause breakage when the rod is put under heavy stress during fishing.
Storing the Rods
A. Boat Storage 1. Having rod lockers in your boat is the easiest way to keep your fishing rods and other gears safe. Just take some precaution against the rods bouncing around and into each other as this can result to bruising of the rod blanks, especially in rough waters. Again, proper care is needed to separate the rods and tuck them in safely.
2. Gunwale mounted racks for rods gives your easy access to your fishing gears as they are mounted off the deck. Just take extra care to keep them out of oars and other heavy objects’ way.
3. Vertical rod racks is an alternative storage if you can keep them safe from getting hit when casting.
Garage storage 1. Protect fishing rods with heavy tube or rod locker when storing it in a garage. This is to protect them from getting smashed or hit with heavy objects. Never allow the rods to sit in a corner unless you plan on buying new rods next fishing season.
2. Keep the fishing rods away from heat sources. These include water heater and other heavy appliances as heat from these things can damage the finishing and other materials that constitute the rods.
In the House C. Store the fishing rods in a safe and dry place in your house. Keep them away from heavy objects like guns, other sporting gears, tools, and others. Keeping them in their own closet or enclosing them in heavy tubes is a good idea.