We live in the age of a “just buy a new one” mentality, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best way to go. Fixing a rod yourself is much cheaper and more rewarding than just tossing it in the trash.
Fishing rod repair is quite easy, and you can fix just about anything on your rod with little knowledge or experience.
How to Repair a Broken Fishing Rod
So, you’ve broken the essential tool in your arsenal. (Okay, maybe the reel is the vital tool…)
Unless you take the old rod out of the garage and fire it back up, you’ll be out of commission for a while. Why not try and fix it yourself?
1. Gather Everything Together
There are a few things you will need to repair your broken fishing rod properly:
- 15-minute epoxy
- An old rod similar in size that you no longer use
- Two-part coating like Flexcoat
- Rod winding thread
Make sure you set aside a good amount of time and only tackle this job if you know you have enough time to see it through. When you are epoxying the rod, you don’t want to have to get up and walk away, because that would hurt your result.
2. Identify the Damages
Now that you have everything together and you are ready to start working, take a look at the break to determine what your action plan will be. Where exactly is the break? If the crack is right on the blank and not near any guides, that will make the process easier because you won’t have to remove anything to get the job done.
You also need to determine what kind of break it is. If the break is clean and smooth, it will be easier to manage because you won’t need that long of an insert to take the pressure off the blank.
If the broken part is crushed or shattered it’ll just require a much longer insert and more attention with the epoxy.
3. Prepare Your Insert
The first thing you want to do is measure the broken piece of rod. You want to determine how long of an insert you need to create with the old rod. The goal is to have at least six inches of the insert on both sides of the broken rod.
Sand down the damaged sections of the rod until they are smooth so you can get an accurate measurement. Put the two broken sections together and measure six inches out on both sides to determine how much of an insert you need. If the inserting rod is slightly too big, the two pieces will not sit flush up against each other, so keep that in mind when measuring as well.
Use a piece of the blank that is slightly smaller than the area you are inserting it and put it in to test it. If the inserting portion moves more than a little bit, then you need to increase the size of the blank piece.
4. Epoxy The Two Pieces Together
Once you have everything set up, so it all fits together nicely, now you can epoxy the two pieces together. Coat the insert generously in the epoxy and start sliding it into one section of the broken rod. Push it in until it covers the entire broken part, then slide the other half of the broken rod over the insert until it’s thoroughly flush with the bottom piece.
Clean up any excess epoxy from outside the break and set the rod up vertically, then make sure the epoxy rests appropriately. Do not move the rod for at least two hours.
Remember to clean everything well before the epoxy sets, because it’s quite a mess to clean it afterward.
5. Wrapping The Area
So now you have waited two hours or longer, and everything looks good. Now you can wrap the area with the rod thread. You want to wrap it as tightly as possible holding the thread taut throughout the entire process and wrap four inches out from the break on both sides.
There are many different sizes of thread, and they range from ‘A’ to ‘E.’ There is no right or wrong on what you can use here, we recommend using something in the middle—as long as you can pull it nice and tight without breaking.
6. Apply The Flexcoat
Once your rod is wrapped up, go ahead and apply the Flexcoat while you are turning the rod. If you have a rotisserie that is the ideal situation but even if someone stands and rotates the rod for you while you apply the coat, that is fine too.
Cover the entire wrapped area nicely with the Flexcoat and continue turning it for a few minutes even after you are done applying to make sure there are no runs. If there are some slight runs it’s okay, because the rod will still have the necessary strength it needs to perform—it just might not look as smooth.
At this point, your rod should be good as new. (if not better) You’re ready to hit the water again!
Fishing Rod Guide Repair
Your guides are an incredibly important part of the rod. They help you properly cast and pull back without your line getting tangled and out of order. If you are missing even one guide, it could cause you to have too much drag, resulting in snapped lines and lost fish.
Luckily, fixing a guide is simple.
Guides are usually held on with epoxy, so all you have to do is heat the broken guide with a lighter or candle to break the seal.
Once the guide gets nice and hot, you should see it starting to break away from the blank and then you can cut it off with a blade. Just be careful not to cut or damage the blank—it might be soft from the heat as well.
After you have completely removed the guide, clean the area with alcohol to remove any old epoxy or grime that was beneath the seal.
Take your new guide and use a thin thread wrap—this should be the thinnest wrap you can use.
Wrap the thread around the guide and the rod tightly and seal the new guide onto the blank using a coat of epoxy. Let this set for at least two hours before moving the rod, and give it 24 hours before you take the rod out on the water.
If there is any excess epoxy, use rough grit sandpaper to take it off.
Fishing Rod Tip Repair
If you’ve broken the tip of your rod, you can’t build an insert like you would for the rod blank, you have to glue it back on using a ferrule. A ferrule is a piece that goes over the top to join two pieces together, like a bandage.
First, you want to cut the tip with large scissors or clippers to make sure you have a nice clean break and sand down the edge, so it sits nicely against the new tip.
Put some hot glue inside the ferrule of the new tip and slide it over the sanded broken area. Make sure there is enough glue that it’s dripping out from the broken area. This creates an excellent seal, and you can wipe off any excess later.
Hold the two pieces in place until the glue sets and store the rod vertically, so it dries appropriately.
Once everything is dry, sand off any excess glue.
Fishing Rod Handle Repair
Fixing the handle of your rod in the event of breakage is very simple. This can be done quickly and easily using the supplies we have already talked discussed.
If the handle is cork, sand it down until it’s smooth and drill a hole in each section. Take a small wooden dowel and insert it into the cork. Coat the dowel with hot glue and insert it into the blank side of the handle.
Take the new section and slide it over the dowel leaving about an eighth of an inch open. Coat the opening with glue and push the two pieces together creating an excellent seal.
Wipe off any leftover glue and let it sit for a few hours before moving. Sand off any excess once its dry.
It’s frustrating—and even scary—when you break your rod or any of its components, but don’t panic.
Follow these simple steps if you are dealing with breakage, and you’ll be back out on the water in no time.