Why Do Fishing Rods Bend? And How To Prevent Them From Breaking?

Nobody wants their fishing rod to break. Whether it’s in the middle of a fishing trip, or through some kind of accident at home, a broken fishing rod, especially one that you have become attached to, is something of a disaster.

Here we look at some of the reasons why fishing rods break and how to stave off that dreaded moment for as long as possible.

Why Do Fishing Rods Bend?

This is a question that really needs answering for angling newbies. Many ask, “Is my rod meant to bend like that?”

It’s actually very important that your fishing rod is able to bend.

The bigger the fish you are looking to hook, the more important it becomes that your rod is capable of some decent flex.

When you get a fish at the end of your line, it isn't going to compliantly stay still whilst you reel it in.

Instead, it's going to fight you and tug away with the hook in its mouth. As it tugs, if your rod isn't bending, that fish will quickly wear a hole that sees the hook drop out.

With a bigger fish, you are potentially looking at it breaking the line if your rod doesn't bend. The bend in the rod actually helps to absorb the energy of the fish pulling and prevent line breakage more that a non-bending instrument would.

That, though, doesn't mean you want a rod that bends to the point it breaks.

How To Prevent Your Rod From Breaking?

Now we are going to tell you some tips to prevent your rod from breaking.

Avoid High-sticking

This first reason rods break is actually directly linked to the bending of a rod.

High-sticking, for those who are still getting used to their fishing terms, is where you’re tussling with a fish and hold your rod at too high an angle.

This is actually quite an easy thing to do, even for the most experienced anglers. With the adrenaline flowing through you, it's almost an unconscious action that sees you throwing your rod up towards the heavens.

Doing this puts pressure on the rod to bend at angles that it shouldn't and is one of the most common ways of breaking.

The solution here is to always try and keep your rod between 45 and 60 degrees when you have a fish battling away at the end of it.

Be Careful During Transporting

Even if your rod breaks while fishing, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the cause of the break is because you’re wrestling with a big fish.

The real cause could have occurred much earlier, when transporting the rod, and the fish has simply finished the job.

Rods can be pretty delicate instruments, and any knock or drop could lead to damage that, while not easily spotted at the time, could lead to your rod snapping.

Be careful when loading your rod into a vehicle; make sure everything else is secure around it so that things don’t drop if you hit a bump in the road.

When moving around the house, be especially careful. It is so easy to forget that you have doorways and perhaps even fans that could end up causing you a problem if you whack your rod into them.

Be Careful Where You Rest Your Rod

Should you find yourself out fishing on a boat, one of the easiest ways to snap a rod is actually while you're doing nothing at all.

You’ve got your rod resting on the upper edge or planking of the boat (the gunwale) calmly waiting for something to latch on, and suddenly you hear a snap.

If your rod is resting too low down, as soon as a big fish takes hold, there’s a good chance that it will break.

To avoid such an eventuality, try to make sure you only have the very upper third resting on the gunwale. Place anywhere below that, and there's a strong chance your fishing trip, with that rod at least, will be ending early.


So, there you have it, the three main reasons that you will see fishing rods break.

Remember that fishing rods are meant to bend. The fact that they are doing so is not in and of itself a problem.

Problems with fishing rods usually occur from human error. You hold your rod to high, and that bend will likely result in a snap. Bash your rod through a lack of care, and you could find the same result.

Make sure you pay attention even when resting. It is so easy to snap a rod with very little effort on your part!

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