Frugal Angler: Saving money with quick rod repairs

I don't care how good your rods are; you will have problems with them over the years.

Kevin Wirth

I don't care how good your rods are; you will have problems with them over the years. Tips break, eyes and ceramic inserts work loose, and handles come unglued. It's a fact of life that we all live with from time to time.

If you aren't ready for these problems, they can cost you dearly. First, they cut into your fishing time and your fishing fun. It's hard to pitch and flip with a crankbait rod. So why do it? Learn to fix the rod you want to use and your days on the water will be more productive.

Minor rod problems can also cost you money if you aren't careful. Buying a new rod is not something you should do on a moment's notice. Local tackle shops are often expensive. It's usually much cheaper to wait until a particular rod is on sale.

Even worse, you might end up buying something just to get you through, something you'll never use again because you really don't like it. Why do that when you can complete an emergency fix in a matter of minutes and then make a well-reasoned decision later?

Here are my quick on-the-water fixes for common rod problems.

Repair Kit — I always carry a tip repair kit with me in the boat. It contains tips, a glue stick, lighter, small file, extra eyes, extra ceramic inserts, black electrical tape, Duct Tape and Super Glue. Most of my parts come from old rods. I never throw that stuff away.

Tip — I usually buy commercial repair kits for this emergency. If I break a tip I can replace it in a matter of minutes. Smooth everything out, add some heat glue and you'll be good to go.

Eye — If an eye comes loose you can repair it by filing down the blank and wrapping it back into place with black electrical tape or with Duct Tape. Use thin strips and pull them as tight as possible.

If the ceramic insert comes loose you can glue it back into place with a little Super Glue. Note that I said a little. Too much will make a horrible mess and render your repair useless.

Handle — If the blank comes loose where it enters the handle — the blank will spin in a circle or maybe just fall apart — everything can be glued back together with your rod tip glue or with Super Glue.

These repairs may not sound like much, and I'll admit your rod may not look all that pretty when you're done, but they've saved many a fishing day and more than a few dollars for me over the years. I suggest you give them a try.