October 5th, 1998
"Aw, heck, Jim, dad had a fine day on the stream. And
he loves the new fly rod I gave him for his birthday. One thing though,"
Rich said to me over the phone, "he couldn't get the damn thing apart
when he got back to the pick-up, it was stuck too tight, so he leaned it
against the tail gate. Well, things got kinda out of sequence and he drove
off and left it. About three hundred feet down the trail he remembered it
and backed-up all the way to the parking lot. It must have caught and
followed him a short distance, 'cause he backed-up right over the rod
the full length."
Till next week, remember ...
That was a real conversation I had with a good
fishing buddy about three years ago. I just heard from another fellow
who had broken his fly rod while taking it apart. Seems it was stuck
real tight and somehow he broke the thing. Well, stuff happens, right?
Not necessarily. At least you can cut down the odds a bit.
With today's improved fly rods, the tolerances
are far better than in the past. The darn things 'fit' better. Some better
than others, but most have improved quite a lot. I am sure we all know
how to take a rod apart. Even a stuck one. The 'behind the knees' (look
out for things for the tip to hit when you do this one), the 'two-guys and
four hands' method, and putting the whole works in a freezer.
This you may not all know though. When you first
get a new graphite fly rod, rub each of the male ferrules with paraffin (candle wax).
Assemble the rod and wipe off the excess. This will place some of it inside
the female ferrule and leave some on the male part too. It will self equalize.
If the graphite rod is not new, clean the ferrules well and do it before you
go out again.
When you assemble the rod, use a twisting motion,
sort of 'screw' them together. Don't try to pull one straight onto the other.
Of course, use a un-twisting motion to take them apart. The paraffin will
help keep the sections together while fishing, and will keep them from seizing
up due to temperature changes, or whatever. I use one of the short white
'votive' candles and keep one in my tackle-bag at all times. Once a year,
when I give all my rods a good scrubbing, I re-apply the paraffin just to make
sure. It wouldn't hurt to check once in a while either. ~ JC