Sunday Classic / Dealing With Stuck Ferrules, the Smart Way

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Don't Let This Happen To You  Photo by Louis Cahill

Don’t Let This Happen To You Photo by Louis Cahill

Years of fishing bamboo rods taught me one thing for sure. Stuck ferrules are as unavoidable as the occasional skunk and that holds true for graphite. Sometimes it’s avoidable but often it’s not. What is totally avoidable is damaging your rod in the process of unseating them.

Often it’s as simple as getting a good grip on the rod. When a rod is wet it’s easy for your hands to slip and strip off or bend snake guides as they go. When you get a good grip on the rod you find the ferrules were not as tight as you thought. I carry a pair of latex gloves in my pack for that purpose. The latex gets good traction even when the rod is wet, making unseating the ferrules much easier.

When ferrules are stuck and more force is needed there are a couple of options. Most folks know the trick of holding your hands high and pulling them down behind your head. This lets gravity and the natural rotation of your shoulders work together to pull the ferrules. You can also put the rod behind your knees and push out on your forearms with your legs. Both of these methods work, sometimes.

When ferrules are really tight you need the help of a friend. Your natural reaction will be to grab the rod on one side of the ferrules while your buddy grabs the other side and heave-ho. Not a good idea. There’s a whole list of things that can go wrong in this uncontrolled scenario that all end in a broken rod. There’s a better way.

I’m always shocked how few people know this old bamboo guy trick. Two guys pull the rod apart but each puts one hand on either side of the ferrules. It’s so easy and so controlled that the first time you try it you won’t believe how great it works. I have never seen it fail.

Watch the video of me and Charlie Murphy for a better understanding.

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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6 thoughts on “Sunday Classic / Dealing With Stuck Ferrules, the Smart Way

  1. It pains me to look at the broken bamboo rod; knowing that it likely could have been prevented. One of my bamboo rods invariably has a tight ferrule. I usually fish alone so the behind-the-knees is my preferred method. Thanks for the tips to avoid broken tips!

  2. The one trick that is the failsafe method for taking a rod with stuck ferrules apart is the butt-to-butt method – two people holding the rod between their legs with their backs to each other, butts touching and bending forward. A pull of the rod ALWAYS safely separates the rod sections. Crazy physics law I don’t know makes this work.

  3. I also like the behind the knees method because I often fish alone. Keeping the joints clean of grit.

    The old school trick was to rub the male end on the side of your nose to add a light layer of grease, before joining the sections, which helps release a tight joint when needed but i preferred some hard candle wax instead. Perhaps rod joints are getting better because I seldom need to do that anymore.

  4. I have found that applying small amount of heat by holding the ferrule tightly in my hand for a minute or so often works or if I have a hand warmer in my pocket I hold it on the ferrule. I would not use any more heat than the hand warmer though. I also fish alone most of the time but there is almost always a passer by at the take out that is willing to assist me. Worst case scenario I transport the rod in one piece and have my wife assist me when I get home.

  5. By far the easiest way is to just put a bag of ice over the ferrule for a min or so. Works every time and no stress about breaking the rod.

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