Sunday Classic / Keep Your Hands on the Cork

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Grabbing high up on the fly rod during the last part of the fight is a common rod handling mistake. Photo By: Louis Cahill

Like so many others out there, I’ve broken my fair share of fly rods over the years.

I’ve slammed them in tailgates, stuck them in ceiling fans and I’ve squashed quite a few trying to get in and out of my cataraft to quickly. It took me awhile to figure it out, but I finally realized I was the problem, and I’ve since learned to slow down and not worry about being the first angler on the river all the time. It’s kinda funny how just slowing down a few steps and taking a couple extra minutes to get organized, keeps those negligible acts of snapping fly rods to a minimum.

One overlooked fly rod handling mistake I see all the time by fly anglers, is taking their hands off the cork during the final stages of the fight, and moving one hand high up on the butt section of the rod in the effort to get extra leverage to land the fish. You never want to do this, because when you do, you change the fulcrum point of the fly rod and eliminate the fly rods ability to use the strongest part of the rod, its butt section. This puts extra pressure on both the mid-section and tip-section of the fly rod, and greatly increases your chances of breaking the fly rod. Instead of sliding your hands up the rod in your effort to land a big fish at the boat, you should keep your hands on the cork at all times, and reach up as high as you can, while moving the rod in the direction of the net man.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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6 thoughts on “Sunday Classic / Keep Your Hands on the Cork

  1. I love the hushed few seconds of silence immediately after the brittle sound of epoxied graphite scrim fracturing. There is absolute silence and everyone stares wide-eyed at the now useless fly rod, with bits of it hanging uselessly on the dangling fly line. The angler stands holding the butt section with an incredulous look on his or her face, as though what did just happen could not have actually happened. It get’s really fun if the fish is a nice one and is still attached to the fly. Plus those events are the catalyst for some great stories which typically morph into fantastic tales of daring and skill while trying in vane to land the fish of a lifetime. So please continue to high stick as often as possible.

  2. Pingback: Tippets: Fighting Grip, Winter Light | MidCurrent

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