Graphite Rod header image -  blanks

Part Twelve

  • Montaje de una caña de grafito

  • by Al Campbell

    Hopefully you've built a rod and are ready to fish with it by now. Congratulations, you've accomplished more than many people accomplish in their fly fishing lifetimes. Here's a few things you can do to protect that new custom rod and keep it looking new for a lifetime.

    First, put a little candle wax on the ferrule. Wax keeps the ferrule from sticking and helps it stay together too. If you turn the ferrule when you assemble it, it will fit together better and resist separating during the cast.

    Once in a while, it's a good idea to wash the rod with warm, soapy water. It doesn't take a lot of soap, just enough to suds a little. This will keep the rod shiny and new over its lifetime.


    Always transport the rod in a protective case. More rods are broken by transporting them uncased or during the loading-in-the-car-uncased moments than any other time. If you use a case that allows you to keep the reel on the rod during transportation, it will only take a few moments to break it down and put it together again when you move to another fishing spot.

    Allow the rod to dry thoroughly after every use. If you remove he cap from the case for a few days, or in the case of rod-reel cases, leave it unzipped for a few days, it will have a chance to dry out and prevent mold, mildew or swollen cork and wood.

    Graphite is easily damaged by impact. Dropping your rod on a hard surface, hitting it with a bead head or epoxy fly, or hitting limbs during your cast will fracture the graphite. Although your rod might not break at the time, the fractured graphite will eventually result in rod failure. Using the rod to dislodge a snag will often damage the rod too. Instead, grab the line and pull the fly loose or break it off.

    Use the hook keeper. Hooks are hard and usually have barbs that will damage the guides if you hook the fly to a guide. Hooking the fly in the cork handle is just as bad; it damages the cork and eventually ruins the handle.

    Use a good fly line. Cheap lines are abrasive and eventually 'sand' the guides to the point that they are sharp and cut the line. Good lines are smooth and slick so they won't damage the guides or the finish over the thread wraps. It's a good idea to clean the line and apply a dressing (only the ones recommended by the manufacturer though) to prevent dirt from sanding the guides like a cheap line can do. Never use Armor-All on you fly line; it will damage the line and the finish of the rod blank and the guide wraps.

    Heat is hard on fly rods. Never leave your fly rod in a hot car for long periods of time. Keep it out of the sun when not in use, this especially applies to car windows and trunks. Heat will start to soften the resins in the rod blank and guide finish, eventually resulting in rod failure.

    Finally, have fun. Now that you have a new fly rod, get out there and catch some fish. That's why you built it isn't it? If you take care of your fly rod it will be a pleasant companion for a long time.

    Thanks for joining me in this series. As I mentioned last time, I built a rod for myself while doing this series. The pictures in this article are of the rod I built. I hope yours looks as nice as mine. ~ Al Campbell

    [ Part 1 ] [ Part 2 ] [ Part 3 ] [ Part 4 ] [ Part 5 ] [ Part 6 ]
    [Part 7] [Part 8] [Part 9] [Part 10] [Part 11] [Part 12]

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