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Well, I broke my first spey rod this weekend. Here is the story...
I was out practicing my casting on the American river, in Sacramento this past weekend. I was the only one out on the river. After an hour or so of casting I looked up and saw a man and women with spey rods, just up the river from me.

After I was done casting, I went up to talk to the guy casting (Evan). We were talking spey fishing and I was enjoying myself. We started talking rods and I mentioned that I was wanting to cast a Scott ARC 1509 rod. Evan told me that he just got one and would let me try it out with a XLT 8/9. We went over to the bank and he had the Scott all lined up and ready to go. I could see the cork was still new and just like he said, it was brand spankin new. I took the rod out on the water and made a couple of casts. Seemed nice. I pulled more of the XLT line out to get a better feel and made a cast. I could feel the power this rod had. I only had about 80 feet of line out and made my next cast. I heard a loud popping sound which really stunned me. My first thought was "oh ****" and I thought the rod wasn't taped. I looked up at the rod and it was taped well. The break was above the tape. The rod broke about 2 or 3 inches above the second ferrule from the cork. It was a clean break, looked like someone had sawed it off. I felt like a complete ass. I just met this guy on the water, he was nice enough to let me cast his new rod and then I broke it. Evan was very nice about the whole thing and was ok with it. He said he would just send it back. BTW, Evan if you read this, I will be glad to pay shipping if they charge you. Send me a PM

I starting thinking about this, I have casted lots and lots of rods at claves, spey classes, shows, other events and never have had a problem. I have the same exact line, XLT 8/9 on my T & T 1509 and practice with 90' feet of line out of the guides and haven't broke it. I don't know if this was a freak thing or what. I will probably be a little gun shy on casting other peoples rods now. :confused:

-Doug
 

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Hi Doug
I'm sure it was a freak thing. Must have been a flaw. I routinely use the XLT 8/9 on my ARC 1509 . . . and when it's really windy (and if I need to use tips) I actually fish an XLT 9/10 on the rod. And I've done it for years.
Bill Kessler
 

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Wow! Bummer Doug

Sorry to hear about that. Evan is a real nice fellow. He was one of the guys who tried out the CND Specialists with me a few days before you did. I'm sure if he was watching you he had no doubt whatsoever that you couldn't have done anything wrong. You are a smooth, slow methodical caster. In fact after watching you cast I made it a point to slow down my lift on the single spey (I try to garner and use something positive I see in other good casters). Hate to ask if you found the action you were looking for in the ARC since you only got in a couple casts. :frown:
 

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Sounds to me like one of two things happened

1. the rod was flawed from the manufacturer, not enough reienforcment on the female end of the ferrule.
Graphite has NO hoop strength of it's own so it has to be reienforced usually by a piece of grabhite rolled up in the blank crossgrain at the ferrule.


2 the ferrule was not properly seated when it was taped, a loose ferrule = a broken rod..

I do not like spigot ferrules at all however regardless of the ferrule type it must be put together properly. when I put mune together ( tip over butt ferrule) I press them together nearly as hard as I can. and i check them often. I personally do not tape my ferrules I prefer just to check them often because even a taped ferrule can come loose and if i taped i'd have a false sence of security and never check them...
opinions vary but probably the best way is to seat them properly, tape them and check them often..
 

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Etiquette When Breaking Non-Owned Rods

Etiquette When Breaking Non-Owned Rods


Doug brings up an interesting subject: What should one do after breaking another's rod?

Juro, Dana, Kush, Fred, Leroy and others: Is there an unwritten code governing this event?

There are several situations leading to breaking another's rod while casting. First, asking another for permission to cast his rod. Second, accepting an unsolicited offer to cast another's rod. Third, breaking a guide's rod during a paid guiding trip. Fourth, breaking a fly shop's, tackle representative's or manufacturer's rod during a tryout [Is this a subset of the second situation?].

How about this one? Person A asks for and is granted permission to cast a rod owned by B. After casting the rod, Person A hands the rod to caster C, without informing rod owner B. Caster C then breaks the rod.

Is the situation different for a rod under warranty vs. one that is not?

What are the costs involved in these situations? For some national brand warranted rods, the owner pays shipping to the manufacturer plus a fixed fee of $25 or $30. For custom rod makers such as Bob Meiser or Burkheimer, what is the cost of repair?

Is there a “right” thing to do, beyond reimbursing costs?

What are your opinions?
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Hey Doug...

I know Evan. He is a nice guy but more then that he is an experienced fisherman. I have looked at his tackle when he has visited my shop. He is very meticulous and I'd bet his ferrules were seated properly.

If it was my rod and it broke as described in this scenario I might be heart broken but I wouldn't be blaming the caster. I'd think that was a good time to see just how good the rod makers customer service and warranty really were. Take care, MJC
PS, If any of you guys are ever offered any of Evan's spey flies, grab'em. They are things of beauty.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
More info...

Rob,
After breaking the rod, I could see it was taped well. Evan told me that he layed two flat pieces along blank and then tape over around the blank. I believe the ferrule being loose was not an issue.

Moose, Yea with only making 5 casts with the Rod, I didn't exactly get a good feel for it. The rod did feel powerful and it was not overlined. As Bill pointed out, he sometimes uses an 9/10 XLT on this rod.

Bob, A lot of these same thoughts went through my mind driving home. I will be glad to pay for shipping. I was also thinking what if this was a rod that didin't have a warranty... :mad:

-Doug
 

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Then...

Worst case scenario, you're out less than $200 for the cost of the section from Scott.

Most of the big will fix the rod for free no matter the reason or are going to charge you a very nominal fee.

Scott has always been particularly good to me.

Joe
 

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Evan: If you are reading this, adn you don't get a quick turnaround from Montrose, let me know, and I'll send you one of my 1509's.

I have broken more than my share of rods, and there isn't a Spey rod I like which I haven't broken at least once. The worst scenario for me is when I've broken students' rod whilst demonstrating something in a class or lesson, which has regrettably happend more than a couple of times! In my limited experience breaking lovely rods, it seems like there are two primary patterns:

1. Rod breaks very early in use, maybe on the first day

2. Rod breaks after several seasons of faithful service

I believe that a higher fraction of situation #1 breakages are manufacturing defects in critical load areas of the rod, perhaps a ferrule which is not perfectly fit at the factory, a small void in the pattern when it was rolled, or a defect in the batch of carbon pre-peg material itself. Another cause of immediate breakage can occur without trace; and that inculdes multiple episodes of "fondling", or "rod porn" - i.e. the rod is repeatedly taken out of and put back in the aluminum tube, and somewhere along the line, somebody nicks the blank, even if it's in its rod bag.

Cause #2 can occur from wear and tear; like any other material of differing stiffness/elasticity, a carbon-epoxy composite is likely to change over time with repeated stress. This is why some rods will feel decidedly "slower" in action after a few years... although the carbon fibers are unlikely to change in their stiffness, the epoxy certainly does. Another common cause of delayed breakages include stress fractures along the female end of the ferrules, or more insidiously, where the END of the male portion of the ferrule lies within the female; minute rocking of the male end within the female can cause point pressure on the inside of the blank in one spot, ultimately leading to weakening and breakage. Accidental dings, especially accidental whacks of the rod against branches, a collision with another rod, or another hard object can definitely result in breakage, sometimes well after the event is long forgotten.

On a tangentially related issue, I have not cast a Spey rod by ANY manufacturer which has been immune to breakage in my ham-fisted hands (I own a lot of them). Even very thick walled and heavy rods, blow up from time to time. Manufacturers must make a compromise somewhere between ultimate performance and ultimate durability. Covering situation #1 (Evan's and Doug's) MUST be the manufacturer's responsibility. However, I still can't understand why a LIFETIME unconditional warranty is expected of such delicate and fine instruments as fly rods, whereas no such warranty exists for fly lines, cars, computers, TV's, watches, DVD players, washing machines, boats, refrigerators, air conditioners, dogs, cats, shoes, etc. etc. etc.

Rods would cost considerably less if a reasonable manufacturer's warranty existed (like a warranty against breakage due to manufacturer's defect in normal use) for a few years. As fly rods are not designed, and materials are not available, to last forever, I would think that most discerning fly fishermen wouldn't mind paying additionally for an actuarial-based extended warranty if they really wanted to have a rod covered forever.
 

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Rod Porn!

So do you recommend using a cordura type tube as opposed to the aluminum to better protect the rod?

Gotta practice safe rod handling. Getcha some Trojan rod socks :chuckle:
 

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Moose:

I always use the rod sock in a plastic rod carrier, like a Bazuka case (about $35 in most big box sports stores), or a rod tube I made from schedule 40 ABS 4" pipe (about $40 in materials). I think more rods get nicked when they are taken out of an aluminum tube at an angle rather than straight out. I've certainly done it.

Peter: There needs to be a "showing of hands" so to speak from the fly fishing community to support the concept of an extended warranty. I've discussed this idea with several in the industry, and all are not willing to be the first major manufacturer to get away from something which was ill advised to begin with, but has somehow become the norm. Some support from this community would be very helpful.

If one takes into consdieration the return rate of rods from all types of breakage, high performance lightweight rods will suffer the most... across the industry, these represent somewhere around 9-10% of breakage returns, and are also the most expensive to make. Individual lineups within a company may also vary; longstanding "utility infielder" rod return rates may be as low as 1-3%. If you imagine what it must cost a manufacturer to stop a production run to make an old pattern on a mandrel which is no longer being used with materials which may have to come out of the archives because somebody shut their rod in a car door and expects it to be free (less the handling charge of $20 or so), it's absurd.
 

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Spey_bubba,

I've been saying the same thing for years, only defects should be covered at no cost to the rod owner. Such a policy change in my opinion would reduce the number of broken rods because people would take better care of their rods.

The only thing I would add to your thoughts are having rod manufacturers offer replacement sections of current production models only at cost plus shipping to the rod owner who breaks a rod, and having replacement rods offered at cost to those who break a rod no longer in production within say 5 years of purchasing the rod new.
 

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Doug:

Having known Evan and his wife Katie for several years and camped and fished together on a favorite upper Columbia trib, I'm sure he just shrugged it off, and probably felt as bad for you as you did for inadvertently breaking the rod.


MJC:

I can assure you that Scott's customer service people and warranty program are as good as any, and better than a lot in the business. Jim Bartchi's right hand man Moose will have Evan's 1509 back up and casting in no time. Bad news for those who know how fishy Evan is and sometimes have to fish behind him :Eyecrazy:

Way:

You are a very generous person offering up your 1509 ARC. I too own this magnificent rod; however, knowing where Evan is likely to be say come the first week of October, no way am I offering up mine!!! :smokin:

Tight Lines to All


Todd
 
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