Someday, somewhere, you’re going to break your rod—and probably not in the vicinity of a tackle shop, where you can get a quick replacement. But you can still salvage your day with a few tricks and a simple repair kit that includes a lighter, hot-glue stick, electrical tape, small zip ties and a spare tip-top guide.
Losing a tip-top guide cripples your casting, but with a spare on hand, you can be fishing again in 15 minutes. If the replacement guide fits loosely (many do, since they’re designed to be universal), build up the rod with wraps of tape. Insert slivers of glue in the guide and, holding the tip top with pliers, heat it until the glue melts, then slip it into place. Alternatively, you can wrap the tip with tape until the guide slips on tightly, then wrap the outside as well. This isn’t perfect, but it beats the drastic option of breaking off the rod just above the second guide.
For a loose line guide, wrap tape around the foot of the guide and the rod to hold it place, then fasten it securely with a zip tie.
The ferrule, where rod sections connect, is a common breaking point. If only a few inches are broken on either section, you can often simply jam the pieces back together. Build up the male end with tape until it fits snugly into the female section, and cover the entre joint with a few more wraps of tape. If the female section is splintered, where flexing the rod will stress it, add several zip ties to strengthen it. Although the rod may be a little stiff, it’s much better than heading home early.