I didn’t start really breaking fly rods until I got a boat. Sounds funny but it’s true.
Boats, moving water, kids, dogs and fragile fly rods don’t always go well together. My wife has plenty of good ideas and often sees things happening before they actually happen. I believe that her perceptive personality could be a compliment to my often-careless ways because without her I’d probably have a lot more broken fly rods.
When we first got our raft seven years ago, I would have never imagined trying to fish out of it with all the chaos of dogs and kids. Eventually, rowing got easier, and kids became more accustomed to being on the boat for long stretches. I decided that it was time to start taking advantage of the opportunities to catch fish while my wife rowed.
That’s when the rod breaking began.
I would often lay the fully rigged rod on the sides of the boat or leaned up against the tubes when I was taking a break or when we stopped for lunch. Big mistake.
Trigger, our over enthusiastic pointer, isn’t the most graceful dog to enter a boat. One time specifically he jumped into the back and before I could stop him, he landed right on my Scott Radian breaking it clean in half. No less than three weeks after that happened my 7-year-old nearly fell out of the boat in a little wave train while the other lost her boot overboard. During the dual rescue, which was actually pretty funny, a rod suffered the consequences of their actions.
Another rod sent to the manufacturer to be repaired.
At this point I’m down a couple rods and feeling pretty frustrated with myself when my wife suggested we look into a proper rod holder for our Down River Equipment frame. I immediately visited the good folks at Down River Equipment, just a few miles from our house, and found a great solution.
Rod holders don’t have to be fancy. I’ve seen all sorts of do-it-yourself set-ups. In fact, if you have time, I’d encourage you to explore those options first but, in this case, we needed something fast for an upcoming trip and I was flat out of time to craft something quickly.
In the end, it’s worth every single penny. I’ll be knocking on wood after saying this but I’ve yet to break a rod after purchasing our rod holder.
Got any good do-it-yourself ideas? I’d love to hear them for the future.