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Carbon Fishing Rods : Do(s) and Don’t(s)

Posted by Adore Tackle on

How to use your Carbon Fishing rods

Carbon Fishing rods are an exceptional alternative to fiberglass and composite rods.

They are at least as tough, if not tougher, and can give you all the fish-fighting power needed to land your next big catch. However, they are more rigid than the fiberglass/ composite rods but also lighter. The biggest benefit is that you can use them all day long without getting tired.

Their blank is more sensitive, so you can easily detect even the slightest nibbles from long distances. Also, you can hook your fish instantly.

If used properly, any good quality Carbon rod can give you a far superior fishing experience; however, if you don’t treat them with respect, and force them, because of their inherent lack of elasticity (especially those that are 100% graphite/carbon in intermediate or high modulus grade), they’ll snap on you and you can miss the fish of your lifetime. However, if you follow the following easy steps and take a minimum of precaution, you’ll be able to use your quality carbon rod for a long time.

Spooling mono or braided fishing line using your Carbon rod

Traditionally with fiberglass or composite fishing rods it has generally been safe to spool new line onto your reel running the line through all or at least some of your guide rings.

However, with today’s modern Carbon fishing rods we strongly advise against such practice, because, depending on how you are spooling line onto the reel particularly if you apply pressure by hand on the line or if you have another person holding the line when you spool in or anything similar, it is possible you could apply too much pressure, bent and then accidentally break your rod. You also run the risk of applying too much force and at the same time accidentally sticking your rod too high up when spooling in.

Especially since the majority of carbon rods are either fast or medium action (only the upper 1/3 rd. of the blank bents or maximum 2/3, not all).

In our opinion is just too risky and any misstep or mishandling of rod/reel/line alignment and force applied can have dire consequences.

We hear of too many people breaking Carbon rods whilst spooling line onto a reel usually with the breakage occurring towards the top of the rod within vicinity of the first 3-5 rod guide rings. This is accidental breakage which is usually not a warranty issue. In general, rod breakage is very rarely a result of a manufacturing fault or design flaw with probably something like 0.05-0.5% of rods being an actual fault. 99.5% of the time rod breakages occur due to angler misuse, abuse or accidental error.

Therefore, in order to avoid breaking your Carbon fishing rod we strongly recommend spooling your new line onto your fishing reel using only the bottom 1-2 guide rings from your rod. Or if you have a 2-piece fishing rod, the guides on the bottom section of the rod, close to your reel seat. Or your use an old fiberglass rod if you really want to insist on spooling the line on your reel using all the runners on the fishing rod, as the fiberglass can handle much more punishment than carbon; then, when you are finished, just take the reel off and place it on your intended Carbon rod.

No matter how long you have been fishing for, how many reels you have spooled up in your life time or how much of an expert you think you are accidents can happen especially with Carbon fishing rods therefore we recommend spooling line onto your reel in the manners advised to avoid breakage of your expensive Carbon fishing rod.

Fishing Using a Carbon Rod in the following situations

Fishing from a Boat

The worst thing that could happen to you while fishing from a boat is breaking your fishing rods or damaging rod guides.

Not that quality carbon rods actually break easily as they are really strong and built to last. However, when on a fishing boat- we strongly encourage you to be organized and have all your fishing gear including rods placed safely when not in use. So, you can avoid people stepping on them or getting hammered by heavy objects. Bruising the rods or their insertion caps (when you have 2 or 3 sections rods) or joints will eventually lead to breakage.

Casting from the Bank or waist deep in the waters

If you just lay the rods around all over the place, expect someone to not pay attention and step on them sooner or later. You should keep them in places where they are easily seen, like on surf rod pods, rod tripods, rod holders or just lean them on your tackle box or chair.

Try to avoid any overhead impediments like hanging branches or wires when casting from the banks. Smashing your rod against hard objects such as tree branches will lead to bruising your rod, significantly weakening that part of the rod blank where it hit another object. Same if you dent or split or crack the joints. Damage may look minimal initially; however, it could result to breakage later.

What you are trying to avoid when fishing from the bank should also applied while you are waist deep into the water.

If you are fishing in saltwater this is much worse, as saltwater or sand can get into the reel, through the reel seat or other tiny gaps. So, try to avoid letting your rod sit in saltwater while setting up the hook in your bait.

The Fight

A. Fishing from a Boat (sometimes from a pier or jetty too)

No matter if the adrenaline kicks in or you are desperate to land that one fish never “high stick” your carbon rod. The steepest angle that you should keep your rod at must not exceed 60°- 90° (depending on the rod action, and how rigid it is) when trying to control a tiring fish. Most rods that break during a fight are the result of mishandling or carelessness on the part of the fisherman.

Keep in mind also that any fish weighs more in the water. Not to mention that a fish will wiggle and pound its tail as it tries to escape. If you remember that, most likely you’ll avoid breaking your rod. Many rods were broken because fishermen were tempted to pull their catch instead of using a net. Same when fishing from a jetty or a pier. Avoid lifting a fish this way unless your catch is less than one kilo or so.

Trying to lift heavy fish when the fish is struggling and pounds its tail, puts a lot of load on the rod. This is even harder and riskier when you “high stick” the carbon rod and raise it more than 90° off the water.

The golden rule is to always use a net if allowable, and if you can. This way, you won’t lose your fish and you won’t break your rod. If nothing else, use a glove and try lifting the fish by holding the line. This way you won’t put pressure on the blank.

How to free snagged lures and hooks

The trick in freeing a snagged lure without breaking your expensive fishing rod is instead of using the rod to pull the lure out from the snag, you pull on the line while the rod is pointed directly to the position of the snag.

You have to hold on with the other palm onto the spinning reel spool or with your thumb firmly planted on the bait casting spool. This way you won’t apply any pressure on the rod blank. Please be careful though, because once liberated, the lure or led will come right back at you like a bullet. Again- never pull back the rod at an upward or downward angle, or sideways or in a jerking motion as this will definitely cause a Carbon fishing rod to snap. And your warranty (if any) will be voided.

How to care of the reel seat

Do not use any kind of tool when trying to tighten or untighten your reel sets. The force from your fingers should be enough to do the job. Do not screw in too tight nor too loose.

How to assemble a two or three-section carbon rod

Your carbon rod can usually come as a one, two or three piece rod.

If it’s a two or three-piece rod, make sure that you correctly insert the parts together and align the guide-rings to allow the line to be freely guided when casting.

The two parts that have to be put together have either a spigot joint (male-female/ tongue and groove arrangement) or overfit joints. For spigot joints (A spigot joint involves a short length of lower diameter carbon that slots in the top of the butt section), when fully inserted until fit, you should expect to still have approximately 0.5cm-1cm gap between those two sections. Make sure you do not have more than this as it can break when casting or playing a fish because you’ll effectively form a lever between those parts! The correct way to do it is to rotate one section over the other until tight. Do not push, bang or press. Just firm tight and align rings.

For overfit, make sure that you insert one section at least 4-5 cm (sometimes more) and rotate and align until fit. Make sure it doesn’t move as you’ll have issues when casting.

Maintaining your rod

At the end of a fishing trip, make sure that you clean your rod thoroughly before storing them. UV, humidity, saltwater, sand and sediments can damage your rod’s finish. Store them in a dry place when you’re done cleaning. Once a year, some wax treatment is recommended.

Transporting Fishing Rod

A.Road Trip

Store the rods and other fishing gear at the back of the truck or wagon where there is ample space for them. Make sure that they are carefully packed or taped to avoid rod blanks getting damaged by heavy objects like tools, boxes or spare tire. If possible, separate these things from your fishing gear. Even slight abrasion or damage to the rod blanks or joints can cause breakage when the rod is put under heavy stress during fishing.

B.In an Airplane

Pack your rods individually. Not altogether, If individual packaging is not possible then strap and tape them together, alternating tips and butts to prevent breakage due to abrasion. But, most of all, avoid dropping the rod containers at all cost. Airlines will not take responsibility if your fishing equipment ends up damaged, so take the necessary precaution.

Storing the Rods

A. Boat Storage

1. Having rod lockers in your boat is the easiest way to keep your fishing rods and other gears safe. Just take some precaution against the rods bouncing around and into each other as this can result to bruising of the rod blanks, especially in rough waters. Again, proper care is needed to separate the rods and tuck them in safely.

2. Vertical rod racks is an alternative storage if you can keep them safe from getting hit when casting.

Garage storage

1. Protect fishing rods with heavy tube or rod locker when storing it in a garage. This is to protect them from getting smashed or hit with heavy objects. Do not sit your rods in a corner.

2. Keep the fishing rods away from heat sources. These include water heater and other heavy appliances.

In the House

C. Store the fishing rods in a safe and dry place in your house. Keep them away from heavy objects that can move. Keeping them in their own closet and having them enclosed in heavy tubes is always a good idea.


Follow these steps proudly provided to you by Adore Tackle and you will get a long life out of your Carbon Fishing Rods.

Australian Online Fishing Tackle Shop

Adore Tackle sells exclusively in Australia premium European fishing brands, such as: SPORTEX Germany, D.A.M Germany, COLMIC Italy, BALZER Germany, SUNSET France, SAKURA France and more.
We offer an extensive range of fishing rods (surf rods, boat rods, spinning rods or travel rods) and fishing reels (spinning reels, big game and surf reels, overhead reels, etc) soft and hard fishing lures, mono or braided fishing lines and accessories.

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