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> > 4 broken rods in one month

S037474September 14th, 2018, 3:58 pm
Posts: 3I lived in florida for 20 years, fished several days a week, owned 9 boats and caught hug red fish, trout, bone fish, snook and even tarpon and never had a single rod break.

I move to Colorado and pick up fly fishing, buy a pole, a tailwater, 5w, on amazon, I also buy one at cabelas for my wife. I think its a big horn. I go on vacation and place the hook on pole where the hooks go, slightly tighen it so theres no play in the line and snap, the tip breaks on the amazon rod. I take my wifes cabela rod out, bring it back, place the hook on the hook holder, slightly tighten it and snap, the tip breaks.

Since my main interest on this vacation is fly fishing, I go to the local fly shop and show them what I was doing and what happened. They laugh and state its because I have cheap rods, what I am doing is totally fine and explain the Orvis clear water has a lifetime warranty, no questions asked if the rod breaks and thats what the hook is there for and I am not over doing it, I showed them what I did.

Since I just broke 2 100.00 rods, I figure its worth 200.00 for a lifetime warranty and buy the rod and a new clear water reel. I go fish or 2 more days and vacation is over.

3 weeks later, I drive 6 hours back down where I was just fishing since the fishing was so good. I am fishing a lake catching lots of 12-15 inch stock rainbows. I also bought a cheap 50.00 fly rod for my wife since hers broke. While reeling in a rainbow with the orvis rod, the damn thing breaks in half while fighting a fish. WTF, I have NEVER broke a rod while fighting a fish in my entire life. I am so disappointed in the Orvis rod.

I call the fly shop and explain what happened. THey said they will not return it, send it to Orvis. I call Orvis, they state it will be 60.00 to fix the rod. 60.00!!! The fly shop stated lifetime warranty, I dont even feel this POS rod is worth the 60.00 to fix! I explain the website states money back if not 100% satisfied and they said they will do that but not fix the rod for free? I just got back so well see if I get my money back. I will never buy orvis again!

So after talking to them on the phone, I pick up the cheap walmart fly rod and catch a few fish and the damn thing breaks while casting it almost by the handle, on the thickest part of the rod. UNBELIEVABLE. At least Walmart swapped out the rod and I didnt even have a damn receipt!!!

I take very good care of the rods, always in the cases and tucked away. I dont understand why these fly rods are so delicate. Is there a certain brand I need to buy? I wont spend over 200.00. The rods I used in florida were all around 100-200 and I never had one break. This is very frustrating! All rods were 5w and thats what I am looking to buy. Who has the best warranty and durability? Thanks for listening.
TroutnutSeptember 14th, 2018, 4:14 pm
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2704
That's a really strange story. I've broken rods a few times in my life, always as a result of my doing something wrong: casting a streamer with a heavy lead head that hit the rod directly at high speed, dinging the rod on some other gear and creating a weak point that broke on a big fish, or just being careless with the rod when plowing through extremely thick brush. My rods are over $200, but still the cheap ones shouldn't be breaking as easily as you've described. I've done all kinds of things to my Orvis 4-weight over the last 12-13 years since I bought it, and it's never broken.

When your Orvis broke as you fought a fish, were you by any chance holding it above the handle with one hand for extra leverage on the fish? That's a common cause of breakage. Other than that, I have no idea why it would have broken. Orvis should be fine.

Temple Fork Outfitters rods are reputed to be pretty good for the money, so you might get a good one under $200 with them, but I don't know much about them. St. Croix might have some good budget options, too. The only time I ever broke a St. Croix in many years of tough fishing, I was really asking for it.

Some other good brands are G Loomis, Sage, and Scott, but I don't know if any of them have options under $200.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
S037474September 14th, 2018, 4:31 pm
Posts: 3No, I was holding the rod on the handle. Thanks for the suggestions.
WbranchSeptember 14th, 2018, 5:22 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2701
Sometimes fly rods with thin walls break when you pull on the tip of the rod when the rod is vertical or in your case horizontal and there is little to no arcing of the rod.

It is kind of hard for me to explain in the printed word but when only about 6" - 10" of the tip is being bent (stressed) against the main vertical shaft of the blank the pressures exerted snap the tip. How do I know this you may ask? Well I have broken five rod tips on the same maker fly rods but in different weights. A couple of #4's, two #5's, and a #6. Every time a tip section broke it was because I was either landing a fish and the rod was in the vertical plane and there was very little arc in it or in the horizontal plane in the same conditions.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
PartsmanSeptember 15th, 2018, 12:42 pm
bancroft michigan

Posts: 361
Wow my friend I don't know whats going on with the rods you have, but let me say after nearly 55 years of fishing I have broken one rod. I have orvis, and gloomis and some fiberglass flyrods made by a very well known rod builder on the fiberglassflyroddersforum. I love all of them and have never had a issue with any of them. I had my gloomis nrxlp 5 wt. nearly wrapped all the way around me with a beautiful brown on, I really thought it was going to blow up! But it held up to the fight. I don't think orvis rods are really prone to breaking, and your not going to get a free rod, even on my gloomis nrx they will replace but for $100.00, no questions but I think that is reasonable. You may want to look at the fenwick fenglass series, from I have read they are nice rods for the money and fiberglass is far more durable than graphite.

S037474September 17th, 2018, 12:21 pm
Posts: 3Well just an update, I really didn't want to deal with the pain of shipping a rod back and then maybe they say they won't give me my money back for whatever reason. I was prepared to though, but my last shot was take it to the local orvis store and see what they say. I wasn't mad or even upset, I just explained what happened to see what they would say.

He said, they can't swap out rods if bought from a 3rd party which I did. I bought it from a Fly shop, not an orris shop or online orvis. He went on to say its a big accounting reason and they only exchange or refund rods through or the actual orris store. He explained they might sell the rod to the shop for 100.00 and they can sell it for whatever they want so orris can't be held responsible. I just sat and listened and didn't say a word but honestly its a bunch of BS to me. I'm a customer, I don't know or care (at least I didn't think I cared) where I bought the rod as long as it was eBay or some crap. I paid MRSP, got no discount and would think it was all the same but I didn't say anything because I didn't have to. The manager just kept explaining it over and over almost talking to himself while I listened.

Then after he tells me all the reasons he can't, he says, Orvis wants happy customers and you don't need to be tied up in all the politics of where you buy it and who warranties it and all that, I'm going to make this right for you and he swapped the pole for a brand new one.

I am VERY happy he swapped it, very grateful. I had planned on shipping it back and even AFTER the swap, I still considered sending it back because I don't agree with the policy. With that said, they did the right thing in the end and I am going to see how this pole plays out to give them another chance. I do like the pole a lot. It also made no sense they won't swap the pole out but they will give me my money back. If the pole breaks again, I will take them up on the money back situation but I hope to god it doesn't come to that.

With this experience I did a lot of research on where I want to spend my money in the future. I feel like Cabelas has one of the best return policies, 90 days no questions. I feel like TFO has the best pole warranty, lifetime, zero cost, not even shipping if defective and I am confident this rod was defective. If you do cause the break, only 30.00 repair.

I have never fished TFO but I am a big believer in buying from companies that back up their product. Thats why I shop at places like REI and am willing to pay more, they back up all their product. Hopefully, this pole lasts and again, I am glad Orvis ended up doing what I felt was the right thing.

spell check changed Orvis to orris duh
Jmd123September 19th, 2018, 8:20 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2505
Glass is tougher than graphite, for sure. As a kid I only used glass rods, and never broke one, in spite of being a kid who broke plenty of things. As an adult using graphite fly and spinning rods? I've probably busted a dozen or so over the years. I learned not to yank on snags so freaking hard!

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
RogueratSeptember 19th, 2018, 11:24 am
Posts: 467
FG rods, and a vintage find-

Last fall my future son-in-law gave me a Fenwick fly rod he'd found at a garage sale for $20; a 9' 9wt Fenwick fiberglass dating to 1980, bought as a blank and wrapped as a 'noodle rod' for Steelhead and Coho's back in the day. Over the winter I stripped the spinning hardware and re-wrapped it with fly guides, kept the handle and reel seat, and it casts smooooth with an SA 8-wt 'bass taper' line (heavy head). I have to slow way down on the casting stroke and change from the point-and-shoot of fast graphite to a more deliberate movement and this rod is just plain FUN to fish. Yeah, its got the characteristic tip bounce of old FG that I have to manage and dampen, its heavy, the baby-poop yellow blank is distinctive, but its a FUN rod.

All in all, something different and something new learned.

Rivers are close to or at normal again but the mosquitoes are 4x normal due to standing water and high temps, crazy for this time of year.


'Less is more...'

Ludwig Mies Vande Rohe
Jmd123September 20th, 2018, 7:41 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2505
"Rivers are close to or at normal again but the mosquitoes are 4x normal due to standing water and high temps, crazy for this time of year."

Yep, get rid of the deer flies and the mosquitoes just come back to take their place. Though, I did get a night in at [REDACTED] Pond with almost no mosquito bites or need to apply repellent. They were pestering me in the field in the middle of the day on Tuesday though, little bitty guys you couldn't see coming. Some gnats that looked kinda similar to blackflies too, though this is the wrong time of year for that. ???

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
IasgairNovember 8th, 2018, 10:13 am

Posts: 148
Hello SO37474,

I know it's been awhile since you posted about breaking 4 rods a month, and I was curious on what you have done since then. If you haven't done anything yet, I hope I can enlighten you.

TFO has been mentioned a bit in the replies to your thread, and I have had TFO rods and my son has one. TFO makes fine rods, and the warranty is fantastic from what I have read, and I have read many posts about TFO's warranty, and thankfully I have never had to send a rod in.

My favorite rod out of the line up is the TFO Pro II series. The 905 is very sweet. It casts smooth and the accuracy is pretty good. The blanks are made in South Korea, and I will tell you right off, that's a good thing. South Korea makes awesome blanks. China? Yeah...lets not go there.

For the Price of the Pro II, under $200, it's incredible for the money. Biggest trout I ever caught, 22 inch rainbow, was caught on that rod, and the way that rod bent was something of beauty. The rod is a med/fast progressive action rod, and matched with Airflo's Elite or Exceed fly line, it casts beautifully.

The TFO BVK is a popular rod, but the problem with those is, the wall thickness has been taken down too much, and there are many reports about rods 6 weight and up explode when hooked up to a large fish. My opinion, if you like thin walled rods, get a Scott. Their walls are thin, but the diameter is just a tad bigger and the blanks are un-sanded, which makes a very strong rod. I love un-sanded blanks.

If you have not replaced your rods, take a look at this company.

I am a huge fan of these rods. Again, blanks from South Korea, but assembled here. A great warranty as well. I would put these rods up against ANY low to mid priced rods any day. I have a 7' 2wt Traveler series rod and I'm getting ready to get the new and improved Traveler series rod in a 905. These rods are definitely worth looking at.

Funny how Orvis gave you the run around, but their correct. Unless you buy directly from Orvis, they can't just switch rods. But if you do buy from them, then yes you can. Or, they will even let you upgrade and you just pay the difference. You are the only one I have ever heard of having that issue with getting the rod fixed or replaced. We had an Orvis shop here once, and I have seen folks go in with a busted rod and walk out with a brand new one, no questions asked.

Anyway, I hope you got squared away. Or if not yet, I hope I was able to give you some good advice.

In Wild Waters,


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