Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Broken Rod Stories

Didn't know where else to put this for right now. It is a long post for the message board. Fortunatly I copied it just before sending because that site is on the fritz. I plan to put this on in the Log Blog and main BP eventually but I needed a warehouse and this seems to be the best fit.

St.Croix has terrible service!
I broke a rod I bought after 2000 and they told me I was wrong! And the rod was over 15 yrs old lmao! 15 yrs ago I was using a Fenwick with a Mitchell 300 I never even heard of them 15 yrs ago.
And for the price? They are not all they are cracked up to be, they break like any other cheap rod. I went to Jarvis Walker made by Penn, I have had great luck with them and if I break one? They are under 30 bucks.

I broke a 7'3" Avid Flippen stick while swinging a hog into the boat that had a bunch of weeds on her. St. Croix replaced it no problem. I am surprised Tim had any problem, St. Croix, Fenwick, and Shimano are known for their willingness to replace rods.

Here's my favorite busted rod story. Pilgrim/Cyberfish can verify the first part. I was using a 7'6" Fenwick HMG at the Golf Park Dam at on the Pike Creek in Kenosha County WI during the fall Salmon run. About 5 away from the face of the dam and about 4 feet off the waters surface is a railroad trestle for the Golf carts to cross. You can either fish the tail out side of the trestle, on a ledge under the trestle's North side or the dam side and I was on the dam side which gives you very little wiggle room for fighting and it's kind of a treacherous little spot as well. I got dialed into something a started fair hooking salmon regularly on Mepps Spinner. I had landed several nice Chinook's in a row and then I hooked into a really spunky 4 to 5lb Coho. I really wanted to catch it, cause it was a very pretty fish and also that size Coho is a great fish to eat.

You guessed it, I wasn't paying attention while fighting the fish, the rod tip got stuck in the trestle and broke. I was pissed at my stupidity and then tried to yank the coho out of the water. As I was doing that, the line broke down by the spinner and the fish flopped back in the water before I could grasp it. Not only had I busted my rod, but I lost the hot bait and it was the only one in that size and color and that was the only one the salmon wanted. I melted down at that point pretty good, I was one pissed off dude.

Anyway I sent the rod back to Fenwick and they replace it no problem even though it was obviously my fault, so now I had a brand new 7'6"MH Fenwick HMG Spinning rod. Fast foreword to the next years Fall Run, same pool of water except I was fishing the tail out on the other side of the trestle. I'd had a couple of phenomenal days in a row having that spot almost all to myself and had caught dozen of Kings, Coho's, and even a couple of small steelhead, some of the Kings were 20lb plus monsters.

It was now the weekend and the hole was modestly crowded with maybe 10-12 people, but not super crowded like it can get with 15-20; that hole is really only suited to fish 7 or 8 to allow decent room. I didn't get there early enough and so I decided to wait for my spot to open up and went to the business of netted peoples fish. By doing that you get on peoples good side, which is always a good idea when "combat fishing," and they get to a limit quicker, so they tend to leave quicker. Anyways after netting several Salmon for the guys who staked out that North Side of the hole, one of them stepped aside to sit for a while and let me into fish.

For those of you who have never done it, combat fishing a hole full of Salmon with other guys fishing lines in the water is not a game of finesse. If the fish are really going you may have fisherman with multiple hook-ups fighting fish at the same time and guys will continue fishing while a fish is being fought because it can be a long time between hook ups and you want your line in the water as much as possible. That Fenwick HMG is the perfect action rod with plenty of muscle and I was using 20lb Trilene XT Solar which is excellent line for that environment cause it's tough and everybody can see the line and where a fish is heading.

Anyway, I hooked into a mid-teen King that was hot and was pressuring it hard, from the back of the tail out. It seemed like it was wearing a bit and was almost in netting range and so I pressured it harder, the fish made a burst and my rod exploded, it sounded like the crack of a rifle. Everybody in the hole including myself was just stunned and gapping, including me. Amazingly enough, even though the rod broke in 4 places, the line held and I caught the fish. I thought the rod exploding like that was the greatest thing ever, I've never seen or heard anything like it.

I suppose I could have sent the rod in to Fenwick again, but I figured I'd gotten my money's worth and didn't bother. That rod is more valuable to me as a souvenir anyway. I still have the handle section but unfortunately lost 2 of the pieces in the process of moving and I cannibalized the tip to use on another rod.

I also inexplicably had a Fenwick Techna Av break on a cast, which they replaced no problem.

(Man that's quite a story, I'll have to get a pic of the rod and then put it up on my blog.)