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How to Repair a Fishing Rod — Tools and Techniques

How to Repair a Fishing Rod — Tools and Techniques
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So, your favorite fishing rod has just snapped in two. Of course, you have other fishing rods you could use to fish, but this is your lucky rod. Not to worry, broken fishing rods can be mended within a short time and in a few steps.

In some cases, the repair may be needed along the length of the rod. Other times, it may be some part of the rod. If one of the guides on your rod breaks, for instance, you can have it replaced after removing the old one. This also applies to rod tips and other parts of your fishing rod which can be fixed in a few steps.

In this article, we will show you how to repair a fishing rod. We will also show you how to replace various parts of the rod including the rod guide, rod tip, and the rod itself.

How to Repair a Broken Fishing Rod

A broken fishing rod can be good as new in a few steps as explained below. But before we get into the steps involved, here are the materials required to repair a broken fishing rod:

  1. Sandpaper
  2. A pair of scissors
  3. Tape measure
  4. Hack saw
  5. Fiberglass poles
  6. Tape
  7. 2-part epoxy
  8. Paintbrush
How to repair a broken fishing rod
Photo by Karl Hörnfeldt on Unsplash

To repair a broken fishing rod:

1. Smoothen the broken ends.

Your fishing rod will not leave a straight cut when it breaks. The edges would be rough and jagged. These jagged edges are usually weak. If you work on them that way, there’s a good chance that your rod will break again.

So, pick up your sandpaper (180-grit or 220-grit) and use it to smooth the ends of the broken rod. When the two ends are smooth, they’ll be able to fit. If the ends are very rough, you can first cut the sandpaper with a pair of scissors to make it easier to smoothen with the sandpaper.

2. Measure the circumference of the rod.

You should have your tape measure close by. Pick it up and wrap it around one of the broken ends of the fishing rod. Then, go over to the second piece and measure it. Sometimes, the circumference of one is smaller than the other. Write down the measurement you got on a sheet of paper. This way, you’ll know the size of the pole to purchase.

If you don’t have a flexible tape measure, you can use a ruler to measure the diameter of your fishing rod instead. Also, do this on both ends.

3. Cut a piece of a fiberglass pole.

You should get a fiberglass pole that is of a smaller circumference than your broken rod. The pole should be about 0.32 to 0.64 centimeters smaller than the circumference of your rod. You need a pole that is about 12 inches long. For this purpose, use the hacksaw to cut out the 12 inches rod.

This pole will fit right into the broken rod. The pole should go into both ends to support the fishing rod. With it inside, your rod shouldn’t break anytime soon.

Alternatively, you can cut a piece of an old fishing rod you don’t use anymore to join the broken ends of the pole.

Some rods are not hollow, so you won’t be able to slide in the fiberglass pole. If you have this type of rod, you should try to tape your pole back. You can’t use a fiberglass pole. If the pole isn’t still stable after taping it tight, then you will need to get a new one altogether.

Check out this 12-Inch Hand Saw on Amazon

4. Fitting in your fiberglass pole.

You don’t want to slide in the fiberglass pole too far, so you should hold the pole horizontally before putting it in the rod. Into one part of your fishing rod, you should slide 6 inches of the pole, leaving the other 6 inches (15 centimeters) outside.

If the fiberglass pole you bought is too small, you can wrap masking tape around it to make it thicker before sliding it in again.

The 6 inches sticking out should not yet be put into the second part of the broken fishing rod.

Check out this Masking Tape on Amazon

5. Apply 2-part epoxy.

Open the 2-part epoxy you bought and pour it into a bowl. Mix it properly. Then, use a paintbrush to spread a thin layer of the epoxy over the 6 inches end of the fiberglass pole still sticking. Make sure you do this quickly so that the epoxy does not dry.

6. Slide the second part of the broken rod over the fiberglass.

Push the broken rod slowly over the fiberglass pole. This part is tricky because if you don’t place the guide the right way, you would end up with a fishing rod with guides that don’t match. So, make sure that the guides on the fishing rod match. You don’t want your fishing line to tangle the next time you try to use the pole.

If you already joined the two parts of the rod together, you can still set it right as long as you don’t wait too long. The epoxy doesn’t dry for a while. When this is done, leave your pole overnight for the epoxy to set. If there’s any epoxy coming out of the joint of the two poles, use your finger to wipe it off.

Some people still feel the pole is not secure enough after joining it together with the epoxy paint. If you feel that way, you can wrap electrical tape around the joint.

VIDEO: How to Fix Broken Fishing Rod

How to Replace the Guide on a Fishing Rod

Rod guides are circular metal pieces found around the rod that help to keep your fishing line straight when fishing. You can replace the fishing rod guide if it is broken.

Here are the tools you will need to replace a broken guide on a fishing rod:

  1. Razorblade or knife
  2. Sandpaper
  3. Fishing guide (new)
  4. Masking tape
  5. Thread
  6. 2-part epoxy
  7. Paintbrush

To replace the guide on a fishing rod:

1. Cut off the thread or tape around the broken guide.

Using a craft knife or straight razor blade, cut off the thread or tape around the guide. You may find it a bit difficult to remove the threading by using the blade alone, so you have to do something extra. Heat the area around the threading for about 3 to 4 seconds with a lighter. You can put it near any open flame. This will help you loosen the adhesives holding the thread together.

Afterward, remove the tape and threading until the guide is separated from the fishing rod.

Make sure you do not heat the rod for too long, else it will be damaged. Keep it at 3 to 4 seconds. Also, be careful when cutting with a razor blade or knife. You’ll damage the fishing rod if you mistakenly cut into it.

Buy this Craft Knife on Amazon

2. Smoothen the rod.

Using 120-grit or 220-grit sandpaper, scrape the surface of the fishing rod to remove any adhesives that may remain there. Rub around each place you want to put the new guide you purchased. You would also be using the sandpaper to smooth the foot of the new guide, i.e. the side that will make contact with the fishing rod.

Make sure the fishing guide you purchase is the same size and style as the one that got broken, or else your fishing line will get tangled.

3. Attach the new guide to the rod.

Put the new guide on the fishing rod. Adjust it until it is aligned. Then, press it down. Use masking tape to hold it in place against the rod. So, you don’t have to continue holding it until you’re done. It is not advisable to use superglue to hold it in place because it will become difficult to adjust and you may just have to smooth the rod all over again.

4. Wrap the foot of the guide with the thread.

You can use any kind of thread to do this. But if you want the thread to blend in, you should use one that shares the same color as the rod. Wrap the thread around the rod until it is ½ to ¾ inches away from the foot of the new guide closest to the rod handle. Keep wrapping the threading around the rod making sure that it doesn’t overlap with the loops you’ve already done. Then, remove the masking tape you used to hold the rod guide in place.

Buy this 100-Piece Fishing Rod Guide Replacement Set on Amazon

5. Put another looped piece of thread over the wrap.

Continue wrapping the first loop over the foot of the guide until you are 1/8 inch away from the circular part of the guide. Then, stop wrapping the thread around the pole.

Get another piece of the thread (about 6 inches long) and fold it into two. Then, place this new thread over the loop you’ve made. The loop formed with the second thread should stick out near the circular part of the guide.

6. Wrap the remaining part of your first threading.

After placing the second thread vertically over the first one, finish wrapping the 1/8 inch that remains at the foot of the guide. Continue wrapping it until the middle of the looped piece (the second one) is held against the rod.

Buy this Fishing Rod Wrapping Finish on Amazon

7. Pass the thread through the loop.

When you finish wrapping the thread around the guide, cut the end of the thread you used to wrap and pass it through the middle of the loop. Hold it down tightly. Then, pool the other end of the looped thread (the one close to the rod handle) down to pull the thread under the wrapping. This helps you secure the guide to the fishing rod without tying a knot.

You may not want to use a looped thread to secure the new rod guide to the road. Alternatively, you can tie a knot in the threading. If you’re doing this, make sure the knot and thread are tight and strong enough.

8. Apply epoxy.

The two-part epoxy you have purchased should be mixed properly in a small bowl. Then, take a paintbrush and apply the epoxy to the top of the threading, so it can be strong. Your epoxy doesn’t dry immediately, so you have to leave it overnight to dry and harden. You can try to use your rod the next day. As said earlier, work fast when using epoxy, because it starts drying immediately after you mix it.

VIDEO: How to Repair the Guide on a Fishing Rod

How to Change the Broken Tip of a Fishing Rod

The rod tip is one of the most important parts of the rod. Without the rod tip, you can’t attach your fishing line and your lure and bait wouldn’t have a place to hang on to. So, if the rod tip is broken, you have a problem. This problem can be fixed in a few steps.

Here are the materials you need to change the broken tip of a fishing rod:

  1. Lighter
  2. Sandpaper
  3. Blade or knife
  4. Rod cement
  5. Paper towel
  6. New tip top

To repair thebroken tip of a fishing rod:

1. Loosen the adhesive at the tip by heating.

Use your lighter to heat the tip-top of your fishing rod. Your rod should be set horizontally so that the flames can easily reach the broken rod tip. The heating should not be done for long periods but about 4 to 5 seconds at a time. After heating, try to pull it off using your hand. If it’s too hot, use a pair of pliers. This step can be skipped if your rod tip broke off and it can be easily removed.

2. Use sandpaper to remove any irregularity at the tip of your rod.

The sandpaper makes the surface of the rod tip smoother. If the tip is too rough that it can’t be made smooth with sandpaper, then cut off the ends carefully with a pair of scissors.

3. Prepare your rod cement.

Your rod cement should be cut into small strips that can enter the new tip top you purchased. You can get both the cement tips and tip-top online or at a local sporting goods store. Use a knife or razor blade to cut the strips. They should fit properly in the hollow chamber on the tip-top.

Buy this Rod Tip Repair Kit on Amazon

4. Melt the cement.

The tiptop is small, so you have to be careful when melting the cement you’ve put in it. Hold the rod tip with one hand and your lighter with another hand. Hold the lighter for about 4 to 5 seconds so you don’t burn the tip. Once you’ve melted the tip, don’t slow down. The cement solidifies after a few minutes.

5. Fit the tip-top onto the rod.

After heating the cement and you’re sure it’s still hot, slide it on the tip of the rod. Before it sticks, rotate the tip-top so it is in line with the other guides on the fishing rod. If it solidifies before you’re able to rotate it, just heat it again for another 4 to 5 seconds to melt the cement again.

Once the cement dries, your fishing rod will be as good as new.

VIDEO: How to Change Fishing Rod Tip


Repairing your broken fishing rod is not a difficult process. After purchasing all the tools you need, depending on what part is broken, you should be able to fix your fishing rod and get it working as good as new in a few steps.

Sometimes, you may have to wait overnight for your rod to be strong enough for use. So, you should know the next day of your fishing trip and plan to fix the broken rod before then.

Meanwhile, remember that any heating should be for only a few seconds. Also, don’t cut into your fishing rod with a knife or razor blade.

Happy fishing!

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