One of the most frustrating things that can happen to a telescopic fishing rod is for it to become jammed at a joint. This can happen for a variety of reasons but is usually due to corrosion or dirt/mud/sand in the joint.
Prevention is better than cure: try to keep your rod off the ground at all times to avoid dirt getting into the joints. Wipe it clean with a cloth before taking it down so you don’t jam dirt into the joint. If you’ve been using it in saltwater give it a quick rinse with freshwater as soon after use as you can. Its a good idea to put a protectant like WD-40, Tackle Guard or a silicon lube on the joints. Be sure not to use too much or it can go the other way and stop the rod staying up when you extend it – especially around the tip joints.
Now if you’re unlucky enough to have a rod jam on you (due to bad luck or bad management) there are several techniques to unstick the sucker.
1. The hot water technique
Pour hot water on large side of the joint as close to the joint as you can to rapidly expand it. Then after a few seconds try twisting or pushing the small side of the joint back down. Its best if you can do this under a tap where the water starts off cold then gets progressively warmer over a few seconds as this reduces the risk of stress cracks developing in the joint.
2. The ice and hot water technique
If the hot water technique fails try the next step up. Do the same as above but put ice on the small side of the joint to shrink it. This is easiest if you get some ice from your freezer place it on a cloth or towel and then wrap that around the rod and hold it while you heat the other side with hot water.
Try a penetrating lubricant like WD-40, CRC or Tackle Guard. Leave the joint to soak for an hour or two and then try gently to take the rod down.
4. Tapping method
Stand the rod butt on a hard surface like concrete and hold it above the stuck joint. Gently lift and tap the butt on the ground. This works best if the lower joints are stuck. Never tap the tip on the ground as you are very likely to break it.
5. The partner twist
Have a friend hold one side of the joint while you hold the other and twist. I recommend you use a friend you trust and give them the thicker end to hold. It might not be very good for the relationship if something snaps.
6. The “Lost All Hope” Method
Go to our website and buy another rod – they’re not very expensive. Take more care of your fishing gear in the future! You can always keep the stuck one for a spare or give it to a neighborhood kid (tell them you’ll buy it back for a $dollar if they fix it)
Look out for more articles on how to get the best out of your telescopic fishing rod.