Getting Stuck Tips Apart

As the weather cools off we anglers start to think about taking down the rods that we’ve had assembled since the spring.  While most of us fish all-year-’round, we nevertheless reduce our number of rigged rods from a lot to a few.  And sometimes when we try to take apart of few of our rods we find that they are stuck.

During the season a rod tip and butt can get firmly connected to each other. Every time we reseat the tip to the butt we create a strong bond.  Add the changing temperatures and the sections can be very difficult to separate.  I keep most of my rods in tip-top shape, but every year there are one or two that get away from me.  The struggle I go through trying to get them apart mostly looks like two cats in a bag, with lots of cussin’ and fightin’ words getting thrown in for good measure.  Here are a couple of tried and true methods that I use to get my rod apart without too much effort.  Hopefully yours won’t be too difficult at all.

The Two Hand Approach. Have your buddy place one of his hands on the tip and one of his hands on the butt.  You do the same, with your hands right next to his.  Push the tip away from the butt.  Two hands are better than one….

The Behind the Back Approach. If you’re alone, position the rod behind the back of your knees.  One hand should grip the tip section just beyond the female ferrule, the other one just beyond the male ferrule.  Place your arms against your knees for solid traction.  Keep the rod straight and slowly spread your knees apart.  The additional force usually gets the job done.

A thin piece of rubber like the kind used to open stuck jar lids gives you a firm grip. Or, use an old section of a bicycle inner tube.  Your hands won’t slip and you’ll avoid tearing off guides.  And when you finally get them apart, make sure to add some wax to the ferrules for next year!

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Tom Keer

Tom Keer

Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at or at