Fix Your Tip

Accidents happen, but when you break your rod tip there is the chance you’re your fishing is going to suffer. Sometimes we slam ‘em in a car door, other times we trip and fall, and still other times they just break for whatever reason. Keep a few items in your gear bag at all times and you can fix your rod tip and be back in the action. And if you’ve been using other rods all season long, winter is a great time to fix them for next year.

The four simple items of a variety of replacement tip tops to fit our rods, a hot glue stick, a pair of pliers, and a lighter are all you need. A fifth item, a tip gauge provides accurate measurements to match your new tip top tube to the diameter of your broken tip section. They’re the right way to go for creating a precise fit, but tip gauges are not necessary for an on-the-water repair.


  1. Match a tip top to your broken tip. Tip tops range in size from 3.5-30. Measure one with a tip gauge or place different sized tip tops on the blank until you find a snug fit. Remove from the blank.

  2. Heat the glue stick. Hold your lighter on the glue stick for 7-10 seconds until the glue melts. Coat the blank completely making sure that all the graphite or fiberglass is covered.

  3. Slide on your tip top. Position the tip top slowly onto the tip. Push slowly so any air bubbles are forced out. Align with your guides and let it set for a minute or two.

Some pre-made kits are available and they range in price from about $5.00 to $150.00. Check for online sites that offer the kits as well as gauges, hot-melt glue, and a variety of tip tops. Or swing by your local tackle shop and assemble your own kit.

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