Top 3 Fishing Rod Mistakes To Avoid (How To Protect Your Gear)

This video focuses on the top 3 fishing rod mistakes to avoid!

As an angler, your fishing rod is the #1 most important piece of your tackle and gear.

The last thing you need is for that to become compromised and you end up losing fish and money.

Here’s how to avoid making the worst fishing rod mistakes!

Fishing Rod Mistakes To Avoid [VIDEO]

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Fishing rods are our most valuable tool for catching fish.

They are responsible for casting your baits out, feeling strikes, hooksets, and reeling fish back in.

There are THREE major mistakes anglers commonly make that put their rods in peril.

Stick around to the end for the MOST important of the three that most anglers don’t think twice about.

#1. High-Sticking

The first and most common way to break fishing rods is called high-sticking.

This is when the angler puts the rod in a position where the point of the rod is bent so much that it is now facing toward the butt of the rod.

This is the ultimate rod killer.

I have only ever broken ONE fishing rod in my entire life and this was exactly how I did it.

I lifted a small jack out of the water and my fishing rod was vertical in the air so all the pressure from the fish was on the tip section.

Once the fish started to thrash and shake its head, the rod became compromised and it broke.

Surprisingly, the higher-end rods tend to break more often than less expensive ones.

We call these “wet noodle rods” and they likely won’t ever break the same way as those with a higher price tag.

The problem with these rods, however, is they have no feel to them at all.

Expensive rods are made of a high-modulus material that gives you an enhanced feeling and touch.

When you have that type of feel in a fishing rod, you won’t have the power to withstand a heavy load on the tip section.

Many anglers buy a high-end rod thinking it is the most durable out there which is not the case.

Feeling in a fishing rod can mean the difference between losing fish or getting quality hook sets.

High-end rods are well worth the investment IF you practice the proper techniques and avoid high-sticking.

If a big redfish gets close to the boat and dives down and you keep your fishing rod in a vertical position, odds are it will break.

All you have to do in this situation is drop the rod tip down, even into the water in some cases is okay.

If you get snagged on a tree or a rock, don’t lift the rod up to shake your hook loose.

Instead point the rod directly at the snag, tighten down the drag, and walk the spool back.

2. Rod Transportation

The top section of your fishing rod is likely the most vulnerable when in transport.

The faster the action on the rod, the further up the compromised spot is in the blank.

If you bend the end of the rod down, you can see where the rod bends and take note of the compromised area.

In the case of the Slot Machine, that is in between the 3rd and 4th guide from the tip.

You just want to be extra mindful of protecting this section as it is most vulnerable and can be compromised.

If you put your rods in the bed of a pickup truck, try not to have that section of the rod touch the truck.

We don’t recommend transporting your rods there in the first place, but if necessary do what you can to protect that area.

You can use a rod sleeve as well if you want to be extra careful.

Also, if you were just fishing with weights or plan to, make sure the weight cannot hit the blank during transport.

This is a great way to create microfractures that weaken the fishing rod and lead to breaks.

It is best to have all your lures and weights down near the butt section where it is more sturdy.

3. Lure/Hook Keeper

When securing your lure or hook to the fishing rod, make sure to have enough line out.

In some cases, people have had their lure be short of the keeper a few inches or so and they force the hook onto the keeper.

If that happens, you should just open up the bail, attach the hook to the keeper, and reel up the slack.

If you try and pull the lure down to match up with the hook keeper, it puts even more stress than high-sticking on the rod tip.

Never pull down on the rod tip to secure your lure to the hook keeper.

That puts the rod in the most compromised position.

Moreover, when you go to store your rod, make sure to loosen the drag in case an animal (if you have pets!) or someone else bumps into the line, line will come off the drag before compromising the rod tip.

If not, the weakest link is going to break.

Say you had the drag locked down super tight and bumped into the line then, odds are it will break under that tension.

Final Thoughts

As I mentioned earlier, rods are our most important tool when fishing for redfish, seatrout, snook, flounder, etc.

Especially if you are fishing with artificial lures, the majority of your money should be in the rod.

I personally spend nearly 2x on the rod than on the reels I fish with.

Since doing so, I have significantly increased my catch rate and have not broken any rods!!

Get yourself a quality inshore saltwater fishing rod AND PROTECT IT!!!

If you avoid these mistakes, you will be able to effectively reel in big fish for many years.

If you’re going after redfish, seatrout, snook, or flounder and you want to take your game to the next level, then the Slot Machine Custom Rod is the perfect match for you.

➡Get the Slot Machine Custom Rod

Oh, and if you are a Salt Strong Insider Member, if you buy any reel in our tackle shop, we’re going to give you FREE braided line AND we’ll spool it up for you on top of FREE SHIPPING!

All you have to do is pair it up with a fishing rod, tie on a leader, and hit the water!!

If you have any further questions or comments, please leave them down below!

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Tom Birmingham
5 months ago

I learned the hard lesson about accidentally high-sticking a rod after landing a medium sized ladyfish. While holding the fish, I put the rod in one of the boat’s vertical holders. It was a pretty windy day and I didn’t want slack line whipping around, so I reached down and bumped the reel handle forward. Unfortunately, I dropped the fish and it went into typical psycho ladyfish mode, cartwheeling on the tight line and slinging poop everywhere. Before I could grab the fish, there was a resounding crack and the tip section of my high dollar rod joined the ladyfish dance. Now when using a vertical holder I always make sure to leave enough slack line so that a dropped fish will land on the deck. Plus a little extra.

Ronald Peedin
7 months ago

thanks good to know

Jay Fulcher
8 months ago

Hi Luke, I see you had yellow braid on that reel. I was wondering does braid color matter. I always thought I needed to match the color of the water to be more camouflage for the fish but it sure makes the line harder to see. So I wondering what your opinion was on braid color. Will I catch fewer fish on bright color line? Thanks

John Thomson
9 months ago

Wow, just a couple days after watching this tip, I hooked up a 28″ redfish that tried all the tricks it could to break off my slot machine. That included circling the kayak, abrupt changes in direction, and going under my kayak several times. I remembered your advice, and my slot machine is still in one piece!

Adam Carter
9 months ago

Do you have any recommendations for Rod sleeves to fit the TFO and the Slot Machine with spinning reels? There are some on Amazon but I would buy from Fish Strong if you carry for the 7.5 ft rods. Hopefully you can get some in the new store.

Marshall Poole
9 months ago

I’d like to upgrade from my uglystik elite. I need it to be at least a 2 piece. I don’t want a fragile rod. Is there a good balance between performance and durability? The more versatile, the better, I mostly throw lures, but I do use a slip bobber rig. Is there a 2 piece version of the TFO pro rod in the ultimate bundle? I think a 2 piece medium light TFO pro would check all of my boxes.

Dave Moore
10 months ago

Great video, subject, and presentation. I have two adders to the rod breaking discussion. One, when landing a big fish, “choking up” on the rod with a hand instead of keeping it directly ahead of the spinning reel. That puts all of the tension on the thinner portion of the rod. Two, I occasionally get in a hurry and whip cast in a circular motion. Last month the jig head hit the rod between 2nd and 3rd eyelets from the tip, casting the rod tip into the water.

Leo Ryan
10 months ago

I have a fishing pole racks (like you would carry skis on) on my roof rack. Which way would you carry the poles tip facing forward or backwards? Or is it better to carry them inside of m SUV?

Ray Markham
10 months ago

For those guys who have under the gunnel rod holders with rod tubes on their boats, I have seen quite a few guides get the inserts of the guides popped out when trying to place the rods in the holders under the gunnels. Sliding the rods forward or aft can hang the foot of the guide on the tube or holder and trash the guide if you’re not careful.

Ray Markham
10 months ago

Good advice, Luke. Please demonstrate rod positioning while landing a big fish by yourself. I could show you better than I can write it, but you guys are masterful with the camera.


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