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Fix or replace? How to handle rod damage.

Snap, crack, pop, crunch! We have all heard these sounds. You've just unintentionally converted your favorite one piece rod into a two piece. Maybe it was a defective rod blank, or you happened to crunch it in the front door on your way out to the fishing spot. After the handful of choice words (or many handfuls) and childish tantrum us men tend to throw when this happens, it's time to get the rod fixed. Here's what you need to do.

Some fixes are a simple matter. Let's say you stepped on a guide of your rod that was lying on the deck of your boat. Or you accidently reeled up your leader too far and knocked out the ceramic insert on the tip. Easy, peasy. Save your money on shipping. Almost every tackle shop does basic rod repair for situations like this, and if they don't, they usually sell what you need to get back on the water. I've brought a rod into a shop, to have them fix it right on site and was fishing again within the next hour.

There are countless step-by-step how-to videos online from reputable companies such as Mud Hole Rod Building & Tackle Crafting ( on what you need and how to repair your beloved fishing rod. It's a breeze doing minor repairs such as installing a new tiptop or ring guide.

Now, if you've snapped the blank your rod is for all intents and purposes KIA. There's no resuscitation to bring it back to life. What do you do? Rod manufacturers' warranties vary, but they pretty much all oblige to one rule. They will replace the rod if deemed a defect on their side. The length of time this is covered varies from company to company, but typically ranges from a year all the way to the lifetime of the rod. Some premium rods may be accompanied by more liberal warranty policies covering certain categories of user-inflicted damage. This is a good topic to explore when shopping for a new high-end stick.

By way of example, here are basic warranties of a few saltwater rod manufacturers:

G.LOOMIS Limited lifetime warranty against non-conformities in workmanship and materials for the life of the original owner. The rod will be inspected, and if it is determined that damage stems from workmanship or materials, the rod will be repaired or replaced at no charge. If the damage was a result of normal wear and tear, the rod will be repaired or replaced at a specific fee. Warranty form is found at Shipping address is G. Loomis Warranty Services, 1359 Down River Drive, Woodland WA 98674.

ST. CROIX St. Croix has a few options. Silver Star, Gold Star and Gold Star+Upgrade Service Plans cover you, even if you aren't the original owner and even allow you to upgrade your rod if you would like. They even offer a discounted shipping program. Prices vary per model of rod and service plan. See www.stcroixrods. com/service-warranty. Send a note with the rod, explaining the problem to: Service Department, St. Croix Rod, 856 4th Avenue, North Park Falls, Wisconsin 54552.

CROWDER RODS Lifetime warranty on Bluewater, E Series, E-Series Lite and Blue Steel models, and one year warranty on Salute Series. This covers defects in workmanship or material, not wear or misuse of the rod. If assessed and deemed user error, a separate fee will be applied. A $25 check and note explaining the problem with the rod will need to be included when shipping. See Shipping address is Crowder Rods, 3040 SE Dominica Terrace, Stuart, FL 34997

PENN FISHING One-year warranty against defects and workmanship. The rod will be replaced and shipped back to you for free under these terms. If found that the rod was not covered by this warranty, it will be fixed and returned at a "reasonable charge for labor, parts and return transportation and insurance." You will need to submit a photo of the rod model, broken area, copy of dated receipt, brief description of what happened, return address and contact number to A $19.95 processing fee will be applied to rods covered under warranty. PENN also has Warranty Service Centers nationwide; see www.

OKUMA FISHING One-year or limited lifetime warranty against defects and workmanship. Ship rod prepaid and insured with $19.95 processing fee. For accidental breakage, Okuma offers discount replacement and upgrade programs on limited lifetime warranty products. Remember to register your rod and save proof of purchase. Contact customer service at (909) 923-2828.

Caption: This is what happens when you turn your back on a goliath grouper, a "natural disaster" unlikely to be covered under warranty.
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Title Annotation:FS SEMINAR: INSHORE
Author:Roberts, Brenton
Publication:Florida Sportsman
Date:Jul 1, 2017
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