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Thread: Hike in Fishing and Fly Rod Cases: a cautionary tale

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    Default Hike in Fishing and Fly Rod Cases: a cautionary tale

    My friends and I love trout fishing but many of the streams we fish are connected to the road system and get hammered pretty hard at the access points. As a result we tend to hike in a decent ways before fishing.

    These hikes usually involve scrambling through game trails, weaving through thick brush, and making excessive noise to try to avoid bear encounters. The combination of the thick brush and narrow game trails has previously resulted in broken rods, and nothing is worse than being miles from the car with a broken rod, so we’ve taken to stuffing two rods into a single rod tube and strapping that case to our bag so we always have a spare in case rod # 1 breaks.

    This past October we were wrapping up a particularly productive day of fall fishing when we decided it was finally time to break down our rods for the hike back. I unzipped and opened my rod tube expecting to see my back up rod sitting there, waiting for its counterpart to join it once again, but instead an empty rod tube case stared back.

    My stomach dropped and my mind raced trying to understand what I was seeing. In the panic I jumped to the first conclusion that came to mind and assumed I left my spare rod on the ground while I was setting up rod #1 for the day. I quickly tossed my rod in the tube case and raced through the brush back to where we first set up for the day in the hopes I would get back to my rod before it was claimed by another fisherman.

    I arrived at the spot we had set up at and the rod was nowhere to be found. As I slowly began to admit defeat my hand brushed against the bottom of my rod tube, which had been strapped to my backpack all day, and where there was typically smooth fabric I felt only frayed fibers. I pulled the bag off, examined the rod tube case and to my dismay found that the fabric at the edges on the bottom of the rod tube had given out. Where there was once a solid bottom, there was now a gaping hole surrounded by torn rod tube fabric. As I once again unzipped the rod tube case I saw the painfully familiar site of an empty rod tube case staring back at me.

    The bottom of the tube must have failed at some point during the day resulting in rod #2 being dropped somewhere during our trek. When I discovered rod #2 was missing and threw rod #1 into the tube to race back in search of the missing rod, I unknowingly allowed rod #1 to be lost in the same manner as rod #2.

    Even though the day ended in disaster it was a phenomenal day of drifting beads and flesh patterns for greedy Rainbows. To end on a positive note I went back the following weekend with a new fly rod and caught an absolute stud of a Rainbow that happened to be a new personal best for me and I was even fortunate enough to find one of the lost rods on a subsequent trip! Since then I only carry either a solid alloy tube or a rod tube with a plastic cap on the bottom when I hike in to fish.

    Hopefully others can learn from my mistake, I know I certainly have. Tight lines!


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by when in doubt fish it out View Post
    My friends and I love trout fishing but many of the streams we fish are connected to the road system and get hammered pretty hard at the access points. As a result we tend to hike in a decent ways before fishing.

    These hikes usually involve scrambling through game trails, weaving through thick brush, and making excessive noise to try to avoid bear encounters. The combination of the thick brush and narrow game trails has previously resulted in broken rods, and nothing is worse than being miles from the car with a broken rod, so we’ve taken to stuffing two rods into a single rod tube and strapping that case to our bag so we always have a spare in case rod # 1 breaks.

    This past October we were wrapping up a particularly productive day of fall fishing when we decided it was finally time to break down our rods for the hike back. I unzipped and opened my rod tube expecting to see my back up rod sitting there, waiting for its counterpart to join it once again, but instead an empty rod tube case stared back.

    My stomach dropped and my mind raced trying to understand what I was seeing. In the panic I jumped to the first conclusion that came to mind and assumed I left my spare rod on the ground while I was setting up rod #1 for the day. I quickly tossed my rod in the tube case and raced through the brush back to where we first set up for the day in the hopes I would get back to my rod before it was claimed by another fisherman.

    I arrived at the spot we had set up at and the rod was nowhere to be found. As I slowly began to admit defeat my hand brushed against the bottom of my rod tube, which had been strapped to my backpack all day, and where there was typically smooth fabric I felt only frayed fibers. I pulled the bag off, examined the rod tube case and to my dismay found that the fabric at the edges on the bottom of the rod tube had given out. Where there was once a solid bottom, there was now a gaping hole surrounded by torn rod tube fabric. As I once again unzipped the rod tube case I saw the painfully familiar site of an empty rod tube case staring back at me.

    The bottom of the tube must have failed at some point during the day resulting in rod #2 being dropped somewhere during our trek. When I discovered rod #2 was missing and threw rod #1 into the tube to race back in search of the missing rod, I unknowingly allowed rod #1 to be lost in the same manner as rod #2.

    Even though the day ended in disaster it was a phenomenal day of drifting beads and flesh patterns for greedy Rainbows. To end on a positive note I went back the following weekend with a new fly rod and caught an absolute stud of a Rainbow that happened to be a new personal best for me and I was even fortunate enough to find one of the lost rods on a subsequent trip! Since then I only carry either a solid alloy tube or a rod tube with a plastic cap on the bottom when I hike in to fish.

    Hopefully others can learn from my mistake, I know I certainly have. Tight lines!

    Wow, I can only imagine. But what a nice rainbow, congratulations. Glad you found one of the rods. Just curious, was it no. 1 or No. 2.

    My personal best rainbow was a 28 inch one caught through the ice. But here's a couple of my personal best fly caught 'bows.





    I have broken poles doing the same thing, and also use a rod tube to prevent it. Thanks for the heads up, I will watch for holes in the bottom.

    Best of luck on all your future trips.

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    First off- that is a beautiful fish! Nicely done.
    A trick I have learned with my daypack is to put the butt of the rod tube in the drink holder mesh pocket and lashed to the side of the pack with the built in cinch straps. If I hike with one of my Sage rod tubes that has the reel space- I just invert the tube to make sure it fits in the mesh pocket.
    Glad you got one rod back. Rods can be replaced but memories from a nice day on the water are priceless!

  4. #4

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    I also enjoy hiking in to get away from people and always bring a second rod (learned that the hard way more than once). I have never once thought about my rod tube failing on me but I will definitely keep it in mind in the future so thanks for the info.

    Absolute beauty of a fish! The look on your face explains it all.

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    A simple fix would to make a rod tube out of PVC pipe. Cut the pipe to the length desired, glue a cap on one end and a screw off cap on the other end. Glue some foam inside the caps if you want. Guaranteed not to fray at either end.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    A simple fix would to make a rod tube out of PVC pipe. Cut the pipe to the length desired, glue a cap on one end and a screw off cap on the other end. Glue some foam inside the caps if you want. Guaranteed not to fray at either end.
    Granted, I haven't been around a lot of rod tubes, but the ones I have all have plastic caps. So to tell you the truth, I didn't even know of rod tubes with some sort of fabric ends. At least the op got one rod back.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Thank you all for the kind words! It seems like there has been an overall shift toward producing fly rod tubes with solid caps on the bottom but some companies still haven't caught on, in this case it was an Echo rod tube that gave out.

    Ready for the kicker?
    Rod #1 was an Echo base that I was fishing because it was a lighter weight than rod #2 which was a G. Loomis IMX Pro. The rod I got back was rod #1 which was the Echo base, the Loomis was gone for good

    Oh well, hopefully someone found that rod and put it to some use and if nothing else it gave me a good excuse to run out and buy another IMX Pro. It may not have the best warranty but it has a great feel to it and does a great job turning big fish!

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    I have a buddy that hikes in and out of that creek all the time, he will probably find it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Yup, the Gloomis rod tubes fail as I found out too. I was lucky and noticed my 4wt just poking through a couple inches while in the airport. I bought a bottle of water and cut it in half, slid it over the end of the rod tube and taped it up solid. I made it through that trip and retired the rod case to a hard plastic one after that.
    FISH LIVES MATTER

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    Thanks for the heads up, that's very good to know and i'm glad you noticed the failing tube before the rod disappeared on you! I'm thinking i'll be using the metal rod tube that came with my G loomis NRX 8 weight for all future outings, if that thing fails it will be 100% on me haha

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