Rod maintenance tips

Here are a few tips for keeping your rod performing at the highest level for many years to come...

* Store our rod in its case, out of the sun and weather. Make sure it's completely dry before storing.

* Dogs love to chew on the cork, and children, well it's better to just keep it away from both.

* Lubricate reel seats with a small amount of WD40 or similar corrosion inhibitor.

* To avoid added stress on the rod, it's best to disassemble it when bushwhacking and when entering boats and automobiles.

* Never reel weights or baits all the way to the rod tip. This may damage the tip-top or fracture the tip of the blank.

* Always follow the line rating for your rod. Exceeding the line rating is like 'red lining' your car's engine: it may cause the rod to fail.

* To free a snag, point the rod tip directly at the snag area and pull back along the axis of the rod, putting the stress on the reel instead of the rod. This will either dislodge the snag or break your leader, but your rod will be saved. Never attempt to free a snag with your rod tip, unless you lure costs over €100.

* Avoid 'high sticking' your rod when fighting or landing a fish. Rods will break when they are bent in arcs that are tighter than they were designed to be bent.

* Do not place your hand on the rod blank above the handle while fighting or landing a fish. This will put excessive pressure on the blank where your hand is placed instead of allowing the rod to distribute the pressure evenly over its entire length.

* Never use a graphite fishing rod in an electrical storm as they conduct electricity.

* Avoid placing or transporting your rod against metal or abrasive objects. Small nicks and scratches damage the graphite and can lead to rod breakage.

* Have fun, after all you're fishing!