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Breaking Down Fly Rods for Quick Transport

Posted on September 17 2016

Breaking down fly rods for easy transport.
Locked, loaded, and ready for the next run. Photos: Kyle Shea.

Most of us have spent a day on the water with someone who’s gear situation seems exceptionally well organized, from the layout of their boat to the packing of their truck. Heck, you might even be that person!

If you’re not that person, you may have wondered why anyone would take the time to be so organized in the first place.. It’s just fishing gear after all, and wouldn’t you rather spend your time, you know, fishing and not organizing?

Well, what these select few of organized anglers realize is that the better organized your gear is, the less time you spend fumbling around with it, meaning the more time your fly actually spends in the water, and in the long run, the more fish you’re going to catch!

Rigging rods is arguably one of the most time consuming parts of any fishing day. Ideally, your rods would stay rigged throughout the day, as breaking them down between runs gets old, not to mention takes time out of your fishing day. However, not all of us have rod racks able to accommodate fully rigged rods, or have the space in the boat for all the rods you ‘might’ fish in a day. Fully rigged rods, especially long two-handers, can be cumbersome when hiking through the sticks to the river as well. Therefore, we’re always looking for a better way to transport our rods to get our fly in the water as quick as possible when its go time.

We were recently shown a clever way of breaking down rods (either single or two handed rods) while fully rigged by Alaska West guide, Grant Turner, which uses no additional gear than your rig itself. It works pretty darn slick for a quick transport between runs, hopping in the truck on the way to the next spot, or when stomping through the alders, and here’s how it works..

Breaking down fly rods for easy transport.
Step 1: Hook your fly on the guide ABOVE the second ferrule of the rod as shown. This will not only help to keep the line tidy when broken down, but will also store most of the fly line on the reel, keeping it from kinking in the guides.
Breaking down fly rods for easy transport.
Step 2: Reel up enough slack to keep the fly hooked to the guide and separate the rod at the second ferrule, thus breaking it in half.
Breaking down fly rods for easy transport.
Step 3: Fold the top half of the rod down, nesting both halves together so that the tip section and the butt of the rod point the same direction.
Breaking down fly rods for easy transport.
Step 4: Reel up any slack left in the line and grab a sink tip or butt section of a leader (depending on your rig) near a guide in the middle of the rod.
Breaking down fly rods for easy transport.
Step 5: Wrap the sink tip (or leader) as many times around both sections of the rod until tight, ending by hooking it around the nearest guide. Both sections should now be bound tightly together and are only moments away from being fished!
Breaking down fly rods for easy transport.
Step 6: For added support, fix your reel cover on your reel over the top of your tip section.

Now, when it comes time to fish, simply unwrap the sinktip or leader, slide the ferrules together and voila! You’re rigged and ready to go!

Note: This method is best used as a quick method to tidy up your rigged rod for quick transport but does very little to protect it from impact, especially the tip section. Normal care still must be taken to avoid breakage.

More Rigging Tips

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