I was fishing with a good friend on the Madison River when he called from two hundred feet downstream that he needed help. When I got to him he pointed his fly rod at me and exclaimed, “Look”! I could easily see that the top section of his four piece fly rod was missing. He said that when he made his regular forward cast the tip section of his fly rod slipped off, tore the fly off and shot out into the river and he could not catch it. When I asked him if he ever put ferrule dressing on his ferrules he looked at me with an embarrassed look and answered, “well…no”.
This spring I had a beginning anglers break a new rod in a similar situation. A good friend of mine recently broke his favorite rod when he jammed its dry ferrule together and broke the rod trying to get it apart. All of these problems could have been prevented if the anglers had regularly applied Murray’s Ferrule Dressing to their ferrules.
A friend recently purchased a new fly rod and broke it while casting the first day out. When I asked him if he had put ferrule dressing on it before fishing, he looked at me with a questioning expression and asked “No, what is that?”
I always apply a light coat of Murray’s Ferrule Dressing on each ferrule on a new fly rod and every six months there after. This helps assure a smooth non slipping ferrule joint and can prolong the life of the ferrule.
Ferrules on graphite and glass fly rods can slip and break and you can even cast the tip section off your rod if you do not keep ferrule dressing on the fly rod ferrules. Fly rods with internal spigot ferrules should be lined up 1/4 turn from straight then turned into alignment. I clean and dress my ferrules every tenth trip and I’ve never broke a ferrule on these rods. Do not do this on metal ferrules. Keep the ferrules clean; this can be achieved by simply wiping them with a clean cloth. I will use warm soapy water if they are particularly dirty. For more information on Fly Rod Care check out our online videos.
Throughout the fishing season each of us should periodically give our fly rod, reel, fly line and other gear a thorough inspection to check for damage or indications of premature wear. Â At the end of the season I like to cast, clean, thoroughly dry and visually inspect my fly rods before I store them for the Winter. Â I clean the fly rod including the guides, ferrules, blank, grip and reel seat. Â Check for loose guides and ferrules. Â Check the grip for damage. This simple inspection/ maintenance can save countless hours of down time next season.
While doing this, I found that our Scott ARC957 Fly Rod’s ferrules are a bit too worn for another season. According Scott Fly Rods chief rod designer Jim Bartschi, the internal spigot ferrules should have a gap between 1/8″ to 1/2″ when the two pieces are put together like you are ready to fish.
The fly rod in these pictures has been used well over 100 days per year for the last 10 years and the last time I sent it back to the Scott Fly Rod Company for ferrule work was three years ago. Â It is at Scott right now for another ferrule rehab.
Something that many anglers overlook is the fact that ferrules do wear and if you forget to apply ferrule dressingÂ periodically they can wear rather quickly (watch Harry’s Ferrule Dressing video). Â This wear occurs with sleeve (overlapping) ferrules but is not as obvious since there is no constant reference point. The rate of wear depends on a variety of factors such as; frequency of use, Â are the ferrules clean, Â do you apply ferrule dressing, etc. What happens when the ferrules get too close/ wear out? Worse case scenario is that you break your fly rod on the fish of a lifetime. Â The reason it breaks is that a worn out ferrule will slip, allowing the thinner part of the ferrule to absorb all of the stress of casting or fighting a fish or pulling your fly out of the bushes. What should I do if Â my ferrules are worn out? Send your fly rod back to the manufacturer and ask them to repair your ferrules. Â If you rod has a lifetime warranty this is covered by that warranty. Â If you have no warranty, most manufacturers have their own in-house repair shop which can handle the repair for a nominal fee.
If you have any questions about your fly rod and fly rod care, please email us or give us a call (540-984-4212)
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I know we posted this some time ago but I have recently seen a rash of fly rods broken at the ferrules and after much discussion with several of the manufacturers’ rod builders, our conclusion is that the ferrules are slipping vs. a design flaw. A question I am going to pose to anglers in the future: Have you ever taken your rod apart at the end of the day and found that one of the ferrules was not snug? If you answer yes to this question then you need to apply ferrule dressing… Keep your rod out of the repair shop and on the water!