Avoid obstructions in the boat

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If you’re fishing from a boat, there are quite a few precautions to take. Closing a lid on a rod is a notorious no-no that is so easy to do. I’ve sat down countless times to retie, lifted the lid of a storage compartment in the boat, handled my business and then as I go to close the compartment, caught the lid just before it crushed my rod.

Unfortunately I haven’t caught it every time though, especially in my younger years. Those lessons learned have made me keenly more aware of where my rod is in relation to the lids these days. When a lid lands on a rod blank like this, you often don’t break the rod in that moment. In fact, you often won’t even hear a crack or notice anything wrong with the rod upon immediate inspection.

But the next time you go to cast, your rod will fold over in the back swing like a set of nunchucks. Or if the damage isn’t quite as severe, you may make it through a few casts before you get your next bite and then when that bite comes and you go to set the hook, an explosion happens at that newly created weak spot.

Tie-down cleats are another awful rod breaking opportunity on a boat. It seems if I lay a rod across the gunnel of a boat, it’s going to slide its way right under a cleat every time. And it’s so easy to pick it up not having noticed and damage the rod or even break it entirely in that moment without much effort at all.

You also want to watch out for compartment lid handles, as many of them are extremely easy to catch a rod under. Just for good measure, keep an eye on your fishing partner’s feet as well. Some guys have some real toe-getters on the dance floor that’ll wreak havoc on the front deck of a boat as well.