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six sections by alternating butt-to-tip. When you open the top, the case looks like a canister of pick-up sticks. Better yet, carry the travel rods on board. The short tubes should not be an issue for the overhead compartment. Specialty fly shops sell snazzy travel cases with fashionably correct logos that hold multiple rods. Or, if you don’t mind sacrificing a few style points, you can whip out a roll of silver duct tape and lash several individual tubes together. Once at camp, pay attention when joining the rod sections together. If you opt for the pick-up stick packing technique, make certain all three sections you grab from the pile do in fact belong to the same rod. They tend to look similar and mistakes can be made; this especially is true after three or four fingers of aged rum and amid a cloud of Cohiba smoke on the poorly lighted porch of a tropical lodge. Each section should be firmly seated with straight pressure. Avoid twisting or turning under force, as this might damage the ferrule, and be most careful

Wide spool Shimano Calcutta 400, FTU travel rod, and MirrOlure M77 was an effective combination for plug casting for tarpon and big jacks.

when breaking down the rod. The temptation is great over a stuck section to jam your thumb for leverage against the upper guide and, yes, we’ve all gotten impatient and done it. But such rough handling is a good way to break the guide or rip the foot from its windings. If a smooth pull fails to unseat a stuck ferrule, try the old trick of holding the rod horizontally behind your bent knees and pulling smartly. This sounds stupid but dates back to the fiberglass and bamboo days of metal ferrules and works remarkably well. Worst case, enlist the aid of a friend. You each grab with both hands and pull straight apart. But these are extreme measures. Chances are, the quality rod will break down easily, ready to wipe dry and store in its compact tube for the flight home and your next angling adventure. And with no annoying hassles and outrageous fees for extra baggage.

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July 2016  

The July 2016 issue of Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine.

July 2016  

The July 2016 issue of Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine.