How to get Stuck Fishing Rod Sections Apart

man holding rod in sunset

Getting your two piece rod stuck together happens to the best of us and is just a part of fishing. Build up of dirt, salt and even changes in temperature can cause a rod to become stuck.

In this article we’ll go over three of the best ways to get your rod unstuck. They are:

  • The behind the knees method
  • Use non-slip material for extra grip
  • Cool the ferrule with ice

Keep reading to find out how to perform each of these methods and some important tips on what you should not do when trying to get a rod unstuck.

Best ways to get your rod unstuck

Method 1 – Behind the knees

If you’ve already tried to pull your rod apart and it wouldn’t budge, chances are you need some extra strength. The first method I try involves using your legs for extra leverage.

Let me explain.

You can do this either standing or sitting. I personally prefer sitting.

First get your rod and hold it behind both your knees. Make sure the stuck ferrule is in the middle of your legs.

Bring both your knees close together and firmly grip either side of the stuck ferrule. Make sure you are not gripping any guides as they can break.

Grip the rod hard and try opening your knees against your arms. Your outer thighs should press against your forearms giving you extra leverage. If your rod doesn’t come unstuck right away, try twisting both sides of the ferrule.

If this method doesn’t work, try moving on to Method 2.

Method 2 – Use non-slip material

Sometimes it isn’t the extra strength to pull the rod apart that is the problem. Sometimes you just need a better grip of the rod.

Now to do this, you will need something that’s going to give you some extra grip. Rubber gloves that you might have around the house are going to work great. I like to use the material used in non-slip mats for kitchen benches.

You will want to do the same thing you would usually do, just using a non-slip material to get a better grip of the rod. You can also combine this with the behind the knees method for better strength and grip.

If your rod still isn’t getting unstuck, give method 3 a try.

Method 3 – Cool the ferrule

When all else fails, this is the last method to try and you’d be surprised how well this works.

All you have to do is cool the ferrule down. As it cools, the inner part of the rod contracts, allowing you to pull it free much easier.

The best way to do this is to fill a plastic bag with some ice cubes and a little bit of water. Tie a knot in the top so it doesn’t spill everywhere and palace it right on top of the stuck ferrule.

How long you leave it here will depend on your rod. Sometimes it takes 10 minutes, while other times it can take an hour or two. I’ve found around 30 minutes works well for me.

After waiting, try pulling the two pieces of the rod apart. You can use the techniques mentioned before in Method 1 and 2 to improve your chances.

What not to do

When trying to get your rod unstuck here are a few things you should not do!

Don’t grip the guides

It might be tempting to grab the guides so you have a better grip but this is definitely a big no no. Putting too much force on the guides can cause some major damage or even tear your guide right off your rod. It will be much safer and more effective to use a non-slip material as I described in Method 2.

Don’t bend the rod

I have seen some people try to bend the rod to try to get the ferrule loose. Sometimes it can help but it is way more riskier. Forcefully bending the rod can damage or crack the ferrule meaning you won’t be able to put it back together again. You can also cause some significant damage to the blank, especially if you have a more brittle graphite rod.

Don’t do it inside

When people are trying to get their rod unstuck, they often forget what happens when they do… the rod pieces fly apart. This is why it is usually best to do it outdoors where you have plenty of space. If you plan to do it indoors, make sure there aren’t any walls, cupboards or tables too nearby. The last thing you want is to finally pull your rod apart and for it to break!

What causes rods to get stuck


Bits of sand, dirt or grime can get stuck between the ferrules of your rod.

Salt water

One of the more common causes of a stuck rod is salt build-up at the ferrule. This is particularly an issue if you are fishing near the surf. The saltwater sprays into the air and collects at the ferrule. As the water dries, the salt remains and deposits in the ferrule making it stuck.

Temperature Changes

As I mentioned in Method 3, the change in temperature can cause your rod to expand or contract. If you set your rod up early in the morning the temperatures are likely to be colder. As the day goes on, the temperature increases causing your rod to expand inside the ferrule. When it comes time to pull the rod apart, the ferrule is much tighter than it was before!

How to prevent your rod getting stuck

Clean ferrules

Keeping your ferrules clean can go a long way to preventing a stuck rod. Use a soft cloth to wipe down the male end and a cotton swab to clean inside the female end of the ferrule. Moistening the cloth and swab with a little rubbing alcohol can help clean out any build up of dirt. It’s a good idea to do this after each fishing session. Also make sure your rod is always dry before putting the two pieces together.

Don’t use excessive force

When you are putting your rod pieces together don’t use too much force. You shouldn’t have to jam down the ferrule by pressing against a wall or anything. Just use your two hands to firmly fit the rod pieces together. If done correctly, the two pieces should be held together nicely and not move freely or be loose around the ferrule.