Adventure Location: Rockport, Texas
The OFM has an old friend of a fishing rod that he has used for several years. It is an Ugly Stik Elite and has been an excellent performer and handled many fish of all sizes without fail.
The OFM is also a fan of using braid fishing line for his fishing. He started using braid about five years ago and fell in love with it. Braid is made by weaving many small strands of material into a larger line. What that does is reduce the ability of braid to withstand abrasion.
A few weeks ago the OFM noticed that his braid line was getting badly abraded quickly. This water around Rockport has lots of things in it to abrade line, like oysters, old pilings, barnacles and who knows what else. Normally the braid would start getting fuzzy from abrasion in about a dozen fishing episodes and the last ten feet of braid would be cut off and discarded in the trash.
About two weeks ago The OFM Fishing Team noticed that the fuzziness happened within a two or three trip time. WOW he needs to be more careful we told him. So he was more careful and the fuzziness showed up after the next trip. That is way too soon.
Research began and nothing could be found to cause the wear on the braid. Until the daylight hit the rod tip from a certain angle as the OFM was trimming yet another few feet of braid off the spool. What is that he thought? However he could not see any trouble with the rod tip.
That night the OFM got out his magnifying glass to help his trifocal glasses do their job. Examination of the rod tip revealed a set of grooves in it!
A fresh piece of braid was used to run around inside of the rod tip sort of like flossing teeth. Lo and Behold it was like running the braid over the teeth of a hacksaw. The tip had very fine and very sharp grooves on the inside of the tip where the line rubs with every cast.
We guess all the miles of line reeled over that tip in the years had slowly worn the ceramic tip ring to the point of needing replacement. This led to an examination of all the rod eyes on both rods. The Ugly Stik rod tip was the only rough rod eye.
A trip to Tackle Town to get a new rod tip to replace the worn tip led to finding out that Tackle Town would replace the rod tip as I waited with a new Fuji Ceramic Ring Tip for the ridiculous high price of $4 plus tax. So in about five minutes our trouble was solved and the rod is now back in service and the braid is not fuzzy after a few trips.
The OFM learned a lesson that 1. He cannot see well enough anymore to check the rod line guides with out a magnifying glass assistant. And 2. he needs to check all the rod line guides at least once a year. They are very important when fishing while trying to have tooooo much fun.