The length of a fishing rod has a fine balance. A short rod is very easy to handle, and it’s great for close encounters. It doesn’t bump into your chest, rub against your body, and catch your clothes with every throw. However, it overloads the wrist, and that could get exhausting after a little while.
Longer rods, on the other hand, are much easier to wield. They feel like holding feathers in your hands, especially if the rod material is lightweight. You can spend hours on end throwing and casting with total leverage.
Many of us have a favorite fishing rod, that would be ten times better, if only it was a bit longer. While most fishermen keep on wishing, a bunch of clever folks actually do something about it.
If you like to know how to lengthen fishing rod handle read on, it’s simpler than you think!
Extending the Length of Your Fishing Rod Handle in 5 Easy Steps
If you have a basic set of tools in your garage, a bunch of old rods, and basic tinkering skills, then you can definitely take on this project. It’s quite simple, actually, and doesn’t even take too much time from start to finish.
The best advice we can give you at this point is to measure twice and cut once. You’ll be doing a lot of both in this fishing rod extension operation!
Step 1: Round Up the Necessary Equipment
Before starting any measuring, cutting, or tinkering, it’s best to put together all the necessary materials, tools, and other essentials.
Here’s a list of the basics, but you can add or change some items depending on your project’s specific requirements.
- Blank rod
- Conventional rod with reel
- Butt cap
- Foam grips
- Cork rings
- Rigid ruler
- Hand or rotary saw
- Manual files or rotary grinder
- Drill and drill bits of various diameters
- Table vice
- Carving knife
- Small chisel
- Heat gun or hairdryer
- Marker pencil
- Duct/masking tape
- Electric tape
- Epoxy paste
This list is an ideal roundup of the tool that’ll make the job easy and safe. Some of these items might be replaceable, or you could get around it by skipping a step.
However, we strongly advise against compromising safety measures. Especially while using drills or other power tools.
Step 2: Find a Suitable Extension Piece
The best-case scenario is to stumble upon a blank rod that matches the one you’re trying to extend. The diameter, material, and foam covering are all important aspects.
And it would be great if they are a similar breed. At the very least, they need to be compatible.
Other options include:
- Old fishing rods of various sizes
- Golf club handles
- Baseball bats, or similar bats
- Tapered shafts
Some of these might bulge a little or seem a bit lacking in thickness. This is still fixable with a bit of creativity, duct tape, or abrasion. Aim for a handle that wouldn’t be too slippery, unnecessarily heavy, or made from a brittle material. Unlike the sizing, these three factors aren’t up for repairs.
It would be helpful to find some foam for covering the extended segment. This is good for aesthetics, of course, and it’s also essential to maintain a good grip on the fishing rod.
Additionally, getting a few cork rings would probably come in handy as well. These little things are great at smoothing out the differences in diameters, in case the rod and extension piece are mismatched.
Step 3: Removing the Rod’s Butt Cap
The goal is to slide out the butt cap, without causing any unnecessary damages. Typically, it would be glued in place and pushed a couple of inches into the rod’s handle.
Author Note: Using a heat gun should soften the binding glue to the point that the butt cap could be pried out. The problem is that using direct heat on the adjacent foam would damage it. Thus, we need to cover that part of the handle with duct tape or masking tape before applying the heat.
Wrapping masking tape a few times around the foam of the handle should be sufficient to protect it from the heat. Right after that, using any source of hot air on the butt cap would do the trick. Use the chisel to push it outward and off the rod.
If the cap comes off neatly, then clean up the excess glue, and keep it on the bench. It can be reused after all the extension work is done.
Step 4: Clean Up the Core of the Rod
The part beneath the butt cap is often filled with glue. This filling doesn’t go all the way through the length of the shaft though. Just a couple of inches towards the end.
To be able to insert an extension inside the rod, this glue stopper needs to be disposed of. The best tool for that is a drill.
Attach the rod firmly to a table vice, then proceed with coring the glue stopper. Avoid holding the rod with your hands while performing this step. Many people fall into that mistake, but it’s quite dangerous and poses a serious risk of injury.
Top Tip: After finishing with the drill, the inside of the rod might still have some traces of glue. Use a thin carving knife to clean up the remains clinging to the inner wall of the rod. This should take care of any residual glue.
Now the fishing rod is ready for the extension piece.
Step 5: Insert the Extension and Glue it in Place
Take the blank rod and just insert it into the newly hollowed rod. Mark the point where it stops going deeper anymore.
You’d need to cut about 8 inches before that mark and 8 inches after it. The 8 inches ahead are the part that would be inserted inside the rod, while the thicker part on the other end would be the extra length that would be added to the handle of the rod.
The thin part that’s inserted inside the rod might be too skinny for the rod. It might even feel like it’s moving in the wiggle space inside. This isn’t a positive outcome, and we’d need to remedy that gap situation.
Using electric tape to thicken the blank rod in these extra thin spots would make the insertion much more stable. Once everything feels well set, you can start gluing the insertion in place. Epoxy glue is perfect for binding the two rods together.
You can now add the foam cover over the lengthened handle and finally return the butt cap. The same type of glue would work for this part as well.
The extended rod is now ready for your next fishing trip.
Here are some of the questions we often get about fishing rod length, and our best answers for them. Usually, these discussions end with the anglers looking for ways to lengthen their fishing rod handles.
Q1: Are longer fishing rods better?
Longer fishing rods are only better if they match your intent. There are pros and cons for long fishing rods. So if you normally fish from the shore or a pier, then a longer casting rod would be most suitable for you. And that’s why a longer rod would be better.
Longer rods are also easier to carry, wield, and throw. They distribute the load evenly on the wrists, forearms, elbows, and shoulders. That’s why they feel more comfortable.
On the downside, these rods tend to be a bit clumsy. And as you move them about, they seem to bump on everything in their way. Also, they aren’t too tactical or precise. That is the specialty of a shorter rod.
Q2: Are longer fishing rods stronger?
The extra length of the fishing rod might affect its strength negatively, this is a law of physics. The situation becomes quite serious if the rod is made from a rigid material. In that case, the smallest pull at the tip would create a large load in the center of the rod. This could lead to the rod’s failure.
Author Note: Usually, lengthy rods are made from resilient flexible materials. Thus, the extra length doesn’t affect their strength all that much.
Q3: What are longer fishing rods used for?
Long fishing rods are mainly used to cover long distances. Pier, shore, and surf fishing are some of the basic places where long rods are often in sight. Saltwater fishing usually requires these longer fellows as well.
Additionally, power fishing reaction baits are constantly used in tandem with a long fishing rod. They are perfectly suited for deep diving crankbaits as well as walking baits. As for the fish that you can catch with these lengthy rods, the bass is often a good target.
Back in the day, extra-long fishing rods weren’t all that popular. That’s mainly because their materials were heavy, rigid, and they were generally difficult to control. Occasionally, the tip of the lengthy rod broke under the tug of a big fish.
Nowadays, longer fishing rods have more benefits than downsides. The materials are much better than before in terms of weight, strength, and flexibility. It’s not surprising then to see many people wanting to lengthen the fishing rod handles.
We hope that our detailed guide on how to lengthen a fishing rod handle.