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October 25, 2001

Rod Tips Tip

Foam pipe insulation will protect rod tips on even the roughest trips.

For protecting rod tips in a travel tube, boat or on a float trip, you can't beat a 24-inch section of 1/2- or 3/4-inch (inside diameter) water-pipe insulation from a hardware store. The soft foam insulation is slit along its length to fit around pipes or, in this case, rod tips.
When packing rods in a tube, use one piece of insulation per rod tip and insert all into the rod tube at the same time. Leave 2 to 3 inches of insulation extending beyond the rod tips to cushion them from slamming around inside the rod case.
On a boat, foam also can be used on a rigged rod to protect it from being stepped on during loading, unloading or storage. Rig the rod and hook the lure back on the reel, then place the insulation over the rod tip. When it's time for action, the protective cover is quickly stripped away and you're ready to cast.
On canoe float-fishing trips, the foam insulation keeps my rods from being snagged overboard by stray branches or vines. And, if you accidentally drop a rod overboard, the rod (or at least the tip end with the foam) will float.
San Antonio, Texas