I was fighting a large fish when I slipped and broke the tip ring and the first three line guides off my rod blank. I eventually landed the fish, but I wondered if the catch was IGFA legal or not? When I measured from the centre of the reel seat to the end of the rod, it was still over 40 inches. However, when I measured from the centre of the reel seat to the last guide that was still on the rod blank and holding line, it was under 40 inches. So, was my catch legal or not?
You correctly stated that IGFA rules dictate that rods must have a tip length of at least 40 inches (101.6cm) when measured from the centre of the reel seat to the tip of the rod. IGFA rules also state that a catch is disqualified when “…a rod breaks (while the fish is being played) in a manner that reduces the length of the tip below minimum dimensions or severely impairs its angling characteristics.” In your case, even though you had over 40 inches of rod blank above the reel seat, you were still fighting the fish on a rod that was severely impaired because it had an ‘effective tip length’ of under 40 inches. This would unfortunately disqualify the catch for IGFA record consideration.
IGFA Rule Book: Rules Explained:
Rod Length After Breaking Line Guides
Answer supplied by: Jason Schratwieser
Position: IGFA Rules
This question ran in ISSUE 95 of BlueWater magazine: JAN / FEB 2013