I have used my Shimano rod and reel for two seasons now. In july of this year, I hooked into a lery large grass carp that made a last desperete run and broke my rod 8 inches above the middle connecting sleeves. I did a temperary fix in the field by useing a sharp knife, cut the two broken areas so they were net. I slid the top smaller section into the bottom section, placed a small amount of super glue in the larger section and sled the two togeather and held them togeather untill the super glue was dry. I then rapped some black electrical tape around the connection neatly.
Although I lost the grass carp that broke my rod, I keep useing it that day and landed four large mouths, five sunfish, three croppie, and one grass carp that was even bigger than the one that broke my rod. Although the rod is about four or five inches shorter, it still is fishable. I do plan to contact Shimano to see if I can get the top section (the half that broke) replaced. FYI I don't know what was going on this year but my Shimano rod was the third rod that broke this year. I was lucky in the asspect that I was able to repair two of the three rods.
My wife said that she would get me a new replacement for the rod I could not repair for my birthday in november. The three rods that I broke this year was the first rods to break on me in about twelve years. That's not to bad, at least I don't think so. Considering that I fish no less than four to five days a week, my grandchildren use them, and my wife also uses them. So I feel if I do loose a couple rods a year, owell. After all I do have around thirtyfive rod and reel combos.
With the most expensive combo costing me forty dollars was from my local bait shop on sale. That was for both rod and reel. Almost one third of my rods and reels I got at yard sales, another third I got as gifts. The last third I bought from different sporting shops, bait shops, and such. With none of the rods or reels casting me more than thirty five dollars for any one of them.
If your not a pro fishing for your next pay check, the cheaper rods and reels can and will work just as good as those costing 5 or 6 times more. I have a spinning rod I bought when I was fourteen, that cost me seven bucks. I still use it today, forty four years later. I've replaced the tip several times over the years, so the lenght is about seven or eight inches shorter than when it was new.
By the way, for my club friends from south jersey, I bought that rod at the Columbus Sale on rt. 206. great place to go and walk around and find great deals.