How to Replace the Gimbal on the End of My Fishing Rod

Written by gerry arlen good
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How to Replace the Gimbal on the End of My Fishing Rod
Angler with a total fighting system (belt, rod bucket and rod with gimbal). (team fishing ii image by Mitchell Knapton from

The gimbal at the butt end of a fishing rod is a critical part of the total fighting system. It allows anglers to use a rod bucket and belt to fight large fish. Replacing a broken gimbal is a common need for fishermen and is easy to accomplish. In most cases, this can be accomplished in the field so that an expensive fishing trip need not be cut short.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pair of vice grips
  • Cooking pot
  • 4-inch ferrule cement stick
  • Matches
  • Fine sand paper

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  1. 1

    Pour enough clean water into a cooking pot to raise the level 2 inches above the gimbal when the butt section of the rod is placed in the pot. Remove the rod butt from the pot after measuring and bring the water to a boil.

  2. 2

    Remove any retaining screws on the gimbal, and place the butt section of the rod into the boiling water, submerging the damaged gimbal completely. Do not allow the butt section of the rod to come into contact with the bottom of the pot. To prevent this from happening, you will need to hold the upper rod to control the depth of immersion.

  3. 3

    Check the gimbal after several minutes of immersion in the boiling water to see if the cement holding the gimbal to the butt section is softening. When the cement begins to soften, use the pair of vice grips to twist the gimbal until it can be pulled off the butt section.

  4. 4

    Remove any excess cement from the rod butt after the damaged gimbal has been twisted off, as this excess material will interfere with placing a new gimbal onto the butt section. Check to ensure that the new gimbal will fit on the butt section (without cement) and use fine sand paper to remove any excess butt material.

  5. 5

    Heat the ferrule cement stick with a match, and apply a coating of cement to the area of the rod butt where the new gimbal will be attached. Affix the new gimbal by sliding it on the butt section of the rod. Quickly adjust it before the cement begins to harden and replace any retaining screws.

  6. 6

    Allow the ferrule cement to harden (about 10 minutes). After it does, the rod is ready for use.

Tips and warnings

  • Carry an extra gimbal in your fishing gear so that a damaged one can be replaced immediately.
  • Retaining screws present in the damaged gimbal may not be needed in the replacement gimbal (no screw holes present).
  • Do not use a fishing rod, rod bucket and belt without the gimbal in place, as this could cause a dangerous situation should the rod butt slip out of the bucket and impale the angler.

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