This story begins with a several trips into Gander Mtn in Maple Grove Minnesota. They had a 7'6" Fenwick HMG Medium Heavy spinning rod for 50% on clearance. That rod was calling my name and about the 4th time I looked at it I finally gave in and bought it. I thought it would make a great rod for my annual Fall Salmon trip to SE Wisconsin. I was right, the rod was excellent for Salmon fishing. On my third trip with the rod I was fishing at the dam on the Pike River in Kenosha WI. The dam, which is no longer there, was located in the midst of a golf coarse and there was a golf cart bridge over the river made of railroad tries right below the face of the dam. There was a small deep pool where the fish stacked up under the bridge. On the dam side of the bridge there was really only room for one person to fish on each bank of the river and you would either have to stand in the water on a concrete ledge or stand on the asphalt that made up the river bank.
The first time I ever fished at the dam I figured something out with a Mepps Spinner that was just a killer on the Salmon as I fished off the asphalt. On about my 5th hook up I had a beautiful coho salmon that was about 4lbs on. As I was bringing the fish up on the asphalt my rod tip caught on the bridge and my rod tip broke. Not Cool! I then grabbed my line to pull the fish up further on the bank and my line broke and the fish along with my magic spinner dropped right back into the water and were gone. At that point I had a meltdown that I'm sure was a source of great amusement to the other fishermen at the pool.
When I got back home I called Fenwick and told them what happened, much to my astonishment they said they would cover the rod under warranty. I sent them the broken rod and they sent me a new one. Cool!
Fast Forward two years later I was fishing with the rod in the same pool, but this time on the down river side of the golf cart bridge. I was having a grand old time catching Salmon when I hooked into a brute. I was using really strong 20lb test line and really laying the wood to the fish when the rod exploded under the pressure. It sounded like a gun shot as the rod broke in 4 different places!!! My line didn't break and I managed to hand line the fish which was about 15lbs. Now you would think I might be upset, but I thought the way the rod just exploded was pretty darn cool. I was satisfied that I got my money's worth from Fenwick on a rod I paid half price for and didn't bother trying to get another rod under warranty; I wanted what was left of the rod as a souvenir. I still have the rod handle.
See: My Biggest Fishing Train Wrecks