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  1. #1

    Should you lay rods down when you see lightning?

    Heres an interesting decision by some fishos to leave a rod in a holder as a lightning attractor when they saw a storm approaching, and then they survived a direct hit. Was it a good call?
    Ive always laid rods down, and taken a break if I see lightning. I would have the bimini top up in rain, and it has 3 aluminium ribs above my head. Now Im wondering if I should lay my rods down or not?
    Assuming that you cannot get back to port in time, what should you do?

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-...tning/10864920

    cheers
    Andrew
    Fishing- It's only an addiction if you're trying to quit.

  2. #2

    Re: Should you lay rods down when you see lightning?

    You will get opinions but I wouldn't bet my life on them. I've attended enough boats that have been hit by lightning to formulate mine - it does what it wants. There was some footage a while ago of a soccer player that got hit while down inside a stadium which by all the theories should have attracted the hit. In a tin boat in a bad storm I would be lying on the floor under a tarp but once again - only an opinion

  3. #3

    Re: Should you lay rods down when you see lightning?

    The lightning just traveled about 50 miles from the sky, do you think laying a rod down will make a difference? A direct hit and you are frizzled, most people "struck" by lightning that survive in fact only get hit by a bit of a kind of "arm" that splits off the main bolt, a few aluminium bars over your head will mean jack shIt if you do indeed get a full on direct hit. It's also true as mentioned that it doesn't always hit the highest point, the safest is if the lightning has a low resistance path to ground, I have had rods buzzing, line lifting up off the water, and a strike on the water about 20 metres from the boat, which was pretty exciting I can tell you.

  4. #4

    Re: Should you lay rods down when you see lightning?

    Quote Originally Posted by scottar View Post
    You will get opinions but I wouldn't bet my life on them. I've attended enough boats that have been hit by lightning to formulate mine - it does what it wants. There was some footage a while ago of a soccer player that got hit while down inside a stadium which by all the theories should have attracted the hit. In a tin boat in a bad storm I would be lying on the floor under a tarp but once again - only an opinion
    Gotta remember that lighting prefers the most direct path, not the highest point. If that means it has to deviate further sideways rather than straight down to a lower point, then it will take the path straight to the ground. Its actually quite common to see lightning strike the ground or a lower object right next to a tall building or the like,


  5. #5

    Re: Should you lay rods down when you see lightning?

    Remember also in heavy electrical storms some lightning comes up from the ground. I can’t see why if there are a lot of strikes in the water that the same couldn’t happen using a boat as it’s jump point.
    Democracy: Simply a system that allows the 51% to steal from the other 49%.

  6. #6

    Re: Should you lay rods down when you see lightning?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealAndy View Post
    Gotta remember that lighting prefers the most direct path, not the highest point. If that means it has to deviate further sideways rather than straight down to a lower point, then it will take the path straight to the ground. Its actually quite common to see lightning strike the ground or a lower object right next to a tall building or the like,
    Which is the hard part to predict - and also why I take the opinion it does what it wants. Every lightning strike on a boat is different. some result in catastrophic electronic failure for everything on board, some kill one item, some do actual physical damage, some barely leave a mark. Also IMO why brochures and manuals for LPS's are worded in a very non committal manner. No way in hell I would contemplate a rod in a rod holder being a sufficient safety mechanism if the boffins that manufacture purpose built ones won't commit.

  7. #7

    Re: Should you lay rods down when you see lightning?

    I have seen a direct hit on the point on a house where the power lines come in, it blew the meter box to bits, the stove elements and controls were just meted, TV power cable exploded out the back, and one by one, almost everything in that place was checked and tested as "blown". People often say they switch off power points in a storm, a 3mm gap in a switch is not going to stop a gazillion volts and unlimited current! I worked with a guy for years that previously worked for a lightning rod place, and it is all quite complicated, we had a really big one on our building to protect the data centre, and I watched that thing during storms and never saw it hit, but, a much lower tree in the grounds outside got blown to bits, go figure.

  8. #8

    Re: Should you lay rods down when you see lightning?

    Got a minor tap by a lightning strike near the Bot once and my Rod stayed up for ages !!!, dont know whether that was due to the strike or the Playboy mag i had in the Boat at the time being ??

  9. #9

    Re: Should you lay rods down when you see lightning?

    Never had a direct hit but did get touched up (not in a good way) while leaning on a washing machine in a caravan park laundry while sheltering from a storm at Jacobs Well when the pole out the front took a direct hit. Certainly didn't tickle. Not something I would recommend to add to your bucket list.

  10. #10

    Re: Should you lay rods down when you see lightning?

    Hard one. Lightning strikes you mostly see are actually the return path. Once you understand that it means jack shit whether you lay the rod down or leave it up. I personally still put them down being in storms that were not predicted.

  11. #11

    Re: Should you lay rods down when you see lightning?

    I know nothing about lightning, but would an aluminium boat act like a kind of 'farraday shield'?
    Similar to a car? Personally I agree that after arcing all that way the last few meters would mean sweet bugger all.

  12. #12

    Re: Should you lay rods down when you see lightning?

    It's possible that if the boat itself got hit, and not you personally, it might be OK, but the flash would be bright, and the instant noise would probably give you a heart attack anyway! Plus there is lots a little side strikes that would warm you up.

  13. #13

    Re: Should you lay rods down when you see lightning?

    Regardless - I lay the rods down & certainly wont hold a rod during a storm …… & that goes for fishing too

    True story - the day after my mum died I was outside cooking on the webber for all the family (it was stormy) & I felt all the hairs on my arm stand up …. I just crouched down then a massive crack of lightening …. bright light as the stink pipe on the neighbours place just 10 feet away was struck . Mum was never a good shot at belting me ….

    Chris
    Give a man a fish & he will eat for a day !
    Teach him how to fish
    & he will sit in a boat - & drink beer all day!
    TEAM MOJIKO

  14. #14

    Re: Should you lay rods down when you see lightning?

    years back was doing a lot of surf fishing, a storm came over and remembering about a recent fisherman that was struck a couple of years prior, what did i do on a mates advice?? just hold your rod horizonaly. i tell you what it worked

  15. #15

    Re: Should you lay rods down when you see lightning?

    "Should you lay rod down ....." Can't hurt to can it ? , some interesting comments. What is important with the lightning strike is the static charge which builds up before the strike (discharge) usually concentrated at a point . Live in Darwin for a few seasons doing electrical work and you will see some spectacular damage by lightning . Anyway I haven't had personal experience with lightning & rods ( I don't fish during storms If I can help it) but my son inlaw was on a boat (tinnie) on the Daly river (about 5 years ago) which was hit. No one on board knows exactly what was hit BUT one rod was vapourized, bits of a reel were found in the boat (not much though), one guy was knocked out, the motor would no longer run (running at time of hit ) and from memory one guy was injured by flying debris (possibly the reel) no part of the rod was left. Guys on another boat close by reported seeing a small black cloud of smoke come from the boat.
    I would lay the rods down
    Regards
    Frank

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