By all means, collapse the rod if you can. There will be times that you will not be able to reach the line and you will have to pull straight back on the rod. If you do get stuck sections, there are two possible ways to free them. The first and easiest is to use a Tip Grip, which I will send you if you send me a PM with your address. Some stuck segments are too stuck for a Tip Grip to work, though. In those cases, use the rubber band method that Daniel Galhardo explained in this blog post: http://www.tenkarausa.com/blog/?p=1081 I assume it would still work with the longer sections of the "universal" tenkara rods.