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How does a rod set work?

Shop for Rod Sets

Threading a cable through a floor A rod set is an inter-connected system of flexible rods which requires the user to manually push, pull or manoeuvre it together with a cable or wire to exactly where the cable is wanted.  The rods are screwed together and then inserted into a floor, wall or ceiling cavity in order to pull wiring or cabling through the space.
Example of a universal and lockfast joint Most rods are screwed together using joints known as universal joints.  This means that the rods must be rotated in a clockwise direction to prevent them from unscrewing when in use. Some rods are screwed together using joints known as lockfast.  These are more expensive to produce and not as common so are not as readily available.
A yellow rod and a red rod joined together to form a rod set in action You can control the reach of your rods by using several rods, of different lengths, diameters and flexibility, from the same rod set.

You could start with a thinner, more flexible rod, for example, and then add on a longer and stronger rod for greater control of the rod set.

A glider attachment of a rod set about to be used underfloor Attachments, including gliders, hooks and magnets are fixed to the first rod to enable the user to catch the wire or cable and pull it back through the cavity.

Pulling a rod and cable back toward you is the usual method, however, you can attach the wire or cable directly to the rod and push it through to the other end of the cavity or space.

Different coloured rods of a rod set The different colours of rod sets relate to the different flexibilities; there isn’t a standard and so it depends on which brand you use. You could find, for example, that yellow rods are the most flexible, red rods are moderately flexible and black rods are the most rigid.

Also, the smaller the diameter of the rod, the greater the flexibility. Many rod sets include more than one colour and diameter of rod; check before you buy.

Why use a rod set?

Rewiring an older property that needed a wall replastering
  • Rod sets are easy to use, both for DIY and by professionals, needing minimal practice to gain skill in handling.
  • Using a rod set is labour saving because it can be used by one person.
  • In an old or established property where you need to bring wires or cables through to new sockets or perhaps rewire the building, it may mean having to remove plaster and strip walls. So, using a rod set would be an alternative to having to strip a wall and then re-plaster it.
An example of a cable that has tangled back on itself causing coil up

Coil up

Using a rod set will help to reduce “coil up,” which is the problem of a cable, wire or thin rod coiling back on itself and becoming tangled. The rod set will keep the coil straightened out and will get it to where you want it.


A rod set has a tensile strength of over 200kg. Tensile strength is the maximum stress that a material can withstand while being stretched or pulled, before failing or breaking.

Rods of a rod set each weighing 0.323kg


Individual rods weigh as little as 0.323kg.