Hi, I have a severely clogged bathtub. After proper plunging (with the drain stopper removed and with the overflow airholes covered) failed to fix this, I decided to hand auger the blockage.

I removed the flip-lever switch on the overflow, intending to send the auger down the overflow tube, however the linkage is seemingly solid and so it will not pull out through the overflow in the way all bathtub drain FAQs I've found online indicate.

Someone on another board insisted the piece should be pliable, but I can't understand how a piece this solid should be able to bend (I've gone in with pliers with absolutely no luck).

Without removal of this piece, my attempts to send the auger down the drain just meet solid resistance and re-direct the snake into the area beneath the drain stopper hole.

I'm assuming there has to be a way to get around whatever mechanism is blocking the auger from accessing the lower areas of the pipe, but no amount of wrestling with this has led to any success. Is there some trick to removing the shaft in the overflow tube that I'm unaware of?

Any advice on this would be appreciated. Many thanks for any tips you can share.