Maintaining your fishing gear on a regular basis ensures that it will be ready to fish when you are. Salt water and corrosion are the biggest enemies and without proper care will result in a shorter life span. So it’s important to take the time to do regular maintenance on all your fishing gear.
An annual checkup of your gear is time well spent. During this check, all parts of your fishing system should be cleaned thoroughly, inspected and any defective or worn items replaced.
Typically, rods take the worst abuse and are exposed to the many elements. Reels can get sand and salt water into the gears resulting in rust and corrosion even if you rinse them after each use and store them properly.
Rods and reels are built strong but if one or more components are damaged, the catch can be compromised and possibly lost. So regular maintenance is mandatory.
I start with my reels. I remove all the older line. Check the spool and all levers and fasteners. Make sure all screws are tight. Clean any debris, sand or corrosion using mild soup and a small soft brush or Q-tip for tight areas. Use only a mild stream of water to rinse off the reels. Remember, you do not want to push water inside the gear mechanism at any time. Next, I let it dry thoroughly. I then apply a small amount of gear lube to the gears and spool assembly. I finish by applying a thin protective coat of lubricating oil to the entire outside. Once clean and dry, I install new monofilament line.
Next I will inspect the rods. You want to check the entire length from rod butt to the tip for cracks, loose guides, corrosion or wear. Any defects on the rod should be addressed at local tackle shop or a Do-It-Yourself. I clean the rod and guides with the same clean soapy water using a soft brush and Q-tip to get corrosion and sand out of the guides. Only use a mild stream of water to remove the cleaner. Once checked and clean, I hand dry the rod.
Once everything is clean and dry and re-assembled, I store the rods and reels in an area where they can’t be damaged. I like to suspend them on rod racks off the floor. But anywhere secluded should work.
Simple process that any angler should be able to handle.
Coming soon – we will be discussing how to address those disorganized “tackle boxes”.
Until next time – Tightlines. Capt. Tony