Semi-annual gear checks are always a great way to keep your equipment “catch ready”!
We are now half way through the fishing season. Our gear has probably taken a real beating from the sand, salt and of course catching. So now is a good time to examine the condition of our gear.
When doing a seasonal check, it’s smart to first check the rod and reels. Look at the rod first. Check the rod, guides, tip, reel seat and butt. Check for loose or worn guides, any cracks or corrosion. Replace any loose or defective items now.
Next, the rod needs a good cleaning. It’s best to use a mild detergent over the entire rod assembly. After cleaning, spray a good anti-corrosion coating or even standard furniture polish. Focus on the guides. Try to keep the anti-corrosion spray off the butt and handles. Use a dry non-abrasive cloth to wipe off any excess spray.
Next you need to check the reels. Wipe off any obvious dirt, sand or debris from the reel. Make sure the bail operation is smooth. Disassemble spool, spindle and handle from the body. Check the surface of each. Use small bulb air blower or a Q-tip with a little oil to wipe away any sand or corrosion.
Check the drag washer. As a general rule, the drag knob should always be loose during storage. Many anglers will tighten the drag knob to help secure the line and rigging on the fishing rod. This can cause the drag washer to compress and be damaged.
Once everything is clean, apply a little reel grease to the inside components. This keeps the gear lubricated and moisture and dirt out.
After inspecting the gears and all of the other components are clean, re-assemble everything the same way you took it apart. Make sure you install the washers and “O” rings. If you find either of these damaged, this is the time to replace them.
Once the reel is re-assembled, apply a good coat of reel oil. This will keep corrosion and dirt from sticking to the surfaces. Never leave wet oil on the surface. Just apply and wipe off. Make sure you get the oil into the smallest openings.
If you find any part of your gear that is defective or worn, this is the time to repair or replace. The fall fishing season can be typically more brutal on the gear with many larger fish moving into the surf zones.
Replacement parts are usually available from the manufacturers for the DIYer’s. Also the schematic documentation that came with the reel may assist with cleaning and parts replacements.
Confused about doing the gear and equipment maintenance yourself? Many tackle shops and reel repair companies have professional staffs to assist.
Periodic maintenance is cheap insurance. There should be no excuse for losing that trophy fish due to faulty gear or poor maintenance, It’s simple to do on our own or readily available by professionals in your region.
Good Luck and Great Fishing.
Until Next Time – Tightlines – Capt. Tony