“The majority of the fish you lost last year was because you didn’t take care of your gear”
Of all the biggest letdowns that anglers face nonfunctioning tackle: rods, reels, gear has to be one of the biggest problems we face! I have been through them all. I’m sure you can relate to most of these and can quickly remember how frustrated you were!
I know I get so concentrated on catching fish that sometimes I forget how I should be handling all my gear.
In this article, I’m going to teach you what I’ve learned throughout the years to give you the knowledge on how to get more miles off your gear.
So here we go, use my recommendations that will save your gear and save you cash!
“The Majority Of The Fish You Lost Last Year Was Because You Didn’t Know Your Gear Needs To Be Serviced”
1) Every change of season, make sure you take a few minutes to do a quick look over on your rods. Inspect the reel seat, clean and scrub the cork rod butts and evaluate the line guides.
2) Wash and scrub the entire rod with a mix of white vinegar and hot soapy water. Let it dry thoroughly to prevent mold from eating away that the cork butt.
3) Using a little candle wax wipe down the ferrules of the rod.
4) Inspect the guides for scratches. Use a cotton ball or Q-Tip through the guides to see if it snags up. Either replace the line guide or use 2-part epoxy and sand down with 2000 grit sandpaper to a smooth finish.
5) If your rods are in your garage, make sure your store them upright.
6) A sure sign of a cracked rod line guide is if your fishing line looks like it’s most likely you have a crack line guide.
7) Use a PVC rod tube if you’re not traveling with your boat.
Purchase a PVC tube that’s 8 feet in length by 8 inches in diameter.
It can perfectly hold about seven of your favorite rods securely.
Be sure to hot glue on a piece of foam sponge to the end of each PVC caps to protect the rod tips and the butts.
The base will require a screw-on end so don’t forget that.
Best of all this can be bought at Home Depot.
8) To prevent your line guide from smashing together when traveling long distances, make sure you use a traveling rod bag to hold your rods then put the rods in your rod locker to keep your rods extra secure.
9) Prevent yourself from stepping on your favorite rod when you hook into that “Hog Fish” make sure you strap in your rods with the butt end facing toward the front of the boat.
“Your Reels Should Be Ergonomic, Smooth Casting And Geared For Total Fish Control” – Abu Garica
10) If you’re a tournament bass angler, or if you fish every weekend then you know that your reels can take quite the beating.
Good tackle care means you service your reels twice a year.
Servicing your reels have three main benefits:
First, it saves you money from purchasing a $200+ reel
Second, it keeps your presentation ninja-quiet.
Some professional anglers believe a loud squeaking or grinding reel will transmit that sound down through the line where the fish can hear it.
Lastly, a properly serviced reel will have bearings that are cleaned and greased.
Smooth-rolling internal bearings allow you to cast out farther, keeping your bait in the strike zone longer!
Look to Facebook or your local tackle shop to inquire about anyone who cleans and services your reels.
11) Have a set procedure if you take apart your rod/reels after each use. Make a habit of put everything away in a dedicated location.
12) If you’re like me, you probably have 8-10 rods on your boat at any given time. Most of the time you’ll only use 3-4 of them.
If you know you have backup rods on the deck of your boat, make sure you use a reel cover.
This is not to protect the reel itself, but to protect the line from sun damage.
During the summer the sun can drain the life out of the fishing line spooled onto your reels and will make the line brittle.
The brittle line will break off fish, possibly costing you a paycheck during a tournament.
BAIT & TACKLE
“Since the 1960’s Artificial Baits Have Proven Themselves As Fish Catching Magnets. You’ll Catch The Bass’ Attention, As Long As You Have One Tied One” – James Niggemeyer
Tackle is where most of our money goes to waste. If you’re like me, I used to throw my plastics all in a pile in a corner of the boat, or I’d throw my hard baits all in a single plastic box.
Until I gained the knowledge on how to properly store everything I used to throw away hundreds of dollars a year!
Soft Plastic Baits
13) Keep your plastics in their original bags that you bought them in.
Either buy a Tupperware container and store the plastic bags in a container to its corresponding type.
A couple of things will quickly kill and ruin a soft plastic bait.
Sun – A bright shining sun will rapidly soften you bait, especially if you leave it on the deck of your boat.
This causes the plastisol to denature causing it to lose its form.
Water – If your soft plastic baits get wet dry them off at the end of the day and place them back into their original container.
Keep in mind that some colors will bleed onto one another.
Reds are notorious for this…
So keep them separated from all other colors.
14) Keep a small bottle of ‘Mend-It’ on the boat at all times.
Mend-It is a substance acts as a chemical adhesive allowing you to “glue” back ripped and torn soft plastic lures and swimbaits
Hard Plastic Baits
15) If you keep your hard plastics in a box, drill “breather holes” in the lid and on the sides.
This prevents and hard plastic lures from boating and will allow them to dry off more efficiently.
16) Please a cookie cooling rack on the bottom of the storage container.
Any water that goes over the transom and into the storage areas will be kept off the bottom of the boat.
This also prevents any scratching of the fiberglass bottom.
17) Crankbaits and swimbaits can commonly suffer from “Rusted Hook Syndrome”.
Prevent this by keeping large spare treble hooks at home and in the boat for quick exchange.
18) If you feel like you don’t need to change out a treble hook, make sure have a hook file all the barb tips to keep them “sticky sharp”
19) Make sure you clean and wipe down all your cranks after use, especially if you’re fishing in grass.
The grass will build up on the line tie and the hook eyes…
Which causes the bait to swim wrong.
20) Using a small nail file, gently file away and bill burs that you pick up grinding your bait over rocks.
21) Finally, keep a small insulated soft cooler bag on the boat.
This allows you to have quick and easy access to all your most popular go-to soft and hard baits.
Plus it keeps your baits and lures protected from the elements!
I hope you found my tips on tackle care helpful. If you use these tips is can save you thousands and keep you on the water longer!
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