Fishing Tackle Tips
If you follow these tips for maintaining your fishing tackle, you should enjoy many years of trouble-free use.
Fishing Reel Care
These are general tips for keeping your fishing reels in good shape. For more in-depth information, please visit our reel care page.
- Many new reels come out of the box with very little lubrication. There is often little to no grease in the bearings. All that's needed is a little condensation and your bearings start freezing up or the pinion gear starts wearing away. Personally, I won't put a new reel in the water until it's taken apart and properly lubricated.
- Reels should be lightly rinsed with fresh water (and minimal to no water pressure) after use. Once dry, lightly oil all moving parts and spray with a moisture inhibitor. I prefer to use pure silicone oil and silicone spray which can also be used as a line dressing.
- To prevent erratic drag performance, loosen the drag after each use. It's the best way to maintain a smooth drag for your next outing.
- Remove the reel from the fishing rod periodically. Clean and lightly oil the reel foot to help prevent oxidation.
- To maintain top performance, your reel should be completely stripped down for a thorough cleaning and re-lubricated no less than once per year for moderately used reels. Strip down, clean, and lubricate your reel two to four times per year if you use it for salt water fishing.
- Periodically check the rod guides for smoothness by rubbing them with a Q-tip or cotton ball. If it sticks, the guide is scratched and can be polished smooth with fine emery cloth.
- If you prefer to do your own fishing tackle servicing, it's a good idea to have the parts schematic available. This will help ensure that the parts are reassembled in the proper order. If you are not comfortable performing this task yourself, I'll be happy to service it for you. Simply fill out a Reel Repair Form to get started or contact me directly.
Important note about water and moisture . . .
Water does not have to get inside your reel to ruin it. Moisture is enough. Take a reel from inside your home or an air conditioned car, use it out on the warm waters, and you can have a problem. Moisture could condense inside the reel, attacking any metal parts or bearings which are not thoroughly lubed and/or coated with a moisture inhibitor. This is why it is so important to coat all internal parts, including casings, prior to assembly. If a reel has been dunked, especially in salt water, and you notice it begins to make noise or feel stiff, stop using the reel and have it serviced before the bearings, bushings, or gears become ruined.
Avoid Rod Breakage
To prevent rod breakage, this is a “must read”. Download this free six page PDF file. »
Fishing Tackle Maintenance
These are general tips for fishing tackle maintenance. For more in-depth information, please visit our tackle maintenance page.
- Keep lure finishes bright and shiny by wiping them down with a soft cloth before they are placed back in a tackle box.
- Do you have rusty hooks and swivels in your tackle box? Add a little talcum/baby powder to the compartments to absorb moisture and keep your equipment from rusting. It can also be put in wader boots to keep your feet dry.
- Fishing lures that have feathers or hair should be kept in air-tight containers so moths and other insects or small animals will not get to them. This also applies to new fishing lures which haven't yet been used.
- Make sure to rack your rods under the gunwales so that the reels (and the rods) won't bang against each other. Use a towel or a piece of foam rubber to cushion the reels so they won't rub and vibrate against each other or bang against the boat.
- If you have your boat on a trailer, don't tow with your rods in topside gunwale holders or you may find that your rod gets taken right off the boat while you're stopped at a traffic light! They are too easy to grab by someone walking or driving in the opposite direction. And, let's face it: you can't follow them if you have a boat in tow.
Fishing Tips — Did You Know?
- Birds and porpoise know better where the fish are than we do. Keep an eye out for diving birds and feeding porpoise, because there are bound to be fish nearby!
- Always hook cut bait with the hook point sticking through the meat and not the skin. Aggressive fish will normally grab the whole bait, while less aggressive or smaller mouthed fish will often miss the hook when it is sticking out on the skin side because they're attacking the meat. I will normally run my hook in through the meat and out the skin, then back in through the skin and out the meat.
- It's a drag! Let your reel do its job by putting pressure on the fish to wear him down. Proper drag pressure should be in the neighborhood of 20 - 25% of the breaking strength of your line. This should be enough to break a fish's spirit and wear him out enough that you can haul him in.
Enjoy your time on the water and release a couple for me!
Need Help With Your Fishing Tackle Gear?
We can help with any aspect of fishing tackle repair or maintenance. For questions or service information, call or email us today.