If the cold weather has you fishing less in the winter, use this time to work on your equipment to help pass the time until spring. At this time, the gears in my reels are in need of lubricants and are letting me know it every cast. And half my tackle boxes are empty and some are starting to build up with rust particles from my hooks. Here are several ways to better utilize your time during the cold months and prepare for spring!
After a year of use, whether you fish 20 or 200 days a year, your reels have lost some of the lubricants that help them perform properly. Just being stored in your garage or boat, reels will collect dirt and dry up some of the lubricants that help it cast smoothly. Now is a great time to get them ready for next year fishing season.
To test your baitcast reel, fling the reel one time; if the handle rotates less than 10 times, it needs cleaning and oil. You want to start by taking apart your reel piece by piece and cleaning them with alcohol and a toothbrush. Place the spool in soapy warm water to clean off all tough algae and dirt that has hardened around the edges. Then carefully clean the spool gears with a toothbrush or cotton ball to remove any old oil or lubricants. Once that is done, clean the bail mechanism using soapy water. Finally, oil the gears (using baitcast reel oil) of the spool and to the bail components and replace the retainer cap. Be careful to keep all parts together. The best place to work is a kitchen table on a white cloth with good overhead lighting.
When it comes to bait and tackle there are many things that you can work on during the winter months, but the two that usually need the most attention are stocking up on baits that have been lost throughout the year, and cleaning boxes of dirt and rust particles from hooks. To help me stay organized with all my tackle, I have labeled all my boxes for different baits. I have always had different boxes for different baits, but once I labeled all of them by what is inside, and started filing them vertically, I felt that I was better prepared for a day of fishing. Now I can open each box see what is missing and what I need to restock. After making a list of what I want, or should I say what I need, I wait until the Bass Pro Shops big sale in February (great deals on all rods, reels, baits, etc.) and then go make my purchases. Before placing any new baits in your boxes, take out all your old baits and clean the plastic really good. I like to competely empty them and the put them in the dishwasher (bring them to brand new condition).
None of these are difficult or take a lot time. I actually enjoy sitting in front of the TV on the weekend watching fishing shows and working on my reels and tackle. I hope this information encourages you to start taking care of the equipment that allows you to do what you love. If you have any questions, feel free to call me at (615) 278-6311 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org