Spring has almost sprung!
We often receive advice on what to do with our fishing equipment as we put it away for the off season, but do we understand how to treat our gear in the spring as we look forward to a fresh start on the water? There are a few things to keep in mind before you set out for that first fishing trip of the year. Whether you’re fly fishing or fishing conventional, maintaining your rods, reels, line and lures is just as vital at the start of the season as it is at the end.
Your rods should always be inspected before you head out for that first fishing trip. Washing your grips free from any dust or dirt will keep them much more comfortable over the long term. By regularly washing cork or foam grips, you are preventing eventual breakdown as you inadvertently drive dust and dirt into the grips. Grab a cotton swab and run the swab on the inside of all your guides. If any cotton is left behind, you’ve got a knick in your guide that can result in a broken line. Have the eye replaced to prevent any lost fish. If you are fishing with a multi-piece rod, add ferrule sauce to prevent the pieces from sticking together. Also, inspect your ferrule wraps and make sure the epoxy is still intact. Here’s a hot tip about rods:
It goes without saying, tighten your drags down again before you head out! There is nothing worse than forgetting to adjust your drags and setting the hook on a fish resulting in a birds nest or worse, a missed fish. Test the drags to ensure smoothness and lubricate if necessary. Replace any line you may feel is worn or not up to par or well used. And finally, ensure all visible screws are tight (ie: reel foot)
Lures and Flies:
The important inspection here is to ensure all hooks are sharp and intact. Many times, you put your lures or flies away without replacing any hooks that may need to be swapped out. Springtime is the best time to ensure they are ready to go. Ensure items such as skirts, blades and lure bodies are good to go. Replace as needed!
Now is the time to ensure you have all the right “stuff” in your tackle bag. And no we’re not talking about lures and line. Consider things such as sunscreen, bug juice, hook extraction tools, nets or gloves. These are the comfort items that help make a day on the water better. Stock up!
Namely your rain gear. Inspect all your outerwear to ensure it’s still in good shape. Patch any rips or holes you find and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for upkeep.
Many anglers think their gear will be just fine and in working condition when they break it out from winter storage; however, the fall was a long time ago and that “thing” you promised yourself to look after in the spring may be long forgotten! Ultimately, take the time to inspect all gear before you leave the house to ensure you’re bringing your “A” game to the water. It could be the difference in catching the fish of a lifetime!