Gearing Up for the Warmer Weather
Story & Photos By Captain Galen Pruett
Even though fishing is still good this time of year, most people prefer not to do it because of the cold weather. If you fall into the latter category, this is the perfect time to get your gear cleaned up and ready for the warmer weather.
Unfortunately, living on the coast is rougher on our gear than freshwater is. I shouldn’t even need to mention this, but you should be rinsing off your rod and reel with fresh water after each use.
You should clean and lube your reels properly at least once a year. However, depending on usage, you may need to do it more often than that. The best way to do this is to remove the reel from the rod and spray your reel with WD-40. You will also want to make sure you get some light machine oil and dab some inside of the internal moving parts. And you must be careful not to get this on the line because the odor can deter fish from your line.
You could even go as far as changing out your line at this point. If you are not quite sure how to do this, your manual should give you instructions on cleaning your reel.
If you still don’t get it, you can always get help from a professional at a tackle shop.
Before you put the reel back on your rod, make sure you also clean and lubricate the reel seat. If needed, you can use steel wool to knock off corrosion from the reel seat or metal ferrules. If your rod is made out of fiberglass or graphite and you have noticed a few scuffs on it, you can rub some car wax on it to help buff them out. Other than that, just rinsing and wiping it with a cloth after each use should keep the rod in decent shape.
Next, we will move on to your tackle and storage. I would suggest dumping out your tackle box and wiping it down inside and out. Let it air out for about an hour before you restock it.
Before tackling your tackle, keep in mind that fish have a keen sense of smell. Too much human contact can deter them from your lures, etc. You can always rub an artificial fish scent on your hands before you start handling your tackle.
While your tackle box is airing out, this is a good time to go through your actual tackle and take an inventory of what needs to be replaced. If you notice that some of your hooks aren’t sharp enough, use a hook file to sharpen them. After your tackle box has aired out, you can replace everything and reorganize, if necessary.
Just like anything else, properly maintaining your fishing equipment will help extend its life. Now all we need is the warmer weather so we can get out and catch some fish.
Captain Galen Pruett has been fishing off the Texas Gulf Coast for over 25 years. To book a fishing trip with him, call 409-457-2339 or visit his website at www.cowboybootsandbathingsuits.com for more information.