Beginners and seasoned anglers alike, caring for your gear is critical to preserve its longevity. There’s no point spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the best you can afford, to leave it to deteriorate in the garage after use, because you don’t know how best to care for it, or worse still couldn’t be bothered.
Even with the likes of Daiwa’s new Magseal technology, cleaning your fishing gear should be part of your pack up ritual. Just as we’ve talked about washing and drying your lures before you store them away, you can follow some quick and simple steps to help preserve your rods and reels.
Washing your reels. No matter how vigilant you are, if you use your gear in salt water, it will get salt onto it. Let’s be clear, saltwater is corrosive and is the worst possible element that your gear will encounter, short of dropping it in a bucket of acid.
Wash your gear after every outing! The process is simple, and needn’t take you long at all. First tighten down your drag, and using your garden hose, tighten the nozzle so that only a very fine mist of fresh tap water escapes. Direct the mist over your reel, the line roller and spool to thoroughly rinse away any salt residue. Be sure not to blast the reel under high pressure from the tap, because this may in fact force the salt into the moving parts of your reel.
Once you’ve finished rinsing the reel, shake off any excess water, release the drag and allow the reel to air dry. After I shake off the excess water, I usually stand the reels on their ends on a dry tea towel on the kitchen bench for a couple of days (I bet you can guess how that goes down at home…).
Avoid using penetrating lubricants on your reel. Initially this might seem counter intuitive, but these lubricants will break down the grease on individual reel parts over time, making them more susceptible to friction and corrosion.
Your fishing rods need love too… many people forget about the other piece of equipment so critical to their fishing pastime. While you’re giving your fishing reel a rinse, don’t forget to rinse off the rod. That same light mist of water directed at the reels seat and guides will remove salt residue and help preserve their integrity also.
Once dry, store your rods in an upright position, ideally in a rod rack when not in use. I’d also recommend that you don’t store your rods with reel, line and lures still rigged, because this keeps the rod in a loaded position, and potentially exposes the rod and rod tip to damage in the event that you accidentally snag the line on something during storage.
Remember, it doesn’t take long, or a great deal of effort to care for your gear, and if you aren’t sure, or your gear isn’t performing as well as it could, it might be time to get in touch with the service department of your reel manufacturer.