How many times have you taken out your tackle after being stored all winter and regretted that you did not take the time to properly clean and store your tackle? Bent rods, frayed line, and rough gears are symptoms of improper tackle maintenance and storage during the off season. Smart anglers know the true meaning of "a stitch in time saves nine." Often, gear is thrown in a basement corner or shelf in the garage and abandoned after that final fishing trip. When the fisherman is ready for great spring fishing, his gear isn't.
BEFORE STORING YOUR TACKLE FOR THE WINTER
- I suggest respooling all reels with new line before storing or at least check spooled line for nicks, cuts and frays. Replace and properly discard of any damaged sections.
- Store line in a dry, dark place where it won't be in direct sunlight. Sunlight and battery acid are about the only things that can damage monofilament or cofilament line. Exposure to gas, oil, insect repellent, sunscreen lotion, saltwater, rust inhibitors and detergents may cause the line to smell.
- Clean your tackle box and lures with fresh water and separate the lures in compartments in an orderly fashion. Place the topwater baits in the top trays, then sub-surface lures in the next level and so on.
- Clean and lubricate reels then place them in plastic zip lock bags to keep dirt and grime out and the oil in. This is a good time to return damaged reels to the manufacturer for repair. They should be back in time for the first of the season.
- Sharpen all hooks and sort them in the tackle box.
- Store rods by hanging them straight down from nails or cup hooks. Refrain from leaning them against walls, which over several months can produce a permanent bend.
- Store the tackle box in a warm, dry place. Storing the box in a car trunk, an unheated shed, or damp basement will hurt the finish and working condition of most baits.
Storing tackle for long periods of time basically is just common sense. Besides doubling the life of your tackle, it avoids wasted time and costly misfortunes when the fishing fever is hot again.