Tackle Maintenance and Preparing for Spring

tackle maintenance

You take your car in for maintenance on a regular basis. You also do repairs and maintenance on your home. Fishing tackle, after a hard year of catching the big ones, needs some TLC also.

Now is the time to check rods and reels, put new line on reels, replace hooks on lures, and check out all your tackle and tackle accessories.

Rods generally do not need much care, although now is a good time to wash them with a soapy washcloth and then rinse and dry for storage. If a guide wrapping is intact but looking a little worn, coat it with some epoxy rod finish or clear nail polish.

If a wrap or guide is missing, get a spool of nylon rod wrapping thread and a replacement guide from your tackle shop or a catalog house and replace it. Free instruction booklets, Internet help or instructional books will show you how to simply wrap a guide in place. Be sure to store rods flat and straight so that they do not take a “set.”

Reels need a little more examination and care. Assuming that nothing is serious wrong, at least use oil to lubricate moving parts such as handles, bail attachments on spinning reels and add some grease to the level wind of casting reels. Fly reels often need little other than oil on the handle fitting and the reel spool axle. Be sure to back off the drag on all reels.

Remove old line, polish or Simonize the spool and add premium line. Clean fly lines with a soapy washcloth, rinse, dry and treat with a fly line dressing before storing.

Check hooks and discard any that are rusted or bent. On lures, use split ring pliers to remove old hooks and add new ones. If painted lures are chipped or worn, get some hobby paints and dress them up for spring. Don’t worry if you can’t do a perfect job—the fish won’t care. Check fishing knives and pliers for rust and clean them for the spring.

This is also a good time to check tackle boxes and containers, cleaning them out and making any modifications or repairs as needed. The same applies to boots, fishing vests, or any other accessory equipment that you have.

This is also a perfect time to learn more about your favorite sport. Browse the Internet for instructions and information on everything from new knots to best lures to latest tackle to new techniques and the latest studies on game fish and their habits.

You can also get discs and tapes on this, along with books on every possible facet of fishing. For the fly fishing fly tyers, it is a great time to break out the vise, check your fly boxes and tie up some new flies to replace those lost last season or try some new patterns found in books and magazines.

Preparing now and checking tackle can make this month a fun time of anticipation for the coming spring.


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