Winter Fishing Gear Maintenance

By Thomas Raines

Winter provides a good time for many of us to get caught up on a lot of gear maintenance we might have missed out on during the busy fishing season.

The first thing I address in the winter are my reels. I don’t like to let my reels sit very long with the dirt accumulated over a season of use. To clean my reels, I will disassemble them and use reel cleaner, grease and oil to get them performing good as new again. I typically put new line on my reels closer to the spring to avoid giving my line a memory from sitting all winter.

Rod maintenance is another thing overlooked throughout the entire year, not only in the midst of winter. Cleaning the eyes on your rod and checking for scratches in the guides can prolong the life of your line and prevent you from breaking off fish when you’re dealing with a small scratch inside of your guide.

Moving on to tackle, I will go through all of my baits and replace/sharpen all of my hooks. In some cases, I will add new terminal tackle as needed such as split rings.

The last thing I make sure to always do is to organize before the spring arrives. The most important thing sometimes on a boat fishing is how quickly you can grab that lure out of your box and get it in front of the fish, so this is a step I never skip.

When the winter boredom and cabin fever hit you this December, hunker down and start prepping for spring to maintain some sanity, it’s going to be a long one!