Spring Cleaning! Fishing Tackle Preparation

by Capitol Area Fishing on March 21, 2012

Spring has sprung and it’s time to clean out your tackle box, oil your reels, and wipe down the rods.

Here’s my checklist:

1. Check the quality of the line spooled on your reels.

In most cases we are talking monofilament, but some of you also use spider wire or even the old braided Dacron. Either way, it is advisable to check the line for abrasions or dry rot, especially if it has been on the reel for over two years.

The best way to spool a reel is to go out to a field where there is a lot of room (at least 300 yds), tie one end of the line to a fixed location, and spool the line from your rod and reel. It is a good idea to stretch the line once it’s unspooled, and when reeling it back on the spool run it through a clean cloth to remove any dirt or mildew.
If the line has been spooled for over two years, I’d go ahead and change it out to new anyway.

2. Remove the spool from the reel, and take a clean cloth with a little WD40, and wipe down all surfaces.

The face plate should be unscrewedm and fresh reel lube added after removing as much of the old grease as possible (this should be done every season). Check the handle and all the gears for wear and make sure the seal is still good, so that no moisture can penetrate. In most cases it is fairly easey o order reel parts through a reputable tackle shop, or the manufacturer.

3. Check your rods.

Pay special attention to the reel mount as this area and the guides are where the most wear takes place. Wipe down the entire rod with slightly soapy water and rinse with clean water. Any rust on the handle or guides should be removed using WD40 and a small wire brush, and sand paper. After the area has been thoroughly cleaned, wipe it down with a paper towel, making sure to remove all the WD40, as it is caustic to fishing line.

4. Clean out your tackle box.

The best deal is to set an area and empty the box; it’s like spring cleaning for your tackle. All the old lures from last year are still good for this uear, but hooks wear, and some get rusty. Instead of buying new lures sonsider just changing the hooks, especially for your most productive artificial (i.e. Mirolures). These guys are expensive and in a lot of cases, a new set of treble hooks is all they need. o not oil or put any petroleum products on the lures as this is a turn-off to the fish.

If you carry a flashlight and medical kit get new batteries, and review what’s in your medical kit, and add or change as necessary.

Clean the empty tackle box with soapy water and rinse with fresh water. Wipe it down and let it dry completely, and then restock. I like to keep my most productive lures up front where they are most readily available, but how you set up your box is up to you.

Good luck this season, and tight lines!

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