You have probably heard plenty of times about how hunters always take care of cleaning their guns and the rest of their equipment once they turn back home from a hunting trip. A fishing trip should be no different, even if saltwater fishing gear, as it is made today, looks to be able enough to take a lot of wear and tear without showing any signs. If you do not want to end up spending quite a great deal of money on new equipment next time you want to embark on another fishing trip, here are some good tips on how to properly care for all your gear.
How to properly care for the rod
The rule of thumb for enjoying the same rod for many years is to make sure that you do not break it by accident, but this is not what proper maintenance is all about. It takes a little bit of attention from your part and this attention must be focused on protecting your rod against any kind of damage. For instance, knocking the rod against any hard surface will cause scratches and nicks to appear, and these will facilitate rod breakage.
After you are done using it, rinse it well and wipe it with a clean soft cloth, then place it back in its sheath. Especially if you are using the rod in saltwater, it is very important to eliminate all the salt, because this will cause damage over time. Also, you must protect the rod against moisture; if you notice build ups of salt on the road, use some lukewarm water and soap to clean it well. Using a soft sponge is much indicated.
A good idea for properly caring for the rod is to spray it with some furnishing spray, or to coat it with a bit of oil on the real seat. This way, the rod will be maintained in proper condition for a long time.
How to properly care for the reel
If you are using your reel in saltwater, you will have to wash it using some lukewarm water and soap spread on a soft sponge. You must be very careful, so that you do not cause more damage while washing the reel. When you are rinsing it, use water at low pressure, to avoid any breakage. After you are done with the cleaning, use a clean cloth to wipe it dry and spray it with some furnishing spray that will keep it in good condition. Make sure that no spray gets on the line, since some may have a nasty reaction to the chemicals in the furnishing spray.
Cleaning the spool is also important. Greasing the main shaft with a bit of sewing machine oil is highly recommended. Just make sure that you disassemble with care the components, so you can reach all the areas. Do not let excess oil to accumulate on the line roller, the handle knobs or the bail arm springs.
Once in a while, it is a good idea to open the slide plate and show the same TLC to the gears and the bearings. At least once a year, you should consider giving your reel proper maintenance. During this time, replace all the damaged parts and the ones that are in good working order should be cleaned and left to dry in the sun. Use grease sparingly, since accumulations of grease will gather dust and the reel will start acting up. When storing the reel away until next season, use reel covers or bags, to keep it away from moisture and dust.
How to properly care for the line
The line can suffer a lot of damage when in use, and mechanical damage is the most common. Since you are using the line in salt water, expect this to have a bad influence on the line, as well. The line should not be exposed for too long to UV rays, high temperatures or chemicals, either. Usually, lines are built with a special lubricant inside that is slowly released, so that the line remains properly lubricated; this little aspect contributes to how the line remains slick and properly floating on the water.
This does not mean, however, that you should not properly care for the line and clean it well from time to time. If dust and dirt accumulates, the lubricant will become less and less efficient.
Another aspect to keep in mind when you want to care for your line is to never leave it on a small diameter spool for long periods of time, because the line will remain coiled. When you will try to use it, you will look at a very coiled line that does not want to function as expected.
How to properly care for saltwater fishing clothes and footwear
Your fishing jacket will have to deal with quite a lot of wear and tear, especially when you go saltwater fishing. Salt has a bad habit of getting stuck on surfaces, eating at them and damaging them over time. Besides regular cleaning that should be a must for all your saltwater fishing gear, your jacket and other clothes can use a bit of extra care by getting treated with special products that allow them to repel water and become water resistant. There are products that wash away the mud and muck that gets stuck on your fishing clothes, as well.
Do not forget about your footwear, either. Your boots cannot simply go in the washing machine, like your clothes, so they need another type of care. First of all, you need to get all the mud unstuck and wipe the boots thoroughly. After that, you can use products geared towards giving your boots back their natural shine. These products will increase the lifespan of your fishing footwear and you will not have to invest in another pair, when the next season comes around.
Make sure to clean well other equipment, like tents, umbrellas and chairs, as well. The cleaner they are when they are sent back to storage, the more time you will get to enjoy them.