The rods, reels, and lures that are available today are comprised of durable, abrasion and corrosion-resistant materials that were developed to stand up against the harshest conditions anglers can face on the water. However, this doesn’t mean that such tackle doesn’t require some TLC after each use, which includes regular cleaning and maintenance. There are a few, simple, but effective steps you can take to ensure the longevity and functionality of your tackle and help your trips remain stress-free.

Something that many anglers, including myself, neglect to do is rinse our reels after a day on the water. As line is retrieved, it picks up everything in the water along the way, which splashes into the spool and can sometimes build up in layers. If left unchecked, this can seriously hinder casting and retrieval, thus limiting use of your equipment. By spraying the reel and spool with water after use and gently wiping them with a cloth, you can prevent such hindrances before they get out of hand. This is especially crucial for saltwater anglers, as, even with the toughest gear, damaging saltwater can cause a lot of damage if your tackle isn’t properly cared for.

Another great way to ensure your gear’s quality is to, every so often, take apart your reel and lubricate the gears and components that comprise its inner workings. If you’re not able to do this on your own, you can always have it professionally done. Just like a car’s engine or a bike chain, consistent grease and lubrication will ensure a smoothly-operating tool that will never fail you.

We can’t forget about one integral part of the reel, without which we wouldn’t catch fish in the first place: the line. Many anglers fail to realize that fishing line sees a lot of wear and tear over the course of a day on the water. Monofilaments and fluorocarbons stretch and get nicked, so removing a few feet of line after a day on the water will help. Just be sure to check your line regularly, even on the water, for such abrasions and flaws, as finding them early can mean the difference between a lost fish and an addition to the livewell.

You can purchase all the components necessary to regularly clean and maintain your tackle at any outdoor retailer. Many companies offer complete kits that contain everything you need to care for your gear, including lubricant, grease, cleaning agents, cotton swabs, soft cloths, and even small tools. Such kits are a great way to get everything you need for maintenance in one convenient package for an affordable price.

While it really isn’t that difficult to recognize that, like cars or power tools, our fishing gear requires regular maintenance, many anglers fail to do so and, after some time, find their tackle lacking in performance. By regularly cleaning and lubricating integral components before they wear out or become corroded, you can easily avoid having to replace a part or face a malfunction on the water, which is something every angler doesn’t want to deal with. 

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