I’ve been meaning to write a gear maintenance article for a long time.  There are anglers I know who kind of hibernate come winter time in terms of fishing.  For them, this is a great time for gear maintenance.

For me, I fish year round, so this is just my regular routine.  In order to make it a less daunting task, I’m going to “tackle” this maintenance post in chunks.

Today’s topic is my regular rod maintenance routine.  I perform this routine after every trip.

The Gear (left to right):

  • Shimano Teramar 90MH
  • Shimano Tallus 80MH
  • Shimano Teramar 86XH (cut down 3″ on tip)
  • Shimano Teramar 90XH

Probably the first thing you will notice is that all these rods have been customized (aka Anjarded).  I’ve taken the extra step to modify them because I’ve had time to live with them, and they form my core set of rods.  Because I use them so much, I wanted some functional details (like reel seats being added) and cosmetic details to really personalize them for me.

If you read my BD Outdoors article last week – What I’m Bringing & Why, then this post is something of a reveal of the specific rods I brought on the trip this weekend.  I used that post as my guide when I was packing up.  I made some small mods, but the general idea was definitely there.

I just returned this morning, and I figured I could get this gear maintenance thing kick-started by documenting part of my post trip process.

Step One – Freshwater Rinse

Some anglers like to do this step immediately upon disembarking from the boat.  Lots of times there is a hose setup at the landing for this purpose.

I choose to do it at home because when I leave the boat, my rods are in their covers and bundled up for easy transport.

It doesn’t matter where you do it, just that you do it soon after the trip so that salt and other damaging elements (scales, blood, squid ink, bleach etc.) don’t have a chance to stick to and cause havoc to your gear.

I adjust the nozzle of the hose to diffuse the spray so that I’m not power washing the rods.  I just want to loosen up whatever is on them.

Step Two – Wipedown & Protective Treatment

There are 2 products that I use in this step: Get Some 1000 lubricant and Stop Salt cleaning and protective spray.  After the rinse, this is where I go the extra mile to clean and inspect each rod after use.

I take a soft damp rag and liberally spray the Stop Salt on the rag.  I then proceed to wipe down each rod from butt to tip.  This step also allows me to inspect the rod and remove any extra dirt or debris that might have gotten stuck to the rod during use.  I carefully wipe each section of the rod, including the guides.

A lot of my rods have ceramic guides, so this is a good time to look at them closely to see if they’ve gotten nicked or damaged in any way.  If you have ever damaged a ceramic guide, you know they are a quick way to cut or damage your line (especially braid!).  The worst part of that damage happening is you will find out at the worst possible time that something is wrong…when you are bent on a fish!

Once I’m done with the wipe down, I like to spray a little Get Some on the threads of the reel seat.  After spraying, I’ll work the locking reel seat hood back and forth to get the lube into all the threads.  The lube serves to keep the locking mechanism working smoothly the next time I use it.

Step 3 – Store In A Cool, Clean & Dry Place

Pretty self-explanatory, wherever you keep your gear, ideally they should be somewhere secure and protected from the elements.  Try to avoid stacking them in a corner.  If they stay in that state too long, they could develop a bend.  You also don’t want the rods banging against and potentially damaging each other.  Finally, if you organize your rods (my system is loosely based on frequency of use and application), you’ll be able to get prepared for a trip more quickly.

That’s it – 3 easy steps.  I’m consistent about doing it and my rods stay in great condition.  There are no surprises when I’m out on the boat that could potentially keep me from using the rod.  One of the keys to fishing success is managing the details within your control.  Making sure your gear is ready to use, when you want to use it, is one of those elements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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