It’s time to get ready for fishing. Caring for your tackle means more fish in the boat this spring. Here’s a quick list of tips that will keep you fishing, trouble free.
- If your line is old, replace it now. Treat your line with Real Magic to prevent UV and ozone deterioration.
- Give your guides a hard look. Use a cotton-swab to find any hairline cracks or imperfections. Replace guides as needed.
- Clean cork handles on your rods with dandruff shampoo. (Yes, it works) Try some of that Rod Wrap® tape on the handles. It really gives you a better grip.
- Pull your reels off their rods and inspect them. If they are dirty on the outside, better check them out inside.
- Lubricate light moving parts like bail hinges and worm-gears. I love the pump version of Real Magic for this purpose. Unscrew the cap and use the tube inside as a dropper for these light parts.
- Does your bail close slowly? It may not be the bail-spring. Unscrew the left side of the bail from the rotor housing (Some reels use an e-clip) and check for “twang”. Reel techs use this term for a bail hinge that is slightly bent and binding. Carefully re-bend the bail back into shape. Check the bail wire for any nicks that will harm your line too.
- Pay particular attention to dirt accumulation on either side of the worm-gear housing on baitcasters. This can make a pawl and worm-gear bind and fail.
- If you’d rather leave that up to the pros, winter is the time to get those reels into the shop. A good reel repair tech will already be behind, at least a week.
- This is also a great time to take your trolling motor in too. New brushes and seals now will save you some money down the road. You can find a factory authorized service center at: http://www.minnkotamotors.com/service/asclocator.aspx .
If you’re up to the challenge; take your reel all the way down and inspect the parts. There’s a free on-line video code on the inside of the Real Magic Lube package you may find helpful. Here are some tips on a full, C,G & A. (Clean, Grease and Adjust)
- Prepare a work area with plenty of light and no distractions.
- You can label parts as you tear down your reel if you use poster board as your work-area. You can literally map the parts as you go.
- Don’t use terry cloth to clean a reel on. It snags parts and gives “bounce” to dropped parts.
- NEVER use gasoline as a cleaning solvent. Mineral spirits is okay. (I use a Safety Kleen cleaner and they recycle the dirty fluid.)
- Inspect each part as you clean and dry them. Place them back on your “Map” as you go. (Look for scratches on the spool edges, etc.)
- Don’t oil load bearing, bearings. (Spinning reels) Mash lube into them with your thumb and forefinger.
- Gears (pinion and main) get lubed with a brush. Brush your teeth! (Okay, mom.)
- Bearings from the spool-shaft in your bait-casters get oil, not lube. (Too much oil will cause suction to the adjustment-cap. One drop is usually enough.) Be sure to oil the spool shaft as well.
- Take your time and reassemble exactly in the reverse order.
- Stuck? Go on-line to the reel manufacturer’s site to download the manual.
- Test every function and coat the reel with Real Magic to protect your reel and line from UV and ozone deterioration.
Watch the weather and go fishing!