You can stare blankly out the window this weekend. (Sigh!) Better anglers would rather prepare for that next fishing trip, NOW. You’ve seen that Star Trek episode three times anyway.
Here is a short checklist to avoid fishing delays:
• Chances are good your fishing line is ready for a change. It is the only thing between you and the fish.
• Treat line with Real Magic to reduce ozone damage.
• Inspect the spool for nicks, especially the outer edges.
• Check bails on spinning reels. Do they close with authority?
• Test the anti-reverse function on all your reels. The handle should stop and the drag engages when you pull the line.
• Test the drag while you are testing the anti-reverse. A steady pull should be smooth without a “hitch”.
• Does the line-guide on the spinning reel turn freely? Lubricate as needed. Is the finish on the roller smooth?
• Untwisting the thumbscrews on a baitcaster will reveal the “raceway” that the centrifugal weights turn in. (Some reels have a magnetic field instead.) Is this area clean? Cotton swabs are handy for the task of cleaning these tight quarters.
• Lubricate the spool shaft with light oil for better casts. A heavy oil or lube will slow down the spool.
• Inspect the worm gear and pawl for wear or nicks. Clean these parts and re-lube.
Are you delving deeper into the reel for a serious cleaning? Treat yourself to a visit to Reel Schematic.com. You will find repair books, DVDs, and tungsten lubricants that will make the task much easier. They even have a list of authorized repair shops on their site too.
Do you have an older discontinued reel that needs parts? Check out EBay. I just found a part for a classic 1985, Lew’s BBIN.
A little TLC now will pay dividends in fish later.