WINTER ORGANIZATION FOR SPRING FISHING   1 comment

Tackle Box Assortment 0001Waterfowl hunting is almost over and ice out fishing has not yet begun.  It is time to check out the fishing gear by cleaning out the tackle box, checking rods and reels, and replacing rusty or dulled hooks.

Organization and convenience are keys to storing my gear. If I did not get it done last fall then now is the time. If I wait until later it robs me of fishing time.

There is nothing more frustrating than looking for a particular piece of equipment and not being able to find it. Organizing can take place on a winter evening while watching television with the family. One common method of organization is to use a different tackle box for each kind of fishing.

Organization does take a little advance planning. It is dependent upon what type of fishing I am planning for the year. If all the fishing is done from a single boat and for a single species it is simple. If wadding or shore fishing is what I plan then organization must consider space and weight limits. Limited pocket space must be taken into account. There are just so many pockets in a fishing vest.

Since I fish for a variety of species from shore and sometimes by boat, I have a number of tackle boxes. I use those clear plastic boxes made by Plano and related companies. I label them as to for what species the tackle inside is intended. The boxes then go into a cloth bag on the particular date I plan to fish. If I go catfishing one day and bass fishing the next day it is just a matter of changing out the boxes.

Now is the time to check rods and reels as well as terminal tackle. The first step is to check the rods for cracks and/or unusual wear. Look at the guides carefully to find chips and cracks. A Q-tip passed through a guide will soon show where any abrasion has taken place. The cotton from the Q-tip will stick to any cracks or abrasion in the guide. Repair or replace the guide immediately as such sharp edges will eventually cut a line. That usually happens when that big fish is on the line.

Wipe down the rod with a damp cloth and wipe the guides with some Reel Magic oil so as to further cut down any friction as the line passes through them.

Turning to the reel the work really begins. The first step is to make sure it is functioning properly. Check the brake and drag. Strip off all the old line. Clean and lightly oil the inner workings. When disassembling the reel use a white terry cloth towel on the table beneath it. If a screw or some other part falls out it will be caught by the cloth and is very visible on the white background.

Once you reassemble the reel spool it with fresh high quality new line of your choice. Different pound test and materials can be placed on various reels. A small label is attached denoting the date, pound test, number of yards and type of line on each reel. I do not remember which reel holds which line later in the season.

Finally check out the terminal tackle. Hooks are cheap to replace so rusty ones can be snipped off of lures and discarded. New quality hooks are applied. Any left over line still attached to a bait is clipped off and discarded.

Crankbaits that are faded can be renewed by the application of a little paint. Bent blades of spinnerbaits are easily replaced and the arms straightened. Tie crankbaits to a short piece of line and pull them through water in the bath tub to make sure they travel straight. If they do not travel straight then bend the eye so that they do run correctly.

In replacing any rusty or damaged hooks I recommend brand names like Tru Turn or related companies. Cheap hooks give cheap performance and hooks that bend or break are not going to provide satisfactory use.

By paying attention to the quality and condition of your fishing equipment at the beginning of the season many hours of wasted time on the water are avoided. It is fun to work up the anticipation of fishing trips by getting your gear in shape.

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One response to “WINTER ORGANIZATION FOR SPRING FISHING

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  1. I agree wholeheartedly. Wasting time while working is one thing. Wasting time while fishing is a crime! 🙂

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