Sure, you may have been fishing all winter through the ice or in the ocean. Or you may live in a wonderful place like California where there is always open water. But its spring. As surely as that means the crack of a ball on a bat, it means fishing season. Its time to get ready.
I’m Gonna Keep On Fishin’!
I’ve been using the same reels for decades getting them ready every year for hard work from spring through fall. I use a Mitchell 206 for heavier fish, but my favorite reel is a Mitchell 304. For durability and versatility it can’t be beat. I use a little grease under the spool and a bit of sewing machine oil on the crank and bail. I don’t like changing line. Consequently, I don’t remove old line until its absolutely necessary.
When you’re tuning up a reel,
- Grease non-plastic gears.
- Use machine oil on parts that move.
- Clean out last year’s gunk.
- Change the all line or add new line using the old as backing.
There really isn’t much to getting rods ready for the season. I travel with telescoping rods so I check them out thoroughly. For back packing or carry-on luggage, telescoping rods are great. There is nothing more disappointing than being on the water only to find out that your telescoping rod is now a 4 piece with 3 pieces.
Before you leave to fish, open and close a telescoping rod a few times. Flex the rod to make sure it stays together. Check all the eyes particularly the tip.
Checking a multi piece rod or a single piece ultra light is a little bit different. Because there aren’t any moving parts on a fishing rod, they tend to be overlooked as equipment is checked at the beginning of the new season. You can fish without a rod tip, but it looks silly and makes casting difficult.
When you check your multi piece rod:
- make sure you have all the correct, matching pieces.
- check all the eyes.
- check the rod tip.
- make sure the entire grip is solid.
If you buy all new tackle every year, you don’t have to worry about maintaining your lures. I do buy new stuff every year, but I tend to use the tried and true tackle until I loose if or it falls apart.
There are a lot of things you can do to make your first fishing trip of the season easier.
- Untangle that knot of lures and sort them into your tackle box slots.
- Remove all the swivels and leaders from you lures.
- Take a few seconds to sharpen the hooks.
- Make sure the eye is straight on each lure.
- Check for broken bills.
- Check for melted plastic tails and broken parts.
If you’re like me, you don’t take time during the season to sort through your tackle boxes. I have bunch of cases that I can pick up depending on where I am fishing. They are all a mess. During the season I just drop lures into the box. My leaders get tangled. Of course, the container of split shots opens. My extra hooks manage to come off the cardboards and my extra spools unravel. You clean out the trunk of your car. Clean out your tackle box.
- Create small, fish specific boxes.
- Throw away ruined display wrapping.
- Dump dirt, dried seaweed and old bait.
- Put hooks, weights and swivels in small containers.
- Create spots for pliers, scale, cutters, stringer and a knife.
Getting Ready to Fish
Anytime you go fishing, some form of organized check lists needs to be completed. Even if you fish 50 yards from your house, you don’t want to be walking back and forth to get things your forgot instead of fishing.
Minimal Fishing Check List
- Spare Line
- Tackle box (complete)
- Toilet Paper
- Weather appropriate outer clothing
- Appropriate footwear
- First Aid Kit
Fishing Season is here. Your first trip to the water will be more fun and less frustrating if you get ready.
Take a moment to leave a comment below. Do you check your equipment at the beginning of fishing season? Have you ever regretted not checking your equipment?