Harts Hints -  Maintaining your fishing tackle

by Andrew Hart

You have spent money on the best gear you can afford, and you expect it to perform each and every time you use it. However, after a while the salt, and the sand start to eat away at your very expensive reel, or brand name knife, and before you know it, your gear is old and useless.There are ways to maintain your tackle, and with just a bit of extra effort, your gear can last many years.


For most people, your reel is the most valuable piece of equipment that you own. Whether it be a gold game reel worth as much as some cars, or a cheaper egg beater type reel, it is probably a prized possession which you show off to your mates.

Basically they are so expensive to buy because a fishing reel is quite a complicated thing to design and build. To many of us the number of ball bearings a reel has, or whether it has infinite anti-reverse does not mean a good deal. We just buy the most posh looking one with the most features. The cost, however, is affected by how sophisticated the reel is.

These features are made by the manufacture not only to sell more reels, but to help the fishing public, and make life easier for all. Believe me, when you have used a reel with a new innovative feature, you will not be able to live without it. Therefore it is important to look after your reel, and then you will get years longer from your prized possession.

Remember that reels are not meant to be thrown around, and must be maintained to perform at their best.

After every salt water fishing trip your reel should be washed with warm, soapy water, rinsed off, and dried with a soft cloth. (Tighten the drag up before you do this to stop water, and especially soap getting on the drag surface. Ed) Then all the moving parts should either be lightly oiled or sprayed with aerosol cans such as WD-40, or CRC. Also, when storing your reel take it off the rod, and it should be kept either in a box or reel bag.

Your reels should be serviced at least once every two years. If you are not confident about this, most tackle stores can arrange it for a reasonable cost.


Your fishing rod also needs the same maintenance as your reel. Although less things can go wrong with your rod, it is important to wash it and dry it after each fishing trip.

Before you go fishing it is a good idea to check each of the eyes on the rod. Do this by running your finger around each runner. If they are worn, chipped or cracked then they will need replacing, because such damage can destroy, and eventually snap fishing lines. Roller guides should also be examined to see if they are turning properly, and if they are not, take them apart and oil them.

If your rod is one that comes apart, always take it to pieces before storing it away. It is also a good idea to keep your fishing rod in a PVC tube, because one thing that rods do tend to do is SNAP!!

Other Tackle

To maintain any other tackle you may own, always remember to wash it in fresh water. Salt is tackle's biggest enemy, and it is important to wash it off as soon as possible. Always check that your tackle box is dry inside, and discard and rusted hooks.

Your fishing line is also something that needs looking at. Depending on how often you fish you will have to change lines every two years at least. By doing this you will ensure your gear is in good nick to do battle with that big one.

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