Pier Fishing in California

Resources :: Tackle Tips

Rod Cleaning & Maintenance

We have had a lot of requests about what is the best way to maintain a Rod in order to have it last for a Lifetime - assuming you don’t break it.

New Rods

  1. Apply a paste wax (not a liquid) to the rod and the base of the guides only (not on guides)
  2. Apply paraffin wax to the screw threads of the reel seat. This will allow for smooth operation and less wear.
  3. For a rod with glass or graphite ferrules, apply paraffin wax to the ferrules.
  4. For a rod with metal ferrules, use only skin oil on the ferrules. Apply by rubbing the male end of the ferrule in hair or, lacking that, rub on a forehead. This will apply a minuscule amount of oil to the ferrule. This is all you need.


After fishing, do the following

  1. Since this is the California Pier Fishing Web Site, information is provided with the assumption that you will be fishing in salt water.
  2. Remove the reel and clean any sand or grit from the reel seat with an old toothbrush, or a paint or acid brush that has bristles cut short (for stiffness).
  3. Spray the rod with Salt Away, then rinse. This breaks down an amazing amount of salt that you didn’t realize was on the rod.
  4. Take the rod into the shower with you and clean it thoroughly with a toothbrush.
  5. Naturally, dry it before putting it away.


For Older, Abused Rods

  1. Apply Corrosion-X to any corrosion build-up on metal ferrules, reel seats and guides. Let sit overnight. Scrub with a toothbrush and rinse.
  2. (Tip: WD40 or Simple Green do not work as well as Corrosion-X)
  3. Install a rod butt cap if missing. Caps are available through tackle shops.
  4. After the rod is free of corrosion and thoroughly clean, proceed to treat it as if it were a new rod.


Other considerations

New rods have a single coat of epoxy covering the rod and guide wrapping. This epoxy will chip off with use, exposing the uncoated surfaces to moisture. Moisture will get under the epoxy and lift it off, deteriorating the guide wrapping and causing the guides to come loose. You need to seal the chipped epoxy immediately. Applying paste wax will help, or clean the chip with alcohol, and apply a flexible marine varnish like McCloskey’s Man-O-War.

Inexpensive rods are more prone to chipping than expensive rods. But, treating an inexpensive rod as described above will allow you to keep it for a Lifetime.

Disclaimer: Products mentioned in Tips are those used by Ron’s Reel Repair, and should not be thought of as the only product of that type available.

This Tackle Tip offered Ron Crandall of Ron’s Reel Repair