The Following Tips are Offered by:
Ron Crandall of Ron's
Due to the effects of El Nino and fish not seen in northern California coastal waters for years, like Albacore, (has everyone heard about the Striped Marlin caught off the Washington coast, and the Blue Fin Tuna caught off Bodega Bay, CA?) and consequently, with everyone wanting to go fishing or breaking their reels in the process, you will have noticed that this page has not been updated recently. (At least we hope you noticed)
This Tip will probably not be updated until after the first of the year (that's 1998)Since the holidays are in full swing, the storms of winter (and El Nino) are upon us, the opportunities for coastal fishing can be few and far between.Therefore, your gear is going to be unused or under-used for a period of time.Where are your Rods? Are they piled in the corner of the garage, leaning haphazardly one against each other? Is stuff getting piled on or against them? Or have you properly taken care of your equipment and it is ready for the next break in the weather to just be grabbed and used?
Rods: Check out the Archive page for details on proper rod maintenance.
Things to consider: Have you cleaned it after the last use? Are any guides broken? Is the tip broken? Check the rod seat and butt. Do you need to repair something, anything? Do it now, not when you're ready to leave on a fishing day.
Rods can be stored horizontally or vertically, but not at an angle, as in the aforementioned corner of the garage. If stored in the corner, the rod spine will take a set different than what it should have. Place horizontal brackets every 3 feet so that the rod does not bow. Brackets are available to store rods vertically which support the rod at the base and near the top third to maintain proper orientation.
Reels: Again, Check out the Archive Page for proper reel maintenance.
Change and Recycle Line. (Berkley remelts used line and spools and recycles this as fish habitat for farm ponds or other dam created lakes, reservoirs, etc.) Clean spools, check and back off drags. Check the performance of the reel. Does it need to be overhauled? Do it now! Always consider that the next fish you lose might be because of malfunctioning equipment.
Other: Clean out tackle bags. That old candy bar wrapper won't help you catch fish. Sharpen or replace worn hooks, snell hooks, tie new leaders. Oil pliers, sharpen your bait knife, wash that gunny sack you use to haul your catch home in -- it stinks!
Clean cart and oil axles if you are one of the people who turned a folding grocery cart into a pier U-Haul.
Plan to go to the Sport Shows that happen during early in the year. This is an easy and fun way to see all the new toys that you really want, but don't really need.
If all this sounds like too much work, remember, the reel I fish with most is a 1963 Quick Finessa, it works perfectly and all the battle scars are mine, and well earned.