Gear Storage Tips
After a lot of use or when storing for a period of time, take the time to prepare your gear for inactivity. This helps us in three important ways;
- It assures us that by giving our tackle basic care it will last longer and
- perform properly and that
- next spring everything is in good shape and we’re ready to fish.
Wash the grip and reel seat with dish detergent and scrub it good with a toothbrush. Take the rod apart and wash each section separately with dish detergent and scrub the guide feet with a toothbrush. Rinse everything thoroughly with water, wipe it off and let it dry at room temperature for several days. After it is dry dress the ferrule with Murray’s Ferrule Dressing. If the rod has a separate rod sac-liner wash it in the washing machine and dry it in the dryer. The heat of the dryer will kill any mildew present. Finally put your rod in the sac in the hard case and store it in a cool place until you’re ready to use it.
Remove the line and backing from the reel and each spool. Clean all exposed surfaces with a cleaning solution such as Carbona using a toothbrush, Q-tip and cloth. Wipe the inside of the spool firmly with a cloth. Allow everything to dry. Apply a light coating of reel oil to the reel click, pillar and drag (unless the reel manufacturer says not to.) After the reel is completely dry put new backing on the reel and attach the line.
Remove the line from the reel and wash it with ivory hand soap on a paper towel. Rinse it with water on a separate towel. Dry it with a separate towel. Apply a small amount of Glide Line Dressing to a paper towel and dress the whole line. Finally, rub the whole line down with a dry paper towel and put it back on the reel.
Remove everything from the vest pockets and the fly drying patch. Wash it in the washing machine with Ivory powder on a gentle cycle in cold water. Run it through a second rinse cycle and then line dry it.
If there are any bad leaks follow the manufacturer’s directions for repairs. When mine are so worn out that the manufacturers say they are beyond repair I paint the leaky areas inside and outside with a solution of half and half Aquaseal cement and accelerator. Store all waders in a cool dry place.
Even our best breathable coats can wet out in a heavy rain if they have gotten dirty through use. Follow the washing and drying instructions on the coat’s label. If you don’t want to go to this much trouble spray the whole coat with a thin coat of Tectron.
Wading Staff: Coat all of the joints liberally with paraffin.
Fishing Caps and Hats:
Clean with a cloth soaked in Ivory powered solution. Rinse off. Dry. Spray with Tectron. Your dishwashing maching does a great job of washing your fishing hats – put it on the top rack. Then find some place you can place the hat to allow it to dry to shape. I use the log railings on my bed that are about 6 – 7 inches in diameter – works great.
Those that are matted or mashed can be restored by steaming them over a tea kettle of boiling water using a strainer or forceps. Caution: The steam can easily burn you so be careful.
Nymph and Streamers:
Those that are matted or twisted out of shape can be restored by rinsing them in warm water in a colander for several minutes then spread them out on a paper towel in the sun or in front of a heat duct to dry overnight. About a dozen at a time is right.
Taking care of your tackle in this way is both beneficial and enjoyable for it brings up memories of the nice fish you caught the past season and it whets your appetite for fishing next season.