Time to look after your gear
  |  First Published: September 2007

Sure, there are plenty of fish to chase at this time of year such as blackfish, trevally, tailor and salmon and even spinning for flathead can be rewarding in the cooler months but how long is it since you have looked at your gear?

With the promise of better fishing weather ahead, it’s high time you sorted out the tackle box and restocked it, spooled up with new line, serviced your reels and checked all guides on your rods. Plan some time to do just that you will find it will pay off in the long run.

After a season (or more!) your tackle box can end up looking a real mess. I like to tip the whole lot out and toss the rusty hooks and then wash the box in hot soapy water and scrub off all the rust marks. I then rinse it and place it in the sun to dry.

Refilling your tackle box is simple. Just buy the hooks you like and add a few more sinkers and swivels. The trick is to keep only, say, 10 of each size hook, around the same number of appropriate swivels and enough sinkers to cover your outings.

I always keep a stock box in the boat or at home. This means that when I buy a box of hooks, I place only enough of each size into the tackle box for immediate needs and keep the rest in a dry spot to prevent rust getting to work.

I never place a hook back into my tackle box once it’s been used. I toss it into a small bucket, along with all the other gear like lures, squid jigs and the rest that have been used for the outing.

Everything is then washed and allowed to dry and packed back into my tackle box ready for the next trip, Try this and you will find that your gear will last a lot longer.

When should we pull that old line that’s been on our reels for too long? I think that most anglers who fish all year round should refill each year or when the reel needs it. When you are down to about half a spool your casting distance will be cut down quite a bit and there is a good chance that the next big run from a larger fish may spool you. Time to wind on a top shot or replace the whole thing.

You might find that your line becomes quite twisted. This happens a lot because I use the same outfit for trolling, spinning and bait fishing all in one outing. Just run the line out with nothing tied on the end behind your boat and allow it to untwist in the water, then wind it back.

This can happen with all lines, even the quality Schneider line I use. I have found to be a great performer over the years and, like my Dad did, I use it off the rocks, out of the boat and along the beach. Schneider started in 1950 in Sydney and is still a top well-priced fishing line today. Their new braided line is also hard to beat.

Servicing your reels sounds like a hard job but if you do preventative maintenance on them it’s not that often you’ll need a reel mechanic. After each outing give the reel a wipe off with a soft cloth, back off the drag add a few drops of oil to all moving parts that you can see from the outside, like the handle, bail roller, bail hinges and the like. I spray WD 40 or Inox onto to a cloth and wipe over the whole exterior.

Rod guides need inspecting weekly for cracks and chips. It’s normally the tip runner that cops the and knocks. Most tackle shops can help with replacing guides and you’ll be back fishing in no time.

Now that all your gear is in top order you are ready for the season ahead and the return of a little warm weather.

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