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Prepare for big cod
  |  First Published: August 2005



Tamworth has recently had some nice rain, the temperature has dropped considerably and so has the water temperature.

The yellowbelly are slowly shutting down for Winter and as the old bushy’s tale says, the big cod are coming out.

This month I am going to talk about preparing your gear for catching big cod.

It is very important when you are targeting cod to make sure you have all or your gear in top condition.

I always check my whole set-up – rod, reel, line, trace and hooks.

I always give my reels a regular service to make sure they have a nice smooth drag. When I service my reels I almost pull the entire thing apart and give it a good clean. I make sure I get all of the old grease out of it by using a small paintbrush and brushing it with mineral turps or a degreaser.

Once I've done this I let it sit for a while and then I thoroughly rinse it in warm water to make sure all the grease and grime have been cleaned off.

After that I use CRC Tackle Guard, a top-quality lubricant that protects your reel from corrosion and it penetrates where the grease can't go.

I find this process really easy and it keeps all of my reels in top condition.

It is also really important that you have a strong line on your reel. I always check to make sure that my line has no fraying bits and that all the knots have been tied to a high standard.

When I’m targeting cod this time of year the line I prefer is 30lb Super Braid because it has a thin diameter, runs smoothly through the guides, ties beautiful knots and always holds up well when the fish are bumping up against structure.

Along with this line I also use a Penn 10X trace of 50lb to 50lb with a high-quality duo-lock snap to connect the lure.

Razor-sharp hooks are another big factor in catching big cod.

If you find that the lures you want to use don't have sharp hooks, it is quite easy to sharpen them. Simply purchase a hook sharpener. You can get them at pretty much every tackle shop and they are a simple and effective way of getting your hooks really sharp.

I also prefer to crush the barbs on my hooks as this makes it a lot easier to remove the trebles from the fish without causing it too much stress.

I check that the reel seat has no cracks and I also think about whether it could have any fractures in the blank from hard impacts.

I also check to see that the rod has no chipped or cracked guides that could cut your line. Running a cotton bud, cotton ball or tissue through and around each guide will show up any defects and any worn, cracked or broken guides should be replaced before they cost you the fish of a lifetime.

Once I have checked over all of these things it gives me confidence to go out and try to get the big one because I know that my gear is in top condition and will hold up well.

And remember: Catch and release is the way of the future!!

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