Northshore anglers have just over a month until striped bass return to our waters and before we know it the season will be in full swing.
Most of the following is common sense, but it’s always good to revisit the basics with the annual tackle cleaning tips. Take a look at your tackle and consider the following:
Rods: Check guides for wear and tear. Nicks and abrasions can fray your line.Ensure all guides are tight and are lined up correctly. Ensure that the reel seat is corrosion free and in good working order. If you have two-piece rods, ensure that the top and bottom portions connect easily and securely.
Reels: Reels typically require the most upkeep. Some can be complex, so if you’re unsure on how to take your reel apart or maintain it, visit your local tackle shop. Alternatively, most reels come with detailed diagrams to help you in this endeavor. Nothing gets the heart pumping like a whole table full of small parts that need to be put back together exactly as you found them! Reel spools should be taken off the reel, and all old line discarded. Reel oil should be used on most moving parts after the reel has been washed and rinsed in warm (not hot) soapy water. If you enjoy fly-fishing, these reels also need similar maintenance and care.
Line: I change my line not only at the beginning of the season, but several times during the season. Your mileage will vary, depending on how often you fish, and the conditions you fish under. At the very least, starting the season off with fresh line will hopefully be insurance against having a "the one that got away" story of your very own. In addition, I enjoy tying up several leaders of different size and test for the upcoming season, allowingme to be ready for whatever conditions might come up without having to stop to make up a leader. Fly lines also require cleaning, although typically won’t need to be replaced each year.
Lures: Lures of all varieties also need some primping to prepare for the upcoming season. Hooks should be checked for rust and if need be, replaced. If not rusted, hooks can be sharpened using a stone or a variety of commercially available hook sharpeners. Other lure dressing such as buck-tail, feathers and paint should be checked and spruced up as necessary. Once again, fly fisherman need to check their flies for wear and tear too, and if you’re like me, you’ve been stockpiling your favorite flies after a longwinter of fly tying.That certainly covers the basics, but when in doubt, you can certainly enlist the help of your local tackle shop. (or drop me an email)