Education

Prepping Your Fishing Gear for the Start of the Season

Getting fishing gear ready for the start of the season is an important task. Cleaning and repairing damaged equipment, spooling line on reels, organizing fishing tackle and buying needed supplies are a sampling of things to do to prepare for opening day. Finishing these chores sets anglers up for success by being organized and ready, but also helps prevent downtime during the season due to gear problems or insufficient supplies. Here’s a rundown of what gear to get ready.

Prepare Reels and Rods

Reels need routine cleaning and lubrication to perform their best. Review product literature for basic and annual maintenance directions.

Remove old line and fill spools with fresh line, as needed. Monofilament has the shortest lifespan of all lines and, at a minimum, should be replaced each season. Superline can last several years. Fluorocarbon can be used for a couple seasons, depending on usage and product quality. Dispose of old line at a line recycling collection bin.

Clean fishing rod handles with mild soap and warm water. Inspect rods for damage, paying attention to line guides.

Rod and reel repair as well as major reel servicing are best done by trained technicians at an authorized service centre. Send products in well in advance to beat the pre-season rush.

Organize Tackle and Restock Supplies

It’s good practice to go through and reorganize gear during the offseason. Here are some tips.

  • Clean tackle boxes, trays and bags with a damp cloth. Let dry before returning tackle.
  • Go through each tackle tray, making sure the right lures and terminal tackle are where they’re supposed to be based on the organization system you’re using.
  • Label trays to identify contents. This makes it easy to find tackle and return it to the right spot.
  • Inspect baits. Cut off leftover knot tags and sharpen hooks. Replace damaged hooks and rusty components on lures.
  • Sort through soft-bait packages and fill tackle tray compartments or binder storage bags to stock-up supplies.
  • After completing the above, inventory fishing tackle and make a list of missing items to buy before the season begins.

Get Other Fishing Gear Ready

Tools, apparel and boating equipment should also be prepared before fishing season opener.

  • Ensure fishing tools are in good shape. Clean and lubricate pliers, scissors and other tools. Replace worn or lost items.
  • Restock fish attractant, sunscreen, insect repellent and other commonly used supplies.
  • Inspect and clean rain gear, waders, personal floatation devices and sunglasses. Repair or replace damaged or expired items.
  • Prepare the boat. Complete regular maintenance and have necessary servicing done in advance. Inspect trailer and tires. Restock and organize safety, boating and fishing supplies.
  • Don’t forget to renew boat registration and fishing licenses.

Complete the above preseason to-dos and you’ll be well prepared and organized for the start of the fishing season.