Here we go, another article on gear! Maintenance is not as fun to talk about as catching big bass, but it is essential to making sure your gear lasts the longest it can.
Different lines are made of similar materials. Mono and fluoro are both UV sensitive to some extent, so avoid storing lined reels and spare spools of line in areas exposed to UV light (sunlit). Instead, find a dry and dark place to store your line in that won’t get too warm during the summer (and won’t freeze during the winter. These lines are both created from plastics and do have a shelf life. Re-spool your reels frequently to avoid fishing with compromised line.
If you fish in areas near salt water, or even in areas with high humidity. Chances are you are familiar with hook rust. Even if you live in the Midwest, your gear can still succumb to rust if you do not dry and store your gear appropriately. My room of thumb, is to rinse the lure/hooks in either distilled or fresh water, let them dry in the open air/sun, then store them in my boxes with silica packets to make sure no moisture oxidizes them. It may seem extreme, but when you buy good hooks, try to maintain them. Also, if you don’t currently use a hook hone, START!
Rods are probably the easiest piece of your kit to maintain regularly. There are a few things to take note of though. First thing, is to make sure all the fittings, exposed blank, and hardware are rinsed and dried after each use. Take note of the grips and the shape they are in. Additionally, I check over the rod blank after each heavy use to make sure there aren’t any nicks or distress from weight(s) hitting the graphite (or other material) or other damage. These will be breaking points on the next big fish you hook up with.
I always give all my reels a once-over with new lube and grease every year. The reels I fish regularly and heavily will get maintenance twice a season. Some anglers clean it more often, but with my wear-and-tear from the frequency I fish, I feel two cleanings is enough. If you start to hear strange sounds or friction is felt in the reel, try to assess and address the problem before you break your reel in any further way.
There you have it! These are my best tips on easily maintaining your bass fishing gear! Checking and maintaining these things will ensure you don’t have any unforeseen problems throughout the season. Get your gear in check, and get out to catch a monster! Tight lines!