5 Tackle Prep Tips to Improve Your Time Bass Fishing

5 Tackle Prep Tips to Improve Your Time Bass Fishing

5 Tackle Prep Tips to Improve Your Time Bass Fishing

Whether it be on the water or in the garage this winter, prepping tackle will improve your season’s experience this year by making things a little easier and less hectic each time you head out to hook a mega giant! Follow these tips to be sure you’re ready this season!


Be sure you’re covered. Literally. The weather is moody and can change at the flip of a coin. Be sure your weather specific clothing is ready and in good shape! I never leave home without a good set of rain clothes!

Pre-rigging rods to save time. The reason Elite Series and FLW Pros have 6+ rigged rods in the boat isn’t because they can, it is because they need to be efficient with their time on the water. If you only get out a few times a month, why waste time tying and retying baits when on the water? Rigging rods at home allows more focused and practiced knots and forethought to the gear you will bing. Have a few rods pre-rigged with different baits and tackle for different techniques to quickly switch between them at a moment’s notice!

Old or dull hooks don’t land as many fish! If you are someone that feels every fish matters, then change your hooks out. Many factory hooks that come on baits are okay, but it would greatly improve the bait’s performance to change out hooks. This is typically true with treble hooks on even some well known baits. Sharp hooks “stick” better to fish and if the hook doesn’t pass the fingernail test, consider swapping it out.

Check your drag… Your reels rely on drag to hold fish. A drag that slips is not likely to perform well on bigger fish. Before each season, I check my drags at all levels of strength and compression. I put on a heavy line (often braid) and pull the line at the lowest strength of drag, all the way to the max strength the reel allows. If there is any slipping or weakness at a certain point, I disassemble my reel and clean it. I also store my reels completely drag free, to prevent the disks from compressing over time. This isn’t necessary, and only applies to disk drag reels.

Is your line any good? Any monofilament line (or other plastic lines) deteriorate in UV light. This means that storing your lines in a lit room will not prevent the lines from going bad and getting weaker. The molecular structure of the line weakens when exposed to UV light. I store my lines in a dark box, and away from extreme heat or cold. You may find yourself like me, and replace your line on each rod regularly to avoid unnecessary breakoffs. It would be a shame to lose a great fish due to laziness.

Practice your knots…. I get it. Nobody like practicing knots. However, so much frustration can be avoided with a little practice tying knots. This is especially true with certain knots you don’t tie as frequently. This is an essential skill and I like to group it into my tackle prep tips as a friendly reminder.

Hopefully this helps your preseason preparation and these steps will give you peace of mind when on the water this upcoming bass season. Tight lines and good luck!

 Colton Orbaker 
Author, teacher, guide, media creator...

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