Welcome back to the Puppy Preschool!
I hope everyone has been enjoying the cold weather and the change in species that comes along with the change of seasons. This month we are going to cover a topic that isn't as glamorous as catching a 1m Barra, but without it, your chance of landing that fish is greatly reduced.
Cleaning and maintenance of all your fishing gear are just as important as selecting the right Old Dog lure for the situation. Without looking after your fishing gear, it will fail on you and you'll be spending money to replace it. Cleaning doesn't take long, it isn't a complicated task to do, but it needs to be done at the end of every day's fishing. We'll now go through some simple techniques to ensure your fishing gear works perfectly every time you use it.
Salt is the enemy of all things metal, it doesn't take long for salt to do permanent damage.
Rods are probably the easiest piece of clean. I wash my rods in the shower with me with warm water. If you are using a 2 piece rod, wash it with the pieces connected so water doesn't enter the rod. While you are washing it, check your guides for damage by running your fingertips around the inside feeling for roughness. Also, check the reel seat for damage.
Once it is washed, store it straight. Either vertical in a rod holder, or flat. Watch out for the ceiling and ceiling fans while moving around the house! 2 piece rods can be stored in either 1 piece or split apart, but if you are storing it connected, slightly loosen the connection. But never put oil/wax on the connection.
Salt loves destroying reels, so you have to be careful to remove all salt. Some people use warm soapy water to wash their reels, but if you are using a bait caster, the soap may remove the oil/grease that is on the worm-gear.
Before you wash your reels, be sure to tighten your drag so water can't enter the drag washers. Use a weak stream of water, because you don't want to force salt deeper into your reel. Once you have given your reel a good washing, shake all excess water off your reel and loosen the drag.
Some reels have a port where you can oil the reel yourself, consult with the reel manual or talk to your local tackle shop about what oil is best for your reel. I also recommend getting your reel's professionally serviced, your local tackle shop will be able to help you.
Always check your line for damage and also make sure that it is still tight on the spool. If you are starting to notice a bit of damage, take all the line off the spool (I run it across the backyard) and put the damage end onto the spool 1st. This way, you double the life of your line.
While Old Dog lures have stainless wire internally, which is very resistant to rusting, hooks and split-rings will rust very quick if not cleaned. The easiest way I find to clean lures is in a sink, half-filled with warm water. Making sure you don't stab yourself, sink each lure and give it a good shake. Repeat a few times, and then hang them somewhere safe to dry. Once dried, put them safely back into your tackle box for next time.
Rusty hooks are weaker and not as sharp, so I would recommend talking to your local tackle shop about what is the easiest and safest way to change hooks. There are various tools available to help you with this, it just comes down to personal preference as to which tool you feel most comfortable with.
Talking about your tackle box, don't forget to wipe any dried salt out of the trays. I also set aside a slot in my top-tray to put used lures in. That way I'm not spreading the salt around, but it is also a quick way to determine what lures I used. If you are using tackle trays that have holes in them, be careful that salt doesn't drip down onto the lures below.
I am most excited about the new GM60! It is going to be an amazing lure on smaller Barra but also on Bream, Flathead and Blue Salmon just to name a few. Just like its big siblings, the GM80 and GM100, it is hand-made by the Old Dog himself and has been tested to his world-famous standards.
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