Winter Maintenance for Rods and Reels

With the holidays upon us its a great time to take a break and maintain your equipment. This week Tim breaks down the steps he takes to keep his gear in tip top shape. Take a few minutes over the holidays to winterize your gear, it will pay off when the new year starts. 

Step 1) Clean The Cork

After a long season of flipping, pitching, frogging, etc... the cork can get pretty dark. A quick scrub with denatured alcohol will have it looking like new. When you're done with the cork rub down the rod and reel as well. 

Step 2) Clean and Inspect the Guides

Cork Before Cleaning

One of the most common causes of lost fish and nicked lines is damaged guides. Inspecting the guides by sweeping a cotton ball through them will show you if there is any damage. Any chips or cracks of any kind will require a guide replacement. Better now than when there is a 10 lber at the other end of the rod!

Step 3) Adjust and Dry your Reels

We're not going to go into a full breakdown of reel maintenance as its is a whole video series by itself. We do however recommend backing off your drags and drying your reels thoroughly. This is especially important if you use braided line. Braid holds moisture long after you're done fishing and if you have a perforated spool that moisture is going straight into the reel's interior. 

4) Clean the Braid

Clean the braid? Really? That seems like overkill until you do a little research. Cleaning your braid with a product like Braid Aid (recently recommended to us and man does it work) will extend the life of the braid and drastically increase your casting distance. Its a time consuming process to strip all the line and clean it properly but its worth doing. Besides, its the holiday season... its this or fruitcake so get to work. 

5) Rod Gloves

Cork after Cleaning

Last but not least, use rod gloves. They're your friend. Matt spent years making fun of Tim and his rod wraps but fast forward to Matt's equipment falling apart and Tim's looking brand new... get some rod gloves. Not only do they keep your rods protected (no more broken tips in the rod locker) they also keep lines from tangling and can help with organization by color coordinating rods (wrap all your sissy spinning rods in pink rod wraps so everyone knows you're actually using those things).

We know this isn't a typical fishing tactics video but with the year coming to an end its important to take a few minutes and maintain your equipment. You'll be glad you did when you hook a giant on your first trip back to the lake!