How to maintain your fishing equipment

When he’s smallmouth fishing, Hartley likes to ease up on cramming rods into the rod locker because, “you don’t need so many – you can have one in each tube.” He acknowledged that going for largemouth often entails having too many rods to do this, but he does try to reduce the number of broken rods by keeping things in proper order.

At the bottom of the drive shaft you will see two screws.  Take these screws out and pull out the drive shaft.  At the base you will find your drive shaft bearing (some reels such as the Shimano Citica have a bushing here that can be replaced with a bearing if you want to).  Clean all the old grease off and here you have two choices. 

The easy way is to soak the bearing while still attached to the shaft to clean it, or alternatively, take the c-clip off so you can clean the bearing alone.  I usually take the c-clip off, clean the bearing and put it all back together.  This little clip can be tough to put on and has a tendency to go flying to never be seen again.  You can take the clip on and off inside a plastic bag which will help.  A small flat screwdriver is the way to take off the c-clip.  A small pair of needle-nose pliers is best to put it on with.  This is one item I would buy spares of.  Take a Q Tip and wipe out the inside of the reel, removing all the old grease.

15. Don't forget your PFD! The last addition to Hartley’s boat is a PFD and in that respect, Hartley is still old-school, wearing the foam vest rather than the new inflatable version. “It’s extra cushioning when I’m running and if I go over the side, I don’t want to rely on something mechanical.” 16 of 17

8. Only pack the rods you need When he’s smallmouth fishing, Hartley likes to ease up on cramming rods into the rod locker because, “you don’t need so many – you can have one in each tube.” He acknowledged that going for largemouth often entails having too many rods to do this, but he does try to reduce the number of broken rods by keeping things in proper order. 9 of 17

One of the easiest and most simple ways to keep fishing tackle clean is to incorporate a cleaning regime into every time the fishing equipment is used. After fishing has been completed for the day, an angler can make a good start in keeping fishing tackle clean by just hosing off their rods and reels with a liberal amount of tap water.

Especially when salt water fishing, rods and reels can become caked with corrosive salt that can damage the equipment when left untouched. This is particularly true of fishing line that can weaken and break on the next outing, allowing "the big one" to get away.

Practice chemical safety by reading the material safety data sheets (MSDS) for all of the chemicals on board. Know the hazards and properties of the fuel(s) you are using and use safe work practices around them. Keep bilges clean to prevent the build up of fuel or fumes. Think about each situation before you enter a confined space, weld, grind, or conduct electrical work.

Dennis Lehman, North Carolina angler, with a 40-pound gag grouper aboard the Entertainer. When you open up that tackle box and find all those rusted hooks are no longer any good and the swivels are green with corrosion, I have another great tip for you. Empty the entire box and clean it or start with a new box.

This time place all of your hooks, swivels and other terminal tackle in the box. Then take cooking starch and sprinkle some in each compartment so that every item is covered. This will prevent any future rust and save those expensive hooks for future use. The starch dries up any and all moisture in the box. Now for the winter fishing inshore, the redfish and speckle trout will be the most dominant species to target here along our coast. They will be found mostly in and around the openings to the bayous in our area. Live shrimp will be the best bait of choice.

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