A good angler is only as good as their patience, knowledge, and gear.  All of these qualities, especially the first two, come with time and experience. Having good gear is one thing, but making sure you take care of it properly will ensure that your investment is going to last a long time.

Saltwater and salty air are killers for basically any kind of material, and all offshore fishing is done on salt water. If you don’t take care of your equipment, especially if you fish a lot in salt water environments, then your equipment won’t last very long.

Lucky for you, we looked into the proper steps needed to make sure that all of your gear is safely secured, but will remain clean and ready for use at any time you need them. These fishing gear maintenance tips are useful for freshwater and saltwater fishing, but it’s especially important to clear your gear if you used it in a salty environment.

How To Clean Fishing Reels and Rods

If you have bought a new reel or rod in recent years, chances are that it’s made from some type of non-corrosive material. Even if it is, that doesn’t mean it’s indestructible.

After a fishing trip, the first thing you want to do is wipe it down with fresh, clean water and a rag. This should remove any salt buildup and gunk on the outer layers. Next thing is to cut the line that was used that day. Using the same line over and over again will cause salt and dirt to build up on the line, making it harder to reel in and cast out. You also want to make sure you wipe down the spool as well.

After rinsing everything down and letting it dry, take a cotton swab and run it throughout the rod to find any cracks. If the cotton gets caught, then you know you have a problem there and should try to fix it immediately. You should try to regularly clean your rod and reel as often as possible, especially if you fish a lot. Even rods that you didn’t use that day but were still on the boat should be clean. Saltwater could still get on the equipment from splashing and the salty air doesn’t help either. Make sure your rod and reel are dry before putting them away in a safe spot!

Cleaning your Lures

To clean your lures will make sure you have them for a long time. The best way to clean them and ensure their longevity is to take a few really simple and easy steps.

The first thing you want to do is make sure you do not put them in your tackle box after a day on the water. Saltwater and other dirt and debris can get into the rest of your gear if you do this. Store it in a separate container until you’re able to clean it properly.

To clean lures, simply rinse them with warm water and use a gentle soap like baby shampoo. Lightly scrub it with a soft sponge or toothbrush. Pat it dry and then you can store it in your tackle box. Another good way to maintain the lure is to put a tiny bit of oil on any moving parts. This prevents rust in areas that can be prone to it.

Fishing Gear Storage

Unsurprisingly, this is where most gear gets into bad shape. Storing your gear properly will help increase the longevity of it.

Hanging your rod is the easiest and simplest way to keep it safe. If you have it leaning up against a wall for long periods of time, it can create a bend in the actual rod itself. A bend in the rod that’s not supposed to be there causes grounds for replacement.

Reels should be kept somewhere safe and dry. These are the most complex pieces of gear, so they require the most care. Fishing line should be stored somewhere that is room temperature and out of direct sunlight. UV light can damage fishing line.

You also want to store your tackle box in room temperature controlled space. Putting it in a drawer or top of a closet it good. You don’t want to have it in a place that receives direct sunlight or a place near a high volume of people. That creates chances for it to get knocked on the ground and have things break. Keeping your stuff out of harm’s way and being mildly careful with your equipment will go a long way.

Other items should be stored somewhere safe and dry. Simple things like fly fishing nets can get tangled or cause accidents if someone gets caught in it, or hooks can cause cuts. Items like coolers can grow mold if they aren’t properly dried. Be considerate with all of your fishing gear so that both the gear and those in your home are safe.

Final Thoughts on Taking Care of Your Fishing Gear

Fishing equipment can get really expensive, especially if you’re are always replacing it. The most important thing you can do to protect it is really just using your common sense. Don’t lay your rod flat on the ground because that’s basically asking for it to get stepped on. Clean the salt off of your equipment before putting it away properly. Regularly inspect your equipment for damage. These are simple things that you can do to protect your investments so that you don’t waste money on buying new gear regularly.