Now Is The Time To Prep For Fishing
Now that the hunting seasons are over, most sportsmen consider this a time of rest and relaxation. If you fish, this is an attitude that will get you in trouble. I don’t know if you fish a few times a year or if you are an avid fisherman that is out there every weekend without fail. When the nice weather rolls around, and fishing enters the picture, I have seen it a thousand times. The fisherman has a smile on his face so wide you could drive a truck through it. Ten seconds later, as the line spills off the spool of the reel, the rod is thrown down in the bottom of the boat. The smile disappears and the questionable language that would curl your hair starts. If you are one of those fishermen, don’t worry, there is a solution to your problem. Start now and look at it as a pleasant chore that will save your opening day in the spring. The first thing I do is take all the line off of every reel. This is usually a tedious process that can be cut short by purchasing a line stripper. Berkley makes a good one that will last. This usually has my living room looking like the recycling center, but it’s worth it. If you are a genius, you can service your own reels. With the complexity of today’s reels, I don’t recommend this. Unless it is a factory authorized center, your best bet is to send them back to the manufacturer to be serviced. This is what I do and I never wonder if my first day will be a nightmare. By doing it now, I don’t have to worry if I will have them back in time for my first trip. Some years, the repair shops are so busy with last minute work that it will be July before your reels are returned. The next thing I do is inspect my rods. A nonabrasive cleaner should be used at first. With the rod clean, you can see any wrappings that are going bad, or a crack in the rod itself. I have seen fishermen make a cast, and hear that sickening noise only a breaking rod can make. If the wrapping is bad, a loose eye will make the rod useless also. The next thing I do is purely eye candy, but I clean the cork handles. A good household cleaner that has a little abrasiveness to it is fine. If you find a crack in the rod itself, there is no way to repair it. Over the years, I have had people say they can, but it is a temporary fix at best. The rod soon breaks and now the season is started and you are one rod short. My best suggestion is to buy a quality rod that has a lifetime guarantee. Quality rods such as St. Croix are well worth the investment. Not only do they have a lifetime guarantee, but you will be amazed at the sensitivity even their entry level rods deliver. They are not only light, but well balanced, and you can cast them all day without getting fatigued. If your only experience has been with a $29 rod, you won’t believe the difference. For a person who plans on doing a lot of fishing, it is worth the investment. Let this opening day be problem free. DAVE LEWONCZYK Is a contributing columnist for Times-Shamrock Newspaper. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.