Plenty of fish still left, so keep your gear clean and ready

Spending a day on the water can equate to paradise for the millions of people who enjoy recreational fishing. In fact, shad fishing just got started here in North Georgia. The mass number of fishing hobbyists spend millions of dollars on equipment and gear for their fishing excursions each year. With so much money being spent, it is essential to properly care for gear and store it well. Here’s how to get started.

Safety
There are many components of fishing gear that can be dangerous in the wrong hands. From fileting knives to bait hooks, there is the potential for injury should young children get into the fishing equipment you have. Also, sinkers made out of lead can be toxic should children put these items in their mouths.
Emphasize safety when storing your equipment. If you are keeping rods and reels on your boat, be sure they’re in a locked cargo area so they’re not easily accessible. If tackle and other gear is kept at home, be sure to have a locked cabinet where it can be kept, or place it high enough where it is out of reach.
Make sure sharp lures and hooks are kept together in a tackle box and placed out of the way. Not only will this keep people safe, but it also helps to keep gear organized.

Cleaning
In order to work properly, gear should be cleaned and inspected prior to storage. Cleaning will also prolong the life span of fishing equipment. Fishing rods should be wiped down after each fishing trip to prevent harmful contaminants and corrosives from eating away at the clear coat on the rod and any metal components. Wiping down also reduces the chance of salt water corrosion.
In terms of cleaning lures and tackle, start out by soaking them in distilled water. If there is a smell or debris stuck on it, some people have used a spray like WD40 with success. If using a soap-based cleanser on soft rubber lures, choose one that is gentle, like baby soaps or even gentle laundry detergent. Just be sure to rinse well.

Rod storage
It is important to store fishing rods horizontally to prevent warping or bending. If using a rack specially designed for fishing rods, it will keep rods straight despite them being stored vertically. Try to keep rods out of a humid room, which can further exacerbate warping and bending of the equipment. Also, never stow a rod in its tube. This can trap humidity and cause corrosion of the guide rings.
Reels should be rinsed after use and disassembled to clean the gears inside. Water can become trapped in small crevices and may rust out ball bearings. Never soak reels in water and try to keep them out of the water on fishing trips. Fly fishing backing may be left on the reel, provided it is completely desalinated and dry. Application of lubricant between uses of a reel can improve performance.
Properly storing this equipment can prolong its life span and keep things safe and organized.

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