Anglers overlook how to maintain fishing rods. When done fishing, anglers place the rod away and forget it until the next outing. A few minutes of cleaning and sometimes other work ensures a better performance from the rod. This will lead to fewer problems and have the rod last longer also.
Storing rods the right way is the most important step. A vertical rod rack is the best option for this job. It keeps pressure off the rods. Plus prevents the rods from falling over. Rods leaned in the corner develop a set bend. In other words, the constant pressure makes the blank take a slight curve. This can affect casting. When rods fall there is always the chance of breakage. You can repair the rod sometimes but the rod will never perform the same afterward. Make or buy a rod rack to protect your fishing rods.
Clean to Maintain Fishing Rods
The rod needs to be cleaned after use. Dirt on parts of the rod causes wear. The dirt acts like an abrasive when anything rubs on it. Cleaning is easy and fast while replacing a part takes time. Also, you need to know how to do the repair. Removing handles and reel seats is not easy.
It is better to wipe it down with a soft cloth using water and dish soap since it works best. Then rinse the rod and let it dry. Baby wipes work when out fishing for a quick clean. Also, two-piece rods need the ferrule inspected and cleaned. Use cotton swabs for cleaning the female side of a ferrule.
Cork handles need cleaning regularly since they get dirty fast. Do not use chemicals or abrasive pads to clean cork. Warm water with a few drops of dish soap and a soft cloth works. After cleaning, allow to dry, then apply a cork sealer. The sealers are inexpensive and protect the cork.
Inspecting the guides will help with casting and the line’s life. Damaged guides cause friction or might the cut line. Little nicks or scratches are not harmless to the fishing line. Use a cotton swab or piece of nylon stockings. Any nicks or scratches will grab the material letting you know where they are on the guides. Replace a damaged guide for better performance.
The handles and reel seats need to be checked for damage. Look for cracks or loose fits. Reel seats can get cracks under too much pressure. The handles on low-cost rods come loose on some brands. There are rods I do not buy or recommend for this reason.
I have repaired handles and guides on fishing rods. The damaged parts need removing. Then the area needs to be prepped by sanding and cleaning. The parts need fitting. Then the glue is used to reattach the parts. The glue has to be the right kind. Plus the parts have to be aligned and held in place while the glue dries. There is no fun or enjoyment in doing repairs.
Maintain the Rod When Fishing
Care needs taken while out fishing and during transport. A few steps will help maintain fishing rods.
- Use the hook keeper or remove the lure.
- Keep rods spaced apart.
- Stay clear of door or other pinch point.
- Use side view mirror for leaning on a car.
- Avoid laying flat on the ground or deck.
- Do not jerk hard when snagged.
Hooks damage the guides leading to the need to replace them. It is easier to remove a lure. Rods banging together do get damaged. Use a system to keep your rods separated. Always keep rods away from doors or other places that can snap or crush a rod. The bed of pick-up trucks needs anything else removed that slide or fall on the rods. Items falling on rods usually win and break a rod. If you need to lean a rod on the car use the mirrors. The rod will not slide and fall hitting the ground. Laying a rod flat often results in someone stepping on the rod.
When a snag happens do not jerk hard. This will break a rod and set the hook in the snag. Point the rod towards the snag with a little slack. Pull on the line and release. This action needs repeating a few times to work in most instances. If it does not work pull on the line to break it off and get out of the snag. Sometimes while trying to break the line the lure will release from the snag but not too often. It is a last resort after the other method.
How to maintain fishing rods is not hard. Besides, taking the time to maintain the rod protects your investment. A good fishing rod is $100 or more so being careless is wasting money. Take a few minutes after fishing to clean and inspect the rods. It will save time and money later on. Plus use the right storage methods to prevent damage. The most damage occurs during transport or when a rod falls. Remember to service the reel as needed also.