Preventive Maintenance

Well, I sit here at the house on my day off.  It’s my first day off in the last four days so I’m going to the lake.  It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve hit the water.  There’s just one problem. The big bad wolf is trying to blow my house down.  As I look outside, trees are bending, and limbs are falling.  It’s easily 20-25mph sustained winds with gusts close to 40mph.  There will be no fishing for me today, not in this wind.  Thanks Mother Nature (not you Mrs. Cork-we love you).

So, what in the world can I do today?  Cabin fever has set in strong.  I’ve got my first tournament coming up in a month.  I will not go fishing in this wind, but I’ve got to do something with my fishing equipment and tackle.

Let’s do a little preventive maintenance today.

I go out to the boat and I pull out everything (EVERYTHING) as far as tackle goes.

I lug 15 plus rods and reels in the house.
Do you know how heavy 10 crankbait/jerkbait/topwater boxes are?
Jig box?-Check
Spinnerbait/Buzzbait Boxes X4?-Check

AHHHH there we go; all of this equipment is piled up on the table and counters.  Isn’t it pretty?


First things first: the rods/reels
-Strip every single rod/reel combo of its line.  Even if it’s only been on there a month, it’s gone.
-Next I get a tooth brush, an old one.  Take the reel off of the rod, and begin scrubbing.  Get all that dirt and grime off of the outside.  You are a bass fisherman, son!!!  Get that reel clean.  Leave the dirty mess to the cat fishermen.  (My buddies will like that comment.)  A little soap and warm water goes a long way.  Also, I use Reel Magic on my reels to clean them up a little.  I DO NOT BREAK THE REELS DOWN AT ALL.  That’s another discussion.
-Move to the rod.  Use Reel Magic again to wipe down the rod and eyelets.  Also during this time, check the eyelets for fractures or anything else that may cause line concerns.  Use Rod wraps on all setups so you don’t have to worry about dirty corks or foam rubber, but you should replace Rod wraps at this time.
-Last, but not least, re-spool every reel.  Also, mark the pound of line and date added on the rod above the handle.  Put a little tape over a piece of paper.  Nothing major here it’s bass fishing, not brain surgery, my friend.


Ok, move to the hardbait (cranks, jerks, topwater) boxes
-Separate each individual group of baits, and arrange those baits into different boxes, too.  However during fishing season, jerkbaits are placed in topwater boxes.  Shallow spring cranks will get in the deep summer boxes so arrange all the hard baits back in the proper boxes.
-During the rearranging process, look at the hooks and the o-rings carefully.  If the hooks are rusted, the bait goes in a pile for new hooks.  If the o-rings are bent, they get replaced too.
-Look at the baits themselves.  Are they cracked?  Deformed from heat?  Paint coming off?  If so, and can be repaired, do so.  If they can’t be repaired, they are trashed.
-After new hooks and o-rings, they go back in the boxes (the newly washed boxes).

Then get the jigs out; they are easy.
-Try to keep colors together, and separate each color into each weight class.
-Again, check the hooks.  If they are rusted, file them.  If they can’t be saved, toss them.
-Also, check the skirts to make sure they are not deformed or stuck together.  Check the rubber bands and ties at this time.
-During this time, replace skirts, trim skirts and also keep some jigs clear of skirts so flukes and other plastics can be added if need be.

Finally, it’s time for spinnerbaits, boys and girls.
-Separate spinnerbaits into several boxes.  Separate the blades into a group, all the double blades together.  Singles, separated by color, go here.  Rearrange all of the spinnerbaits accordingly.
-While separating, check the hooks and sharpen them as needed.
-Also during this time, skirts are replaced and trimmed.
-Don’t forget to get the trailer hooks, too.  USE THEM!!! They save you fish on the water.
-I have too many spinnerbaits.  I really need to sell a bunch.

Hopefully, the last few minutes reading this will save you a little time on the water.  This is how I do things, and it works for me.  I’m pretty good about keeping my tackle straight and making sure the rods and reels are taking care of.

Use the time spent going over your tackle to restock your baits as needed.  Now is a good time to check inventory on plastics and terminal tackle as well.

Keith Redd (Reddman)

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