The fishing season is getting close, only 11 more days before the season starts. Are you ready?
It looks like we are going to have a great start to the season with little snow, the ice already out of the lakes and rivers at a safe wading level. I use these last few days to get my gear ready so I can be fishing on the first day of the season.
Whether you are out on the first day or prefer to ease into the season, it is always a good idea to get your gear ready early. Rods should be checked to make sure that the ferrules are not damaged or loose.
You should to check the reel seat to make sure it is not loose and check the rod itself for any nicks or cracks. How old is the line on your reel and when was the last time that it was replaced? Most folks use monofilament line and the life-span of that line is short, especially if it is left out in the sunlight or used for saltwater fishing and not rinsed off well. It is a good idea to replace the line at least once a year.
At this point take all the line off your reel and before you put new line back on, check out your reel. There are a lot of moving parts on a reel that need to be lubricated and now is a good time to do that. You can buy specific reel oil, use three-in-one or sewing machine oil. My suggestion would be to just oil the moving parts that you can see. Add a few drops to the handle and the main shaft and that should do the trick. Wipe off any surplus oil on the surfaces of the reel as the oil may damage your new line.
The next step is to add new line to your reel. If you have visited a tackle shop lately, you know there are many different line types and strengths.
Line strength is based on what they call “pound test.” For most of my fishing, I use an eight-pound test line. I would suggest that you do as well. If you talk to a dozen experienced fishers you will get a dozen different opinions on what line to use.
Buy an inexpensive line, talk to some folks that fish a lot for their opinion or visit a tackle store for help.
When putting line on the reel, the biggest mistake new anglers make is putting too much line on the reel spool.
When buyi ng a new reel, there will be specifications in the box for what line weight to use and how much line to put on the spool. If you do not have that information then I suggest that you fill the spool with line until you reach three millimetres from the edge of the spool. I will talk more about tackle next week.