Winter is upon us here in northern Michigan, and the bass boat has been winterized and put away until spring, after a thorough detailing and polishing. So what is a smallmouth fishing guide to do during the off months? Besides dreaming of warmer weather, there are lots to do to prepare for the next season.
To begin with, there are a few crucial elements of tackle maintenance that I always perform to ensure that my gear is in tip-top shape to begin the next season. First off, I always loosen the drags on my reels. Spinning reels, baitcasting or fly reels, it makes no difference. Today’s modern reels still need help to stay smooth and worry free, despite how advanced they are. Drags on reels, as advanced as they are, rely on pressure to work. Loosening the drag will release the pressure on either the cork or the washers or the ceramic surfaces that make up the drag, minimizing the potential for inadvertently misshaping the cork or washers or the ceramic.
The other item that I always make sure to perform is to make sure that all of my rods are either stored straight up and down on a rod rack, or are perfectly horizontal. Even though rods manufactured today are far superior than they once were, they are still prone to being damaged due to improper storage. If rods are left for extended periods of time by being either bent as they’re leaned up against a wall, or have harsh pressure points exerted on them, damage to the blanks can occur, weakening the materials. This can lead to premature breakage, which never starts the new season off on the right foot