The reel is often a forgotten and ignored part of our fishing gear. If it holds some line and cranks, all is good. For most REAL fishermen, the REEL is the most important part of the fishing outfit.
Ice fishermen should understand this the most. Their tiny, midget rods, fishing rods I mean, are flimsy at best. Without a decent drag on their reel, most BIG fish end up escaping. A great drag can make all the difference.
This is the time of year to dig out your spinning gear and inspect.
LINE Is the line old? If yes, pull it off and treat yourself to something new. You want a quality line that is strong, but thin. Using colored line or fine braid is fine but attach a fluorocarbon tippet, or leader. You want to go as thin and fine as you are comfortable with. Fluorocarbon is thinner than other monofilament, but stronger. Use some car polish to clean and smooth the interior of your spool before adding new line. Once the new line is on, run warm water over the new line and spool for a few minutes. This will illuminate any memory from the line and conform the new line to its new home. Dry thoroughly when done. Dispose of your old line properly. Either melt it or take to a fishing shop for recycling.
CLEAN Take the reel apart and clean it out. Inspect the parts and springs. The dirt, grit, and fish crud will ruin the performance. Use a Q-tip to remove old lubricant. Now add fresh lube and rebuild the reel. If screws seem loose, add some Loctite to the threads before replacing. Apply some car polish to the reel bail and surfaces. Buff it smooth for less friction and weather resistance.
Once the new line is on your clean and well-oiled reel, set the drag. You will be surprised at your improved performance, and fishability of your reel.
Screaming reels last longer with some occasional love!
For more Montana Grant, reel him in at www.montanagrantfishing.com.