Gear and Lure Maintenance
by Peter Pakula
You can prolong the life of your fishing tackle by putting protective oils on your gear before you use it.
If your tackle is used before you protect it then handling corrosion and salt penetration becomes more of an issue. Before you use your gear make sure it's protected by making sure all internal parts ie rollers on rods, gears and internal frames and gears in reels and the reel spool before being spooled hall have a thin layer of grease to secure future protection.
For rods and reels, an external coating of silicone on rods and reels will protect them from staining and corrosion.
Reels should be dismantled, checking for any areas that haven't got a grease or oil coating and if necessary applying coatings to exposed areas. Exposed metal areas that aren't moving parts such as side plates can be coated in corrosion blockers or silicone. Moving parts should be covered in the oil and grease recommended by the manufacturer.
Trolling skirts are made from various types of plastics, mainly PVC, which are by nature hard and brittle. They are made soft by the addition of oils. These oils do not bond with the skirt materials and will continue to leach and migrate to the surface of the skirts, which has the effect of either making them feel sticky or stiff and sometimes brittle.
If the skirts are sticky, stiff or brittle then the oil content of the skirts has been diminished and salt and other chemicals in both salt and freshwater will replace the oils in the skirts.
To Rejuvenate Sticky or Stiff Skirts the Process is
• Put the skirted lures in just-boiled water, agitate them for around a minute which removes any sticky surface oil, and dissolves salt.
• Dry the skirts laid neatly and flat on a towel in the shade.
• Spray with Silicone Oil and rub the silicone into the skirt. Use a high-grade pure silicone such as CRC 808. Don't use cheap multipurpose or food-grade silicones. Many furniture polishes such as Pledge or Mr Sheen are high-grade silicone. preferably, don't use scented ones.
• Allow an hour or two for the silicone to soak into the skirts and if necessary reapply another coat.
Long-Term Storage of Skirted Lures
• For long-term storage, the best is spaying the lures and rigs with silicone and wrapping individual lures in greaseproof paper and storing them away from light sources.
• If you store lures in plastic containers of any sort the lubricants in the skirts will migrate to any plastic or other lures the skirts are in contact with. Spraying any plastic containers or lure bags with silicone will cut the migration down significantly.
Storage and Maintenance of Rigs
All hooks have a steel and carbon content that will corrode in saltwater over time. Spaying rigs with silicone or other greases will keep rigs in top condition for many years.
There is a significant point about coating hooks with non-conductive coatings which can significantly increase your hook up rate. Fundamental physics is that when a ferrous object ie a rig with carbon and steel, pass through the earth's magnetic field the object will put out an electrical field which can confuse a fish attacking a trolled lure. Putting a non-conductive coating such as silicone, non-conductive grease, Teflon, powder coating etc will prevent any electrical fields, prolong the life of your rig and increase your success rate.
Storage of Rods and Reels
Once a rod and reel are washed it can take up to a week for them to dry ie water gets trapped inside reels. Make sure the reels are stored with their drain ports in a position they can drain. Many reels and some rods come with neoprene covers which are great to protect gear when travelling but should not be left on outfits when stored as they become little steam boxes and add to the possibility of corrosion.
Maintenance After a Fishing Day