Top Florida Fishing Tips, Part III

Take Proper Care of Your Fishing Gear

If you find your gear is ineffective, it’s more than likely because you didn’t take care of it accordingly, and not because it was flawed or old. Here are the steps you need to take for lasting fishing equipment:

  • After every single fishing trip, rinse rods and reels with clean fresh water, then dry and lube. Use a hair dryer set on ‘Cool” to dry the rods and reels. Excessive heat can cause damage to the rod.
  • Rods and reels need to be stored properly between fishing trips. Remove reels from the rods and store them in a lint-free bag or box. Rods should be placed in a protective case or rod-sock.
  • Inspect rod guides from time to time, and replace any that show signs of discoloration, rust or nicks.
  • Oil your reels frequently and replace the line on them every 6-9 months (monofilament degrades relatively quickly because of UV and overall wear-and-tear).
  • Clean your lures with fresh water and dry them after every fishing trip. Examine the hooks frequently and replace any that are seemingly rusty. Sharpen your dull hooks (as previously mentioned). Replace any worn tails or skirts, and/or cut or scratched spinners and blades. Touch up faded or chipped paint with enamel or markers.
  • Store all terminal tackle in a neat and tidy manner, preferably in a quality tackle box.
  • Don’t ever leave your gear in your car for more than a few hours, particularly in the summertime. Excessive heat will destroy your fishing gear.
  • Frequently examine trot lines, jug lines, nets, minnow seines, traps, etc., for damage or wear-and-tear. Repair when needed.

Always Have the Right First Aid and Safety Gear

It’s better to have a First Aid Kit and safety equipment and never use it than it is to not have any of it and need it. Think about the equipment you’ll be using on your fishing trip, including sharp hooks and possibly a knife. Now think about your proximity to nature. You might be near bugs and animals that can sting, bite or otherwise attack. Make sure you have a fully stocked First Aid Kit, a Snake Bite Kit and some sort of signaling instrument like flare gun, loud whistle, or mirror (to reflect and flash light). Be sure you know how to use all of these tools, and replace anything you use from the First Aid and Snake Bite Kits fully as soon as possible. Keep your mobile phone on you at all times, in an Otter-Box-style phone case or another water-proof container. Also, never get in a boat without having an authorized flotation device for every sing individual on-board. If fishing on the shoreline, be sure to have a throwable floatation device, attached to 25 ft. of line or more. People are more likely to die from drowning than anything else while fishing.

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