Are you considering spending some of your hard-earned cash on some new saltwater fishing gear? Or maybe you already have some nice tackle and want to keep it that way...
The first thing you will want to do is break down all your equipment. Remove lures from line, remove reels from rods, remove line from reels, and empty any tackle boxes that may have salt or moisture trapped inside. This will minimize the chance that any minuscule salty sandy gremlins find safe harbor in a hidden nook or cranny. Once everything is separated, make sure you have access to a water hose or some other fresh water source.
With your reel the first thing you will want to do is rinse off any loose sand, salt, or grime. For those of you using a water hose, do not turn that thing on jet mode. Higher pressures could push sand or salt into unwanted areas. Once the reel has been rinsed, wipe it down thoroughly with a micro fiber towel and set aside to dry. Now, if you want to get into more detailed reel maintenance, check out this guide. Quick note for the PENN folks out there, there is a rubber gasket under the drag knob so be sure to crank that drag down to create a good seal. Once you are done, loosen the drag, never store a reel with the drag cranked down.
Your rods will get a similar treatment as your reels. Rinse them off with clean fresh water. Be sure to pay extra attention to the reel seat and the eyelets of the guides. Once you are convinced your rods are free of any briny contaminations, wipe them down with a microfiber cloth and set aside to dry.
As mentioned above, your lures are not exempt from a rusty fate if not properly cared for. Rinse the lures with clean fresh water and blot dry with a microfiber cloth. It would be worth an extra pass with water around all hooks or other metal parts, pulling back on any soft sections of lures, when possible, to release any hidden debris. You will want to rinse out the tackle boxes these road home in as well to be sure they are free from any salt or sand. Make sure both lures and boxes are completely dry before re organizing.
Once all your gear is clean and dry feel free to reassemble. When you get home, store your equipment in a dry, ideally climate controlled area. This will provide the best chance at preventing the salt in the air from reaching your freshly cleaned gear. It may seem like a hassle to go through this process outing after outing, but in the long run you will be glad you did. If you made it this far you strike me as someone who works hard for your money and takes pride in their gear. So, keep it clean and in good condition and it will be sure to serve you well for years to come.
Shawn Smith is a native of Northwest Georgia and a graduate of the University of Georgia. An avid outdoorsman, he was introduced to fishing as a child and has spent the better part of the last 25 years with a rod in hand while venturing throughout the United States. As the Ecommerce Marketing Manager for Pure Fishing, Shawn is able to put his passion into practice while sharing his knowledge and love for the sport with others.
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