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Whether you are putting your boat up for the winter, or taking it in for service or, in my case, selling your boat, removing all of the contents is required or at least desired for storage or servicing. But being organized will not only save time when reloading, it will provide a logical procedure for sorting through what stays, goes or gets fixed!
Let’s start with the rods. I like the rod sleeves, in fact my BoatUS ANGLER DIY project made assembling them very easy. All of the rods on my boat now adorn sleeves. I carry about 30 rods - 20 spinning and 10 casting rods. The sleeves not only prevent them from being damaged, but also make it easier to store them tangle-free!
Once the rods are out of the boat, next comes tackle storage. For this I use plastic milk crates. One for the Plano tackle boxes, one for soft plastics and the last for my day-box and other tools. The Plano boxes fit nicely into these square and stackable containers, but the larger 3700 Planos stick up a bit, so they are the top of the stack. Next come bags of soft plastics. I use large Zip Locks to organize my baits. One for jig trailers, worms, pitching baits, etc. They fit into another crate. The last items are my plug knockers, (another BoatUS ANGLER DIY project), my toolbox, (also detailed in a BoatUS ANGLER DIY article), and other odds and ends from my glove box and my Skeeter’s “day box” This box has all of the stuff I use a lot. I use smaller Plano storage boxes for hooks, weights, jig heads, and split shots go into a baggie along with hook sharpener, scissors, line cutters, split ring pliers, tooth picks. The next baggie holds the soft plastics I use the most…my hand poured centipedes, Mizmo tubes, and the bait du jour.
Another box holds the gear in my boat such as ropes, boat towels, and plastic bags for snakeheads. The last box holds my PFD’s, throwable, fire extinguisher and boat documents - in one large plastic trash bag.
That’s about it, until I take out each crate, each Plano box, and safety equipment to examine all of them looking to repair or replace for the next season. Rods will be cleaned, reels stripped of line and lubricated. Lures will get new hooks or, in the case of spinnerbaits, will be sharpened and cleaned…skirts replaced if need. Soft plastics will be reorganized, replenished or replaced if I didn’t use them a lot this year.
This is the opportunity for me to take a look at everything on my boat, replace it, repair it or replenish. And who knows, maybe find a topic for another article for my BoatUS ANGLER Blog.