BoatUS ANGLER: Do It Yourself Department
by Capt. Steve Chaconas, BoatUS ANGLER Pro Staff
It’s time to fish…unless you are a diehard and have been out during the winter. A lot of anglers are hunting during the off-season. Or they have been reconditioning their tackle. If you didn’t it’s not too late.
Start with the lures you will be using first. Lipless cranks jerkbaits and medium diving crankbaits. The Plano 370 boxes or BPS or other brand are the perfect size for most well thought out boat storage systems. My Skeeter has dividers for them.
Changing hooks is the best way to insure you will hook and land more fish. While you are taking the hooks off, it’s also a good time to use some jig and vinyl paint to touch up some of the battle scars on your lures. Jann’s Netcraft has the paint and brushes for this. I also use pipe cleaners and Q-Tips.
Go through every lipless crank and replace hooks! I replace mine with the new KVD short shank Mustad Ultra Point Triple grips. The shorter shank allows me to go with a bigger hook…essential for this style of lure. Then sort them by size, weight and color. If you are really into it, you can sort by sound too! That should fill that box.
For jerkbaits, Start with suspending lures. Sort them by length and color. I replace hooks here too, but use the round bend Mustad trebles. I put a red hook on the belly.
From there it’s the medium diving crankbaits. Replace the hooks and touch up too. You might sort by sound in this category…silent and loud. Thin body and fat body...all around the 4-8 foot depth range.
Give a good examination to rod guides, looking for chipped or cracked guides. Pay particular attention to the tip then work your way back to the butt of the rod. Chances are if your tip is OK, then the rest are too, but check them all out and replace if you can or take to a rod shop. I have learned how to do my own with a bit of help from Jann’s Netcraft. They are the one-stop shop for rod repair and the techs can even help you pick out the right guides with a template in their catalog.
Line is next! Before you head onto the water with last year’s line, strip and re-spool. I like to tie fresh line onto backing. You don’t use as much line and it is always fresher. For the most part, bass anglers don’t need to fill their spools all of the time. Here’s what I do. Make a long cast…cut. Make another long cast, cut. One more long cast and cut again…pull off a bit more line and that’s where the knot goes. Fill the spool after tying a Uni knot. And you are all set. I also like to oil my reels while changing line to work the oil into the reel.
For spinning reels, it’s the line roller and the bearings in the reel where the handle goes that get a droop. For casting reels, a drop on the bearings on the side plate and under the spool adjustment cap. I also put a drop on the worm gear. Use oil sparingly, especially on bearings.
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