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By SChaconas - Published January 08, 2013 - Viewed 2296 times

Happy New Year! After a brief break, although I have been able to get on the water a couple of times a week, I am into my physical workout program, treadmill, exercise bike and weights. I like to get outside and jog a bit also to stay acclimated to the elements.

It's also time to break down my rods and reels. I take the reels off, clean the rods, then clean and oil the reels. I put them all back into their rod sleeves made during one my BoatUS ANGLER DIY projects. I also take the line off each one and leave them with loose drags. For the rods, a good spray and brush will clean the cork handles followed with a rinse in clean water and a wipe down including cleaning the rod guides. For the reels, I keep them in operating shape all year long…replacing them as needed and reaping during the season as time permits. For now, its oil the handle bearings in the reel by taking the handles off and adding a drop of oil. I also oil the roller bearing, cleaning the ones that look dirty and I also oil the bail arms on both sides and work the oil in by opening and closing a few times. A clean damp rag will remove other surface dirt. Casting rods are cleaned the same way, but the reels get a more thorough cleaning as dirt finds its way into the worm gear. I soak these bearings in lighter fluid and let them dry before placing a very small drop of Quantum’s Hot Sauce oil. Read my BoatUS ANGLER DIY article on speed spooling. All of my rod and reel combos are clean and ready by the end of the month.

I also check in with JoAnn O’Bryant at Skeeter to see how my boat is coming along. I make sure everything is on schedule. As soon as she can, she’ll send me the boat info, serial numbers on hull, trailer, and motor, so I can get a head start on my boat licenses and numbers…BoatUS has an awesome vinyl boat lettering service! I’ll also get my BoatUS ANGLER insurance policy set up. In the meantime, I have my Virginia, DC, and MD licenses, with only my PRFC license pending getting my boat numbers.

I also am ordering all of my supplies for next season – hooks, lures, line, clothing, sandals, sunglasses, rain gear, etc. As it comes in, I have to sort and stock. . But seminar season is starting in a few weeks with the Richmond Fishing Expo, then a few at Bass Pro Shops and some bass clubs. This used to be a lot more work, as I would prepare notes and outlines. I don’t do that anymore as I have been doing this for a long time and each fishing trip is basically a seminar, so last year I did 150 eight-hour seminars! But, I do get appropriate tackle and gear ready for the seminars, as they are show and tell as well.

I also pour some soft plastics for the entire year. I pour my centipedes that I use for drop shot and for split shot rigs. I also pour some pitching plastics, both of these are projects found in my BoatUS ANGLER DIY article on making soft plastic baits. In addition, I pour lead weights and shaky heads. I powder coat them or paint. I create enough of these to make it through the year.

Be sure to check out my new BoatUS ANGLER DIY piece on creating your own soft plastic lure from design to finished product!

My next BoatUS ANGLER DIY column - modifying lures with dyes - blades, soft plastics and crankbaits!

Until next time, see you on the water. WEAR a PFD!
I'm gone fishing.

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