It was another week where the water was cold, the wind was blowing and ice formed on the boat ramps. Not a good week to get out, so it was time to continue work on my gear for next season. I took all of the bearings out of my bait casting reels and soaked them in lighter fluid and after drying out, oiled them with a slight drop of Quantum's Hot Sauce.
For some of the reels, I took them down to the frame and cleaned every part in the reel. This takes some time, but will put any reel back into perfect condition. I learned how to work on my reels out of necessity, but perfected my confidence in taking them apart by watching a helpful video. Connie and Tommy Kilpatrick in Texas have been teaching those interested in starting a reel repair business, or just for those wanting to maintain their own reels, for a long time. Their video Fishing Reel Maintenance is very good!
The most important thing is being organized to keep track of what goes where, what came off where, and to avoid having "leftover" parts. I start off with saving schematics of all of my reels. Today most of them will be on line. I then magnify them on my copier and put that in front of me. I collect my tools - small high quality screwdrivers, thin tweezers and the nut wrench that comes with most reels. Next is finding a good clear surface to work on. Add plenty of light and work in an area that isn't too cluttered… when parts fall or spring away, you'll be glad you were able to use a broom to find the little parts. I then take a small tackle box and organize my parts as I remove them into compartments in the box. I start filling the box, left to right and assemble in reverse.
I soak my parts in WD-40, some guys use alcohol. A toothbrush scrubs away any greasy build up. If I see parts that are tarnished, I use 0000 Size steel wool to shine them up and remove any surface build up that might interfere with performance. This is especially important on the brake race, and on the metal drag surfaces. I also use it on spool shafts.
I grease gears and surfaces where parts need to slide on the reel body. I also grease springs and the pinholes that hold them. I put them back together and make sure everything is working and then they are ready to cast in the spring! Oh, I also remove the line to make sure I know which reels have been cleaned and to remind me to put fresh line on when I use them again and also to keep track of what I have on them. Some guys will use stickers to date and record the line size. This is good too. I change my line so often, I have them set up for how I'm fishing at the time as I am really into using the right line for the season and the lure. I back off the drags, loosen the spool adjustment cap and store my reels in felt Crown Royal bags.
Next week I will be fishing! I love winter fishing! Less crowded and the best time to hook some deeper hard fighting fish! I'll be using a dose of my favorites: Silver Buddy, Mann's Stingray Grub, and Punisher Hair jigs.
Until next time, see you on the water.
WEAR a PFD!
I’m gone fishing.
Capt. Steve Chaconas
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