Maintaining Your Ultralight Fishing Equipment

A well maintained ultralight fishing reel

There are only a few things more annoying than seeing corrosion and rust crusted all over your ultralight fishing reel and lures. Properly maintaining fishing tackle is the best way to ensure the gear is in proper working condition for a long time. Routine maintenance can also help maximize every piece of gear’s resale value when the angler wants to sell it to purchase something newer or better.

Ultralight fishing gear is exposed to all types of harsh conditions including the sun, salt, water, wind and sand. Every one of these elements has the ability to quickly corrode nearly everything in the tackle box along with the rod and reel. There are a few simple steps that can be taken to fully protect the ultralight fishing tackle and eliminate the possibility of having it malfunction at the time when it truly counts. While these steps are not foolproof, they certainly have the ability to extend the length of time the gear will last.

A well maintained ultralight fishing reel
photo credit: maskedcard via photopin cc

Fishing Reel Maintenance

It is essential to minimize the ultralight fishing reel’s direct exposure to salt water and sand. While it might seem obvious not to simply lay down the rod and reel on a sandy beach, there are other occurrences that can expose the equipment to these harsh conditions. Windy days can continually expose the reel to the high volumes of sea spray when the boat is moving. The salt water can penetrate deep into the workings or line of the fishing reel.

Without providing gentle care, it is easy to knock the reel around, hitting hard objects and rocks. This has a tendency to weaken the reel’s frame which can easily encourage the formation of rust or corrosion.

After fishing, it is important to lightly spray the rod and reel to remove any accumulated sand, salt or other harmful elements that might have collected on the line or in the reel. A light spraying can be accomplished using a hose and setting it to a light mist. Some anglers choose to thoroughly rinse them off after dunking them in a bucket of water that has a small amount of soap.

It is essential not to loosen the reel’s drag before washing it off. Additionally, applying high pressurized water can surely blast the salt or sand deeper into the fishing reel, defeating the entire purpose of keeping it clean.

An Aerosol Corrosion Inhibitor

WD40 Lubricant will keep your ultralight fishing reel clean
photo credit: FHKE via photopin cc

After the thorough cleaning, or light misting spray, it is imperative to dry it completely using a rag. Additionally, spinning the handle five or 10 times to flick off the remaining water can help a dry quicker. Lightly spraying an aerosol corrosion inhibitor or lubricant and wiping it down using a clean rag can maximize its longevity while inhibiting rust and corrosion.

Once completed, it is important to leave the ultralight fishing reel in an area that is open to the air. This will allow it to fully dry. Understand that there will be places in the reel that are inaccessible to dry with a cloth. If the angler is used to storing the reel away in a neoprene cover, or a box, it is important to keep it uncovered for a few days (based on the temperature and humidity) before putting it in storage. Even the slightest moisture still left inside the reel can hinder the drying process.

Proper maintenance should include taking the reel to a local fish tackle store for complete servicing at least once every year. This will ensure that all of the internal components have been fully maintained, and that it is in proper working order, when it matters most, while out spending the day fishing. Once you’re in the habit of maintaining your rod, extend the habit to your other gear.

Don’t Forget to check out our Ultralight Fishing Post!

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