So there I was enjoying another great winters fishing, the mild weather had kept the fish feeding well. Just a few weeks later and sadly the world is in crisis and fishing for a few weeks will have to take a back seat while we all take extra care of ourselves and loved ones. The doesn't mean we can’t get our fishing tackle sorted and prepared for when things hopefully return to as normal as possible!
These restrictions holding us back from fishing reminds me of the days when we had a strict close season, wherefrom mid- March to mid-June there was no fishing of any sort. Anglers like myself during this time would spend it getting the DIY jobs done and then a bit of gardening before the all-important job of getting the gear ready for the glorious day when we could return to fishing.
With Angling Direct still running a near as possible normal mail order service then it’s a great time to get some new fishing line and terminal tackle items, to get those reels cleaned and re-spooled, even time to tie up some rigs and hook-links.
From personal experience, I find the best maintenance with reels is to give them a wipe over with a damp cloth, allow them to dry and then wipe over again with a cloth lightly damped with oil. You can substitute a little light oil for WD40 then finish offer cleaning the reel by using a dry cloth to polish it up with a good shine and a protective layer.
Fishing reel lines can take a lot of stick from the demands of fishing, so it is important to check your old line and if in any doubt strip it out and load up with a fresh spool of line. To help the environment, hold on to your old, discarded fishing line to put in one of the line recycling bins AD stores have once the shops open back up.
There are many different ways to load up the fishing line to a reel, but my method starts with putting the spool of a new line in a bucket of water as this helps feed the line bed into the reel spool without overrunning. Make sure to place the reel on a butt section of a rod and wind the line under tension onto the spool.
When it comes to examining your fishing rods, it is worth checking the eyes for damage to liners and whippings. The ceramic liners to rod eyes are often damaged if a rod is dropped or caught against something and can be checked by feeling for rough edges or by looking with a magnifying glass. Magnifiers are also great for checking the liners and can help with hook points and knots! After checking guides rings, give the rod a wipe down with a damp cloth and clean the spigot joins. I often apply a small amount of car wax to the rods, wipe the blank all over, then allow it to dry before polishing it off. However, be cautious to avoid getting the wax onto the spigot joints as this can make them stick.
Tackle care completed, you can entertain yourself with thousands of fishing films and shows on the various fishing channels and streaming platforms such as Netflix and Prime. Use this time to relax and from the comfort of your home, join some of the well known and not so well known on the bankside. Angling Direct TV has a great selection to watch on Youtube, as does the ESP films with Terry Hearn. From a match fishing perspective, Lee Kerry has done some great material both on his own channel and with Preston Innovations.
Thanks to internet access to information, it is possible to learn to tie every knot and every rig ever used in fishing simply by searching online, so if you have ever wanted to learn to tie a new rig, you will never have a better time!