Obviously, one of the most important things is to take care of the tools of the trade. It’s pretty easy and simple, but increases the longevity of both rods and reels and keeps them in good, functioning shape.
After every use, all rods and reels (and lures that were used), get washed down with freshwater. For the rods and reels, after I’m finished washing the boat with Orpine boat soap, I’ll take a cloth and just quickly wipe down all of the rods and reels with the sudsy water. This provides an added measurement of getting all the salt off the tackle, but helps with removing Mackerel scales that quite frequently end up everywhere you touch.
When putting the rods and reels away for the season, I’ll mix up a batch of soapy water, and wash everything again. Next, I’ll dry everything with a rag. All the reels are removed from the rods, and line stripped off. Next, I’ll spray all rods and reels with Corrosion X. This helps prevent any corrosion from salt that might’ve ended up in sneaky places. After I do this to the rods, I put them away for the season.
For the reels, I’ll break them down and re-grease all the gears and drags with Cal’s Universal Drag and Gear Grease. This is the most time consuming, especially with 30-40 reels to do. Usually, I’ll take a handful a couple night’s a week and do them after dinner while watching some television. Every couple of years, I’ll bring my reels into Goose Hummock in Orleans and have them break them down and completely go over everything. This isn’t as necessary for folks who don’t use their gear as much as I do, but it’s always good to do to make sure your gear is in good shape. The last thing you’d ever want, is to have your drag seize up with you have that 50lb. Striped Bass or 800lb. Bluefin Tuna on the end of the line.