FinAtics Inshore Fishing Charter’s very own Captain Erik Nelson, takes us through some things we all overlook with our gear in the winter months. Lets face it – when the colder weather gets here along with hunting season most of us just put our gear in the corner and walk away, forgetting about the headache it poses in the spring. There is a lot of time and money invested in all of our gear so take a look at some of these inexpensive tips to maintain your gear.

With the onset of winter and hunting season many fisherman put there tackle in the racks and wait for warmer temperatures. With this in mind, it’s a good time to take look at some simple steps to help maintain and protect your equipment. Its common sense for most saltwater fisherman to hose off their rods and reels after a trip and many take time to lube and protect the reels. Many times fisherman neglect their rods. One of the easiest way to protect and maintain rods is to remove the reel and apply a generous coat of Pledge furniture polish to the blank and guides. Much like waxing a car, it adds protections from the harsh saltwater environment and will actually add a little shine to the blank. The silicone in the Pledge also protects the metal guide bases for corrosion. I typically do this twice a year.

Luckily in the Southeast freezing temps are the exception and not the norm. However, every year we get cold snaps that can drop the temps into the 20s. If your boat has been winterized this is not something to worry about, however if you fish through the winter, when the thermometer drops below freezing you need to be conscious of your engine. It is important to drop the trim so the engine is at its furthest down position. This allows any residual water to run out of the internal components. Water that is captive can freeze and cause serious damage to outboards.

If you are like me, you keep multiple pairs of pliers on your boat and most of them get rusted shut by the end of the year. Rather than throw these pliers out you can take apple cider vinegar, fill a Solo cup and submerge the rusted metal in the vinegar ( I typically let it sit for a couple of days). Remove the pliers and rinse. The vinegar will remove surface rust and restore proper function. I will then spray the pliers with some form of corrosion block and they are ready for another year of service.

I like to take time and use Alumiguard on all the aluminum in my boat. I typically apply this once a month and it will help prevent pitting a corrosion on the exposed surfaces. It will make the surface a little slippery in the short run so be careful when applying it to rails.

One of my favorite tricks is to use Coghlan’s Cooler Dry. Do yourself a favor and look theses up. It’s a small piece of plastic that props open a cooler lid and can be used on boat hatches. I have found them invaluable in preventing mold in coolers while being stored as well as in the boat

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