AMFisH blog post – 10 tips for end of season cleaning and storing of fishing gear!

Hi fellow anglers, fishing enthusiast’s and AMFisHers!  The open water season in most places is already done and is coming to a close in various other locations soon, so it was time for my annual sharing of tips on how to properly prepare and store all your rods, reels and baits!

If you want to have your baits and gear last a long time, keep reading this blog post about how to clean and organize gear for the next fishing season.

Here are 10 tips for end of season fishing gear/tackle maintenance, to maintain your gear and prevent any items from rusting out.

Tip #1 – Do not leave your fishing rods and tackle boxes in the garage or in the trunk of your vehicles, once the cool fall and winter weather arrives. Once the temperature drops any dampness in or around your gear will instantly start causing various gear components and baits to rust.

Tip #2 – Store all your fishing gear inside your home in a warm area. A warm bedroom closet or other storage areas excluding basements that can be quite cool, are good areas to keep your tackle until the next season.

Tip #3 – After your last outing for the season make sure you leave all your tackle trays and boxes fully opened in a dry warm area. This will allow any wet baits or water inside your trays to evaporate. This air drying method is the best option, but there may be times where you will want to wipe down bait compartments or use a hair dryer to dry out your trays much faster.

Tip #4 – Make sure to loosen the drag tension off all of your reels. Leaving your drag on a tight setting for many months is unnecessary pressure/tension on the components, so backing it off 3 to 4 turns is a good idea, that way there is no stress on any components.

Tip #5 – Give your reels a quick rinse under a faucet of very warm running water for about 8 to 10 seconds, turning it around to make sure the water pressure rinses off any dirt, dried weeds of stains. Use a medium to medium high faucet pressure, no need to use high pressure methods like a garden hose, as that much water pressure will actually push water into tight areas of your reels.

Tip #6 – After the faucet rinse has been completed, give your reels a good long wipe down with a somewhat somewhat damp cloth, then use a dry cloth to collect up any left behind moisture. Wiping down your reels is a great way to remove things like dirt and dried weeds that should be loosened by the faucet rinse.

Tip #7 – Use a blow dryer to eliminate moisture in those hard to see places of your reels, like around the button and inside the spool area. By working a blow dryer around your reel passing over every single spot for a few minutes can help push out and evaporate water/moisture that may be inside areas the naked eye can’t see.

Tip #8 – Give your reels a little TLC with a few drops of oil. After 24 to 48 hours it is time to add some of the good moisture! A few drops of reel oil can go a long way but you want to apply the oil on dried components and not on top of old oil.

Tip #9 – Store your reels in the original boxes they came in, as it will eliminate the amount of dust that might accumulate if there are sitting outside of a box. If you no longer have the original boxes, you can wrap your reels in some plastic wrap or buy some foam reel covers.

Tip #10 – Make sure to examine all the fishing line on your spools, this down time is a great time to make sure you change out any bad line that should not be used any longer. I usually do this closer to the spring but that winter downtime is perfect for prepping gear.

Hope you found this post helpful!

The AMFisH guy…Billy

Dedicated to helping you catch more fish!

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This weeks AMFisH fishing vlog – How to sharpen hooks on various styles of baits – fishing.

Hi fellow AMFisHers! This weeks AMFisH fishing vlog is a very thorough video about how to sharpen the hooks on various styles of baits.

I have always said that no matter how sharp we think the bait hooks are we can always make them even sharper! These days right out of the package, baits come with some really sharp hooks, but using a hook file to make the points sticky sharp is the key to many fish being landed due to an amazing hook up ratio!

A hook file like the one I use in this video does not cost much at all, between $4 and $6 at most fishing stores. These files will last a long time and do a great job at getting extremely sharp hook points, so by far this is the #1 tool to use for this.

I shot this video that I had on my list of vlogs, as I have been asked many times how often to sharpen hooks and what to use, so that is the reason why I go over everything in this video in such depth so it is as clear as possible for everyone out there still learning.

Key thing before sharpening any bait hook is to observe the hook itself, making sure that you see how the hook shape is to prevent any damages to it. Most hooks are round so they are quite easy to sharpen by running the file along each side about 3 to 5 times or as needed to reach the optimum sharpness and hook point. I also include a few level off pushes with the file across the top center portion of the hook.

When sharpening any hook you will also want to push the file towards the point of the hook as this seems to be the easiest way to prevent hook point damage that can be caused doing it in the other direction. Following how the hook is structured is by far the most critical component to a sharp hook, as you do not want to change any portions of the hook design by running the file along areas it should not be grinding.

The term I used above about getting to really sharp hooks that are sticky, basically means that when you run a hook across the surface of your hand the point should stick along the way. This is what the term sticky hooks means, a hook that is so sharp it has stick points along the area it is being dragged on.

Sticky hooks means easier fast penetration into the fish, resulting in more fish staying hook on your line! It does not take long to sharpen bait hooks so time should be dedicated to examining them and sharpening them several times per day, especially if you bait has been in contact with the lake bottom or structure. If you have also lost fish that have come free that can be a sign that your hooks are in need of a good few second sharpening.

When it comes to the barb on the hook I rarely do much sharpening on it, as it is usually very small on most hook and you don’t want to file it right down, but can if you are fishing in barbless hook lakes. On larger bait hooks you can touch up the barb slightly with a couple of pushes of the file, as the material on that larger barb will be significantly more and allows for some filing.

I got myself a few of these hook files and always make sure I have one in my pocket where it is very handy and I can touch hooks up quickly. If you do not have it easily accessible you will probably not focus on sharpening and that can potentially cost you a fish of a lifetime, so make sure to sharpen those hooks on every outing.

If you are like myself where you have all the baits you are going to use on an outing ready on a work space, it’s good practice to sharpen all those baits at once before you start your outing, as they will be ready to go the second you need them.  When you are switching out baits is also a good time to sharpen those hooks so the bait is once again ready to be used quickly should you decided to use it again that day.

Sharpening hooks take almost no time at all so it should be put on the priority list for every outing. Grab yourself a few hook files and put the time into creating those sticky hooks, trust me they will serve you well!

Hope you found this video and post helpful.

The AMFisH guy…

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