Sunday, 13 November 2011

Rod & Reel Care For Winter Sleep

We`ll it really is that time of year around these parts, except for some last open days of dragging tubes, drop shotting and jigging spoons for late season smallmouth or walleyes on my favorite cottage country lakes, to begin the winter rod & reel care procedure so my sticks and reels are ready come mid January when I begin my southern road trips to warmer climates and begin filming episodes for Extreme Angler TV Season Eleven.
Caring for your rods & reels is paramount to having equipment you can rely on when you need it most (every time you use them!).
This time of year, I`ll remove the casting reels from my cast rods and loosen off the drag systems completely and remove the side plates of my Ardent reels and begin a process of applying several reel care products to ensure my reels are in tip top shape come the new season, when I need them to perform at the highest level I push them to every season.

With a combination/cocktail of Ardent Reel care products such as Reel Butter-Bearing lube, Reel Oil & Reel Kleen, each reel gets the spa treatment prior to the short winter nap they receive.

Once proceedure is complete with the casting reels, the next step is starting on my Ardent S2500 & S2000 spinning reels, first by removing them from my St.Croix Legend Xtreme rods and give each reel the same spa treatment as the casting rods received.

Once those steps are completed, I`ll begin the cleaning process of my special St.Croix rods using the Ardent Rod Kleen, making sure each rod is checked for any damages or minor abrasions that might need any additional attention, before they get a minor spa treatment, cleaned up and stored properly on my customized suspended ceiling rod rack which holds each rod seperately and safely from any potential accidents.
Once my rods & reels are cared for properly, I will start sorting thru the jungle of mixed up tackle bags that have grown to have a life of there own, which resemble that of a "barrel of monkeys", the kids game I used to play with as a kid, and now doing the similar thing with my tangled treble hooks and baits.
This process usually takes up a lot more time than I planned, but it is well worth the effort when it comes time to start packing baits for the next road trips come early winter. I would rather do it now, then in mid winter in a sub zero garage, hovering over a propane heater.
All/any hooks that have any rust spots, bent tips or barbs, whatsoever, get tossed into the trash. No time to waste on sub par equipment.
I`ll use Q-Tip`s with some of the Ardent Rod Kleen and wipe away and built up grime or grease from the summer storage bag on all my hard baits, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, jerkbaits & topwaters.

Any soft plastic baits that still resemble the original ones out of the package, get sorted back into my plastic storage bags or Plano tackle storage system boxes.
Spare line gets the once-looked-after and is stored in another large storage bin and kept in the garage over winter and I simply check each spool in the springtime before re-spooling any reel for damaged or line that might have broken down.

My raingear, jackets, caps, pro team jerseys and summerwear is properly put onto hangers and hung vertically as to not collect any mold or mildew over the winter months.
Any dirty stuff, gets a wash & dry treatment prior to winter storage.

And thats it for now.
Time to prepare and schedule my winter road trips to warmer, open water climates where I can break out the shorts, T`s and sandels and once again cast for some big ole` fish who wants to eat my bait!


  1. Great tips - I am going to grab all my reels and loosen up the drags - I didn't know about that!

  2. Thanks Karl! I fish about year round for some things but on the ones I dont I do back the drag off.

  3. Very depressing packing up the rods for the year. Seems like forever waiting to bust out the little ones while ice is getting safe. Takes a while down here on Lake Erie!

  4. Do you know where I can get Legend Xtremes with cork handles

  5. Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have.
    Rods & Reels