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Down Time Keeps Fishing Gear in Top Shape
By Colin Crawford

When was the last time you gave your fishing rod the once over? Chances 
are that it was at the very start of the season, and how many times have 
you been on the water since that time? It is essential that anglers periodically inspect and maintain their  rods and components to assure peak casting and fish fighting  performance. A few minutes invested in checking the blank, real seat, 
guide wraps and grips may also save you money in the long run. Here are some tips that I use when inspecting my rods so they maintain  their top performance on the water.
Pull a strip of nylon hose through each guide. If the material sticks or  threads, there's probably a nick in the guide which could lead to line  damage. Replace the guides as necessary. Most local dealers offer this  service for a very nominal fee.  Inspect guide wraps for hints of wear. Re-wrap if necessary or seal any 
loose ends with a dab of clear nail polish or epoxy. Again, a local  dealer may provide this service for a very reasonable charge. Clean the cork grips by gently rinsing with a warm water and soap  solution. If fish scales and slime prove stubborn, gently rub the grips  with a piece of fine steel wool. If the rod is fitted with EVA foam  grips, wipe them with a soapy dish rag, then rinse in cool water.  Check the reel seat for any buildup of residue, or evidence of  corrosion. The reel will not set properly with "gunk" on the seat, and the seat may be difficult to move or could even seize up if corroded.   This can be remedied by rubbing with a soapy sponge, rinsing with cool  water and drying thoroughly with a towel. The use of WD-40 (or similar)  will help prevent corrosion.
If utilizing a two-piece rod, rub a very light coating of paraffin onto  the ferrule. This not only makes for a firm, sure connection, but also  makes it easier to separate the sections.  Store the rod(s) in a horizontal or vertical rack as opposed to leaning  against a wall or stacking in a corner where the rod might bend and  actually take a "set."
Run your fingers over the length of the blank. Should you detect any  dings, the rod may have incurred damage that may cause it to break  during use. When it comes time to add that new action to your arsenal, you need only  to visit your local dealer. There you will find all kinds of rods from  ultra light panfish rods to salt water varieties. But, take some time  now that winter grips the lakes and inspect your rods and components and  you will have more time on the water this spring. If you are interested in these techniques or if you are interested in a 
guided trip, a personal media interview, or photo shoot, please call 715-545-8347. 
If you are interested in reading more about these 
techniques or other fishing patterns go to www.northwoodsfishing.net
Hope to see you soon on the net. 

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