Tips for Cleaning and Storing Your Fishing Gear

Like anything you own, it is important to routinely clean and store your fishing gear properly for them to last longer. And if you’re not exactly a spic-and-span type of person, the fact that fishing gear doesn’t exactly come cheap is reason enough for you to keep your gear spotless and stored properly. Although, there's no need to fret because cleaning and storing your fishing gear is actually quite easy and uncomplicated. The following tips, can definitely help you out:

After every use, wash your fishing rod with hot water and liquid soap, making sure to rinse thoroughly to remove any trace of soap. Make sure that you allow them to dry out completely. A washing suggestion from FFMD is to wash the fishing rod in your shower, where you can give it a nice scrub down.

Don’t forget to clean your rod’s ferrules as well. Wipe down male ferrules and apply some candle wax or grease to keep them in good working condition. Meanwhile, you can use a q-tip to keep female ferrules free from dirt and grime. You must also check your rod for scratches by running a clean cotton ball through each guide. Any snagging means there’s a scratch, which means the guide ought to be replaced immediately.

Install a rack system for storage

It can be tempting to simply lean your fishing rods against a wall at the end of the day, but don’t! Doing this will cause them to set or warp. Take Me Fishing's Debbie Hanson suggests buying a storage rack instead so you can store your fishing rods without them warping or getting damaged. By storing them in a rack, your rods won't curve, and their components won't bump into one another as well.

An additional reminder: Don’t hang your hooks or lures from the guides, unless you want the latter to be scratched by the former. Ever heard of hook-keepers? We strongly suggest you use them.

Mind your lures and tackles

Lures retail for over $10 apiece, so you might as well keep them clean and in great condition. Obviously, you’ll need to store used and unused lures in separate containers. And unless you want the hooks, trebles, and split rings on your other lures corroding, avoid throwing used lures back into your tackle box. Additionally, it's best to rinse your lures in fresh, warm water and allow them to air dry as doing so will keep your trebles and split rings in good order.

Clean and store your waders

To clean your waders, all you have to do is wash them with freshwater and let them air dry completely. Once they are dry, pack them boot-style with newspaper as this will allow them to retain their shape. Next, roll — not fold — them to avoid cracks and leaks, and then place the rolled waders in a dark garbage bag or dry cleaning bag to block out light. Finally, store them in a cool, dark place away from sunlight.

Give your boat lots of attention

Your boat is likely your costliest investment, so it makes sense to give it lots of attention. Naturally, you’ll need to give your boat a bath once in a while. Make sure you use a sturdy brush and soap that is environmentally friendly yet tough on dirt, salt, grime, and fish blood. Give the entire boat — every nook and cranny! — a good scrub, but only after you have showered it with water. Scrub the boat while dry and you might damage its finish or gel coat. After rinsing off all the soap, dry the boat immediately with a highly absorbent soft drying cloth, preferably made from chamois.

Then, store your boat accordingly. In this regard, we recommend that you invest in appropriate storage space, whether by expanding your garage, having multi-storage racks installed in your backyard, or buying a boat lift. To save you all these hassles, we recommend that you use an inflatable kayak instead. If so, you can use the care tips we previously discussed in our ‘How to Care and Repair an Inflatable Kayak’ post last June. Storage, in particular, is a breeze, as all you have to do is to keep it in a cool, dry place.

Now, cleaning and keeping your fishing gear in order will be much easier if you actually make cleaning a way of life. One way to do this is by subscribing to the well-known KonMari Method, which is discussed in detail by Lottoland in ‘The KonMari Method – 5 Tips for Effective Cleaning’ post. Developed by Marie Kondo, this Japanese method encourages people to keep their homes clean and in order by getting rid of things that are no longer used or are no longer needed. 

It is a step-by-step process, one whose end-result is ultimately developing a positive attitude towards maintaining cleanliness and orderliness, not only at home, but everywhere else. With a proactive attitude, all your fishing gear will be in good hands as you will surely make an effort to clean and store them appropriately.

Jeyron Thompson is a freelance writer and fishing enthusiast. He writes extensively on topics related to fishing and kayaking.

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