It can get pretty boring stuck at home during these constant Victorian lockdowns; but luckily there’s always something to do if you’re a keen angler or boater! Check out our top eight ideas for keeping yourself entertained over the next few days.
- Reel Services
Those reels can get pretty grindy and rough after a year of hard work in the salt or freshwater; it’s probably a good time to give them a quick home service. It’s amazing how many people pay hundreds of dollars for a reel, only to give it nothing in the way of maintenance. Give the reel a wipe down with a clean rag and a bit of freshwater; for rust spots INOX or WD40 can be used. Degreaser can be good to remove old grease and grime. Use reel oil on all the bearings, ideally replacing seized or corroded bearings. Heading deeper into the reel, the gears can be degreased before a light coat of fresh reel grease is applied. Doing these steps once a year will keep your reels feeling fresh for years to come; guaranteed.
- Rod Repairs
We’ve all got at least one, or maybe five, old rods sitting around the garage gathering dust. They may have been your favourite rod at one stage, or maybe Grandpa’s lucky rod, but these days they’ve lost a few guides or snapped a tip. It’s a good time to get yourself a few replacement guides, or a guide kit, as well as some rod building glue and thread. There’s plenty of instructional videos out there offering guidance to repair rods. It’s a good feeling having an extra rod next time you head out fishing that only cost a few dollars to restore.
- Clean that boat!
Cleaning your boat offers many advantages. You’ll have a fresh looking boat next time you want to head out. There’s a good chance it may even run better, especially on a clean trailer. You might even find some items you thought you lost years ago, kicking around under the seat! I’d start by emptying all your storage, hatches, boxes etc. Then hit the boat with a quality salt remover detergent to get rid of all that grime. Remove the salt remover with a pressure washer or strong hose spray. Degreaser can be used on the trailer to remove any old grease or grime in places it shouldn’t be. Car wash and a scrubbing brush/sponge can be used all around the boat to remove old bait, scales, burley or whatever other nasties may be lurking on surfaces. Carpet cleaner is a fantastic way to restore a stinky old marine carpet. For those with a windscreen, use a glass cleaner and microfibre cloth, followed by a water repellent such as Rain X. It’s a rewarding way to spend an afternoon.
- Garage Boat Service
Make sure your boat is in optimum condition for next time you head out. Inspect your fuel filter, fuel freshness, wheel bearings, trailer lights, oil, steering and motor trim. Make sure all your lighting and other electronics are working as usual. Check expiry dates on all your safety gear including EPIRB, flares, and lifejackets (which may need a service as per the directions from the manufacturer). It’s better being checked now, than by the water police in summer.
- Lure Tidy Up
It’s incredible how many lures us fisherman can accumulate; and how many places they manage to find their way to! I usually head around to all the places my lures live; the car, the boat, the shed, the kayak, and the tackle boxes, and empty them all out. I’ll then sort the lures back into their appropriate tackle box, checking each lure’s hardware. Dull, blunt or rusted hooks, and bent split rings, and all replaced. If you’ve got the motivation, you can give the lures a coat of WD40 or Inox to give a fresh look to the lures and remove rust; just wash off several times with freshwater. All those dull old lures will be looking like new again. It’s amazing what a difference it can make.
- Tackle Box Tidy Up
The same goes for hooks, swivels and sinkers; empty all the boxes. I like to wash my tackle boxes with dishwashing liquid and a scrubbing brush; not only do they look fresh, but you can prolong the life of your hooks by removing any rust which can build up in boxes. Remove any rusted terminal tackle before placing back in the clean tackle box.
- Re-spool Reels
A fresh spool of line is a simple way to restore an old reel. Buying in bulk can be an economical option for anglers who’ve got several reels running the same line class. Check your old braid for small nicks, and frayed sections which can let you down in future. For mono lines, remove any UV damaged line, or line with a rough surface. Make sure that reels are spooled with tension, braid requires a fair amount of tension to be applied to ensure the braid lays on the spool properly.
- Relive Memories
Since it’s hard to get out on the water, why not relive those classic trips? Get out the photo album. For those in the digital age, you might be able to edit some footage you filmed on a trip and send it to your mates. You’ll probably find fish you forgot you ever caught, and you’ll be well and truly inspired for your next trip.