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How to Store Fishing Rods

Jon Fesmire | October 30, 2018 @ 8:00 AM

When fishing season comes to an end and frozen lakes, snow and cold weather arrive, it’s time to store your fishing rods.

Whether you’re ready to put your rods away for the winter, or you plan to store them any other time of year, it’s important to do so correctly. Here’s how to do that:

What You’ll Need

Before you store your fishing rods, you need to clean them. First, you’ll need a few items.

  1. A tool to cut braided fishing line. The best tools we found recommended are titanium micro-tip scissors and Boomerang braid snips.

  2. A mild, scent-free detergent.

  3. A water bucket.

  4. Fishing gear lubricant.

  5. A soft-bristle brush.

  6. An old toothbrush.

  7. A new sponge.

  8. Paraffin wax.

  9. A rod rack for storage.

Preparing the Reel

First, snip the used line. It will have taken damage and should not be used again. Also, germs, salt, and more can hide in the weave. This can attract pests and mold.

Remove the reel from the rod. If you’ve been freshwater fishing only, you can leave the rest of the line in the reel. However, if you’ve been saltwater fishing, remove the line and set it aside.

Put a little detergent in the water bucket and fill it with hot water. Use the soft-bristle brush to give the reel a general cleaning, and get into small spaces with the used toothbrush. Get the sponge wet in the soapy water, and run the line through it. Rinse the line and the reel it in warm water, and let them dry completely. Once the rod is dry, lubricate the connecting parts with the fishing gear lubricant. Crank the handle to work it all through, and wipe away the excess. Spool the line back on the reel.

Preparing the Rod

As the reel is drying, you can prepare the rod. To do so, dump the water in the bucket down the drain, rinse the bucket out, add some of the mild detergent, and fill it with lukewarm water.

Scrub the rod with the soft bristle brush and toothbrush, and rinse off in warm water.

Allow the rod to dry. Then rub the ferrules, or rod joints, and any other parts that move together, with the paraffin. The wax will help lubricate these areas and protect them from the elements.

Make sure everything is completely dry, and then put the reel and rod back together. Loosen the drag on the fishing line. Over time, any tightness can cause the rod to warp.

Use Your Rod Rack

Place fishing rods in a rod rack inside your storage unit. These are designed to keep your rods upright and in good shape. Don’t let your rods at an angle against the wall, leaning against each other, or leave them on the floor. You don’t want your rods to bend or warp.

As a side note, we recommend getting a storage unit with climate control. If you live somewhere that gets especially cold, dry weather, or hot and humid weather, climate control will protect your rods from warping, cracking, and even taking damage from mold or mildew.

With your fishing rods cleaned, stored on a rod rack, and kept in the right storage environment, they’ll stay in good shape until you’re ready to go fishing again.

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