There are enough rivers and streams in Western Pennsylvania without ice during the winter that my regular fishing tackle refuses to store completely, preferring instead to stow for brief periods.

Here are a few stowing tips:

  1. A fishing rod bag or caddy is not only great for travel; it helps keep tackle clean and organized for the next fishing opportunity anywhere.

  2. The versatile Loop Ropes serve well as automobile fishing rod holders. In the winter especially, they keep my fishing rods away from the potential tackle damaging truck loads like salt bags, cinder blocks, and firewood.

  3. If you leave line and lure or snap on the fishing rod, hook near the reel using the rod’s small wire loop or reel seat and stow with a twist of the line around the guides. This helps keep the rod straight and less likely to tangle.

  4. The Rod Glove is a nifty option for additional stowing safety. This sleeve is easy to get off and on and it keeps rods from tangling each other and protects the rod guides.

  5. Don’t leave soft-plastic lures on the hooks. If stowed (or stored) too long some soft plastics will remain in the shape left. This can affect their action, plus there can be some damage to the hook with premature rusting.

​During these colder months one may experience some temporary fishing downtime but with a little care, tackle (and sanity) can be maintained in a constant state of readiness for when open water is located on home waters or during travels during vacations.

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.