Top 10 Tips for Storing your Fishing Equipment

Unless you’re fortunate to live in an area that offers year-round fishing, many of us are faced with the prospect of storing our gear until next season. The other day I told my kids that if they take care of their gear then their gear will take care of them. I know I didn’t come up with that line myself. I probably heard it from my dad or some of the men who taught me about fishing. While there is a never ending amount of repairs and replacing, here is a list of some important activities that should not be missed.

  1. For rods, check the guides and wraps. If a guide has a scratch, nick, or groove, replace it. If the guide wraps are loose or exposed, rewind with a few wraps of winding thread and some rod spar varnish.

  2. Take your reels apart to clean, grease and oil. Also, clean and oil the reel handles and reel seat hardware. Lubricate all moving parts so they don’t freeze up with corrosion.

  3. Examine the hooks on your lures and replace them or sharpen.

  4. Examine monofilament and braided lines for wear and replace where necessary.

  5. As you reorganize your tackle box, be sure to replace all hot lures, necessary tools (like pliers or hook hones) and terminal tackle.

  6. If you decide to remove the fly line completely from a reel, wait until you’re closer to the next season to re-spool. Fly line has memory, and kinky fly line is harder to cast. Most fly lines can be cleaned with dish detergent.

  7. Store your rods using rod sleeves to keep tips and butts from getting mismatched.

  8. Store your rods vertically to keep the blanks straight and avoid a bend.

  9. Keep rods at room temperature. Storing them in a hot place can weaken them.

  10. Check your waders for leaks. Most leaks are easy to find, but pinhole leaks are challenging at best. One way to find a pinhole leak is to go into a dark place, turn on a flashlight, and put the flashlight inside your waders. Light will pop out of the pinhole. Circle the hole with a pen and patch with any waterproof adhesives. Let dry, and hang waders in a cool, dry place.

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Tom Keer

Tom Keer

Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at or at