There’s little more frustrating than opening up a tackle container to find the lures and hooks affected by corrosion.
The marine environment is a particularly harsh one, and rust is a little like the flu virus – it’s contagious: one wet lure or hook put back into the container can quickly affect the others.
Obviously, some simple steps can be taken to prevent this. One is to keep all used tackle separate and, at the end of the trip or session, give it a wash in fresh water. Others spray their lures and hooks with products such as Tackle Guard, CRC or WD40.
I subscribe to the first practice of keeping used gear separate, giving it a rinse when washing rods and reels afterwards, then putting it back in the tacklebox. This does require some discipline, but when you get into the habit, it’s no big deal.
However, even the gear not subjected to direct contact with salt water gets exposed to the marine environment and becomes affected by corrosion over time.
Recently the importers of Flambeau tackle boxes, NZ’s Composite Developments Ltd, sent me a number of tackle containers to use. They told me they are waterproof – useful for a start – and that the interior tabs are impregnated with the rust inhibitor Zerust.
According to the manufacturer, the Zerust dividers in the box release a vapour that fills the inside of relatively small, confined areas such as tackle containers with an ‘invisible, odourless vapour that shields against rust and corrosion’.
They also say there is ‘no measurable interaction with other elements’ and that the vapour is non-flammable. (If only Samsung could claim that for their phones!)
Other suggestions for anglers using the Zerust-treated tackle containers include: restricting air flow as much as possible (keeping the lid closed when not extracting tackle); putting in only clean and dry items – not wet hooks or lures; and keeping the container tightly sealed.
Like others researching a particular product, I trolled the internet, where it seems everyone has an opinion. However, with regard to Zerust and Flambeau tackle boxes, it was all good.
So, following the instructions, I loaded several of the Flambeau ‘Ultimate Tough Tainers’ I’d been given to trial with ‘clean, dry’ tackle, then used the boxes and gear as I normally would.
Over the last three months I probably took the boxes into the field about eight days (dispelling the myth we at NZ Fishing News spend ‘every day’ out on the water!), and in between times left them in a dampish tackle drawer that’s part of our Extreme 700 project boat’s bait-board/rigging-station arrangement.
After that period, the jig-head container – the one opened most often – has kept the contents in pristine condition. Sure, the used jig-heads have a little corrosion, but the rust has not spread to the container’s other residents. (The used jig-heads had been washed in fresh water and left to dry before being placed back.)
Zerust is not new, having been around for some time now and used in a wide variety of situations where items are exposed to the elements or are susceptible to corrosion (gun cases come to mind), with the product being available in capsule form for these applications. However, Flambeau is the only company I’m aware of to have applied it as integral parts of a tackle box.
While the product is not the complete panacea in the fight against rust – something that’s been described as ‘never sleeping’ – Zerust certainly helps, especially when combined with waterproof containers and good used-tackle practice.
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