UV light damages monofilament lines and any
chips in ceramic guides cause problems . It's a good idea tocheck your
line-weight against a set of common spring scales, and to be especially wary of
the effects of UV damage on knot strength.
The terminal guide is especially important. Even
microscopic chips can do the damage. And if your eyesight isn’t so great, a pair
of cheap over-the-counter glasses can help identify the fine abrasions that will
abrade your line.
Another common problem is tying new line onto old. As
the new line gets chopped away at (snags, reefs, weed, sharp teeth, etc), one
ends up fishing with the same old line. And that’s when I’ve come unstuck. The
old line can’t hack the pace. Some nice fish have gotten clean away just because
I was too miserly to replace the whole line.
moral of this story is “if in doubt, throw it out’. But care with where you
throw it: even though it starts to break down under the sun, nylon line can
still pollute the environment for several lifetimes.
a habit of cleaning your gear after every trip. Watch the water pressure as you
can end up creating a problem by pushing water into the gears and bearings of
the reel. At the very least, a light spray of fresh water to remove the salt
after each trip is a good practice.
important to remember that reels are designed to drain when the rod is
horizontal, so sticking them in a tree or garden shrub while hosing or leaving
them in the rain will do the trick. Squirting them standing up is ok as long as
the reels are soon given the chance to drain with rods horizontal. Give the handgrips a decent
scrub to get rid of the dried blood and guts.
occasional follow-up with a gentle wash of warm soapy water, a dry down followed
by a rod polish is worth the effort. An old toothbrush can get into those
difficult corners. The use of a quality car polish can actually protect the rod
from UV damage. The damage in this case is not usually terminal. The rod just
starts to look faded and un-loved. To dry washed reels, a place in the hot water
cupboard is pretty helpful.
Finally, spray the reel with your favourite purpose
designed spray. My favourite is INOX. Its’ odourless, tasteless, doesn’t seem to
attract dust and is non-toxic.
the salt has been removed from metal parts, the protective coating the oil
provides reduces the opportunity for oxidation. Both stainless and alloy
components oxidise in salt-air. Aluminium is quite short-lived and turns to
powder if not well looked after.
you decide to dismantle your reel, don’t over-do the grease. Sewing machine oil
is about right for most moving parts. And a gasket of grease on faced surfaces
can improve water resistance after re-assembly.