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Preparing for Open Water

RODS: Check your rod eyelets for rough edges that could abuse your line. To preserve cork handles sand out any bumps or dirt, then apply a cork sealing agent or varnish of some sort. It’s always a good idea to store rods in tubes while traveling or not fishing.

REELS: To clean and maintain a healthy reel, first take the reel apart, keeping track of the order in which each part is assembled. Thoroughly clean each component and apply a quality lubricant of your choice to the moving parts. If you are unsure in your reel mechanic abilities, many fishing shops will clean reels at a cost.

LINE: It is always a good idea to replace the line on your reel spools for the upcoming season, especially if you know the line received a lot of action or it is monofilament line.

TACKLE: Give your tackle box a quick run-down. Clip any knots off of the hooks, then replace any broken or heavily rusted hooks, and sharpen hooks that saw a lot of hard fish teeth or caught hard rock snags.

About Daryl Bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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