Anticipation for fishing opener is an exciting time of the year. In the north country we all put in our input to “When will the ice come off the lakes?!”. Yet most typical Spring Fishing Openers we generally have the majority of our lakes ice free. With leading up to our open water season we dust off any gear, make repairs if needed, scrub down the boat, upgrade electronics, update tackle, reels, rods, flies and lures… the list goes on. It’s important to start the season off right, and rather than rushing or kicking yourself for not checking that fly line or even replacing that rod tip from last season when game time comes; it can make or break you outing on the water.
As a guide we are constantly updating, or replacing equipment. Its not that us guides are beating and throwing our equipment around, its just that the amount of use follows to wear and tear. Its critical with clients in the boat we what them to experience fighting the fish, not the guide or client fighting the gear. This season do your do-diligence, go through your gear, organize tackle/fly boxes, up date or replace anything while we grow with excitement for open water.
Here’s a few guide tips for checking gear:
-Condition your fly lines that have been sitting stagnate all winter. Not only should they be kept in a controlled temp but also a fly line conditioner will clean up any fly lines you plan to use for the first part of the season. Conditioning fly lines rejuvenates the exterior coating and while conditioning you may find a crack or damage to your fly line before its too late. With great companies backing their products, most will have a fly line replacement program that is limited, yet get it in the mail asap to have it ready for your season.
-Re-spool all spinning and bait casters. New line is critical and most anglers probably don’t change it often enough. The amount of conditions our fishing lines are used in places natural wear/weathering of our fishing lines. Some lines like monofilaments should be changed most often than not. Braided lines can loose color and fray over time n’ use. Take your reels to a local tackle-bait shop as most have a line spooling machine and a number of great lines available on the market. The line spooling machine will put the line on nice and tight, most great shop employees can pick out any reel that maybe in need a repairs, or even a simple clean and grease.
-Check your batteries. Not just on your camera for that big catch of the day prior to your fishing outing but on the larger scale to check your boat batteries. When our boats are away for hibernation most marine shops will charge the batteries for your pick up your rig, check the battery levels and make sure your leaving with solid batteries on board. If you store your boat yourself, go ahead and give those batteries a charge over-night, check them with a battery gage. If you don’t have a battery gage, a local marine shop or even a auto shop will be able to assist in making sure you have plenty of juice while out on the water.