Charlie has over 30 years experience as a bass boat owner and 20 years as a certified Mercury technician. Call him at 540.665.0611 or email for questions and to schedule an appointment.

Organizing & Maintaining Your Tackle

There’s nothing more frustrating then looking for that special lure or a certain bag of plastics and not being able to find it in your boat or tackle bag. Before the full swing of fishing season kicks into high gear, now’s the time to organize and repair your tackle.

Rods & Reels

Take time to go completely over you rods and reels and make sure everything is in good shape and in proper working condition. You don’t want any distractions (reel grinding or broken rod line guides cutting into your line) while you’re on the water fishing.

  • Rod maintenance is simple and quick. Take a Q-Tip and twist it inside every rod eye. This will clean the guide and if there’s a crack or chip on the ceramic eye, the cotton on the Q-Tip will snag on it. You need to replace any broken of cracked eyes. Then use a clean terry cloth towel moistened with mild soap to clean the entire rod and the cork handles. You want to make sure you have a good grip on that handle when you set the hook into that big hawg!
  • Reel maintenance can be a little more complex. Depending on you mechanical ability, you may want to leave disassembly, thorough cleaning and lubrication to a reel repair service. You can however make sure you clean all that outside dirt & grime off of your reels. Start by removing the line off the spool. I find that rubbing alcohol works well to remove those stubborn stains, excess grease/grime and fish attractants from your reels. Reels should be properly lubricated at least once a year and maybe more often depending on your extent of use. A quality oil & grease should be used liberally when lubricating a reel. This certainly one case where that old saying “If a little bit is good, more should be better” does not apply.
  • Spool up with fresh, quality line!


Pull out all those tackle boxes full of lures and bags of plastic. It’s time to inspect and organize them. We’ve all done it over the past year. Get in a hurry and stuff this in there, throw that in with that, etc. Next thing you know, nothing is where you remember it’s suppose to be. You want to make sure when you reach for bait to tie on the end of your line, it’s ready to go.

  • Clean up those dirty crank baits. Look for any cracks or loose bills. A small dap of super glue can help here.
  • Make sure that all your hooks are in good shape and replace those that are rusting or dull.
  • Replace jig and spinner bait skirts that are in bad shape or the collar is about to deteriorate.
  • Don’t forget to clean or replace spinner bait blades that may have taken a beaten over the last season. Make sure the swivel is spinning freely also.
  • Take the time to ensure that all the holes in you lead weights are open (no tooth picks left in them). Also, as they’ve been beating around in you boat, the nose on bullet weights have tendency to get smashed close.
  • Ensure that your bags of plastic baits securely close and the baits aren’t twisted up in knots inside.
  • Label your lure boxes and bags (on multiple sides), so you can readily identify what’s in them.
  • Organize your baits for seasonal patterns, color patterns, lure types and fishing techniques, so you only carry what you need. No sense in carting around extra weight and giving yourself more items to root through!

Take some time now to organize your tackle and ensure it’s in good working order. Only carry what you really need and plan on using. Minimize the baits you haul around to what you have confidence in and stick with the basic colors. Too many choices can lead to more time you spend looking and changing baits and less time the bait is actually in the water.

Good luck fishing in 2007!


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