Time to Winterize
By: Blake Tollefson
Leaves are falling, temperatures are dropping. It’s getting to be the time of year where all the ice fishing equipment is pulled out of storage and the open water equipment is put away.
Properly storing and winterizing your equipment makes life a lot easier when open water season rolls around in the spring. Aside from the obvious items, like winterizing your boat, there are a number of precautions you should take with your equipment. Here’s the things I personally do to make sure everything is in tip top shape for the following spring.
Any reels that won’t be used during the winter months are stored properly. Line is removed, reels are cleaned and well oiled. Unspooling, cleaning, and oiling are all top priorities to me. Back off the drag on your reels as well. I personally hold on to the original boxes for my reels so I can store them during the offseason.
Reels are removed, and rods are cleaned. After cleaning, they are stored in a safe place, where the chances of finding broken rods are extremely low. If you decide to leave you rods and reels together, make sure the rods aren’t “loaded” as it can cause issues down the road.
Cleaning, organizing, and closing. Anything rusty or dirty gets cleaned or tossed. Don’t want rust to spread during the offseason. I also prioritize organizing my tackle, so I can get a handle on what I have in my arsenal and what I will need to replace. Lastly, I want to make sure everything is closed and sealed properly. Don’t want plastics and such drying out over the winter.
I store my electronics indoors to prevent any issues from arising. Screens and units are cleaned up. I also make sure to charge up batteries fully before putting them away for the season.
Life jackets and anything with fabric are stored in a sealed tote. I hate mice as much as next guy and don’t feel like replacing life jackets every season. A handful of dryer sheets aide in keeping critters away.
The importance of proper storage is often overlooked. But it’s a vital step to ensuring your gear stays in top shape for years to come.