Looking after your rods, reels and the rest of your fishing tackle might seem like a chore, but a little bit of maintenance will vastly extend the life of your kit and save you money in the long run.
For more great tips from top anglers head to this year’s The Big One Show
But you don’t have to send your tackle back to the manufacturer for an expensive overhaul, you can do a lot of pre-season servicing at home for pennies.
Here are eight of our favourite ‘tackle MOT’ tips.
Prevent punctures in your barrow wheel
Arguably one of the most frustrating feelings in carp fishing – a flat tyre on your barrow – can be prevented by pumping the wheel with a tube sealant like Slime.
A small bottle is all you need, and they’re currently available for about £7 online.
Plenty of top anglers, who are on the bank more than most, swear by this stuff – and we do too!
How to repair waders
Yes, you can use patches and glue, but for a quick but durable fix you can’t beat some strong household adhesive.
We’re indebted to Simon Scott for this one. The fish farmer and lecturer is rarely out of waders, so when he Tweeted about using Evo-Stik’s Seriously Strong Stuff we had to take note.
It might not look pretty but it works.
A tube of the stuff is about a tenner and you’ll need a sealant gun to apply it.
How to repair holes in your bivvy
Tenacious Tape is an incredible product that’s big in America and popular with campers but massively underappreciated in fishing circles.
This cut-to-size tape costs about a fiver and sticks like a limpet over rips and holes in your bivvy or brolly.
It’s as simple as Sellotape to apply, but forms a waterproof shield that lasts.
To refresh the waterproofing of your shelter, give it a coating of Fabsil, which acts like wax on a shiny car, making rain water bead up and roll straight off.
Get those zips working smoothly
If your bivvy-door zips, or, perhaps more importantly, the ones on your sleeping bag are sticking and jamming then this tip is simple but brilliant.
Rub a wax candle over the zip and it’ll make bursting out of your bag to hit a run just that little bit quicker.
Treat your rod joints
Don’t put that candle down just yet! If the spigots are sticking or crunching when putting your rods together then first make sure there’s no grit or dirt on the joint, then rub a bit of wax around it for a silky smooth joint.
How to clean your reels
Keeping moisture out of your reels is the key to longevity so reach for a silicone-based lubricant like WD40 Specialist Silicone or GT85 and give your reels a spray.
Remove the spools and spray on to the rotor and shaft.
Give your bankware a squirt
The same fluids can also be used on banksticks and buzzers bars where there’s a metal-on-metal connection to prevent corrosion.
Test your scales
Do you know how accurate your scales are? Unless you’ve had them tested by a council weights and measures department (as demanded by the British Record Fish Committee when making a claim) then it’s unlikely.
We know of at least one fishery that has a ‘rock of truth’ – a verified weight that visiting anglers are encouraged to test their scales against. But a simple way to check your scales is to use some household items with a set weight – a bag of tinned food will do!
If your scales are out, manufacturers such a Reuben Heaton carry out servicing and repairs.