Many of the new generation fly reels are designed to be virtually maintenance free–they feature enclosed drag systems to resist penetration by dirt and sand, and are made of durable aluminum. But Kristen Mustad, CEO of Nautilus Reels warns that any reel is still vulnerable to corrosion over time, unless you keep your backing as dry as possible.

It doesn’t matter if you’re fishing in saltwater or freshwater–or even cleaning your reel with regular tap water. Leaving damp backing spooled on the reel exposes that reel to corrosive materials.

So when you’re done fishing, take time to uncoil the backing every now and then and dry it out. Leave the backing attached to the reel, but let it sit in a warm, dry spot–on a sunny deck, on the hood or dashboard of your vehicle, even on top of a VCR. Doing so will save you the expense of replacing a rotten reel years down the road.