The wages of my fishing-tackle sin have come home to roost. Thinking about an upcoming saltwater trip to the Rhode Island shore, I pulled a favorite wide-spool baitcaster off the shelf. Bad, John. Very bad.


The reel suffers mightily from corrosion and accumulated grit. All the cleaning and maintenance I should have done last fall or winter somehow got put off. Just as such things always seem to get put off. But I want to use the reel in a couple of weeks, so now I’ve got to do it.

It’s a classic case of a fishing writer’s “do what I say; not what I do.” I mean, how many times have I preached about taking good care of good tackle?

I recently got a sample on the mail of Penn’s excellent reel-lube products shown in the photo. I think the oil and grease combo pack sells for a measly 7 bucks or thereabout. So tonight I’ll put it to good use.

All of which reminds me to check a couple of the larger fly reels I use for steelhead. As September slides into October, my fishing program changes from freshwater trout and bass to assorted saltwater species along with fall-run steelhead–all requiring gear that I haven’t used for a while.

Fishing-tackle maintenance is so obviously important that I almost hate to belabor it. But we all face similar problems. You get it done. Or you suffer for the lack of it.

So who here is without sin and wants to cast the first stone…?