About a month ago, I wrote about the necessity of maintaining and servicing your fishing reels. Some readers noted doing a lousy job of tackle maintenance while at the same time taking meticulous care of their firearms.

That brings up an obvious question: Why is this so? Or what’s the difference? Seems to me that if you’re going to make the effort to keep a prized rifle or shotgun in top shape, then you might lavish the same attention on a nice, quality reel–be it fly, spin or baitcasting.

Guns and reels both perform better with appropriate care. But somehow guns are often seen as treasured heirlooms while various tackle items are usually not. Historically, it’s an attitude that goes back a long way, which I learned as the former director of a flyfishing museum and often went through boxes of old, usually neglected fishing stuff.

Personally, I’m far more of an angler than a hunter. But I do own firearms and enjoy hunting occasionally. I try to do at least a half-decent job of maintaining and cleaning my rifles and shotguns once in a while. And I do the same with fishing reels, especially those I use most often.

It’s quite true that a fishing reel does not have the potential of saving my life or defending my home, as a firearm might do in some unforeseen circumstance. Maybe that’s the reason that arms–both historically and today–are so much more revered.

So I’m looking for answers, just out of curiosity. If you’re among the (seemingly) many who carefully maintain a firearm while often ignoring a fishing reel–why is that? What’s the difference?