Did you know we have past the winter solstice and are ready to enter a new year? The winter solstice is a point in time when the northern hemisphere of earth is the farthest away from the sun than at any other time of the year; this happens around the 21st or 22nd of December. At that point the tilt of the earth begins to swing back as the northern hemisphere begins to move closer to the sun.
The swing back takes some time; approximately six months to recoup where it was on June 20th or 21st when the northern hemisphere is the closest to the sun.
This winter solstice signifies that winter has begun but it also signifies that the days are now getting longer! You won’t, however, notice this difference until about mid-February unless you constantly look at a chart that shows the actual sunrise and sunset of each day.
What this constant increase in daylight should show you is that it is time to consider your fishing equipment for the upcoming year and just how good or bad your equipment is for the start of spring fishing.
I have spent much of my adult life buying, collecting, and restoring fishing equipment so let me give you a few tips.
A lot of anglers, during the course of a fishing season, will have a problem with their fishing reel and quickly give it a shot of WD-40. Many times this will break a reel free or make it run more smoothly but I have also found that it will attract moisture over time and that nothing replaces oil or good grease when cleaning a fishing reel.
It doesn’t take a lot of oil either! Just a few drops of oil or some light grease in the right areas of the reel will normally keep it functioning throughout the fishing season. Clean out the dirt and sand from your reel before you apply any oil or grease.
You can clean up your crankbaits as well as your spinnerbaits doing some simple things. I have found that using a metal polish called Wenol, which I buy off eBay will clean a crankbait as well as anything. As with all products, clean carefully but I have found most crankbaits clean up very nicely with Wenol.
Once completely clean, I generally go over it with a polish of some sort. I really like Cowl Finishing Compound made by Mercury Motors to really polish up my lures to make them look new and slick. This can be found or ordered at most boat dealers but many kinds of plastic polish will work.
I clean all my metal parts such as metal fishing reel outside parts and spinnerbait spinners with a compound called Semi-Chrome which is a metal polish that will not leave any form of small scratches on metal parts. Many people like to use steel wool to clean the outer surface of metal parts but, if you look closely, you will see it leaves many small scratches on your metal.
If you have dirty vinyl skirts on your spinnerbaits, just take them off and put them in a pan of boiling water for several minutes, take them out with a pair of needle-nose pliers and put them on a paper towel to dry. Once you dab them a couple times with the towel, just hit them with a hair drier and blow them free. Most will clean up like new!
Get ready for 2022 fishing season ahead and hope and pray it will be a better year than 2021! Have a Great New Year!
Sam Van Camp writes about the outdoors on Saturdays. Call him at 662-6559. Fax: 446-6648. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org