For those of us that live in coastal states, May marks the unofficial start of surfcasting season. Diehards are out there between October and January, to be true, but summer surfcasters outnumber them 5 to 1 if not more. Besides, little in the winter rivals a bluefish blitz.
So if you’re breaking the Okuma spinning combo out of the garage or closet – where it hasn’t moved since last season, here are a few good habits for you to adopt before you make your inaugural trip to the water. Get your Okuma reel back into fighting condition with these light maintenance tricks.
Blast Off the Dust
First things first – while you should always wash off your saltwater tackle thoroughly with warm water after every outing, sometimes a little residual salt will get left behind. When it dries, it’ll be sticky and become a magnet for dust.
The first thing you should do is take a can of compressed air to the Okuma reel to dislodge any loose dust – before you rinse it. Rinsing it can actually flush dust into the crank and gears, and dust is abrasive.
Take Off the Spool and Reel Handle and Rinse
After you blast off as much dust as possible, remove the spool and reel handle and rinse the entire reel under warm water. Not too hot – you don’t want to flush out the gear grease.
Oil – Less Is More
Next, carefully dry off the spool, reel arm, and reel body. Shake out as much water and place it aside on a towel to dry.
Once dry, it’s time for a light – very light coating of reel oil. Less is more, as oil is a sticky magnet that, like salt deposits, will attract sand, dust, and other abrasives.
Apply a drop to the crank arm shaft, which will migrate to the gears when the reel is reassembled. Then, put a single drop at the base of the vertical bar that supports the spool. This oil will also migrate to the gears and help provide lubrication.
Reattach the reel crank arm and the spool and it’s time for one more drop of oil – on the line roller. This will help prevent it from sticking and help keep it rolling smoothly to prevent line twist.
Line It Up
Say whatever you want, if you fished with it last season, the line on the spool is twisted to hell and not. The first thing you’re going to get with your inaugural cast is a wind-knot – maybe worse.
Also, dried salt deposits can abrade and weaken both mono and braid. Whatever you use, strip off the old and line on a fresh spool for the upcoming season. That’ll save you headaches.
Don’t Have an Okuma Reel Yet?
Remember – this is not a guide for intensive reel maintenance. Just a few good tips and tricks to get your reel in fighting shape for the spring and summer.
If you don’t have an Okuma reel yet, all we can say is that there is a reason Okuma fishing tackle is a global leader in the industry for the design and development of saltwater fishing gear. Both spinning and conventional Okuma tackle rival the best contenders in the industry, such as Penn and Van Staal, for quality and reliability.
Okuma spinning reels like the Helios SX spinning reel or the Okuma Avenger lead the pack, as do other high-quality saltwater spinning and casting reels like the Epixor XT spinning reel and the Cold Water and Magda star drag conventional reels.
If you can’t get your Okuma reel in shape for summer simply because you don’t have one yet, there’s no time like the “present” to treat yourself to a new reel. Visit Live Outdoor Sports, online at LiveOutdoorSports.com or contact them online for further assistance.