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Every kayak angler has a story about fishing through a driving rainstorm or almost losing a rod (or 10) if not for the ever-vigilant rod leash. The untold story is the time and effort anglers must take to properly maintain their gear after hours of fishing in the rain or recent submersion of tackle. Here are five tips for preparing and maintaing your gear from wet weather or waterlogged fishing adventures.

Tackle Storage

When selecting tackle storage solutions, look for the waterproof boxes with gaskets and snap closures. These can be commonly found in many big box stores, or your local tackle shop. Sizes range from small enough to fit in your PFD pockets, to large sizes that are adaptable to milk crate style gear storage.

These are excellent, until you need that crankbait and water gets inside. It is important to remember that a waterproof seal also won’t let water out. See post-fishing maintenance tips below.

Soft Plastic Storage

Soft plastics storage options have upgraded over the years, and today one of the more popular versions is the binder-style system. These are excellent for organization and ease of use in kayak fishing. However, they do become a sponge, not only in rainstorms, but even when left on the deck of a kayak on the sunniest of days.

A quick tip is when your binder is empty of tackle, give the outside fabric a quick spray of water repellent, the same that you’d use on tents. This will give it an added level of water resistance. Note that once water saturates the fabric, moisture will find its way not only into the pockets of the binder, but even into the factory sleeves your hooks come in. Hint: Rust can begin quickly.


Kayak Fishing Reels

Reels today are built with precision and minute tolerances that provide the smoothest retrieve and the longest casts. But with that technology comes a small window of error. A reel submerged can see effects on performance and if not dried or properly maintained, can become damaged. This will also reduce the longevity of the reel. Prevention Tip: a quick wipe with a spray wax can repel dust and water. Hint: this is not a waterproofing solution.

Video Cameras

Action cameras and kayak fishermen go together like peanut butter and jelly; we will attach them to just about anything, put them underwater to catch the fight from under the boat. If there is a way to film, a kayak angler will find it. All of these excellent video cameras and their accessories, such as extra batteries charging, cords and the cases themselves can fall victim to moisture and the worst feeling is capturing great video and have it fogged in the corners.

A pre-trip tip to prevent this is to give the waterproof case a wipe with anti-fog lens cleaner. Make sure it is completely dry before sealing it and that it is free of smudges. Rain-X will also help the outside repel water. Hint: a little goes a long way.

Post-Fishing Maintenance

Maintenance after a soggy trip is a must! Waterproof cases used in the rain are no longer waterproof and items you thought didn’t get wet or moisture. Well…they probably did. When you unpack, make sure to open all your storage containers and check for moisture, even down to the little sleeves the worm hooks come in.

Reels need extra attention in the event they were submerged and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance. Dry what you can and make sure your containers are moisture-free before sealing them or you will have a rusty mess in just a few days. As for your video cameras, open the waterproof cases, remove the camera and take out the batteries. Look for any moisture that may have developed and let them get some fresh air until the next trip.

These are just a few tips that may add longevity to your tackle and your wallet. With all we have invested in our gear, the last thing we need is to let neglet ruin it. Take the time to prepare for the trip and maintain your gear after each trip and it will pay off–literally!