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Despite the cold temperatures outside, we all know spring is right around the corner. One of the best things about cold weather is that it gives you an opportunity to perform some of the work you’ve been putting off all winter. In this blog I want to focus on a few things you can do to prepare for the spring bite.

First of all, get your shopping done. If you haven’t already gotten your tackle for the year, this would be a good time to stock up on gear you know you are going to need. Many people don’t think about buying gear until they need it, and when a lot of people do this, it can mean that supply is low. Make sure you beat the spring rush, and buy your gear now while you still can!

After you’ve finished your shopping, it’s time to get organized. Go through your boxes and make sure you know where everything is. I use a label maker to help me keep track of my gear throughout the year, and I’ve got boxes labeled for jigheads, weights, terminal tackle, and the various types of lures I have. Throughout the season things are bound to get a bit disorganized as you use different items so this is your opportunity to get everything back in its proper spot.

Up next on the list is rod maintenance. I begin this process by getting out all my rods and cleaning them from head to toe. I use pledge lemon wipes to clean the rod blanks along with the guides, and I use a magic eraser to clean any cork handles. If your rod has EVA foam, I will also use a 200-grit sanding sponge to essentially sand off the dirty outer layer of the foam and then wash it clean. One final note on rods is that you can use a cork sealant like U-40 to keep your cork handles looking good year-round while adding a layer of protection.

After rod maintenance, it’s time to get those reels lubed up and looking shiny again! Reel cleaning isn’t for everyone as there are a lot of moving parts to a reel so if you aren’t mechanically inclined, make sure to get your reels to someone who knows what they’re doing. If you’d like to take a stab at cleaning your reels yourself, there are plenty of videos on youtube and the Jackson website which will help you with the process.

Next on the list is to get those reels spooled up! Check out the line on all of your reels to determine what line you’ve got to replace before hitting the water. Getting lazy with this step could cost you a fish once you finally get back out on the water so don’t skimp on evaluating the condition of your line and replace it if necessary.

Last but not least, clean your kayak! If you’re anything like me, you put your kayak through the ringer last year and it’s gotten filthy along the way! Clean the dirt out of all the nooks and crannies, wash off that fish slime, and get the chartreuse stains out of your deck pads! A clean kayak is a happy kayak! Plus it will make the kayak look great in all those photos you take on your next adventure!