Quality Reel Care
SPIRIT LAKE, IA. -- Abu Garcia reel services manager Bob Hulme has spent 17 years teaching fishermen how to take care of their tackle, and throughout it all he has continued to voice one major complaint: too many fishermen don't.
Hulme says a lack of even the simplest maintenance is not only commonplace, but also counterproductive and expensive. "Today's quality reels are a major financial investment for most of us. It just makes sense to extend reel life and add to our overall fishing enjoyment through an easy and inexpensive maintenance program," Hulme said.
As the Abu Garcia expert points out, today's reels are truly precision equipment, and routine maintenance is essential for peak performance. "The basic steps of reel maintenance don't require much expertise, but they must be performed on a regular schedule to have any effect," Hulme stresses. "First of all, take care to keep the outside of your reel clean. Wipe it off often and never, never lay it on the ground." Next, Hulme says, make it a practice to clean off any accumulated grime before tackle is stored at the end of every fishing trip. "Too many fishermen fail to realize that the worm gear level wind system should be lubricated regularly-as often as every month if you fish a lot," Hulme added. "Directions for doing this, along with the proper oil, come with all our Ambassadeur reels. If you're not sure how to lube the essential components of your tackle, study the lubrication directions carefully. And, when you're finished oiling the worm gear, apply some to the reel handle knobs as well. They need it too."
Hulme said that saltwater anglers should rinse off their reels with fresh water following each fishing trip. "But do it gently," he cautioned. "Excess pressure will force water into places you certainly don't want any water, like inside the reel."
The next step, according to Hulme, is a quick application of some sort of silicone spray at regular intervals. "But you need to remember to either remove the spool or cover it in some way to insure that the spray doesn't coat your line. After a shot of spray, Hulme said the reel should be wiped down thoroughly to remove any excess, then stored in a clean, dry place.
"I urge anglers to store their reels in a case or bag to prevent dust buildup," Hulme said. "It's also a must to loosen the star drag before you store the reel, because this alleviates stress on the drag washers and adds to overall drag performance and life."
The Abu Garcia service pro said that by following this simple maintenance list, your reel will always be ready to go fishing. But he added a note of caution. "Whatever you do, resist the temptation to overlube." Hulme stressed. "And, at least once a year, each reel should be completely disassembled for a thorough cleaning and lubrication process. However some anglers find this task a bit too imposing, and it might be easier to just take or send the reel to a service center. A technician there will take the reel apart, clean it and oil it for a small fee. In return you'll get some peace of mind and many, many additional hours of service from today's quality tackle."
For information on Abu Garcia Service Centers near you, see the Abu Garcia Internet site or call Abu Garcia Consumer Services at 1-800-ABU GARCIA.