AdamHJeep

Winterizing your Fishing gear

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Hey guys, this cold snap got me thinking about how and what to store inside during the winter.  I moved into a place with a garage last year so everything has been stored out there... I have significantly increased my gear this year and had always stored stuff inside before.   I have close to zero room inside unfortunately so I only want to bring in the necessary stuff.

 

What is recommended to not keep in an unheated garage?  Are reels affected? Do rods become brittle? What about plastic swimmers and gulp baits?  I live in MD so we are not talking crazy sub zero negative temps.

 

Much obliged.

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I store most of my gear indoors, however, my winter surf-casting gear sits in my garage or in the capped bed of my truck waiting for the next trip. I'm too lazy to keep carrying the stuff down into my basement each trip, getting stuff down there is a pain in the butt. So the surf-casting stuff is out in the cold until mid January. I have never had issues with the reels, line or the soft plastic lures. Everything else shouldn't be effected by the cold anyway. The only things I would bring in are the reels, no sense in exposing them to the cold, unless they are going to be used in the cold.

 

If leaving them out in the cold I would make sure the reels are complacently dry. I always squirt mine off after use in saltwater. If it's cold enough the water that gets between parts could freeze and cause trouble. I use a kerosene heater in my garage when I'm going to work out there in the winter. So I always heat the garage up after I've washed off my gear to make sure it dries.

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If you're like me and not a meticulous gearhead with your fishing stuff then you should be alright. I'm in MD too and all of my surf and kayak gear is kept in non-climate controlled storage all year round subjecting it too both heat and cold. In 6+ years of being stored that way I haven't noticed any issues with any of my gear and it all works as advertised.

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the "meticulous gearheads" keep most of their stuff in a garage too, or in a shed... even after they are meticulously broken down/ cleaned / tuned / polished.... etc. ;)

I even keep my mono line in the garage, not in the house... that would be the only thing i think one would argue that could be effected by heat/cold over time.

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I'm skeptical that time, temperature and humidity effect fishing line as suggested by the manufacturers. I think it's hype built up by the industry to increase sales. This is then parrotoed by the users to justify the expenditure of replacing line more frequently. 

 

I buy 20# and 50# mono in 1# spools. It may take me 2 1/2 years to use it all up. It's stored in a closet in my basement, but is also spends some time in the back of my truck, under a cap, in a clear container, when I go on week long fishing expeditions to Florida and the Outer Banks. It gets very hot back there in the summer and very cold in the winter. I have never had issues with fresh line loaded from the 1# spools. Line on the reel, that has been in the water and subjected to abrasion is far more likely the cause of deterioration and premature brakes.

 

On most reels I replace the top 25 to 50% of the line frequently and only replace the entire spool once a year when I do my annual cleaning and greasing. Only on surf rods, where more than 50% of the line can be off the spool frequently, do I replace the entire spool when I feel abrasion. That is one of the advantages of using conventional reels, your finger is in constant contact with the line as you reel it in and you can feel when the line has bad spots.

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49 mins ago, Trainman327 said:

I'm skeptical that time, temperature and humidity effect fishing line as suggested by the manufacturers. I think it's hype built up by the industry to increase sales. This is then parrotoed by the users to justify the expenditure of replacing line more frequently. 

 

I buy 20# and 50# mono in 1# spools. It may take me 2 1/2 years to use it all up. It's stored in a closet in my basement, but is also spends some time in the back of my truck, under a cap, in a clear container, when I go on week long fishing expeditions to Florida and the Outer Banks. It gets very hot back there in the summer and very cold in the winter. I have never had issues with fresh line loaded from the 1# spools. Line on the reel, that has been in the water and subjected to abrasion is far more likely the cause of deterioration and premature brakes.

 

On most reels I replace the top 25 to 50% of the line frequently and only replace the entire spool once a year when I do my annual cleaning and greasing. Only on surf rods, where more than 50% of the line can be off the spool frequently, do I replace the entire spool when I feel abrasion. That is one of the advantages of using conventional reels, your finger is in constant contact with the line as you reel it in and you can feel when the line has bad spots.

Yeah true... to me it's not for them to sell more it's to cover their image as if blaming a line for breaking is really ever because of a manufacturer defect or weathering in regular real world conditions. To me Mono should be replace when kinked, frayed, or turns milky unless angling for difficult species that call for every aspect of your gear to be 100%.  Braid I go by the color... if its faded or real dirty (on white), replace.  My uncle has had the same 50# clear on his trolling setups for at least 5-6 years now. I know because I argue with him each year to replace with high vis stuff but he refuses until he feels the need. Those penn 330s get stored on the boat from April till September in open air.  I cant see that clear **** in the sun cuz I even tho I have 20/20 I have sensitivity to bright light so I squint even with costas on.

 

Gonna find a place for my reels inside after its consistently freezing... I figure the long term freezing can't be good for the seals and o-rings.  If it brought down the Challenger that's enough proof for me lol.

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5 hours ago, luckyOC said:

the "meticulous gearheads" keep most of their stuff in a garage too, or in a shed... even after they are meticulously broken down/ cleaned / tuned / polished.... etc. ;)

I even keep my mono line in the garage, not in the house... that would be the only thing i think one would argue that could be effected by heat/cold over time.

 

There you have it. Meticulous and non-meticulous agree :hi5: Your storage situation will be just fine.

 

Although technically none of my fishing stuff is ever "winterized" as I'm always looking to get out no matter what the temps are outside :D

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