By Capt. Kirk Waltz
The title to this article perhaps is not truly a real word; however, I have used it on many occasions, both written and spoken. It’s one of those words that sneaks into your vocabulary over time and takes its place amongst all the other nonsensical words you use to communicate. It’s one of my flaws — making up a vocabulary word when according to the world of Webster it really doesn’t exist.
Anyhow, what it truly means to me is the art of taking all that fishing tackle you have in your arsenal and giving it a thorough work over. A fix up, rework, clean up your existing tackle: a retacklize.
It’s a great time of the year to do it. Pull out the old tackle box and fishing rods and clean, restring and regear them for the warm spring months to come. (“Regear,” is that another one?) Any person who has fished for any length of time knows the importance of good equipment — whether it is hooks or the line you tie it to. If you spend good time taking care of your stuff not only will it last, but that fish of a lifetime you hook won’t be lost.
I usually start with restringing the reels on my rods with good clean dependable line. I have switched to SpiderWire Ultracast line and find it to be both strong and dependable, though there are many brands out there. While the line is off your reels, take a few minutes to clean and lubricate them. Penn makes a fine product in a spray bottle called Penn Rod and Reel Cleaner that cleans and lubricates the reels. I like it as it doesn’t leave a gooey sticky film on my equipment and does a good job of protecting my stuff.
The next step is to hit my tackle box to see what state it is in. Anyone who fishes knows that after a few times of putting wet hands in the box or trays the stuff in there is going to corrode. Take an assessment of the state of your hooks, swivels and other stuff. If it looks rusty or not too sturdy, replace it. Many a big fish has been lost to a 25 cent hook because you didn’t want to throw it away.
Lastly check your rods for spider cracks and fractures. Check the eyes of your rod too. A great way to check for cracks and a splinter in your rods eye/guides is by rubbing a cotton swab through the guide. If it is cracked or fractured, small tufts will pull off the cotton swab and embed in the cracks, making them easy to spot. Replace them if you can and if you can’t, many bait and tackle shops can do it very cheaply. B and M on Mayport Road has a rod repair guy who does an excellent job.
Remember if you take care of your equipment it will take care of you. And as always, remember you can’t catch them from the couch. Get out and enjoy the great outdoors.
Capt. Kirk Waltz can be reached at (904) 241-7560 or (904) 626-1128 for charters for big or small groups of four to 40 people. Listen to The Outdoors Show every Saturday morning for fishing reports, weather and tides on 92.5 FM or 1010 AM from 7 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Photos courtesy Capt. Kirk Waltz