PREPARING FOR THE FISHING SEASON

The beginning of the year sees the start of a new fishing season. Here are some ideas to improve your chances of catching fish and avoid unpleasant surprises.

Before you start, lay out the contents of your fishing boxes and check the condition of everything..

LINES 

The line is what connects the fish to you. It’s vital to check its condition regularly. The start of the new season is an ideal opportunity for this.   NYLON LINES After continued use, nylon lines can show signs of wear. You need to check them carefully, and to understand why it’s necessary to do so.   1: the line twists When you pull out your line without keeping it under tension, it twists into tight loops. This is probably because the line has a memory: it twists back into the form it had when wound on the spool. This isn’t a big problem, the line isn’t damaged, but it can be annoying, and the risk of tangles when casting is greater, it can also get tangled round your rod tip, which may cause it to break if you’re not careful.   2: the line is damaged Check that the line hasn’t got pinched or roughened anywhere along its length. A pinched line is weakened and may break if vigorously cast or put under tension (while playing a big fish, for example). Also check that the surface of the line is completely smooth. If it isn’t, it’ll be because it has rubbed against branches or rocks which have damaged its surface. This also weakens it, so damaged sections should always be removed.  

BRAIDS

These also need special attention. A braid in poor condition can have an adverse effect on your fishing.   1: knots The whole line should be checked for knots. A knot in the line can frequently lead to tangling. If you do find a knot, it’s quite likely that your only option will be to cut it out.   2: the condition of the fibre The main indicator of the state of your braid is the condition of the fibre. If it’s bobbling or the braiding has become irregular, your line is damaged and weakened, and will no longer glide smoothly when in use. Once again, you should cut out the damaged part. Sometimes it’s tough to have to get rid of a long length of braid, given the expense. Sadly, if in these 2 situations you don’t do so, problems will certainly ensue!   Whatever the type of line, make sure that you have enough of it on your spool to fill it up well, so that your casts are the best they can be.

HOOK

Whether your hooks are rigged, unrigged, triple or single, they often need a little work to return them to prime condition, with a good barb.   1: RUST AND OXIDATION If you spot traces of oxidation or rust on your hooks, it’s important to deal with it straight away. The longer you delay, the worse it will get.   # Caperlan tip: To remove rust, put the hooks in Cola for a few hours. Then remove them and wash them in soapy water to remove the sugar. Rinse in clean water and dry.   2: THE BARB A good barb means fewer fish getting unhooked and getting away. Our advice is to check the barbs of your hooks and sharpen them regularly, and replace any worn-out hooks. If in doubt, replace.

CLOTHING

Your comfort is a vital part of the success of your fishing. Watertight waders (or chest waders) and jacket are essential. You can check waders for water tightness by putting them into water and checking that no air bubbles are produced. If there’s a problem, they can often be repaired: there’s a repair kit available. Your fishing jacket and trousers have probably lost some of their original water-repellent qualities. To refurbish them, machine-wash at 30⁰ C. Use a thorough rinse and a gentle spin. For preference, line-dry. Occasionally, put them in the dryer at low temperature and short duration, which will improve their water-repellent qualities. You can also use a re-proofing spray to improve and extend the duration of the refurbishment.

REEL

Looking after a reel only takes a few minutes and means it can keep its properties for a long time.   AFTER EACH USE Rinse the reel in soft water (1) but never immerse it. Next, dry carefully (2) using a microfibre cloth.   YEARLY MAINTENANCE After taking the spool off the reel by unscrewing it, place a few drops of oil (WD40 type) on the spool pin (1) and the roller guide (2). Next, unscrew the crank before placing a few drops on the movement (3). Put the crank back on and turn it a few times to spread the lubricant properly.  

ROD

After several fishing trips, the rod is likely to have accumulated dirt (dust, soil, sand, bait) which can scratch and damage it.  Discover our advice for looking after your fishing rod properly.    THE ROD To start with, rinse your rod in fresh water after each trip. Make sure you don't get any water inside the fittings.  A simple and effective product such as soft soap (available in supermarkets) works wonders for deep cleaning your press fit or telescopic rods. Pour the equivalent of a soup spoon full in a large basin full of warm water (or a bath) before submerging the rod parts in it. Rub gently using a microfibre sponge and dry the rod carefully using a soft cloth.    Leave the rod overnight in a warm room so that it dries completely. The fittings must be checked before the start of each season   RINGS  For the rings, rub gently using a soft damp brush (not metallic) to remove impurities. Dry carefully using a microfibre cloth. You can find Teflon grease in the cycling department in your Decathlon store Don't hesitate to share your tips for looking after your fishing rod in the comments.

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