"Reel, Reel, Reel!", I screamed,
as the main line broke free from the Scotty downrigger release clip and a large
king started peeling line off the Shimano Tekota Reel like a rocket.
After a 15 minute hard fight I netted a large chinook well over
30-pounds. During this trip my tackle performed perfectly.
large salmon or any hard fighting sport fish can and will tax your tackle to
the breaking point. Rods, reels and tackle must be maintained flawlessly to
give the angler the upper hand against fierce fighting fish. It's imperative
that you perform routine, maintenance on all your tackle from the rod and reel
to last knot you tied to you're tackle. If not the only thing you will have is
the story about the big one that got away. I look at quality rods and reels as
long-term investments and take the time to care for them properly. Weekend
warriors should at a minimum have their reels inspected once a year, charter
captains and hardcore anglers should service them monthly to insure flawless
operation. There is nothing that will sour a days fishing more then loss of a
large fish because of a bad or sticky drag on a reel.
Here are some simple steps I
perform on my Shimano reels to insure reliability on every fishing
- At the end of the days fishing
with the drag system set to a high setting (to prevent water intrusion) clean
the entire exterior of the reel using a soft spray of Salt-Away and wash down
or wipe clean with a soft spray of fresh water. Clean every nook and cranny to
ensure that all the salt water and dirt deposits are removed.
- Dry the reel thoroughly with a
soft clean towel and place in a warm dry location to air dry. Back off the drag
adjustment to "free spool" is achieved. Leaving the drag system under a heavy
thrust setting for extended periods will lead to erratic drag performance.
- For longer storage periods
take the reel off the rod and wipe it down with Reel-X. A small brush can be
used to ensure the protective spray is worked into tight corners of the reel.
This will also help prevent oxidation built up on the reel seat or
- Lightly lubricate exterior
components using top quality reel oil. Reel Handle, drag knobs, bar arm pivots
and rollers, clicker assemblies and all oil ports can be serviced
- For the continued top
performance of your reel, I recommend a full strip down, complete servicing,
and re-lubrication at least every 12 months or even more often if the reel is
used frequently like mine are. If you don't want to do it yourself then send it
to a recommended reel repair pro-shop to be completed by a knowledgeable
service pro. Your reel manufacture can provide you a local contact for service
on your brand of reel.
- I also keep a kit on the boat
for quick reel tune-ups or repairs when on the road with my boat to Canada and
other distant fishing locations.
This includes the following:
||4-ounce bottle of Salt-Away
||Bottle of Reel-X
||Small brush & Q-tips
||Spare set of drags for the brand reel I fish
||Shimano reel handle tool for breakdown
Yes, of course I do keep an
extra Shimano Reel spooled
with 20-pound line and ready for fast
changeovers should a problem arise while fishing.
For up keep on high quality
graphite rods like the G. Loomis SAR1265C downrigger rods I run on my
boat I like to wash down with Salt-Away and then wipe them off with liquid
furniture polish to protect the finish. I then store them on the boat in rod
socks for protection.
For prolonged storage take the reel off the rod
and store it separately, and give the reel seat a good cleaning to remove any
salt residue build up.
As the old saying goes you take care of your
equipment and it will take care of you.
Salmon University Staff