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May 09, 2011

By Andy Hahn

If the drags on your reels last forever, you must not be catching many fish. Like brakes on a car, drags suffer the effects of friction and require regular maintenance. When one surface rubs against another, signs of wear eventually become evident. Many West Coast long-range enthusiasts replace drags after each seven-day trip or after every other three-day outing. Weekend anglers should have their offshore reels checked once a year.
Treat your reels with a little respect, and they'll provide reliable service for a long time. Front-drag spinning reels often suffer from saltwater intrusion as spray collects on the reel face and seeps inside. Whenever possible, stash tackle in the boat's cabin or in under-the-gunwale rod holders when running to the fishing grounds to prevent excessive exposure to salt spray.Before making that first cast or deploying lines in your trolling spread, warm up reels by pulling off line against the drag - especially if reels have been stored between trips with drags tightened down.
Our tests reveal which knot delivers the most strength when tying superbraid.
Bass Pro Shops(Excel Nitro, Magibraid)800-BASS-PROwww.basspro.comInnovative Textiles(PowerPro)970-242-3002www.powerpro.comIzorline(Brutally Strong)310-324-1159www.izorline.comMason(Tiger Braid)877-257-4771www.fishingtacklegrabbag.comPure Fishing(Spiderline Spiderwire,Berkley Whiplash)877-777-3850www.purefishing.comSufix(Herculine)800-554-1423www.sufix.comWestern Filament(TUF Line)
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Advances in technology and technique over the past three decades have spawned a generation of blue-water anglers who pull nothing but artificials. The industry has grown accordingly.
Skirts will last longer and retain their shape if you care for them properly. At the end of the day, rinse lures in fresh water, then hang or lay flat to dry thoroughly before storing them. Should skirts become kinked, Mold Craft¿' Frank Johnson Jr. recommends warming them with a heat gun or blow dryer, then hanging them to straighten out.
Area Rule Engineering949-366-1333Ballyhood International714-545-0196www.ballyhood.comBoone Bait407-975-8775www.boonebait.comLure Baits International808-261-7739Mold Craft954-785-4650Sadu Bluewater Lures561-795-9516Sevenstrand Tackle562-437-1010www.7strand.comTrawlite941-592-0123Tournament Tackle321-259-1903Yo-Zuri561-336-2280www.yo-zuri.com
Area Rule Engineering949-366-1333Ballyhood International714-545-0196www.ballyhood.comBoone Bait407-975-8775www.boonebait.comLure Baits International808-261-7739Mold Craft954-785-4650Sadu Bluewater Lures561-795-9516Sevenstrand Tackle562-437-1010www.7strand.comTrawlite941-592-0123Tournament Tackle321-259-1903Yo-Zuri561-336-2280www.yo-zuri.com
"Fishermen often think of landing nets as simple accessories," says Mark Gostisha of Frabill. "An angler may have dozens of species-specific rods and reels, but just one net for everything. Consider where and what you'll be fishing for, and make sure you have the right net for each situation."Handle length depends on your boat's freeboard. Consider nets with telescoping handles to save storage space.
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