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Take a pinch of salt

13 Dec 2017
by Greg Hill

Take a pinch of salt. Add three parts aluminium oxide and one part iron oxide. This is the evil recipe for disaster in your tackle box and for your fishing reels. Keeping ahead of electrochemical oxidation is near impossible. Here are a few tips. Zinc anodes work well on aluminium boats and outboards to stop electrolysis, so slap one on your fizzing-reel.

Owner Rust Stop is a small sticking plaster of zinc to put on the reel foot to stop “reel rot”. With the popularity of small, hi-tech aluminium- and magnesium-bodied reels you can almost hear the fizzing. Older reels have issues because they are made with dissimilar metals, so contact with brass, aluminium and stainless will cause oxidation scab breakouts. All the little bits give trouble as well.


A big, ginger, nest of last season’s rusty hooks is probably awaiting you (go and check after you’ve read this). Small Rust Stop tackle boxes are available from Flambeau, but we don’t’ recommend them because we would sell fewer hooks :). Always store old, used hooks and tackle away from new – don’t cross-contaminate.

Fishing line condition is often overlooked. UV light degrades it, it’s probably peppered with nicks and chaffs that could lose you that next happy catch, so best replace it regularly, and please dispose of the old line thoughtfully. Quality rods are usually no trouble and good guides are super hard, but check the inside surface of the rod guides by running a sharp pocket knife around them. If you feel a crack you’ll know – the invisible crack is likely the cause of broken line, lost fish, and bad language. Fishing tackle maintenance is year-round but winter, when you don’t want to brave the cold, is a good time to take a look at your gear get it ready for spring/summer.