Hot Summer Days Offer Opportunity to Maintain Equipment | Columnists


As a licensed professional fishing guide, Michael Acosta shows you how to find them. A resident of Granbury for over 35 years, he has fished all his life and has been a licensed guide since 1998.

The avid fisherman goes out early and few venture out in the middle of the day. What can you do if you have free time during this surreal and hot summer? One option is to prepare your fishing gear when the weather permits. If you fish for bass, stripers or whatever, I bet you can carry more rods and reels than you need and they all require maintenance sooner or later. Good quality fishing gear doesn’t come cheap and is definitely worth maintaining. Taking care of your gear will take care of you on the water.

One item of maintenance is to check your fishing rods. The biggest problem with fishing rods are the guides. Guides can be nicked or bent, and if the fishing line comes in contact with these damaged guides, it will fray and eventually break. You don’t want your line to break when this fish decides to bite. Check your line frequently and if you notice a frayed line, check the guides carefully. The new braided line can pick up dirt and groove the top guide on the post. Use extremely hard and damage resistant silicon carbide replacement guides.

Cleaning and maintaining a fishing reel can be complicated on some baitcasting models. The small plastic springs and sleeves are easily lost. Pieces will fall out and you may not know which order to put them back together. Start your job with the manufacturer’s manual/parts list/drawing and have a clean work area that will allow parts to fall where you can find them. Also a good set of small tools is recommended. If you don’t feel comfortable servicing your own gear, take your reels to a qualified repair person.

Sand, gravel and dirt are your enemies. The performance of your equipment will certainly be better with your clean reels. A small grain of sand can disable an audible click alarm. When you take your reels apart, clean the outside surface with soap and water. Internal parts can be cleaned or rinsed in mild solvent or WD-40. Dry the internal parts with a lint-free cloth/rag and grease with the manufacturer’s recommended grease/oil. It is usually light grease or oil that does not interfere with the operation of the equipment and does not clump in the winter. Light liquid oil is used on reel handles and other spinning/moving parts. Some reels use light oil all over.

If you notice any damaged or worn parts, replace them. Common problems on baitcasting reels include bent handles, worn drag parts, and dirt in the ratchet on flat wind. On spinning reels, the biggest problem is with worn bail rolls where the line comes loose from the spool. If you won’t be using your reels for a while, back the drag off to minimize stress on the drag parts. If you happen to need parts, be prepared to order those parts and it may take several days to receive them.

Keep your coils away from moisture as best you can, as moisture is probably the number one cause of damage (corrosion). Salt water requires special care and special corrosion resistant equipment. Serious saltwater anglers have to do a lot more maintenance on their gear if they expect it to last. Remember that our Brazos river also has a high salt content and will rust anything that comes in contact with it, including reels.

If you don’t have time to work on your equipment, grease and clean where you can and periodically take your equipment to a qualified service. I like to lube my reels every time I replace line. It’s probably more than necessary, but it forces me to do it and I usually don’t forget.



Pray for rain. Water levels are about two feet low and falling. Water temperatures are in the high 80s to high 90s. The water is warm. Granbury Lake Sand Bar and Small Stripes continue to be good to excellent most of the time. Schools of fish usually surface very early and late near Indian Harbor and near DeCordova. Crappie are good to excellent on small minnows and jigs caught near submerged timber and deck pilings. Catfish are good on cut baits caught near creek entrances and behind swamps.


On other reservoirs, Lake Whitney reports striped bass limits at 10+ pounds at the lower end of the lake on live bait. Possum Kingdom Lake continues to boast big striped bass on live bait and trolling jigs.

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