How to get ready for fishing season

Are you ready for a new fishing season? Learn how to increase your chances of catching more fish and avoid technical hiccups during your excursions. 

a man throwing his fishing line into the water

1. THE LINES

The line is what links you to the fish. It is very important to check its condition regularly. The beginning of the season is the best time to do this. 

2. NYLONS

After repeated use, nylons can start to show signs of fatigue. Inspect them carefully to detect any problems.

What to do if your line gets twisted...
If your line gets very twisted and creates tight knots when you unroll it, it is probably because it has line memory. This means your line got twisted at some point and took on this twisted shape around the reel. Silk lines are very resistant, but they can also be troublesome because they risk getting tangled as you cast them. We recommend changing the line if it is twisted, to avoid further tangles and to improve your overall fishing season.


What to do if the line has eroded…
Check if the line is pinched or coarse in some sections. A pinched line will lose its resistance and may break due to a strong cast or extreme tension (during a battle with a large fish, for example). You should check that the surface of the line is smooth. If this is not the case, your line may have been scratched against a branch or some rocks and may have lost some of its surface material. This will also cause your line to be less resistant. You should immediately change the section you are using. In our opinion, it is not necessary to check the entire line, but simply the first 30 yards that will be most used. 

Nylon for carp fishing

3. BRAIDED LINES

These lines need special attention because a braided line in poor condition can ruin your fishing expedition.

Check that there are no knots
You have to carefully inspect the entire line to see if there are any knots. If there are knots on the line, they can create tangles which may in turn cause the line to break due to friction on the rod’s rings. If you do find a knot, it’s best to cut the line.

Check the condition of the fibre
The best indicator of the condition of a braided line is the state of its fibre. If the fibre is pilly or the braiding is not consistent, your braided line has worn down and lost its resistance and glide. If this is the case, you should cut the part of the line that is damaged.

Due to the cost, it can seem painful to cut out a large part of your braided line. However, it’s better to simply cut out the damaged portion so as to avoid problems and frustrations later on. 

4. THE HOOKS

Whether you have mounted, non-mounted, triple or single hooks, freshen them up at the start of the season to have the right sharpness.

Rust and oxidation  
If you see traces of oxidation or rust on your hooks, you must act quickly. The longer you wait, the more your hook will deteriorate. 

 - Pro tip:
In order to get rid of deep rusting, submerge your rusted hooks in a glass of cola. After a few hours, remove the hooks and wash them with soapy water to remove the sugar from the cola. Finally, rinse the hooks in water and dry them off.

The point of the hook
A hook with a sharpened point will have better penetration and lead to less unhooking. We recommend you check the sharpness of your hook points, and sharpen them regularly or replace them if their condition is inadequate. When in doubt, change your hook. 

Hooks, lines, scissors and all the necessary to prepare your fishing season

5. THE CLOTHING

Comfort is key to ensure a pleasant fishing expedition, and the waterproofing of your clothing is an essential factor of your comfort.

To make sure your boots/pants are properly waterproof, you can put them into a tub of water and check to see that no air bubbles escape. If there are air bubbles, use a special kit to repair your clothing.

With time, fishing pants and jackets can lose their original water resistance. In order to restore their resistance, wash them in the machine with cold water. Select a heavy rinse and a gentle spin cycle, then let them air dry on a line. On occasion, you can put your fishing clothes in the dryer for a short period, this will also improve the water resistance. Another option is to use a water-repellent spray on your clothes to increase the quality and durability of their water resistance. 

6. THE REEL

Once you have inspected the line, it is important to check that the reel is functioning properly as well. Take the time to test all of the functions of your equipment. If you hear any abnormal sounds, check to see if there is any dirt or salt encrusted underneath the spool. If certain pieces are not working the way they used to, or seem to be causing abnormal friction, clean out the reel by dipping it into clean water. 

man holding his fishing rod

7. THE FISHING ROD

As a final step in the preparation of your gear, take a moment to check the condition of your fishing rods. First of all, inspect each section of the rod to make sure there are no apparent dents. Impact against a sharp object could weaken the rod and cause a break in the tension of your fishing line.


Secondly, check the guides on the rod to make sure they do not have any signs of wear and tear caused by the friction of the line. If there are slight dents, sand them down lightly to make the surface smooth again.

Finally, make sure your attachment system for the reel is solid and functions properly. You certainly don’t want the reel to become detached while you’re mid-battle with a large fish! 

Raphael Cyr with the caught fish

Raphaël Cyr

This article was written in collaboration with the hunting, fishing and horseback riding sales director for Decathlon Canada.