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Tackle Care And AccessoriesBy Luhr Jensen,
A full moon during the first Saturday in August indicated big tides for weekend fishing. Very fortunately, the sometimes-unfriendly big Pacific rushes in Juan de Fuca Strait were tempered by Mother Nature's kindness -- calm winds. The date had been arranged and a day of serenity was anticipated, to a reasonable degree, in the two days we checked all forecasts before the awaited outing.
A full moon during the first Saturday in August indicated big tides for weekend fishing. Very fortunately, the sometimes-unfriendly big Pacific rushes in Juan de Fuca Strait were tempered by Mother Nature's kindness -- calm winds.
Far too many anglers have the unfortunate experience of beginning preparation for a trip, only to find tackle and lures in such poor condition that much of it is unusable. The purchase of quality fishing tackle and lures is an investment which easily can be protected if you'll take the few necessary minutes to ensure proper care and storage. There are also many angling accessory items that will aid in the care and maintenance of your gear and that will help make each trip more enjoyable. This Tech Report focuses on many of these valuable accessories and how to utilize them, along with other tips and information to help you keep your fishing tackle in A-1 shape and always ready to fish.
In order to maintain a lure's fish-attracting finish and optimum flash, the first critical step is investing in a quality tackle box. There are four basic kinds of tackle boxes, each having its own special advantages and design features.
High quality models such as those made by Fenwick and Plano utilize the very best materials and come in a wide variety of styles and sizes.
A small, trunk-type box is usually the first an angler purchases or receives as a gift. It features a long hinge or several smaller ones on one side of the box. When opened, one, two or three trays can be "accordioned" out over the lid which lays flat on the ground. The bottom of a trunk-type box generally is deep enough to carry reels and other large items.
Trunk boxes often are used as everyday tackle carriers with many anglers preferring to set up several of them, one for each fishing category. They generally are small, fit well into limited space areas, are easy to carry due to their size and lightness and provide quick access to individually-trayed lures
HIP ROOF BOXES:
Hip roof tackle boxes are modified trunk boxes, with both sides having hinges, each containing from one to four compartmented trays that can be "accordioned" out over and away from a large bottom compartment. The avid angler, who has a complete tackle selection, usually owns one or more hip roofs as they provide a large amount of easily organized storage space. Hip roof boxes not only keep lures and tackle well organized, but provide immediate access and visibility to gear once opened.
Most anglers utilize large hip roof boxes for at home storage, as several smaller boxes can easily be packed away in their large, lower compartments. However, hip roofs also are great on long trips or anytime you wish to take along a complete tackle selection in one big box.
These boxes come in a variety of styles and sizes, from one- to two-sided openers. They get their name because they closely resemble a briefcase in style with a carrying handle at the top and positive closing latches. Satchels are available in small, lightweight models which will carry a dozen or so assorted lures, all the way to models that handle dozens of lures in dozens of compartments. Many satchels have adjusted compartments because they come with movable dividers.
See-through tops on satchels allow you to spot the right lure instantly. Lightweight and compactness mean you can take them anywhere. They make excellent boxes for separating lures and gear into categories such as lake fishing, stream fishing, trout fishing, etc.
One of the new style of tackle carriers is the sliding drawer box. It sits vertically and drawers slide out from the front. Because of the way they sit, they can be opened and still not be "tippy".
Drawer boxes are perfect for wet weather fishing as everything except the drawer that's open will stay dry. They also are excellent boxes for use when boat fishing, where space is at a premium and where lures would be difficult to select otherwise.
Individual drawers can be marked with a felt pen for instant identification of lures and other items so you know what's where before opening the drawer. A large bottom drawer will handle oversize items such as reels, lake trolls, extra line, dodgers and lead (some models come with a snap-on bottom allowing additional storage).
Many anglers prefer to organize their tackle into special lots in smaller boxes. Small, specialty boxes can virtually fit anywhere and go everywhere and are the best day-to-day tackle carriers. These smaller boxes can then be stored away in larger boxes, such as a hip roof unit, until needed. Tackle can easily be segregated this way and available at a minute's notice.
This soft, vinyl plastic wallet is perfect for tapered fly leaders and/or leader-and-hook combinations that are a big challenge to keep separated, untangled and dry. Available in two sizes, the smaller Leader Tote is 4 1/4" x 3 1/4", has 12 see-through compartments and will fit easily into your vest or shirt pocket. It's also a convenient place to carry your fishing license.
The larger 7 1/2" x 4 1/2" wallet has six compartments and is just right for carrying lake trolls and small dodgers.
One of the big tricks to keeping lure finishes bright and shiny, without water spots, is to wipe them down with a soft cloth before they are placed back in a tackle box. Also remember to dry the hooks off to keep them from rusting. It only takes a minute to ensure that moisture has been eliminated and your lure finishes will reflect the additional care. Be sure to open your tackle boxes after each use and allow them to air dry for a few hours. This will eliminate any residual moisture which might have gotten in or which might still be clinging to lures, particularly those having soft bodies or feathered hooks. If a box does become wet, either through a spill in the drink or with rain, empty EVERYTHING out and make sure both the box and contents are 100 percent dry before reloading.
Plated finishes on lures such as nickel, genuine silver plate, brass or copper should always be wiped clean and dry after each use with a soft cloth to help prevent corrosion and/or tarnishing. Brass and copper finishes on Luhr Jensen lures are lacquer-coated to prevent tarnishing.
If a lure or lake troll becomes tarnished, it means that bare metal is being exposed to air and that oxidation is taking place. Should this happen, you should polish the lure with a good silver polish to restore its shine. For lacquered lures you should first remove ALL lacquer with polish remover and only then proceed to polish. Once a lure's protective lacquer coat (if it has one) has been removed, occasional polishing will then be necessary to keep it bright and shiny as new.
Care should be taken not to polish a lure too much or too harshly as it may result in the metal becoming grooved and damaged. By keeping lures apart from each other in a tackle box so they don't bang together and become scratched, and by keeping them dry, most tarnish and rust problems can be prevented altogether. To give worn or paint-chipped lures a facelift, retouch the affected areas with clear lacquer to prevent further damage. Another excellent way to dress up chipped or worn lures is to apply reflective tape such as Prism-Lite ® over the face of the blade. This will cover the worn area and restore flash and attraction to the lure.
Special care is required to keep "Glo" finishes from losing their light-absorbing/light-emitting qualities. All Glo finishes contain phosphor paint pigments which can be "burned" and which will turn gray if exposed to strong, direct sunlight for more than a few minutes. Lures painted with Glo finishes should be kept either in the water fishing or stored away in your tackle box to prevent overexposure from occurring.
An excellent way to "charge" your Glo-finished lures is with Luhr Jensen's Power Flash. This compact unit will easily fit in your tackle box, quickly readies lures for action and even doubles as a flash unit for your camera when you want a picture of that big one!
Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight also can fade the finishes on painted lures as well as damage your monofilament line. It's best to protect all your tackle, as best as possible, from intense sunlight. Plastic plugs, for example, can swell and crack when exposed to intense heat.
For large tackle items, such as divers, dodgers and flashers, it's a good idea to protect each one individually in a soft cloth, such as an old sock, where they can't be scratched. Old sweat shirt sleeves, when sewed at the bottom with a drawstring at the top, make exceptional bags for reels and other large tackle items you wish to protect. They not only keep items from the elements, but also act as a buffing cloth.
SPECIAL ACCESSORY ITEMS
Luhr Jensen manufactures several items which not only will help keep your lures and tackle in top condition, but also will add to the enjoyment and success of each trip.
SHARP HOOK FILE:
One of the easiest things you can do to improve your fishing success, is to maintain super-sharp hooks on your lures at all times. A fine-toothed file such as Luhr Jensen's Sharp Hook File is the absolute best hook sharpening tool available. Hold the file parallel to the hook point and with gentle, one-way strokes, remove a small amount of metal on at least two sides of the point to obtain a sticky-sharp point with a knife-like cutting edge. These top-quality, high-carbon steel, ultra-fine tooth files are available in two sizes (4 1/4" x 5/8" and 5 1/2" x 3/4") and four models (tang-end, thumb handle, unbreakable plastic handle and with a lanyard and snap ). Keep the file clean and dry and occasionally spray it with a non-corrosive lubricant such as WD-40 to prevent rust.
REFLECTIVE LURE TAPES:
These tapes are highly-reflective, waterproof and stick tightly to give additional flash and impact to wobblers, spinners, troll blades, flashers and dodgers. They are great for deep, dark or cloudy waters. Simply cut the pattern you need, peel away the protective backing and apply. Available tapes are: Prism-Lite ®; Glo Ice; Fishscale and Cracked Ice Tape.
They will protect every lure hook in your tackle box. These convenient plastic caps keep points sharp and water-free and fit single, double and treble hooks. A pinch removes the cap and you're ready to fish.
No egg angler should be without this handy salmon egg dispenser. The unit fastens securely to your belt, a jar of your favorite natural eggs or Jenseneggs screws in snugly and the spring-loaded top opens at a touch and then pops firmly back in place.
TROLL EASE AND TROLLING RUDDERS:
A rudder is an essential piece of trolling equipment to keep lake troll blades tracking straight without line twist. They are available in several sizes and colors. Combining the rudder idea with the means to get weight on a sport fishing line with minimal effort has resulted in the Troll Ease, a wire frame rudder with the added feature of being able to attach hollow core sinkers. By simply unsnapping a metal pin, you can easily add or subtract the lead you desire. The additional bonus is that it also acts as a line-twist preventing rudder.
A snubber is a length of surgical tubing with a swivel attached at both ends. Inside the tubing is a coiled piece of heavy line. When a fish strikes a trolled lure, the snubber stretches out to absorb the impact and then retracts. They are particularly necessary when fishing for soft-mouthed species such as kokanee.
Luhr Jensen offers anglers non-lead sinkers. The Bouncing Betty ®. It is a round, non-lead sinker primarily designed for river drift fishing. It provides less snagging, longer casts, longer, smoother drifts, less "line belly" with rhythmic, softer feel and action.
Another handy accessory is the Luxon ® Duo-Lock Snap. It allows easy attachment of lures and facilitates quick lure changes without having to re-tie. Duo-Locks are available in six sizes and should be in every tackle box.
Remember, a little extra care of your lures will protect your investment for many seasons to come and add to your fishing success and enjoyment.