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Cleaning up fishing gear and fitting new hooks

by Carl Hyland 28 Jun 2018 02:44 UTC
Brown trout are still being caught around the state. © Carl Hyland

It's that time of the year where the fishing doldrums start, particularly for freshwater anglers. Some call it 'cabin fever', where the rain never seems to want to stop or the wind blows cold. For many, myself included,it's a great time to while away some time normally spent fishing, by cleaning up fishing gear and fitting new hooks to lures and so forth.

I mention it every year, but maintenance of fishing gear is important as there will come a time when that fish of a lifetime could be lost all because of a dicky knot or chapped line of broken rod tips. I have some rods that are quite old and they still serve me well and I'm sure a lot of older anglers can relate in that some older rods are worth looking after. I was always taught to maintain or look after your equipment from an early age and continue to do this to this present time. Wipe your rods down with a good cleaning or waterproofing agent, I use Iinox and even do my reels with this product as well.

Fishing line if catgut as it was known should be replaced or at least rotated on reels but also check braid as it can fluff or nick. Check ferrules on rods and replace any that are damaged as they can destroy line, especially if you are playing a fish. With lures, check hook points and if needed sharpen with a small hook file or replace with new hooks. Just remember that chemically sharpened hooks are etched to get the sharpness and can be quite brittle on the points. Whilst they are very sharp, they can break or snap on the point. Some have asked what to do with waders that leak. This depends on the material, I still only use PVC thigh waders as they tend to limit what depth I can go to, especially in cold, winter water. Chest waders with pinholes can be patched with tyre patches, just get someone to hold a torch inside in the dark to find pinholes. If that doesn't work, fill the waders with water and look for leaks.

Neoprene's are not my speciality, but I'm sure tackle stores or agents who sell neoprene waders would be able to help. One aspect of boating that is often overlooked is the maintenance of life jackets; the older models should be thrown as they will no longer be able to be used soon.

Did you know that an approved life jacket / personal flotation device (PFD) must be provided for each person on board? It is compulsory to wear a life jacket in any recreational motor boat or motor-propelled tender that is less than six (6) metres in length whilst under power. It is also compulsory for children under the age of 12 years to wear a life jacket in a recreational motor boat or motor-propelled tender of any length while under power.

A life jacket does not need to be worn within a deckhouse, cabin or secure enclosed space. A life jacket is also compulsory in a lightweight craft which includes kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddle boards, dinghies (tenders). Your jacket must comply with Australian standards AS4758. Your jacket must comply by the year 202o.

Don't try to dispose of your jackets on the Internet sale sites, as they are no good, especially to others if they don't comply with the new standard. Fish are biting in Browns River, particularly bream and there are lots of small garfish present. As for the escaped Atlantic salmon, they have copped a hiding at McGee's Bridge and seem to have moved on. I did hear of some being taken at Kingston and again at Cremorne recently. I'd be trying places where fresh water runs into the brine.

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