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Managing Your Fishing Rod and Reel Combos
Posted by Jason Sealock on Thu, Dec 20, 2012 @ 08:00 AM
Learn how to cure the headache of knowing what rod has what line on it with multiple combos
By Jason Sealock
You climb into your boat and start pulling your rods out of the rod locker for a full day of fishing. Before you know it you've got 10 rods on your deck and several that don't have the baits you want to throw today. You start cutting the baits off and digging new baits out of the box. Wait. What pound line is on this combo. Where's my 20-pound line and rod for flipping? Shoot. Which one did I put that 10-pound monofilament line on just for jerkbait fishing? Before we know it, you've slept a time or two and have forgotten what line is on which combination.
You start making wild guesses about which rod has the right line, or how old that line is or if that's actually fluoro or monofilament. It can be frustrating to break off a fish and then realize you're not throwing the bait on the combo you thought it was.
I've been at the avid (
) bass-fishing lifestyle for about 20 years now. In that time, as you might imagine, I've amassed a lot of tackle, including rods and reels. Keeping up with how much the line deteoriates on 25 combos and what pound test and type of line surpassed the limits of my brain capacity years ago. About two trips to the water and I've developed full-on amnesia in regards to my line and rod and reel combos. That's not a good deal for several reasons.
First, if you do have problems with a certain line type, brand or pound test, you might want to know all the rods that have that line on it and get it off there immediately. Fishing line goes bad. It's a fact. So keeping up with it is really imperative.
Second, because fishing line goes bad, anglers need to know how long line has been on a reel. Chances are if you're not a touring professional angler, you might leave your fishing line on your reel for more than a day, sometimes more than a month. So keeping up with how old the line is becomes more important.
Finally, with varying diameters from differing brands of line, it's hard to just grab fishing line and know if it's 12 pound Trilene XT monofilament or 16 pound Sunline Sniper FC fluorocarbon. So keeping up with the line on each reel helps alleviate mishaps and gives you confidence your bait is being tied to the right line for the job.
There are lots of ways to keep up with fishing line once it's spooled on a reel. Anglers can choose manufactured tags you can add to Rod Gloves that tell you the technique for that rod, and that can clue anglers as to the pound test and type line probably on the reel. There are tags you can stick on the rods or the reels to tell you pound test and technique at a glance in a full rod locker. There are new rod bands from Sunline that can tell you what pound test is on that rod.
These are all helpful, but you still will have to keep up with when you put line on your reel.
The best solution I've found is to just make a spreadsheet. I've been using one and throwing a copy in my boat's rod locker in case I get confused about what is on which rod.
Basically, log everything from which reel to put on which rod, the gear ratio of the reels, the length and action of the rods, the size, type, brand and date spooled for each line and at times even the techniques intend for each rod, although that can change throughout the year as seasons and tendencies change.
It takes a bit to make the first time but once you have it made you can fill it in and keep up with it. I just print off a sheet without the lines filled in and then take it out in the shop and fill in the blanks as I get my combos ready for fishing.
I will sometimes go back in and type all the information in and keep it in my rod locker so at quick glance, I know exactly what rod has what line on it and can go from there as I start changing baits on a trip or span of trips.
Here is a file for you to download to get you started if you have Microsoft Excel:
Thats a great idea! If anyone has apple products/smart phones .... you can also utilize two different apps to do this paperlessly ..... use Dropbox to store your excel document in "dropbox"....when you update the excel work sheet at home it will update in dropbox and can be viewed on your smartphone when you have cell service! Or you can utilize the "notes" App on your iphone to keep track of same info ---- the notes app will "repeat" or update to any other apple devices you have .... the dropbox though works best for the excel worksheet stuff. Merry Christmas!
Posted @ Thursday, December 20, 2012 10:03 AM by Drew Osborn
Have been doing something very similar for sometime. I made a table in Word, divided it into two parts and print on 5x7 photo paper. This way when i make a change don't have to use up expensive ink printing entire table. Keep copy at home and on the boat.
Posted @ Friday, December 21, 2012 5:18 AM by Charles Brown
One trick I use for baitcasters is to purchase at least one extra spool per model and load and mark it with an alternative line type and or lb test. I store these in a plastic container with mt spare spinning reel spools in my boat.I keep a lamanated list of rods and their reels and spare spools. I use a grease pencil to keep track of type of line and lb test as well as spool date. Then anytime I want to change line type or lb test I just swap out a spool and mark up my tracking sheet. I also noticed this has reduced the number of rod and reel combinations I carry in the boat.
Posted @ Friday, December 21, 2012 10:10 AM by Rich G
i use adhesive waterproof tags from local harware store,dirt cheap,for me they work great,,all my rods are technique specific,and are organized in both rod lockers,left locker plan A,right locker plan B
Posted @ Sunday, December 23, 2012 8:38 AM by hd
I solved this problem and its simple.Get small stickes and put pound test,date strung what kind line and place on reel.Very simple and do not have to worry about keeping up with paper work.To me spread sheets just take to much time.This system is fast simple and easy to keep up with.When you change the line put on new sticker and update data.I use differnt color round stickes and each color stands for the type line I have on the reel.
Posted @ Tuesday, December 25, 2012 6:22 AM by Erick Fuller
Great chart, I use white electrical tape wrapped around the end of handle or rod and a fine sharpie to keep type, manufacturer, test and date on each of my rods.
Posted @ Sunday, January 13, 2013 9:07 AM by Joe Strong
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