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A fine fishing rod requires proper care.  Following these simple guidelines will give you years of enjoyment from your investment, and insure that 
  • General Maintenance
    • Check the guides occasionally for signs of wear.  Worn guides will cause the line to fray, leading to a broken line and a lost fish.  The easiest way to check for grooving or sharp edges is to run nylons through the guides (use an old pair guys).  If the nylons catch on the guide, its a sure sign of wear.
  • Storage
    • Store your rods in a soft bag to keep dust and dirt out of your guides.
    • Keep your poles up and out of the reach of children and pets.  Dogs love to chew on cork, cats play with everything, and children (bless their hearts) destroy anything even remotely expensive.
  • Travel
    • When traveling, place your rods in a soft bag with additional padding around the tip, inside a hard case.  Vibration actually damages more rods than a sudden impact.  A rod bag will help to dampen the vibrations, and the hard case makes both a convenient carrying tool and protection from sudden impacts.
    • Use your hard case and rod bags all the way to the river, lake, or boat.  More than one pole has been broken or had a guide chipped while thrashing through the underbrush on the way to "that secret spot."  It goes without saying not to use your rod in the place of a machete.
  • Fishing
    • When joining a rod at the ferrule, begin with the sections at a 90° angle, and twist while inserting.  This will provide a tight fit and prevent the sections from separating during a cast.
    • Never wind your lure all the way to the tip to prevent damage to the top ring.
    • When a lure snags, line the rod up with the snag and pull directly back on the rod.  This places the stress on the reel, not the rod, and the line will break before your rod.  As much as I like repeat customers, I'm sure you would rather replace a $5 lure then a $150 rod.
    • Put your rod away in a thunderstorm.  Graphite is an excellent conductor of electricity, and the fish will still be there later.
    • When salt-water fishing, occasionally rinse the guides with fresh water to prevent salt from building up and causing wear.
    • After fishing, rinse the rod with warm soapy water, rinse, and allow to air dry.  Wipe down your rod with a dust-free tac cloth before placing in storage.

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