By Todd Reed
Each and every angler that makes a cast wants to accomplish the same thing, to catch a fish. Some anglers are quite serious about this task, while others fish to catch a fresh meal, or to unwind from the busy day. No matter what reason you go fishing, here are some things that each angler can do to help make fishing easier for them.
#1 – Combine Line
No matter what kind of reel you have, it was designed to have a certain amount of line on it. The spool should be full at all times. An easy way to save time and money is to line your spool with cheap 15# line until it is half full. Then take a marker and color three feet of that line. From here tie on your choice of line and fill ‘er up! When you start to see your marker color, it’s time to get some more line of your preferred line on your reel.
#2 – Crankbait Hairband
Crankbaits are awesome baits, however they are a nightmare to keep in a tackle box. To help with this common problem, get the disposable hair bands that girls use to tie up their hair. Wrap these small bands around the treble hooks a few times, it will keep them together and keep your baits more organized.
#3 – Fix Your Tips
Nothing ruins a fishing trip faster than a broken rod tip, unfortunately no matter how careful you are you will always break a few. Always carry a few extra tips in your tackle box for a quick fix, and don’t forget to put superglue in your tackle box! You will need it for next one too.
#4- Superglue the new Duct Tape
Use a small dab of superglue to keep grubs on jig heads, trailers on spinnerbaits, buzz baits and swim jigs. The quickset time of the superglue will not harm the effectiveness of your bait at all.
#5- Toothpicks for you Hooks, Not Your Teeth
Rusty hooks are useless, and won’t catch as many fish. Grab a bunch of toothpicks and break them in small pieces to place in your tackle box along with your hooks. The wood will help absorb the moisture and keep your hooks fresh.
#6 – Twist But Don’t Shout
Spinning reels can get a lot of twist in the line. To get rid of this, take off your lure and let as much line out as possible while you walk or better yet motor the boat across the lake or river. When you get to the end of the line, start reeling it all back in. The twist will now be gone and your line will act like new…for a while.
#7- Rods Stick Together
When traveling from pond to pond, or lake to lake it is a good idea to keep your rods affixed together so they won’t damage each other. A cheap and easy way to do this is with a piece of Velcro. These can be found in the electronics departments of stores (made to hold cable/electrical wires together).
#8- Even More Rod Protection
If you want to spend a little more to protect rods, then a 5-inch PVC pipe can be placed in the back or your truck or vehicle to keep rods safe while traveling and storing for a long period of time.
#9- Bait Pucks Work Great In The Summer Too.
If you are an ice fisherman you probably have one of those large bait pucks. These work great for crawlers or redworms in the heat of summer. Place an ice cube in it before leaving home and your bait will be fresh all day.
#10 – Finally A Use For Safety Pins
Large safety pins are a great way to add organization to your tackle boxes. Use them to combine hooks of the same sizes, beads, spinners or anything else that can be small to get your hands on. Pick up the safety pin, grab one and place the rest back for next time.
#11- Never Leave Home Without One.
If you are like most anglers, catching fish for a meal can be your day’s mission. To get the best out of those fish, especially in the summer, grab a cooler. A small cooler with ice is a fantastic way to keep fish fresh all day long. As long as their meat stays cold, they will clean and eat fantastic!
#12- Take The Guesswork Out Of Bait Selection
A good black Sharpie is needed for this next DIY fishing tip. Crankbaits come in all sizes and shapes and are nearly impossible to identify once out of the package. Take the Sharpie and write down the diving depth on the bill of the bait. I always mark the deepest amount of water the bait can dive, then I know exactly what that crankbait can do for me instead of guessing. You will never have to guess about a crankbait again.
#13- Keep The Sharpie Out
That same Sharpie, or a label maker can organize your fishing tackle boxes. Label the type of bait(s) in the boxes for quick identification. This will save you time once you are on the water to grab that special bait and catch your next fish.
#14- Hide Your Line
This one is something that professional anglers are seen doing quite often. It won’t save you any money, or get your better organized, but it will help you catch more fish. If you are faced with a lake/river that has extremely clear water, it is time to color your line. Use a variety of colors, brown, green, black to camouflage your line in these crystal clear waters. Alternate your coloring from your hook up a few feet to mask the mono or flouro line you are using. Using the smallest pound test line possible and doing some coloring will have those fish biting once again!
#15 – Anglers Holy Grail
Last but not least, and quite possibly one of the best inventions…the 5-gallon bucket. You probably have a few laying around, start using them. Tackle trays slide right in, pliers, bug spray, maps, snacks, a cold drink, bait puck, you have it all right there in your 5-gallon bucket.
I hope you have tried some of these tips in the past and hope you will try a few in the future. They are not for everyone, but I hope one or two will help you save a little money, be more organized and be able to enjoy this great sport of fishing a little more!