I’ll be honest, I have a history of being a “low-maintenance” type of guy. I don’t wash the cars all that much. Raking leaves, mowing grass, cleaning gutters. Those chores tend to get ignored. Let’s not talk about trimming the dog’s toenails. So who am I to talk to you about the maintenance of your reels and gel coat? Well… I’m That Guy.
We don’t like losing fish
Reel maintenance is one of the keys to getting fish in the boat. Bearings, gears, bushings, drag systems, and many other parts all need to work properly. A failure or malfunction in one or more of your reel’s systems is likely to result in a rapid change in line tension. We all know what that means. Lots of swearing, lost hardware, and in extreme cases, possible loss of sanity.
Regular maintenance on your reels helps reduce the chance of reel system failure. Nothing can guarantee that reel systems won’t fail, but cleaning, inspection, and lubrication go a long way to preventing failure. Reels need regular maintenance to deliver the performance you need to pull that fish into the boat.
Speed, fuel economy, and smooth bottoms
I’m a sailboat guy. My boat stays in the water year-round. Things grow on my boat and if I don’t remove them, my boat goes slow. When the bottom of my boat is clean and smooth, she’s fast and responsive.
So what? Your boat has a couple hundred horses celebrating the glory of dinosaurs with many glorious Viking funerals in rapid succession encouraging all those ponys to push you along at a high rate of speed! For those that need a That Guy translator, you have big motors. Borrowing from one of my favorite sitcom Tims… “more power!” to your rescue, right?
Here’s the common thing, a smooth bottom is a fast bottom. In the sailing world, we scrape things off that grow to make our boats faster. You fast boat guys and gals need to make sure all the dings, chips and cracks are filled and polished. If you don’t you get cavitation and drag.
On the surface of things (gel guys will laugh at this) cavitation and drag are the same. They aren’t. But we won’t get into it too much other than to oversimplify the definitions and say:
- Cavitation is the vacuum that is created when water separates from the surface and no air is available to fill the void (step-chines ain’t magic).
- Drag is when the flow of water over a surface is not smooth and it has to change directions.
So what? If you have dings and cracks in your gel it’s just like a pile of barnacles on a sailboat. Your dino burners will need to work extra hard and you just won’t go very fast. Slower boat. More fuel burnt. more stress on the motor. All bad things.
That Guy’s take.
You don’t need a $400 reel to get a monster hoo in your boat. That said your $2000 Accurate, Penn or Shimano won’t get anything in your boat if the drag fails, your bearings bind or your 2-speed selector won’t stay in low. You have invested in boats, reels, tackle, and time to chase these fish. Make sure your reels will work when you need them too. Ensure regular inspection and maintenance are completed to keep your reels in top working order.
Gel doesn’t need to be pretty but it needs to be whole. If you have chips or cracks, take the time to get them fixed. Above the water line you have some time. Chips and cracks below the waterline should be considered potential safety issues as well as immediate performance issues. If you are time or budget conscious you can waive exact color matching (pretty boat syndrome).
That Guy is here to help if you need it. Reach out at our Let’s chat! form if you’d like to get a quote started.