Paul Buchanan fishing in The Almond. In this article he discusses tackle maintenance and preparing for the new season. Pic by Nigel Duncan Media

International fishermen Paul Buchanan continues his fishing series with a look at tackle maintenance.

He said: “I always intend to be more active in the tackle maintenance department but it is the same every year – I always leave my maintenance tasks until the closed season.

“Rods: rod rings are generally the only rod items needing your attention, especially the tip ring. Check the inner surface of each ring, it should be smooth with no grooves.

“Any sharp grooves or edges will make short work on the soft surface of your expensive fly lines so it is better to replace a worn ring than a fly line or two.

“Reels: take off all the spools and wash the main cage of the reel in mild soapy water. Once it is bone dry add a touch of bike oil to any internal checks/mechanisms (avoid the drag) and add a touch of grease to the centre spindle.

“The same goes for the spools. Wash to remove any sand/grit then, when bone dry, the handle and maybe the spool release clip may need a touch of oil.

“Fly lines: You will be amazed by the amount of rubbish that sticks to your fly lines. By cleaning them, you are helping them to cast better, shoot better, float better and last longer.

“Never use an abrasive cloth like a pot scourer, just use a soft kitchen cloth and never use strong detergents like washing up liquid, use hand soap.

“Pull the entire line through a wet soapy cloth a few times until it stops marking the cloth. Then pull it gently through a soft dry cloth and wind back onto the reel. Not too tightly as you don’t want it to set in a coiled fashion.

“Flies: they do get chewed and rust up and they occasionally get straightened. This is a good time to go through your entire collection and remove the ones that are no longer of much use to you and list for replacement as necessary.

“Clothing: Breathable jackets, even breathable waders, really perk up with a quick trip to the washing machine (use the cold/delicate cycle) and finished off in the tumble dryer (on cool).

“The Almond is one of the slippiest rivers I have ever fished bar none. Now that I use tungsten studs on my boots, I don’t notice it quite so much.

“However, they do wear out, especially if you walk a bit to get there. They can be easily unscrewed with the tool they come supplied with then replaced just as easily in the same place.

“I hope there are one or two points in this article that will help you decide on the tackle you need and the tasks you can do in the build-up to the new season. It starts for me on the Almond on March 15.”