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To me, there are few things greater than sitting on a bank somewhere and fishing. Finding an old maple tree to sit under, listening to the sounds of nature, obtaining food for next to nothing. That is, indeed, the life.

You may not like fishing. That's fine. Not everyone likes the same things. But no matter what you like, taking care of your items is very important. It reduces landfill size. Older things have an amortized carbon footprint and taking care of your items saves you money.

How to Maintain a Fishing Rod and Reel

1.Always fish with the rod?s guides aligned.

2.Easy does it. Even though those fishing poles are designed to capture those fishy denizens of the deep, they are quite fragile compared to trees, car doors and rocks. Don't bang your fishing rod around.

3.Clean your rod when you are done fishing. Use a cloth and vinegar to wipe it clean. Make sure to remove all saltwater and other debris. Dry it off thoroughly before putting it away.

4.If you store your pole in a sleeve, make doubly sure that your rod is dry before putting it away. Moistness it the case could cause mildew and other forms of rot.

5.Guide rings with nicks on the interior should be sanded smooth or replaced all together. The nicks are likely to fray your line. Normally, repair is better than replace, but one nicked metal guide ring could cost you a half dozen hooks, jigs and weights. So in this case, replace the guide and recycle it if you cannot get the nick out.

6.Keep your reel out of the water (especially saltwater) and the sand.

7.Loosen drag completely before putting your reel away.

8.If you have been fishing in saltwater, remove the line before you put the fishing reel away.

9.To clean a reel, lightly mist with water and wipe down with a cloth.

10.You should take your reel apart from time to time and grease it. ESPN recommends the biodegradable product Simple Green.

11.Rub the rod's joints with candle wax to avoid excessive friction.

12.If you want to make your cork handle last longer, wear gloves while you fish. The oils in your hands are what wears on the cork.

13.If you're fighting that monster fish, be careful not to jerk your rod at an obtuse angle. Even a 90 angle can snap your rod. Keep your tip up but not overarched.