Most of the newer model reels will last a lifetime if taken care of properly, but like anything we use on a regular basis, they will occasionally need a little TLC to ensure it casts and retrieves properly every time. Does your reel make a funny sound when casting? Does it seem like you can't cast as far as when the reel was new? Does your line bunch up on one side of the spool? These problems and others can be solved with a little reel maintenance. The two .pdf files below are from Shimano, but most of the maintenance and procedures can be applied to any manufacturer's reel.
We're all familiar with the adage, 'you get what you pay for', but we also know there are products out there that are overpriced for what you're actually getting. Fishing tackle is like any other commodity, there are 'bargains' that aren't even worth the time it takes to carry them out to your car, and there are products that cost so much they should make the fish jump into your boat. Rods and reels are two of the most expensive components of fishing tackle and are therefore the most scrutinized purchases we make. Selecting a good rod can be a bewildering experience for someone who wants the most for their money. We ask questions like "What makes this rod so expensive?" and "Is this $300 rod really twice as good as this $150 rod?" With the unbelievable array of good rods available to serious anglers today it's easy to find a great rod that is perfect for what you want to do with it. However, at the same time, you could end up with something that might not be right and you'd be spending some good money for something that you won't use. I believe the most expensive rod you own is the one you never use. Even if it was cheap it was a waste of your money if it stays at home leaning in a corner. Conversely, you may have a rod that cost a lot of money but if you use it every time you go fishing and you love it then it was money well spent.
Its dark when I show up at the lake and prep the boat for launch. I usually go through a short mental checklist before backing into the water as my thoughts then shift to which spot will be my first stop of the day. It’s usually not until I have parked my truck and am walking down to the ramp that a thought occurs to me “Damn, I forgot to put my pass out!” I run back to the truck, grab a pass out of my glove box and throw it on the dash. After a full day of fishing while on my way home, there lies that unmarked pass on my dash. It is so tempting to simply put it back into the glove box, since it is not marked. Sound familiar? With all the recent news from the Tonto National Forest that they simply do not generate sufficient funds and are looking at different ways to raise their fees, it got me thinking about their fee structure. While at Apache Lake for 5 days, I had my required day pass on my dash, unmarked. The same pass sat there for all 5 days, even though I had another 6 in my glove box, which I subsequently disposed of when I returned home, after all, I did in fact use the facilities. I spoke with several other anglers who did the same thing. So this got me thinking, how much revenue is TNF losing because of uncollected fees, so I sent my thoughts to a TNF manager running the lead on the proposed rate increase discussion. I shared my experience, and he was not surprised when I offered my observations about fees lost at the lakes. His belief is that they could be losing up to 40% of their fees due to non-compliance. Wow!
Of course I was unable to offer TNF much of a solution to the problem, but the dash passes sure seem like an antiquated system. As for enforcement, I occasionally see a TNF employee driving through the camp loop or parking lot, looking for blue passes, but unless he actually walks up to my vehicle there is no way to determine if my pass has been properly marked for the day of use. It is likely that his schedule for the day simply does not afford him the time of walking to each vehicle, as he probably has a thousand other tasks to tend to before his day is done.
So my point is this, these dash passes rely largely upon an honor system, and the monies derived from the passes are used to maintain and improve our facilities so that we can continue to enjoy them. So when we don’t pay the appropriate fee, in reality we are only hurting ourselves. So even if you have forgotten to scratch that pass, throw it away for after all, it is not an unlimited pass.
Fishing Wednesdays, not weekends.