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How to Store Fishing Rods — A Detailed Guide

How to Store Fishing Rods — A Detailed Guide
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More often than not, the winter season signifies the end of a fishing season. During this period, your fishing rods, as well as all other fishing equipment, need to be stored properly or they may be damaged before the next fishing season.

The aim of this article is to show you how to store fishing rods properly — where to place them and how to manage the available storage space.

How to Store Fishing Rods — Materials Needed

Before you store your fishing rods, it is important to clean them first.

Here are the materials you will need to clean and store your fishing rods:

  1. A tool to cut the fishing line. We recommend using the titanium micro-tip scissors, or the boomerang braid snips.
  2. Fishing gear lubricant
  3. A mild, scent-free detergent
  4. A bucket
  5. A soft-bristle brush
  6. A toothbrush
  7. A sponge
  8. Paraffin wax
  9. A rod rack for storage
how to store fishing rods
Photo by Shelly Pence on Unsplash

How to Store Fishing Rods in 3 Steps

Step 1 – Prepare the reel

Use the recommended fishing line cutter to cut the used line. After cutting the line, do not keep it for further use. Cutting it means damaging it, and there might be germs and other substances hiding in the weave of the line. These substances can attract pests and molds.

Go ahead and remove the reel from the rod. If you only do freshwater fishing, you can leave the remaining line in the reel. If you do saltwater fishing, remove the line and place it somewhere.

Put a small amount of the detergent in the bucket and pour hot water into it. Clean the reel thoroughly with the soft-bristle brush, and use the toothbrush or a detail brush to clean the smaller parts of the reel where the soft-bristle brush cannot get to.

Dip your sponge in the bucket of water, and run the line through it. Get a bowl of warm water and use it to rinse the line and reel. Leave them to dry thoroughly. Check your rod to see if it is dry. If it is, use the fishing gear lubricant to lubricate the connecting parts. Turn the handle of the rod to lubricate it as well, and wipe off any excess lubricant. 

Finally, spool the line back on the reel.

Buy this Reel Kleen Cleaning Kit for Freshwater Reel on Amazon

Step 2 – Prepare the rod

While the reel is drying, you can start to prepare your rod. Throw out the water in the bucket and fill it with tepid water. Add a little of your detergent. 

Use your soft-bristle brush to scrub the rod thoroughly, and use the toothbrush or a detail brush to scrub the small parts. Rinse with warm water after scrubbing.

Leave the rod to dry. Then, rub the parts of the rod that move together e.g. rod joints with the paraffin. The paraffin wax will help to lubricate them and protect them from natural elements. Leave everything to dry completely, then you can now put the reel and the rod back together.

Loosen the drag on the fishing line because it can make the rod to warp over time.

Check out this Rod and Reel Cleaner on Amazon

Step 3 – Place the fishing rods in your rod rack

Rod racks were designed to hold rods upright and leave them in good shape. Place your fishing rods in your rod rack. Do not leave your rods leaning against each other on the wall, or on the floor. Otherwise, they will get bent or warped. 

If you plan to get a storage unit, we recommend a storage unit with climate control. It is best especially if you live in an environment that gets too cold sometimes, and too hot, other times. A storage unit with climate control can prevent your rods from cracking, warping, or getting damaged by mold.

With proper cleaning and storage of your fishing rods in your rod rack and the right environment, your rods will be good to go when the fishing season comes again.

Buy this Rod Storage Rack on Amazon

Why You Need to Store Fishing Rods

Here are 2 reasons why you need to store fishing rods:

To prevent them from damage.

If your fishing rod is not properly stored at the end of the fishing season, it could cause your line to snap the next time you will be using it. Nicks can also occur on the rod tips, and as your fishing line rubs against the nicks, it can make your line grow weak. That means you will be doing a lot of repair when the next fishing season comes again.

To make them last longer.

With the proper fishing rod storage, there is a lower chance that your rods will experience damage, making them need an early replacement. You can use your fishing rods for a longer time if you take proper care of them.

How to Store Fishing Rods Immediately After a Fishing Trip

If you have been looking for how to store your fishing rod after a fishing trip, the best option is vertical storage. If you plan to keep them in your garage, use a wall-mounted rack. It will hold your rods against the wall, away from the ground and even leave more space on your garage floor.

Vertical storage also makes it easy to access the fishing rods whenever you want.

Another place you can store your fishing rod is in your home. Fishing rods can be safe there as long as the environment is dry. The basement is also fine, but just make sure the temperature there does not get too low or too high. Extreme temperatures can weaken the rod.

Check out this Vertical Fishing Rod Rack on Amazon

14 Tips on How to Maintain Fishing Rods Properly

Knowing how to maintain a fishing rod can extend the life, prevent the fishing line from breaking when fishing, and keep the rod working effectively.

Here are a few ways to maintain fishing rods:

i. Avoid hitting your rod on rocks, the boat, and other surfaces. Rods are somewhat fragile and small nicks and scratches may cause them to break. 

ii. After every fishing trip, clean your rod with a cloth, tepid water, and mild detergent. If it is dirty, remove the dirt with a soft-bristle brush or toothbrush. Leave it to dry before putting it away. 

iii. Fishing rods used in saltwater have a higher chance of corroding. So, if you fish in saltwater, clean your fishing rod extremely well.

iv. Apply paraffin wax on the rod joints, periodically. The rod joints are also called ferrules, the places where the separate parts of the rod join together.

v. If your rod has a cork handle, wear gloves while you fish because the oil on your skin can make the cork to outwear quickly. 

vi. If your cork handle is worn, saturate the rod grip, and use waterproof sandpaper to sand the cork grip. Afterward, put a little detergent on the sandpaper and carefully rub the cork. Use water to wipe off the detergent, and leave the grip to dry. 

Do not rub the sandpaper on the rod. 

vii. Use mesh rod covers when you want to move your fishing rods to the boat ramp, and when you want to store them in your boat’s rod locker. Fishing rod covers help to prevent the fishing lines from getting tousled together.

viii. Keep your rods straight, side-by-side, whenever you are on the boat. You can put them in your rod lockers or holders to prevent the guides, blanks, and reels from getting scratched.

ix. Once you are done fishing and you are sure that you won’t be using your fishing rods and reels again that day, remove any hooks or lures that might get tousled in your lines.

x. If you intend the store your reels for more than two days, loosen the drag to prevent the fishing line from breaking and pulling on your fishing rod.

xi. Store your rod on a rod rack that can be placed vertically or horizontally. Improper storage of the rods can lead to damage. If you do not have a rack, you can store the rod on a hanger.

xii. Keep your rod away from salt, dirt and other things that might endanger it while fishing and during storage.

xiii. Do not store your rod in a rod tube. Rod tubes trap moisture, and moisture can damage the guide rings, reel, and reel seat.

xiv. If you have been fishing in saltwater, remove the fishing line from your rod and reel before storing it.

If you apply these maintenance tips, you will save time and money on making unnecessary repairs. Plus, you get to prolong the life of your fishing rod. 

Check out these other articles and guides on Zimfishing:


No doubt, fishing rods are one of the most important items in a fishing gear, and the benefits of storing them properly are numerous. Whether you decide to store them vertically or horizontally, with their reels intact or not, do not forget to clean and dry them properly before you store them. Proper maintenance will help to keep your fishing rods in good shape until the next fishing season.

When the next fishing season comes, there’s your fishing rod – ready to function effectively. Remember, effective performance leads to more fishes.

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