How to Store Fishing Rods: A Detailed Guide

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A fishing rod is a long stick or shaft connected to a line. There is generally no accepted standard for the length of a fishing rod. However, most rods have a length that falls between 2 1/2 and 5 feet. This is not to say that there are no rods that fall entirely outside this range. Rods that fall below the lower value will be too short while the ones that that longer than the latter are deemed too long. To tempt fish, lure or bait is pierced on the hook joined to the line. The line is, for the most part, put away on a reel which diminishes tangles and helps with finding a fish. The whole set up is then used to catch fish.

A lot has been said about how difficult it is to store fishing rods. Some people even believe that it is not possible to store fishing rods for a long time. However, storing fishing rods is not a humongous task. Far from whatever you might have heard, it is quite easy. Nevertheless, a lot of people somehow manage to fumble at this rather simple task.

If you are a fishing enthusiast, irrespective of your level of expertise, you must know how to store fishing rods. There are two options, really: you can either continue to buy new rods now and then or you can take the storing of your fishing rods more seriously. If you can properly store your fishing rods, you will be saving a lot of money that you would have to cough out to buy new ones.

The importance of knowing how to store fishing rods cannot be overemphasized. You won’t be fishing at all times. Depending on your schedule or the place you stay, it may not be feasible for you to enjoy your hobby all year round. For example, you may find it difficult to fish during the winter, when the streams and lakes have all frozen. During this period, your fishing rods will be idle. Fishing rods, just like all other items, are susceptible to deterioration if not properly stored. Hence, they also require adequate storage if you want to use them for a long time. Therefore you should be looking for how to effectively keep your fishing rods safe and secure when you are not using them. And, if what you are searching for right now is how to store fishing rods, then you have just landed at the right place. In this post, I will provide a clear and systematic guide on how to store fishing rods. Rest assured, you will learn a great deal from this post. 

Cleaning the rod

Of course, it is necessary to clean your fishing rod before you store it. There are a number of items that you will need if you are going to do this effectively. They include:

  • A sharp tool that you will use to cut braided fishing line. This could be or a razor or scissors. A braid snip is a better tool designed solely for this purpose.
  • You will also need a small amount of detergent. This detergent should be scent-free so that it does not attract ants and other insects to your rod when you store it.
  • A water bucket will be required.
  • A fishing gear lubricant
  • A brush is also needed to wash the rod
  • A toothbrush. It could be an old one that you are no longer using.
  • A sponge
  • Paraffin wax

Preparing the Reel

First of all, cut off the used fishing line. Long usage will have taken its toll on the usefulness and it may no longer be appropriate to use it again. Even if you still feel tempted to use the line, consider that it will have incorporated salt and germs in its weave. This could invite pests and mold, things you certainly would not relish. Pests and mold can damage your rod. Therefore, it is necessary to cut that part of the line that has been exposed.

Following this, the next thing to do is detach the reel from the rod. You should then take out the remaining line from the reel. This is necessary if you have been fishing in a seawater environment. It is, however not required if all your fishing activities have been done in freshwater.

The bucket will be needed at this point. Fill it with hot water and add a little detergent to it. Using the soft-bristle brush, wash the reel firmly. Be careful not to scrub too hard. Use the old toothbrush to reach tight spaces that the soft-bristle brush is unable to get to. Dip the sponge in the soapy water and run the line through it. Rinse the line and the reel immediately in lukewarm water. You should then allow them to dry out.

After drying, use the fishing gear lubricant to lubricate the connecting parts. Ensure to lubricate generously. Following this, crank the reel to make sure that it is working fine before winding the line back inside.

Preparing the Rod

You don’t have to wait for the reel to dry out completely before cleaning the rod. While waiting for the reel to dry out, you can make use of the time to clean the rod. The water in the bucket will have become dirty by now. It may, therefore, be necessary to throw it out and rinse the bucket. Then refill the bucket. This time, hot water may not be necessary; lukewarm water will suffice.

Using the soft-bristle brush, and then the toothbrush, scrub the fishing rod thoroughly before rinsing in warm water.

Leave the rod to dry. Once it is dry, apply paraffin wax to the ferrules (rod joints) as well as every other moving parts of the rod. The use of paraffin as the lubricant for these parts is recommended because it will not only lubricate these areas but also protect them from environmental elements such as rain, hail, and sun.

Verify that the line, the reel, and the rod are completely dry. Once you are sure that they have fully dried, assemble them. You must also ensure that the drag on the fishing line is not too tight. If it is too tight, it can cause the rod to warp.

Maintaining the Lines, Hooks, and Lures

The small things also matter because they play significant roles in ensuring that you have a smooth fishing experience. These include the hooks, lures, fishing knives, wires, and the aforementioned lines.

You must see to it that they are in good condition and that they are properly maintained. Check the lines and wires to see that they are in good shape. If they are not, replace them quickly. The lines, in particular, should be stored in lose coils so that they don’t get tangled.

With the hooks, check for bluntness and rustiness. The hooks could have begun to rust, which is expected of a metal that has witnessed exposure to water and then air. You could scrape or polish the surface of the hooks to remove the rusty outer part. Also, they may have become blunt due to long usage. It is not difficult to have them sharpened. If you have stone products around, you could easily get the hooks back in good shape.

The same is also true for fishing knives. It is possible for the fishing knives to become blunt and, just like for hooks, you can easily have them sharpened.

If the hooks and lures have become so rusted or twisted that they cannot be repaired again, ensure to properly replace them so that they will be ready when you need to use them.

Once you have taken care of all these, you can simply store them in a box where you can easily reach for them when the need arises.

Storing the Rod

There are different types of storage methods that are available. It is possible to store your fishing rod in either a vertical or horizontal position. Usually, it will depend on where you are storing the rod as well as the space available for storage. 

If you intend to store the rods in your garage, it is good if you use a wall-mounted rod rack. A rod rack is a special type of rack that is specifically built to keep your fishing rods in an upright position. This allows your rod to remain in good shape. With a rod rack, you will not have to incline your fishing rod against the wall or keep it on the floor. A wall-mounted rack will hold the rods horizontally. This will not only ensure that the rod is kept off the ground, thereby preventing accidental tampering, it will also help you to save space on the floor. It is, however, important to detach the reel from the rod.

Conversely, you could choose to store your fishing rods vertically if you have a large storage space. Although this method is not generally accepted, it is not entirely out of place to keep your fishing rods on the ground. There are floor-based rod racks that are designed to keep your rods in a vertical position. Because they are often designed to stay on the floor, they tend to occupy space. Hence, this method is only appropriate for people who have additional storage space to spare.

However, this is not the only way to store fishing rods vertically. It is possible to hang them by their tips to the rafter, using a coated cup hook. The tip top is safe because fishing rods are quite lightweight. Because of this lightweight nature of rods, the force exerted by the overall weight of a hanging rod is not sufficient enough to cause damage to either the tip top or the shock ring. 

Generally, you are advised to detach the reels from the rods during storage. You can always attach them back to the rods whenever you want to resume fishing. If you keep the reel attached to the rod during storage, the lines, if reeled too tightly, can exert a significant amount of pressure on the rods. This will result in warping or bending of the rods. In any case, if you keep the reels attached to the rods during storage; you do well to reel the lines loosely.

In the same vein, off-the-ground storage is better for your rods, and preferably in a horizontal position. Never attempt to store your fishing rods in an inclined position. They are fragile and will warp if you keep them this way.

The rod rack should be situated in your storage unit. It is also advised that you get a storage unit that has climate control features. This is particularly useful if you live in an area where you experience extreme weather conditions such as dry, hot or humid and especially cold weather. A good climate control system will adequately protect your fishing rod from damage that could result from warping or bending. It will also keep insects, mold, and mildew out.


So, if you have gone through this article, you will see that storing fishing rods is a quite straightforward task. Following the clear and simple instructions elucidated above will help you complete this task in no time. It will also ensure that your rod is adequately taken care of ahead of the next fishing season. This will save you a lot of money – and time to look for a new one.

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