Ready Nutrition Guys and Gals, we’re still knee-deep in the middle of fishing season (or hip-deep if you’re wearing waders), and it’s time to cover a topic that isn’t usually high on the radar. Why? Because fishing gear is something you may pick up a few times in the season if you’re not a regular to it. We wrote one recently on how to smoke fish , and several articles on the importance of fish and seafood to obtain Omega-3 fatty acids . But fishing gear? How is this survival-related? Simple: when the grocery store shuts down indefinitely or the trucks stop delivering supplies to your area after a hurricane, disaster, or a SHTF-event, you’re still going to need food.
70% of the population of the U.S. lives within 50 miles of a coastline
If your point of origin places you in a coastal city, your access to seafood is considerably higher than most. Freshwaters are also abundant with fish such as bass, trout, bluegill , and such. In a disaster or a collapse, you’ll need to feed the family. Fishing gear that is both clean and maintained in working order will not then be leisure toys: your gear will be survival tools.
Fortunately, if you don’t have experience with fixing those rusted reels, untangling that endless mess from last year’s boating trip, or fixing the tips of those rods, there’s help available. There are a couple of DVDs entitled “Fishing Reel Maintenance 1 and 2,” put out by Tommy and Connie Kilpatrick, the owners of a fishing tackle repair shop in Texas. You can order these dvds and other videos they release through www.lakeforktacklerepair.com  to get you started.
Kits for maintaining reels and rods for a low price can be found at Amazon and the internet that you can keep at home for a longer repair job, with a smaller “first aid kit” for the fishing gear to take with you in the woods for repairs on the spot. Nets are another matter, yet equally important, especially in a grid-down, survival situation where you need to fish and hunt to survive. A torn net can be a big problem. A suggestion here is to make sure you have excess material  that is the same composition as your netting.
Another suggestion is a book on knot tying to enable you to throw in extra loops and repair those torn nets. Survival fishing is different than sports fishing. Survival fishing means you need to succeed to obtain meat for your family, not for a big check and a trophy. Multiple cut poles with lines and hooks guarded only by a bobber in a pond are OK, but you need the rods and reels to get farther out where the bigger fish are. In a SHTF scenario, it may not “behoove” you to go out on a boat and expose yourself (silhouette) out in the open.
Let’s not forget about winter. The disaster doesn’t always leave you with idyllic, sunny weather: it may be in the dead of winter in a raging snowstorm. You want to have ice augurs for frozen lakes or creeks, as well as ice tents to block the wind and enable your fishing . A completely different subject of ice fishing, but the rules of good maintenance still apply. Your reels should be well oiled, rust-free, and fully functional. Saltwater poses a little more of a problem, as your gear can be corroded by the salt water.
After any excursion, you need to clean off your reel and gear and oil them, especially the moving parts. Preventative maintenance is the name of the game. You want to pick your gear up when you need it in the same condition as when you set it down. Maintain that fishing gear, and you’ll find a smooth transition from using it during your leisure and vacation time for fun to placing meat on your table in a survival situation. JJ out!