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By Rich Johnson

After a long fishing season last year and a trip through the aisles of the successful Sportfishing & Outdoor Expo at the Coliseum in January, anglers must have a ton of fishing equipment stacked in the corner of their home or apartment. Well, hopefully this month’s article will give you folks a few options on how to store your equipment and have it handy and accessible for the millennium season.

RODS. This one area is the most troublesome some due to their bulk and awkwardness and usually takes up the most space in anyone’s home or apartment, unless you have figured out how to store them out of the way. Many have rods standing in the corner, laying under the bed or in a crawl space or attic. I used to take large cod or shark hooks and file or press down the barbs, stringing them together with the point through the eye. When strung together they form a decent rod holder, but only when hung from the ceiling or beam and only for a horizontal rod presentation.

Well the easiest and best way I’ve found to store and mount my fishing rods is with the Trac-A-Rod fishing rod storage system manufactured by Du-Bro Products. This system offers no more tangled rods, it protects your rod and reel investment and mounts anywhere…home or on the boat! Let’s face it, we’ve invested a pretty penny in our fishing equipment and this system protects the investment and allows you to store your rods with the reels on them.

The Trac-A-Rod system mounts easily with just 3 small screws and is similar to track lighting in which each rod holder is a separate entity along the track you mount on the wall or ceiling. Each circle and hook (rod holder) is adjustable and holds my rods securely mounted on walls or ceilings, either horizontally or vertically and in the boat and even in rough seas as well. It’s very easy to install and holds rods with handles up to 1-3/4 inches.

Depending on the size of the reels or the spacing of the rods, you can order extra circle and hooks to tighten the space between rods and get even more storage out of the track you buy. Best of all it’s made in the U.S.A. and Du-Bro even has a rod storage system for large International and Tournament type reels where they hang securely from the “eyes” of the reel itself. Each of these Trac-A-Rod systems is fully adjustable and you can build you own system with the two or four-foot aluminum trac that comes with the system or order extras on their own. The Trac-A-Rod is available at tackle shops or marine supply stores, or you can call toll free for a catalogue at 1-800-848-9411.

REELS. I’ve found the best way to store reels is with large Tupperware or Rubbermaid containers or get an old dresser with draws. This makes a fine storage system and in the case of clear plastic containers, allows you visible access so you know what you have and where it is. Storing reels on the outside will allow dust to settle into the reel and when combined with the oil or grease inside, can create a very unfriendly environment for your expensive tackle. If you must store them outside of a closed environment, make sure you use reel “bags” available in tackle shops or use Ziplock bags to keep moisture and dust out of your reels.

LURES. I have nearly 400 plugs in my arsenal and finding a place for all of them is quite a problem. For small bucktails and other assorted plugs, I have used the plastic storage boxes available from the Plano or Flambeau tackle storage companies. I’ve gotten rid of my freshwater tackle box and have separated my freshwater lures into categories for topwater, crank baits and soft plastic etc. Each category gets its own storage box and when I go on a trip I take the box I need, or take them all in a soft sided tackle bag. Very easy and light to carry.

As for my saltwater plugs, which vary in sizes from 4 inches to 12 inches, I have devised a successful and ornamental storage system in my living room. However, I’m sure many of you may not be able to get away with this and may be relegated to the basement or garage with this system.

I went to my local hardware store and picked up what looks like erector set type shelving braces for anywhere from .99 to a $1.19 in three and four-foot sections. These combined with a screwdriver, small nuts and bolts and a few screws and your ready for action. I just measured the length of the longest plug and made that the distance between the hanging braces and put them together with the small nuts and bolts to form a frame of shelving braces. Then all you have to do is hang the frame from the beam or ceiling and then hang lures from the braces. Now all your plugs are there right in front of you, easily seen and ready to grab in a moment’s notice to hit the beach or boat. This plug storage system is decorative and functional.

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