Once all of my lakes are about melted to where i can not get out anymore it is time to take care of gear. This is a 2 week period to re-set your gear. I use the same ultra-light reel(Mitchell Avocet) with Rapala Finese 4 test(.006)dia.line.I'll wash it down making sure my bail and spool are clean and smooth.Any nicks can snap your line under pressure.I open up the reel and grease it.These guys that submerge there reels under water need help! I like a 5 foot 1 piece graphite rod. The guides I choose are mostly ceramic or stainless.Worn guides will kill you too. I will run a Q-tip through them to clean and if a strand of cotton hangs up in the guide I know I have an issue that needs correction. When ice fishing I leave some backing on my reel so I can respool 60 cranks instead of 2-3 hundred ,saving me line,but keeping fresh line in the water.Once open water is here I'll take it all off as I need alot of line for casting. You have to keep in mind that every time you set on a fish and you reel against the drag you are adding twist to your line. It is an accumulitive action. After awhile you go to cast and you get that birdsnest. Do not try to save it. It is all twisted,instead snap it off and retie. It is faster this way to get back in the fish and the line was garbage anyway.Respool when you get home or have that extra spool that is sold with the reel ,filled and ready to swap.No sense in being shut down. Make sure the scrap line goes home to your garbage.It seems I will cut line out of my prop at least once a year. I'll make sure I have plenty of little floats and jigs. When the fish are spooky 4-8 days after the ice is out you have to keep your distance.That is why I use thin line so I can cast farther.Keep in mind my jig is a 64th oz. and a little 3/4"premium float/bobber.Now add a 15 mile an hour wind in your face. The object is to cast20/30 yards so for the guys with 6 test it is impossible to reach the area I can reach. I'll move ,but chances are that I'll spook them and it was hard enough to find them to begin with.I do bring extras of everything so when my buds are having difficulties I can stay put. I never new how touchy those slabs were before the spawn,but now that I do it makes a difference. Get out your lake maps and do some searching for areas that look to be good .Anyone can go to a well know crappie lake and get crappies,albeit on the smaller range. I'll go to a new area every year to search out the slabs that have not been chased.I'll also be rewarded with a huge KA-Ching payday.12"-16" slabs .I know that if I do not move to other lakes the slabs will be gone as I have witnessed. I sold jigs in this little lake called whispering.After about 6 years this lake is getting fished out.Too bad ,but I learned the lesson. So get your gear tuned and ready. Motors need to be run,boats checked for leaks,you know the rest. Have a great season,I'll see you on the water.
http://www.bucketrack.com/THEJig.html IF IT'S WET...IT'S CATCH'N FISH