Maintaining your equipment may not be the most exciting topic, but it can significantly extend the life of what you own. It can also help prevent some failures on the water that can cut a day short or cause you to miss out on some cash at a tournament. That’s why California pro angler Ken Mah carefully maintains everything he owns and keeps them running their best.
That is especially true this time of year when the tournament season has wound down and he is gearing up for a new year.
Take Advantage of Downtime
Right now, Mah is in between boats and is waiting for the new one to arrive, but he made sure his last boat was in perfect shape for the new owner.
“Before delivering each boat, I use a lot of Lucas Oil Marine grease,” he said. “I always go over all of the fittings on the boat and trailer. One of the most overlooked parts is the trailer wheel jack.”
Mah keeps his attention to this part of the boat to ensure ease of raising and lowering his trailer to connect to his truck.
“That is a place that hardly anyone lubes and I see it all the time where guys are struggling to use it while it is making a grinding sound from all of the dirt and debris in there,” he says. “I make a point to walk around the boat and grease everything that needs it at least quarterly and more if I am fishing a lot. I like the mini grease gun from Lucas and how easy it is to use.”
He’ll also regularly grease his hitch ball for more effortless connecting.
“Using some grease saves you issues and makes it easier to connect your boat to the trailer,” he adds.
For his outboard, Mah also uses grease where needed to keep it working correctly.
“There are a lot of fittings on an engine that needs to be greased periodically, and that is another thing people neglect,” he says. “There are ball bearings and places on hydraulic jack plates that need to be greased periodically to function better.”
Another thing Mah will utilize for his outboard is the Lucas 4-Stroke Marine Engine Oil.
Instead of adding oil, Mah uses this oil for regularly scheduled maintenance at the 20 and 100-hour mark for his outboard.
“I just had my dealer do the full 100-hour service with the Lucas 4-Stroke Marine Engine Oil before detailing the boat and delivering my Vexus to the new owner,” he added.
The Do-It-All Product
When it comes to maintenance, there’s one product that Mah uses all of the time. From boat and truck to things around the house, he’s a real believer in the Lucas Penetrating Oil.
“I like how easy it is to use and how effective it is,” he began. “There are a lot of sprays that people use to loosen bolts and screws and prevent rust, but this is the best I’ve found.”
The list of where Mah uses it is endless and he pointed to several places that many anglers overlook.
“I use it on my rod buckles and all of the pinch points on my trolling motor to make it easier to move up and down,” he says. “It does a great job on all of those places also does a good job of fighting off the salt after fishing in brackish water because of the additives that are included.”
Another problem area that Mah focuses on is his Hot Foot.
“Those are notorious for having issues and that is because they are exposed all of the time and in the elements,” he shares. “All of the dust and dirt in your boat goes right there and they stick and won’t work over time. Lubricating and cleaning there will prevent lots of those issues.”
Regularly Scheduled Maintenance
Getting into a routine for doing maintenance is something that many anglers don’t think about. Mah advises getting into some sort of schedule to make sure problems are taken care of long before they arise.
“I have buddies tell me at tournaments about things like trolling motors not being able to be deployed and things like that,” he said. “I ask ‘when is the last time you lube the hinges,’ and they’ll say never. Things like that are easily preventable and can make sure you stay on the water and fishing.”
Mah says he doesn’t have a calendar marked with dates to look over things, but they still get done.
“I am really particular about regular maintenance and make sure it gets done,” he adds. “Most people just wait until there is a problem and that may be too late.”