A few years back, I received a beautiful gear bag from my family. It is a Fish Pond bag, that set  them back a fair amount. This is a reminder to immediately take care of your gear after an outing if: you have been infrequently getting out; subject your gear to the elements; don’t recognize the assault upon your gear and put it away sopping wet!

Last Fall, about eleven months ago, I went on a trip up the Sandy River chasing some late running coho. I was wanting to get some fishing in because I was due for surgery on my neck. That late afternoon, the pain was too much to wave a spey rod, the elements intervened and I stripped off my gear, threw it in back and headed home. The gear was off loaded into the garage and forgotten.

An unfrozen zipper revealing the white corrosion that held the zipper. (SwittersB)

The results have been unfriendly to the gear bag that I value and cherish. Corrosion had seized up every one of the 16 zippers! All exhibited that white, crusty crud that had frozen the zippers. I tried silicone sprays, unstick sprays for stuck nuts/bolts…it worked on 3 of the 16 zippers. Research lead to those obvious home remedies…vinegar & lemon juice. Obvious because they work! Actually, I did much better with the lemon juice than with the vinegar. Vinegar is a pretty good resource also, but today the lemon juice was wonderful. Thank goodness.

The gear bag with some of the many zippers unstuck. The zippers have that rusty sheen, but that is more a reflection of some light source as they are not rusted or corroded on the surface, especially not after all the lemon juice and vinegar I poured down their gullet! (SwittersB)

The obvious remedy is not to put anything away wet that can’t stand the mold, mildew, corrosion and rust villains. But, I imagine there are other home remedies or over the counter resources to conquer the stuck zipper/corrosion problem. Prevention being first and foremost.

This type of gear bag probably should not get so wet, and if it does it should be immediately dried out and attention given to the zippers.