I might be sponsored but that doesn’t mean I don’t like to look after my kit. Washing stuff down after a trip is all part of the process of kayak fishing as far as I’m concerned.
After unloading the car I hose down the kayak with fresh cold water, any stubborn marks may be scrubbed or a bit of car wash applied and scrubbed, rudder controls flushed and transducer cover flushed out with a quick squirt from the hose.
Rods, reels, seat, paddle, mirage are all soaked, rods and reels dried with an old flannel and a rag with some WD40 sprayed on it is wiped around the reels, I never spray the reels as the spray can seep inside the reels and dissolve the grease covering the moving parts.
The net is always washed and air dried, there are some nasty critters in some of our freeshwaters which you really don’t want to transfer to other waters.
If the Mirage Drive needs it I’ll use some spray grease on the moving parts after washing.
Lures if used in Saltwater are given a wash in the sink and left to air-dry. Hooks and rings are checked at the same time just in case they need replacing, it’s amazing how often a fish will bend a hook out of shape.
Cameras and fish finder are run under the cold tap and dried with an old clean cloth.
Drysuit, paddle pants, cag, and boots can get grubby pretty quickly and if I get slimed then they go straight in the washing machine boots and all, on a cold wash for fourteen minutes, no spin. The paddle clothing gets washed at least once every two or three trips, depending on how grubby it is. If there are any marks that don’t come out in the wash, next time it’s washed I’ll give the area a light rub with some hand soap before putting in the washing machine, this usually shifts it.
Once out of the washing machine I empty as much water as I can out of the suits, checking there is none trapped in the feet, waist bands, collar etc. then I hang it up outside under cover to air dry, usually takes two or three days, then it comes indoors for a day before the next trip to warm it up a bit.
Zips should be checked and lubricated/waxed. Use silicone zip lube on plastic zips and beeswax on brass zips. I rarely do this to be honest but should.
Worth giving the legs of your suit a once over every now and then to check for hook holes, failure at sea could put you in a life threatening position. Repairs are possible should you find a hole, contact the manufacturer for nearest repairer.
Cleaning my paddle gear means that some of my kit is over five years old and still going strong, seals have never needed replacing, although I have had to have tape replaced on one pair of paddle pants but that was years ago and they are a wee bit small now.
So what about the PFD, well I did try washing it in the machine once, it took so long to dry I haven’t tried it again. I do keep an eye on the zips other than that, a splash from the hose a couple of times a year is all it gets, the zips will go eventually but three years of use is what I expect to get out of a PFD. I think the Kaikoura I’m using now is coming up for three years old, but I think it might just make another year.