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Bug spray and fishing equipment

8/22/17 @ 3:09 PM
User since 8/12/05

Finally figured out a mystery that had been bothering me for the last five or six years.

I have a Lowrance HDS 5 that I love and use kayak fishing, ice fishing and out on a has been an outstanding product. A few years ago I noticed a bunch of tiny white spots all over it and despite a lot of effort to try and make them go away nothing worked. Eventually I attributed it to ash or something from a nearby campfire when my kayak was beached or something and I didn't realize it was in the smoke path. I kayak camp with it a lot, so its not out of the realm of possibilities.

Fast forward to this past week. I was on vacation in the northwoods with a brand new HDS 7 carbon. Awesome unit by the way. Well I finished up fishing Friday night, nestled my kayak on the shore, move the boat to a different position on the dock and headed in for the night.

Next morning comes along and I grab my trusty Oakley polarized shades I have had going on eight years. I can't see out of them. They are completely blurry and really messed up. I look at the front of them, its as if something has melted everything off the front of them.

Then it hits me. When I got done fishing the night before, my sunglasses were propped up on my hat because it was past sunset. Bugs were getting bad. I gave my head zone a quick blast of repel to keep the mosquitoes away. Completely forgetting my sunglasses were propped on my hat, they also received a healthy blast of bug spray and then sat all night.

Later that day I also discovered some of the white mystery spots that my old HDS 5 had, on my brand new HDS 7. I was completely bummed and it finally hit me what was going on.

Luckily - if you get to the white spots on the depth finder before they get a chance to bake in the sun for weeks on end, you can for all intents and purposes remove them with a little elbow grease. I also didn't get any on the screen and it was only a few dots, so I dodged a bullet on the depthfinder.

Moral of the story - in two seconds of spraying Repel when bothered by bugs at the end of a day of fishing, I destroyed my sunglasses lenses that are no longer made and was very close to doing irreparable damage to the housing and screen of my brand new depth finder.

Use with extreme caution, wipe anything accidentally hit immediately or find another product!

9/19/17 @ 3:06 PM
phishin phool
MEMBER since 4/5/08

I used to use a commercial grade bug spray with deet. Stopped using after one day when a  scary thing happened...It was a dark and stormy night and...oops wait a minute wrong topic.

 I picked up my can of MGD and the paint was actually coming off the can onto my hand!!! I knew then I should quit fishing, quit drinking or stop using the deet product.

9/8/17 @ 12:08 PM
User since 4/12/03

I quit using anything with deet in it. I started using this Sawyer Products Premium Insect Repellent with 20% Picaridin

picariden was used in Europe for many years. Maybe 5-8 years ago it was ok for US market. Seems to work good and does not stink as much as deet. Not supposed to be bad for fishfinders and other gear.

9/7/17 @ 9:59 PM
Tim Zwieg
User since 1/10/12

Details and Sun screen is on plastic

8/31/17 @ 1:17 PM
User since 6/3/10

DEET is pretty hard on all plastics. Try pre-spraying. That military grade stuff is permethrin; the recommended usage is to treat clothing, and other absorbant materials 24hrs prior to use so it dries. You should not apply permethrin directly to your skin, it has been linked to cancer.

8/30/17 @ 9:51 AM
User since 2/27/08

I also found out the hard way that bug spray will do a number on the clear coat on your rods too.

8/29/17 @ 1:27 PM
User since 9/27/01

My buddy had some of the military-grade DEET repellent when we were in college.  We were doing a timber cruise for a class and the skeets were awful so we both applied some to our skin.  When I picked up a standard #2 pencil, the yellow paint instantly melted off of it.  That can't be good for you.

8/28/17 @ 12:37 PM
User since 12/22/04

I have almost never found a reason to use bug spray when fishing.   They are either not a problem, or so bad that escape is only option.   

8/27/17 @ 2:10 AM
User since 6/25/02

Thanks for the heads up. Certain aerosol sunscreens will stain clothes too.

8/26/17 @ 4:48 PM
MEMBER since 2/16/04

Stronger DEET does a number on plastics. I had some surplus repellent from the Viet Nam era and after being saved by the stuff fishing bluegills on the swampy edge of a lake, I was driving home and the plastic steering wheel of my 64 Olds started to melt in my hands. It turned my skin red and put permanent "fingerprints" that ,over time, hardened into the finish.

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