3. Gunwale Rod No-Nos
Running through rough seas with outfits in above-gunwale holders is one of the worst things you can do to your reels, particularly if they're drenched with salt water by each big wave. Granted, quality offshore reels are made to withstand this type of abuse, but why press the issue? It only stands to reason that if a reel is drenched continuously over a considerable period of time (like a four-hour run to a canyon), some salt will find its way into the system.
If above-gunwale rod holders are all you have, that's one thing. But at least move the outfits from the boat's "wet" side to any under-the-gunwale racks, or at the very least, use reel covers to block the spray.
And for trailer boaters: Don't tow with your rods in topside gunwale holders. I've heard far too many stories about fishermen getting their rods ripped off the boat while stopped at a traffic light! Think about it: Such outfits are easy pickings for an on-foot thief or someone in a car heading the opposite direction (I've heard both accounts). And what are you going to do about it? Make a sharp U-turn with your rig and give pursuit?