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silica gel

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You may well be right as to the correct term.  Silica does indeed adsorb water molecules, however the tiny little packets are not going to do much unless there is a lot of them.  We have some larger canisters at work, maybe a quart or bigger in size that keep moisture of of hydraulic fluid.  

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14 hours ago, fishinwrench said:

If you're thinking that you can toss a wet bass jig in a box with other jigs and the gel pack (or 5) would dry it out...... I'm betting not.

That would be correct. They are made to keep moisture out of the air not dry off after a bath. And again they can only hold so much. Once they are full they are worthless. We sell 5 lb buckets of them for air compressor filters. Once they reach the max moisture level they get changed out. 



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All it takes to make them good again is dry them. We used aboard ship around electronics and reused many times, oven dried. I have a jar full of the blue ones now to dry my hearing aids and when they lose color a minute or two in the microwave restores them.  Not a rust inhibitor at all though.

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