Fly Fishing: Clean Your Flylines (and other gear)

Flyline maintenance is forgotten by many anglers. For others, it is a frequent ritual to strip the line from the reel and clean the line. I won’t say I fall into the frequent category, any more than I remember to change my oil as recommended. But, at $40-60 per line, a little effort will extend the life of the lines.

Draw the line between your finger tips and you can sometimes feel grit and abrasion along it’s length. With all the algae, shoreside dirt, stirred up muck etc. the line picks up a coating. Add to it line floatants, suntan lotions, skin oils, and chew juice and no wonder that floating line sinks.

There are convoluted efforts that take days and guarantee a revamped line. Also, there are post- cleaning additives or line treatments that put the slick back into-onto the line. But, starting from a practical approach, a little dish washing detergent and warm water is a good start every half dozen outtings (unless you routinely stand on you line in the muck).

Fill a basin, tub, sink with warm water and add a few drops of a mild detergent (don’t overdo it). Strip out loose coils of the line, laying one coil of line atop another in the water. Strip all the line off the spool into the basin. Let it the line soak about a half hour or so.

Then the next portion can get complicated (necessary or unnecessary, you decide)…the line has to get from the soaking tub/basin/sink back onto the spool….some advocate a winding device that stores your line similar to what fly shops have around. Some advocate pulling the line from the basin through a damp towel/rag and allowing someone to assist by returning the line back onto the reel. I would not advocate drying the line and allowing it to pile onto the floor prior to moving from the drying phase to the retrieving phase, unless you are putting the line on a clean sheet, rug, something. No gritty floors or carpet…wasted effort then.

Oh, you can do what I have done for decades and strip off  the line onto the living room floor spacing it out in large coils…then I take a damp, absorbent  cloth and retrieve the line up through the cloth periodically adjusting the line to a new, clean portion of the cloth. I remove lots of dirt. I don’t want to take the time for multi-day soaking efforts or the other machinations.  I recently heard of one fly fisher that advised a newbie to clean their line after every outting….to me that is akin to vacuuming or cleaning the toilet everyday…a little obsessive (unless fishing the salt or brown waters). But, do exercise some maintenance regimen on your lines, rod, reel (most important), waders (just cleaned mine), boots, raincoat, gloves (eek! can they stink), packs, vests or stocking cap.

1 Response to “Fly Fishing: Clean Your Flylines (and other gear)”

  1. 1 SwittersB
    March 24, 2010 at 09:40

    Not sure I can adequately explain this…but, it is a technique you must develop in time…how to evenly wind fly line onto your reel while using the other hand to hold the rod, of course, but use your fingers (right ring and pinky) to cradle the line as it comes onto the reel and move it back and forth so it goes on the reel in a back and forth manner. Sometimes you will absentmindedly reel up the line in a hurry like fighting a fish or just reeling in but this will if done all the time create a spool that is not loaded correctly. So as you reel with your left use your right ring finger and pinky to gently cradle the line and move the line back and forth across the face of the reel (by face I mean open portion facing away or frontward) and the line will go on more evenly…ugh! Is that confusing or what?!. This is a good habit to develop and in time you will do it automatically for routine line retrieval. This is similar to what a level wind or baitcasting reel does…but, that is probably an unknown quantity for you….good luck.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Below @ “The Past” you can search back to 2008 month by month

March 2010

Please visit MUNCY DESIGNS (click)

Welcome to SwittersB & Exploring. Please Share, Comment & Like Away!

Please subscribe just below. Use the Search box to search topics.

Enter your email address to subscribe to the SwittersB blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,216 other followers

The Past

231!!! Countries Visiting SwittersB~Thank You!!!

free counters

Blog Stats: There are lies, damn lies and statistics

  • 4,822,242 Visits/Views (WP Original Stat~Pre Flag Counter Stats)

There’s No Accounting For Taste; Search the Blog for Much More. Thanks for Visiting!

%d bloggers like this: