J. Castwell
February 23rd, 1998

A Few Lines On Cleaning

As I am writing this spring is about on me; but not quite here yet. This is the time of year when I go through my 'stuff.' Rods, reels, and lines. The rods are easy. Wash them down, clean the cork, re-lube the ferrules, and check for wear. Reels are about the same. Rinse them off, re-lube, and check for wear. But, the LINES are the most work. I started fly fishing back in the days of silk lines and they simply had to be constantly maintained. So, cleaning lines is rather a normal thing for me to do.

With today's tremendous line coatings it may not be in everyone's schedule to make sure it gets done. If you will take the time to maintain them they will last longer, float higher, and cast farther and easier.

There are many chapters in books, numerous articles in magazines, and several 'secret' concoctions for fly line care. The most important element and about the only thing they all have in common is this. Do something to clean and lubricate the line. If you are going to wash the line, use soap not detergent. After that, they all seem to disagree. At least on what you should use to preserve the quality of the finish.

Some line 'cleaner-finisher' products suggest you apply them three times. Others, just once. They all imply they are the best ones on the market. I suppose they all work ... I have not tried all of them. I can say I have found out I should follow the directions though. If they say let dry and buff well, do it.

You should be willing to try more than one. Give's you something to fool around with, and can be an interesting experience. I have a line that I use for demonstrations that is four years old. Not as good as new, but I will use it again this year. Last week it got a good soak and wash. Then well dried, cleaned with one of those Scientific Anglers abrasive pads and carefully dressed with a line product.

Here you probably hope I will tell you what I use for a dressing. Ok, but, remember, this is just my personal choice. There may be far better ones out. But, for me I use 'Tite-Line' Fishing Line Maintenance & Accelerator. Just keep in mind it is a matter of personal choice what I like, you may not.

To wrap this up I will strongly caution you on the use of 'this-stuff-my-brother-in-law-heard-about-at-the factory.' Most lines have an ingredient in them to keep them soft and pliable. These carcare products, etc., leach the element out of the lines and will shorten the life considerably. Stay with an approved line dressing, it could save you many dollars. ~ JC

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