Part Five

Bodkin Cleaning
By George E. Emanuel

A bodkin, by it's very nature, is going to get a build up of dried glue on the point. This build up will, if not removed, lead you to apply more glue to your flies than you need, or want to apply. Especially on flies in the smaller sizes.

An empty 35mm film can, some #1 or courser steel wool and a few seconds are all we need to construct a nifty bodkin cleaner.

The steel wool is available in most good hardware stores and 12 pads will make enough cleaners for you and your buddies. If you don't happen to have a camera, or it is other than 35mm, empty film cans are usually available for the asking at photo processors.

Take the empty can, remove the top, and pack it full of steel wool. Pack your container generously with the steel wool as over time it will break down with use. The more you can pack into the can now, the better the cleaner will do over a longer period of time. Shown here is an entire #1 steel wool pad stuffed into the can.

OK, you have your can packed, now, carefully, using a drilling notion push your bodkin point through the plastic top of the film can. The small hole made by the bodkin will effectively prevent broken steel wool fibers from escaping the can, keeping your work space cleaner and neater. Place the cap back on the can packed with steel wool.

Now to clean your bodkin simply shove it through the hole, into the steel wool and with a twisting motion you will be able to remove a pretty good amount of that glue build up. (You may find that an extremely heavy initial build up will require scraping with a knife or razor blade before you can easily clean it with our bodkin can.)

As a bonus, this little device will allow you to pack your bodkin safely for travel simply by packing the can with the bodkin inserted.

If you have any tips or techniques, send them along, most of this material has been stolen from somebody, might as well steal your ideas too! ~ George E. Emanuel (Chat Room Host Muddler)

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