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Maintaining Fly Fishing Equipment

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A flyfisher midstream seems to be the picture of serenity. Everything appears orderly; from the fly vest with each tool in it's own pocket, the fly line looping smoothly overhead, and the waders constantly washed by the icy, clear stream.

This image is quickly shattered when the angler steps foot on dry land. Here we have fly line with a little river scum picking up sand, waders smelling a bit moldy from too many days in the trunk, maybe the felt on the boots is coming loose at the toe, a muttered curse at the fly reel that quit making that clicking sound that is such music to a flyfishers ears...

Follow these tips to keep your fly fishing gear in top shape.

Fly Line Care

1. Protecting Fly Line
It's a little known fact that many of the plants that grow along stream banks were specificaly designed to catch and tangle fly line. These plants derive nourishment by stripping protective coating present on modern fly lines. Do not feed these plants. Instead of jerking your line free, take the time to remove the line carefully. It's a good idea to drop your line in the water to clean any sediment before reeling it back on to the spool.
Another bad thing to do with a fly line is casting without a leader. Not only will this greatly reduce your chance of catching a fish, it can cause the line to split at the end. Some folks remove the leader while teaching others to cast. If you are in the position of instructor, it is best to use a leader with a short piece of yarn instead of a fly. This will reduce both line splitting and trips to the hospital.
I've read that cracking the line like a whip when casting will damage a fly line. If you are having a problem with this, follow this link.
Suntan lotions, insect repellents, fly floatants, fuels and some line cleaners contain solvents that may damage the coating of your fly line. As a general rule, if you wouldn't put your fingers in your mouth, you shouldn't touch your fly line.
2. Cleaning Fly Line
During the course of a day on the river, your fly line picks up all manner of algae and dirt. The best first-aid for this is to reel your line in directly off of the water.
Once your back to the lodge, you should clean your line with one of the commercially available fly line cleanning pads and follow up with a quality fly line dressing. The benifits here are two-fold. First, a clean, lubricated fly line will slide easily through the guides. Second, the process of stretching and cleaning the line will relax the kinks and "memory" built up over time. It doesn't hurt to take time spooling your line in an even fasion back on to the reel.
3. Storing Fly Line
Line left on a reel for an extended period of time developes a "memory" due to it's tight coiled position. To prevent this, store your line wrapped around a large coffee can. The larger diameter of the coffee can keeps the line in a less tightly coiled position. Be sure to label the line for weight and floatation lest you mix up your lines when spring rolls around.

Top 10 Travel Tips
Get organized, get phyched, then get going!
The Filson Strap Vest
A cool vest for hot summers