Cleaning your fly line is an important aspect of fly fishing maintenance and will help you catch more fish. With fly lines ranging from $90-125 we should want to get the most out of them. Here are some of the benefits of maintaining your fly line:
Increased casting distance: Over time, dirt, grime, and debris can build up on your fly line, causing it to drag and not shoot through the guides as smoothly. This resistance can decrease your casting distance and accuracy. By cleaning your fly line, you can remove these contaminants and increase your casting distance.
Improved floatation: A clean fly line will float better than a dirty one. Dirt and debris can make your fly line sink, which can be problematic when dry fly fishing. By cleaning your fly line, you can restore its buoyancy and make it easier to fish dry flies and get those good drag free drifts .
Extended lifespan: Lets face it, fly lines are expensive. Regularly cleaning your fly line can help extend its lifespan. Contaminants on the line can cause it to degrade faster, resulting in a shorter lifespan. By cleaning the line, you remove these contaminants and reduce the wear and tear on the line, helping it to last longer.
Improved line performance: A clean fly line will perform better than a dirty one. A dirty line can affect the line’s ability to shoot through the guides and can cause it to tangle or knot more easily. By cleaning your fly line, you can improve its performance and make those precise accurate casts when dry fly fishing. By taking the time to maintain your fly line regularly, you can extend its lifespan, improve its performance, and increase your chances of catching fish. On technical waters like the Missouri River clean lines are key to good drifts and efficient mending. For on the river cleanings I use the Rio cleaning towelette if I see a fly line not performing as it should . They are inexpensive and easy to use. After a few days of hard fishing and guiding I do a more in depth cleaning.
Steps to maintain and clean your fly line:
Strip the line off the reel: Remove the fly line from the reel and stretch it out on a clean, flat surface.
Clean the line with warm water: Use a bucket or sink to fill with warm water and add a small amount of mild soap or line cleaner. Dip a soft cloth or sponge in the water and gently rub the line from end to end. Avoid using abrasive materials or scrubbing too hard, as this can damage the line.
Rinse the line thoroughly: Once you have cleaned the line, rinse it thoroughly to remove any remaining soap or cleaner. You can do this by running the line under a faucet or dunking it in a bucket of water.
Dry the line: Once the line is clean and rinsed, you can dry it by hanging it up air dry. Avoid exposing the line to direct sunlight, as this can cause the line to fade or crack.
Apply line dressing: After the line is dry, you can apply a line dressing to help keep it slick. There are many different types of line dressings available, so be sure to choose one that is appropriate for your type of fly line.