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How to Maintain your Fly Rod

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Don't let your fly rod get into this state - maintain it using these handy tips Don't let your fly rod get into this state - maintain it using these handy tips

John Anderson is a self-confessed fishing buff from down-under Australia. He was introduced to fishing rods and other fishing tackle when he was four and shares with us his tips on how to take care of and maintain your fly rod.


Fly fishing – one of the best outdoor sports known to man.  Once you are out on the bank of a shallow stream flowing through the mountains, you have left all the worries back home. It is just you and nature- just a one-on one session- you versus the trout. Those of us who know how to fly fish are really lucky.  It is such a wonderful feeling to hear the birds chirping, the water flowing over the rocks and pebbles, the crickets, the wind – it all adds up to bring forth a wonderful scenic experience.

You catch a few trout and the joy doubles. You have an ear-to-ear smile as your fishing partner takes a snap or two with the fish to take back home.  You come back home and regale everyone with how you successfully caught the trout. Unless you are a seasoned fly angler (or maybe even then - Ed!), your fishing tackle lies there unattended where you left it! You may well be planning going back for another trip sometime soon, but there are chances that your fishing rod or any other tackle might not work well - the reason being you had left it in its less than ideal condition.

Quick Care Routine

Maintaining a fly fishing rod is not as hard as one might imagine. The rod in is in fact usually the most expensive piece of fishing gear and thus you might want to take good care of it. It is advisable to clean your rod after every use. Use warm water and mild detergent. And before putting it in the sock, make sure it is completely dry. Now put this clean, dry rod and store it in a hard tube. Lightly coating the ferrules with paraffin also helps a lot. If you notice any free and broken parts, replace as soon as possible. This is a quick care routine. Now follows the more elaborate maintenance routine.

Maintenance Routine

Start by cleaning the cork grip. Dampen the cork grip of the rod and place little household bleach on an old toothbrush. Now scrub the grip thoroughly and rinse well until there are no residues of the cleaner. Allow it to dry and return it to the case.

Do not miss cleaning the hardware, reel seat and rod blank. Spray furniture polish into each of the rod sections separately and use a soft flannel cloth to wipe it dry. Clean the guides with the corners of the cloth.  Same care goes for the metal or wooden seat spacers. Lubricate the ferrules with the help of a cotton swab dipped in alcohol and on a flannel cloth. 

The experts recommend you wipe down the rod blank and guides with a clean dry cloth. Take an old t-shirt or similar and wipe down the blanks and guides at least once a month. Add a little shine if desired by spraying furniture wax on a cloth and then wipe them. Run a nylon stocking or a cotton ball through each guide. The stocking or the cotton will be snagged- thus letting you know of any burrs or wears.  A 600 or 1000 grit sandpaper used to lightly sand off any burrs to reduce damage to the line.

Follow these simple measures to enhance the productivity and increase the longevity of your fly fishing tackle so that you can continue enjoying your fishing trips over and over again.

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fly rod, maintenance, cleaning

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