View Full Version : Cleaning your lines
I noticed that the tips of my lines are starting to sink and figure they need to be cleaned. How often do you clean your lines? All the books I have mention to use soap & warm water. What do you use? What about Armor All? I heard it dries out your lines and causes them to crack in the sun. Last question: line dressing. How often do you use it and when?
soap and water. paste wax to dress. mine get cleaned two or three times a year and float ok most of the time. short drifts in the mtns. mean if the tip sinks the fly doesn't necess. follow ....
The Ole Man
05-16-99, 02:17 PM
I have the tips sink on mine all the time-even on a brand new line after a couple of hours. Why, I don't know. Maybe water wicks into the end of the line where it is cut. I always have a bottle of high float on my vest for the drys. I put some between my fingers and pull the line thru it-first 3 or 4 feet (thats usually whats sinking)-thats usually good for a couple of hours. May be that the cut end of the line needs sealing with some Bondidni.
I used Armor All on my line the first season I fly fished. It cleaned it well, but the line didn't last through the season. Now use the 'spensive stuff.
05-16-99, 11:50 PM
Armor-All is bad for the coating on fly-lines. I believe they changed the formula a few years back. (Either the line or the ArmorAll) Used to be OK, but not now.
Guys and gals-
I've been wrestling with this problem for awhile and can probably summarize the literature on this subject. I destroy 3-4 lines per season and at today's prices it's a luxury I can ill afford http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif
SIGNS of DAMAGE
1. If you see radial cracks, it's getting near the end. According to the line manufacturers when you see the cracks, it's time to consider replacement.
2. Don't use any solvent near flyline. Deet based products (insect repellants) will definitely delaminate a line. Certain tanning products will also have a similar effect. Gasoline also affects the coating of a dfly line.
If your lines are starting to go where you usually grasp the line, assume it's a solvent added problem. Wash your hands thoroughly before flyfishing if you handled any solvent.
3. Do not use detergent or Armor all on fly lines. Both these products will leach out the line's plasticizers. Armor all used to work on some of the older fly lines, it doesn't now and tends to hasten the demise of the treated line. It is also water soluble which may cause the additional problem of possible hazardous environmental concerns.
4. If you are going to wash your line ( and BTW, that's a good idea especially if you fish in weedy, mucky areas) then use WARM SOAPY water. By soap, we mean an unscented IVORY type soap without any additives which can affect the line coating. I use a cloth to apply the soapy water and another one to dry the line. To mainatin castability, it's probably a good idea to wash the line after every outing, though this is not as crucial in cold water as it is when fishing warmwater environments.
PROPIETARY LINE CLEANERS
5. Manufacturers recommend using their propietary formulas. I'm not sure that they prolong line life, but it does seem to improve castability and improve the texture. My experiences suggest that the usage of these formulas tends to promote cracking, however, the jury is out on that one.
COST AND LONGEVITY
6. According to the manufacturers, the more expensive lines last longer. Again, I'm not sure that's the case based on my experiences.
7. Heat will decrease the life expectancy of a fly line- it's also not good for fly rods- so don't store the fly rod and reel in the car bewteen trips. It's also the reason why we don't wash fly lines in HOT water.
8. Abuse will decrease the expectancy of a fly line. Excessive line manipulation, abrasion from dragging on the ground, and compression from stepping on the line will severely decrease the amount of use that can be expected from a fly line.
9. Damaged equipment can destroy a fly line. It's probably a good idea to check your guides on the fly rod for nicks and burrs that can damage a fly line. A good way to check is to run some nylon hosiery through the guide. Any problem will become apparent very quickly as the material will run or snag.
OPINION OF THE AUTHOR
10. My experience suggests that line formulations have changed since I started fly fishing. Fly line coating seem softer and not as durable as I remember them. I also believe that the armor-all experience tends to support this belief. However, I have found little confirmation from manufacturers to support my view that fly line formulations have changed. http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif In defense of line manufacturers, it should also be noted that the new formulations do improve castability and improve distance. I just wish that they lasted a bit longer.
vBulletin® v3.7.2, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.