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Fly Line Maintenance - Seperating Truth from Fiction

Joined:
2012/7/2 7:48
From Bucks County, PA
Posts: 9
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Okay. I have just spent 90 bucks on a fly line from Orvis for this season. I really want to keep it clean and get as many years out of it as I can.

I am trying to separate the truth from the lies/fictions out there as far as Fly Line Maintenance is concerned. Below is a post from a thread on said topic I found on "The Fly Fishing Forum" (I think that's where it was).

But this guy says you should clean your line multiple times a day! Has he any idea how to do that? Pull out 90 FEET of fly line and clean it in a dirty environment? It's going to get dirty again while your cleaning it, forget about once you put it back in the water!

Please read below and lend me your experience, advice and knowledge gentlemen. And thanks again for the Jamboree it was awesome!

QUOTED TEXT BEGIN:

TLC For Fly LinesBy Dan BlantonFly lines aren't the most expensive part of your marine fly fishing equipment but they aren't cheap, either. Most will cost you better than 50 bucks if they're worth having and with tender loving care, will perform well for many seasons. Abuse them, and you'll be reaching deep into your pocket sooner than you'd like. The following is some good advise on how to provide TLC for your fly lines.WHY KEEP YOUR LINE CLEANKeeping your line clean and free of dirt and other substances such as algae, will help to prolong its life as well as good casting and floating characteristics. Dirt and algae build-up on a fly line can markedly reduce both its shootability and floatability. A coating of dirt prevents lines like those produced by Scientific Anglers, which have both an internal silicone lubricating system, and a hydrophobic (water resistant) chemical in the line's coating for better floatation, from working properly. Dirt and other contaminants don't prevent the silicone lubricant from surfacing as it should, but the effect is like having a good lubricant between two metal surfaces and then ruining it by adding dirt and grit. Dirt and algae also overcoats the line's hydrophobic chemical, which nullifies its water repelling abilities causing the fly line to sit lower in the surface film.CLEANING YOUR FLY LINEUntil recently, I was under the mistaken impression that there were a number of good commercial fly line cleaners being marketed by leading fly line companies and fly fishing specialty houses. Actually, most of the available products are only a line dressing, and are not really a thorough cleaner. They are a lubricant dressing that only top coats the line, temporarily covering up the dirt and making the line shoot better for awhile. Sure, you'll see dirt residue on the application pad or cloth, but you'd get the same results of you used a damp cloth to wipe the line.Over time, superficial line dressings will seal in dirt and algae, and prevent the internal, self lubricating silicone ingredient in SA and similar lines from doing its job. Ditto for the hydrophobic chemical intended to make the line float higher on the surface. It’s similar to Scotch-Guarding your furniture before you had it cleaned - all you did was seal in the dirt...Now don't get me wrong, dressing your fly line several times a day with a good line dresser is a good idea, especially if it's hot and windy. Your line will shoot better and chances of line tangles will be markedly reduced. Line tangles often rob you of rare opportunity. But in addition to dressing, you need to really clean your fly line periodically. In really dirty or algae laden waters, you should clean it a couple of times per day.Liquid line cleaner/dressers, especially those provided by the manufacture are best and won’t harm the line’s finish. Avoid using cleaners that are not designed expressly for fly lines. You can trust Cortland’s line cleaner, for example, not to harm their lines, or anyone else’s for that matter. Scientific Anglers has a different line cleaner/dressing package which approaches line cleaning from a different perspective.Scientific Anglers line cleaner is basically an easily carried (vest or shirt pocket), unobtrusive, 2" by 3" pad about 1/8 inch thick with a micro abrasive pad. You actually sand-paper the line with the mild abrasive pad. The abrasive removes ground in dirt and grime, but won't hurt the line's finish. This can be done while the line is wet or dry. Once the line is clean, you can dress it with the provided lubricant, although with SA lines, it isn’t really necessary because of the internal silicone lubricant that continually weeps to the surface. The hydrophobic chemical is part of the line’s finish and the sanding will not harm it and the line will float like new. What about sinking fly lines? Generally, I never clean a sinking line regardless of it's type. Full sinking lines or shooting heads don't need to be cleaned or dressed and only the floating running line portion of other types, such as sink tips or Teeny lines or some of the new specialized striper lines need to be cleaned and dressed.Coated shooting lines, such as SA's Mastery saltwater shooting line, should be cleaned and dressed frequently to preserve both the line's finish and shootability. Mono shooting line (not braided) should be frequently dressed, but don't use an abrasive cleaner on it. I also wouldn't advise using the abrasive pad on any clear fly line, sinking or floating, since it would make the line become somewhat opaque and more visible.What about salt build-up? Only so much salt can accumulate on the line's coating and each time you use it again, the salt coating will dissolve when it gets wet. A wet salt coating can actually become fairly slick and may aid casting to some degree. TYPES OF LINE DRESSINGThere are several types of line dressing available: Glide from Umpqua; Rush Peak's line dressing (makes it so slick you can hardly hold on to it); Maxima Mono slick and others such as the ones provided by Cortland and SA. A LINE DRESSING YOU SHOULD NEVER USEThere is one type of dressing that many folks use, including myself, which I recently learned, should never be used on a fly line. It's the old mucilin type of dressing, a sort of paste/wax that was originally used to dress braided silk fly lines to make them float. It removes the plasticizers in the line's coating, the chemical which makes plastics soft and flexible. Once removed in sufficient quantity, the line becomes stiff and brittle and line's coating will begin to crack. Line manufacturers are working with the producers of mucilin products to inform folks not to use mucilin on modern fly lines.OTHER DON'TS Sun and heat are two of the worst things you can expose your fly line (or mono) to. You ever notice that blue-gray film on the inside of your cars windshield? Most folks thinks it's just dirt. It's not. It's plasticizer evaporated from you car's vinyl interior. Dashes crack and so do seat covers. Sun and heat do the same damage to your fly lines! One of the worst places to store or transport your lines is in the trunk of your car. Don't purchase a fly line that has been on a shelf in front of a window, it may be already damaged from heat and UV light.Avoid contacting your lines with solvents, gasoline, sunscreens and insect repellents. All will damage your line's coating by removing plasticizers and other needed chemicals. Some of these will dissolve the lines coating.With a little TLC and the frequent use of good line maintenance products, your expensive fly lines should provide you many seasons of hard and productive use, before you have to reach deep into your wallet for the price of replacing it.by Dan Blanton

Posted on: 2013/3/17 10:22


Re: Fly Line Maintenance - Seperating Truth from Fiction

Joined:
2012/7/2 7:48
From Bucks County, PA
Posts: 9
Offline
Sorry for the lack of line breaks and paragraph breaks. That's how my montrous phone pasted it.

Posted on: 2013/3/17 10:23


Re: Fly Line Maintenance - Seperating Truth from Fiction

Joined:
2011/5/24 8:38
Posts: 129
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Rio has/had a video on their site about cleaning Rio lines. Don't know if the other manyfact. had any info on line care.

Posted on: 2013/3/17 10:46


Re: Fly Line Maintenance - Seperating Truth from Fiction

Joined:
2006/9/9 20:09
From Harrisburg
Posts: 2198
Offline
Dear ras,

If you bought a new flyline it probably came with a fly line cleaning pad of some sort.

If it did, use it before you start fishing for the day and you should be fine. If you fish 8 or 10 hours you might need to re-clean your line during the day but that is about all you need to know.

If you get really concerned with your line take a morning when it's raining and unspool your fly line and run it through a dishrag soaked with warm water and dish soap. Rinse it in cold water and run it through a dry hand towel. Your wife or girlfriend will probably give you the evil eye but so what?

Once that is done apply any of the commercial fly line cleaners like Wilson Creek, Glide, Zipcast or whatever grabs you and your fly line will work pretty much like new.

The real problem that almost no one seems to recognize though everyone I have ever seen fly fishing seems to experience is getting your fly line and feet tangled while wading and stepping on your fly line pinning it to the stream bottom.

If you mash your flyline like a potato it's going to be a problem to keep it clean and floating nicely. Just take care and follow what I wrote above and you should be fine.

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Posted on: 2013/3/17 12:50
_________________
"Then the coal company came with the world's largest shovel, and they tortured the timber and stripped all the land. Well they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken, then they wrote it all down as the progress of man."


Re: Fly Line Maintenance - Seperating Truth from Fiction

Joined:
2006/9/9 11:22
From New Castle, PA
Posts: 1693
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Quote:

TimMurphy wrote:
Dear ras,

If you bought a new flyline it probably came with a fly line cleaning pad of some sort.



What line company is still including a cleaning pad? I've purchased several each of Rio, Orvis, and SA lines over the last few years and have never gotten anything more than just the line.

Kev

Posted on: 2013/3/17 16:02


Re: Fly Line Maintenance - Seperating Truth from Fiction

Joined:
2010/5/28 0:25
Posts: 677
Offline
PennKev wrote:
[/quote]

What line company is still including a cleaning pad? I've purchased several each of Rio, Orvis, and SA lines over the last few years and have never gotten anything more than just the line.

Kev[/quote]

Cortland does, although I would hesitate to call it a cleaning pad. More like a line dressing pad. If you run a dirty line through it, it will turn black in a hurry, transferring the dirt to the pad.

My fly lines last decades and float well, and some have a ton of hours on them. I use the same simple cleaning technique with good success and I won't change it: Every day I fish a line I strip the used part (plus a few extra feet) off the reel and pull it gently through a soft tissue until the dirt is removed. Then I dress it with Cortland fly line cleaner. Takes all of 2 minutes. Some may argue against pulling a line through dry media to start the cleaning process, but you can't argue with the success I've had. All my lines except one are Cortland 444SL (my favorite) and a few 444's.

Just don't try to clean it with a vacuum cleaner like I did.


Posted on: 2013/3/17 18:02


Re: Fly Line Maintenance - Seperating Truth from Fiction

Joined:
2006/9/9 20:09
From Harrisburg
Posts: 2198
Offline
Dear Kev,

I don't buy superlines, I mostly just buy cheap Cortland knockoffs at Hook and Hackle.

I could refloat the Ttitanic with all the cleaning pads I have but like I said, I don't buy overpriced BS waste of money flylines.

All good floating flylines began and ended with Cortland lines. I realize in today's world Cortland blows but I'm loyal and stupid so I stick with them, or at least the people that provide the knockoffs of their lines.

They work

On a side note the first time I buy a flyline that doesn't include a cleaning pad will be the last time I buy that brand of flyline.

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Posted on: 2013/3/17 19:44
_________________
"Then the coal company came with the world's largest shovel, and they tortured the timber and stripped all the land. Well they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken, then they wrote it all down as the progress of man."


Re: Fly Line Maintenance - Seperating Truth from Fiction

Joined:
2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
Posts: 7968
Offline
My impression is he's talking about salt water fishing, at least it says so in the first sentence, I clean my line a couple of times a year, but I don't pull out 90 feet of line to do it.
I put my line in a sink with warm water and detergent slosh it around, get a soapy sponge and clean the line by pulling it through the sponge. I then rinse the line a couple of times in clean warm water.
I've a friend that has used Armourall for years.

Posted on: 2013/3/18 18:28
_________________
There is always time to do more to protect wild trout.


Re: Fly Line Maintenance - Seperating Truth from Fiction

Joined:
2006/9/9 11:22
From New Castle, PA
Posts: 1693
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Quote:

TimMurphy wrote:

On a side note the first time I buy a flyline that doesn't include a cleaning pad will be the last time I buy that brand of flyline.

Regards,

Tim Murphy


Your loss.


I've had good luck with the SA line cleaning pads. Yeah I had to buy them seperately, but I like the lines and the pads work well.

Kev

Posted on: 2013/3/18 19:30


Re: Fly Line Maintenance - Seperating Truth from Fiction

Joined:
2009/5/29 6:40
From harlansburg
Posts: 4490
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I clean my lines once a year, over the winter, unless I find one not casting very good, sometimes they do pick up some funk.
for saltwater, I simply rinse EVERYTHING off everyday I fish, then clean everything good when I get home from the trip.

Posted on: 2013/3/18 19:35


Re: Fly Line Maintenance - Seperating Truth from Fiction

Joined:
2006/9/21 0:02
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 4351
Offline
I clean mine - with the bottle type of fly line cleaner - about every 7 days worth of fishing or so. I can kinda tell when it's dirty and starts losing it's slickness

Posted on: 2013/3/18 23:37


Re: Fly Line Maintenance - Seperating Truth from Fiction

Joined:
2010/8/3 14:27
Posts: 76
Offline
Quote:

TimMurphy wrote:
Dear Kev,

I don't buy superlines, I mostly just buy cheap Cortland knockoffs at Hook and Hackle.

I could refloat the Ttitanic with all the cleaning pads I have but like I said, I don't buy overpriced BS waste of money flylines.

All good floating flylines began and ended with Cortland lines. I realize in today's world Cortland blows but I'm loyal and stupid so I stick with them, or at least the people that provide the knockoffs of their lines.

They work

On a side note the first time I buy a flyline that doesn't include a cleaning pad will be the last time I buy that brand of flyline.

Regards,

Tim Murphy


I have the same views about alot of the fly lines on the market today. Most people couldnt tell the difference between a $100 line and a $25 line unless they seen the package it came in.

As far as cleaning goes. I run mine through a soft cloth with soapy water when they start getting dirty. Then treat it with whatever line dressing I have handy.

Good luck, Tony

Posted on: 2013/3/19 22:20






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