Just like with your other fishing gear, fly lines can become coated with dirt and grime after extended use. This can happen from time on the ground, near other dirty gear, or even just from the minerals and algae in the water. Most fly lines are coated to keep them strong and supple. Everyday chemicals like sunscreen and insect repellent can dry out your lines, especially if left undisturbed.
How to Clean Fly Lines
Make sure to follow any specific instructions from the manufacturer about cleaning your fly lines! In most cases though, figuring out how to clean fly lines just involves a soft cloth and warm water. Using dish soap on your fly lines is not a good idea because it can remove the line’s slick coating.
Sometimes a wet cloth won’t be enough to do the trick. Another tool you might need when caring for your fly lines is a fine abrasive cleaning pad designed specifically for fly lines. Wrapping these pads around your line and passing over it a few times will remove any stubborn debris that has settled in the pores of your fly line. While you are cleaning your fly line, you should also check for nicks and make sure the loops at the ends are still strong!
Once your fly line is clean, make sure it is completely dry before doing anything else with it!
Dealing with Fly Line Twists
Because fly lines are coiled around the packaging spool, they have shape memory that is best addressed by removing the lines in the opposite direction. If fly lines are pulled off their spool from the side, they will twist and will retain their memory even after temporary straightening. Lines also get twisted when an angler encounters a large fish that puts up a fight.
So how do you fix fly line twists? If you’re on the water snip off your fly and strip out your entire line so the current can move it downstream. Pinch back against the cork to hold your line. After about 30 seconds, your line should be good to go!
If you haven’t made it to the water yet, but are still wandering, how you fix fly line twists is a little more complicated. Here are the steps:
Caring for your fly lines to make sure they are clean, in good shape, and free of tangles will help your form and ensure your gear lasts. Check out this post to make sure your rods are taken care of too!
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