The Tampa Bay Times
If you can’t get out to fly fish because of cold water, high winds, and other winter conditions what is there to do? This is a good time to make sure your equipment is ready for your next outing. If your rod and reel are compatible and in good condition, the next and most important item is your fly line. When I examine a client’s equipment, I am often amazed at the condition of their fly lines. Strip the line from the reel and examine the part that you use most. It will be easy to tell because the line left on the reel will look almost new. Using some warm non-detergent liquid soap on a micro towel, run the used line through it folded over in one hand while pulling it through with the other. Do this several times. The dirt on the towel should amaze you. Pull it through a towel with plain water a couple of times and then through a dry paper towel. Inspect the line for damage, if there are major nicks and cracks, a new replacement is in order. If the line looks fine, treat it with one of the many liquid line dressings available at your local fly shop, carefully following the manufacturer’s instructions. This will restore some of the chemical components and preservatives that make it shoot through the guides and float well. Never store fly lines where the heat and sun will cause irreparable damage. I clean my fly lines after every outing, especially in saltwater.
Fly fisherman and casting instructor Pat Damico charters Fly Guy in lower Tampa Bay and can be reached at captpatdamico.com and (727) 504-8649.