- If you have fly boxes with clear covers that have become cloudy and lightly scratches. Consider cleaning them with “As Seen on TV” auto headlight lens cover cleaner. They may not return to “like new” condition, but it might be good enough to get several more seasons out of the boxes before replacing them.
- If you store your fly rods in horizontal racks, here’s a few things to consider. When putting you fly rod into the rack, turn the rod so the line guides are facing up. This way, you can slide the rod into the rack on the back of the rods spine which prevents damaging the guides. You can rotate the rod to a “guides down” position once you have it in place. Also remember to rotate the rod to a “guides up” position before removing the rod from the rack. Guides can be replaced, but damaging them in the process of storing your fly rod can be a costly mistake.
- Furs, Feathers, Flash and Fibers. This is not about caring for the outfit you wore to the club last night. Its about maintaining your fishing flies. These materials are the same materials that protect your favorite pets such as your pet rabbit, duck or maybe your rainbow dash unicorn. Your pets would not fair well locked up in a hot car all summer. Your fishing flies would dry out and decay under the same conditions. So, please be a responsible fly owner and adopt a dozen flies today!
- Inspect, clean and repair my cork grips at the end of each season.
- It all starts with giving them a quick look over.
- Then, i’ll take a damp sponge (using only clean water) to wipe them down. This removes some of the grime while also exposing cranks, digits, or even small chunks that are missing.
- My next step is to mix up a compound of cork dusk and glue that I’ll use to repair the grip. If you don’t have a wine bottle cork laying around (or another cork), this might be the reason you were looking for to open a new bottle. Lay a price of coarse sandpaper on a flat surface and grind (about 1/3 of) the cork into a fine dusk.
- Now transfer the dusk into a small bowl being careful not to lose any of the dust. A mishap at this point my result in the need to uncork a second bottle…..You get the point.
- Now, depended upon you level of consumption, you maybe ready to proceed or a brief but timely nap might be in order.
- Now, take some 150 to 220 grit sandpaper and lightly same the surface of the grip by hand. This will not only get rid of most of the remaining grime, it will also prepare the grip to receive the compound you are about to apply.
- It’s time to take the cork powder you slaved over and mix it 50/50 with Elmer’s wood glue to make paste similar to the consistency of toothpaste.
- It’s time to wipe the grip down with the damp sponge again. While the grip is still damp, begin covering the complete grip with your mixture while being sure to apply some pressure to push the compound into any cracks, digits, etc…. I do this by hand and simply rinse my hands in the sink when done.
- Before the compound starts to dry, dampen the sponge again and begin wiping of the excess compound. This is that same process used in grouting tile which you might be familiar with. Rinse the sponge occasionally to precent just smearing the compound around.
- Allow the grip to dry for 24 hours. If you like the result, gently sand the grip again and you’re done. If not, start making more cork dust and repeat the process. What’s one more bottle of wine anyway….
- Can a Broken Fly Rod be Repaired? Some fly rod builders also do repairs. The reason its important to consult a rod builder is the process of repairing a rod is the exact reverse to building a rod. It requires undoing the rod in the reverse order of building a rod to get to the damaged area. Once the rod builder gets to this point, the rod is ready to receive the repairs and be reassembled or rebuilt. Before approaching someone to repair your fly rod, take a few minutes to decide what you want to do with this rod in the future. Do you want to:
(1) Display it but never fish with it again?
(2) Use it only as a backup rod? It does not need to look perfect but you do want it to function well.
(3) Have the rod look brand new, function like new or even add some customized modifications?
These are the things the rod builder is going to ask you so he or she can provide you with the best options and an accurate quote. Its best to give it some thought in advance. BTW, the same applies if you just received grandma’s or grandpa’s old fly rod and are trying to decide the future use of it as well.
- Inspecting fly line tippet and leader material.
- Its important to inspect these materials frequently. I typically use 4X magnification fly tying lens or a small magnifying glass of the same or similar power to really see what’s going on.
- Begin with the materials already on your reel. What you are mainly looking for is small cracks or discoloration. If you are fishing in an area with a lot of rocks, logs, etc. you will want to check for cracks frequently in the same day. Cracks are the sure fire areas where your line, leader or tippet is sure to break. Inspect frequently and replace as needed. That record trout will be sure to break the line for you if you don’t.
- Prior to the beginning of every season, I inspect the line materials on my reels, in my vest pockets, on my tippet spool holder and in my supply cabinet to see if its good enough to use or does it need replaced. These products have a shelf life just like a carton of milk does. Graphic, I know. Backing probably has the longest shelf life of all. I mostly inspect my backing for discoloration which indicates deterioration has begun.
- Fly line, leader material and tippet; look for cracks, cloudiness, and / or discoloration. With leader material and tippet especially, you want to look for a 3rd condition referred to as “memory” or “line memory”. This is a condition where the material maintains the shape of the reel spool or the spool the material came on from the manufacture. Strip the tippet, leader and a good section of fly line from the your reel. Let lay out for a few minutes to see if any or all of the materials retail that “memory” or do they straighten out. If they remain coiled, they’ve begun to dry out and may need replaced. Inspect newly purchased lines as well. If they retain “memory”, return and exchange if you can. I personally wouldn’t use them being it will lead to frustration and fly fishing is supposed to be fun. If you can exchange them, you may ask the shop or store if they could recommend a different brand with less “memory”.
- Do You Go through Tons of Tippet. I use a lot of tippet in a single season. I go through 30 yard spools like some kids go through a basket of halloween candy. As a result, I now use 100 yard spools of standard fishing line available in either mono or fluorocarbon. These 100 yard spools are roughly the same diameter as a standard 30 yard spool of tippet but they are twice as wide. They fit nicely on my current tippet holder. If they didn’t, it would be worth it for me to trade out the holder. I save and reuse the line “tenders” that came off the smaller tippet spools from which I used up all of the line. I transfer these (elastic strap) line tenders to the new 100 yard spools and they work nicely. There are companies that now sell the (elastic strap) line tenders which is a nice alternative to reusing old ones. They contain a color coded bead that the line is fed through for easy identification vs trying to read the small print of 3X, 5X, etc on the face of the elastic strap. Examples of companies offering these line tenders include FishUSA, Full Moon Outfitters, and Risen Fly to name a few. So, I carry (4) 100 yard spools of line on every outing. I like Berkley Trilene Fluoro (Fluorocarbon) Professional Grade. This line was recommend to me by a guide who operates here in Colorado. Per my past history as a Bait and Tackle Shop Owner, I like Berkeley lines due to their longer shelf life and the fact that they do stretch which takes some of the shock while fighting large fish. I also like Stren FluoroCast (Fluorocarbon) because it lays out nicely, has a longer shelf life, but, Stren lines tend to be a bit stiffer. I prefer a stiffer line when catching smaller fish. In these cases, the shock of fighting a fish is transferred to the rod vs absorbed in the line.As far as sizes; I like 10lb test (0X in tippet speak) for fly sizes 8 – 2.
I like 6lb test (3X in tippet speak) for fly sizes 16 – 10
I like 4lb test (5X in tippet speak) for fly sizes 20 – 18
I like 2lb test (7X in tippet speak) for fly sizes 22 and smaller
Your preferences may vary. This doesn’t make either of us right or wrong. We’re just different. BTW, if you want to know the size of the fish you are about to catch (in advance), you might consider asking a higher power that may know such things.
- How Many Flies is Too Many on a Single Line? Colorado (to the best of my knowledge) allows up to (3) flies on a single line but how many is too many? You may have too many flies on your line if:
(1) If you’re spending more time untangling knots than you are fishing
(2) When you’re snagging every tree, scrub or bush within a 100 yard radius
(3) When you can’t remember what flies are on your line
(4) When you catch your own leg and it looks like you kicked over an ant hill
(5) When the trout you just caught looks like its at an acupuncture appointment
(6) When you have so many flies stuck in your net that you decide its time for a new net
(7) If the group you are fishing with tells you, you have too many flies on your line
(8) When the 2 dozens flies you just brought are gone in only 6 casts
(9) When you ask your fishing partner for a fly and they say no
(10) When the local fly shop makes you their Honorary Platinum customer of the yearI was fishing Deckers a few years back. A guide with a group was walking by when a snagged a a broken off tippet with (4) flies attached. I yelled “who in the world fishes with (4) flies at a time”? The guide and one of his guests responded in harmony, “I think I know who that was….”