Keeping Care of Your Fly Line and Fly Reel




About: We fish some of the best and most beautiful waters in Ontario, primarily the Algoma region and often around Sault Ste. Marie!!! Looking for sponsors!

So it's mid-winter... and all the fly anglers are getting anxious to wade in the cold fast flowing rivers and streams (we're a crazy type of fishermen and fishergirls) and alot of us buy new backing, and fly line... I don't, but only because I know how to keep my stuff in good shape! so let's get started!!!

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Step 1: Bad Leader!!!

By now your old leader is probably scuffed up, with sun damage if you haven't already thrown it out, do it now!

Step 2: Cut the Fly Line!

You can use a Walton's Thumb, or use scissors or nail clippers although I suggest getting a Walton's Thumb especially if you fly fish (I hope you do if you're reading this). Use your chosen tool and cut about 10-12 inches of fly line off the tip.

Step 3: Filling the Garbage Can!

Sorry if we caused an overflow of your garbage but throw out the scrap piece of fly line... the reason is this 10 first inches takes the most beating and gets scuffed and will probably break!

Step 4: Superglue

If you use floating line put a dab of superglue it keeps water from coming in messing up your dry fly presentation!

Step 5: Wrapping

Wrap your Backing and Fly Line around something with a much larger circumference than your reel, like a coffee can, a jug or even a big tackle box! that way the line has memory of something bigger than the reel so the line will come out of the reel with less tangles in spring time!!!

Step 6: Fly Line Gets Dirty...

Fly line gets unbelievably dirty, but it makes sense... it goes in dirty water lots so it starts to accumulate dirt! To clean it I use a 50/50 mixture of water and CLR to clean! I use CLR because it isn't a super harsh chemical, I've heard you can use rubbing alchohol too, if anyone tries it, comment how well it works! Also you can see all the dirt on the 3rd picture, Yuck!

Step 7: Lubricate

I suggest you use grease to lubricate your reel, you can use liquid lubrication but it won't last... DO NOT USE WD-40 I REPEAT DO NOT USE WD-40, it's a great way to unseize bolts but it's a temporary lubrication, it evaporates after a while! On my reel it's simple (it's my creek reel) it's just one button and there you go! if your reel is water proof skip this step!

Step 8: That's All Folks!

I hope you guys liked this instructable, keep care of you fishing stuff that way it lasts longer!

-Davin & the Hook Up TV team

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    6 Discussions

    Dirt Dobber

    3 years ago

    Thanks for that on care of line. I've been sure of what to use or even if I should do any of it. will vaseline be ok to us as grease? I've always used it, it's clean and sticky.


    1 reply
    Hook Up TV Dirt Dobber

    Reply 3 years ago

    Matt! I'm at camp really busy but I had to answer your question!!! I'll have to edit my instructable, that's a negative on vasilene! I know in Baitcasters it screws everything, on a fly reel I'm not sure, but I have a feeling depending on your drag it might skip drag, or slide too easy! If your reel has sealed bearings just leave it!!! No reason to touch it, if you really feel it needs greasing and you have sealed bearing get proper lubrication. Goodluck! and if you have any more questions shoot me a private message

    Hook Up TV John_Singleton_

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks! Funny enough I used my Galaxy S5!!! Stay tuned we have alot coming!


    3 years ago

    Good instructable, but be careful at cutting to much of your fly line especially if it is a weighted forward or shooting head type line. Removing that much means also less weight to load your rod.

    As for cleaning my fly line I use a vinyl plasticiser. Same stuff as you use on your car's dashboard to clean and protect it. Works very good on floating lines, but not sure about intermediate or sinking lines. Bonds nicely to the line, fills in small scratches and give it a smooth finish that helps casting.

    1 reply
    Hook Up TV GavinSD

    Reply 3 years ago

    I appreciate the information! I use CLR it's still comes out clean and smooth!!!