How to care for your new fly fishing Rod and Reel

February 05, 2017

How to care for your new fly fishing Rod and Reel

Hopefully at the end of any fly fishing day you are a blissful combination of thrilled and happy.  But if you are like me there is a fair amount of "exhausted" in there too.  Sometimes I don't even want to pull the gear out of the truck before grabbing a shower and putting my feet up.  However, it is critical to take good care of our gear. Your fly fishing gear will last much longer and perform better with just a few minutes of simple attention off of the water.  

Here are our recommendations for the care and keeping of your new fly fishing rod and reel combination:

Fly Rod Maintenance:

  • Never try to bend a section of the rod by itself.  The rod sections were meant to work together as one unit and bending a single section can cause it to snap and break.
  • Always Transport and Store your new rod in its rod case.  Most rods are broken during travel.  Nothing ends a fly fishing trip faster then setting a heavy cooler on top of a fly rod.
  • Store away from extreme heat or cold.  Long exposure to extreme temps can weaken the rod material over time.  Especially the cork handle and line guides.
  • After every use wipe with a dry, soft cloth (like a shammy) to remove water and debris
  • Occasionally clean with warm water and soap (every 3-6 months depending on frequency of use).
  • Do not add oils or sealants to the cork handle.  Cork stands up well to use and the passage of time.  Besides, a well used cork handle is a mark of a serious angler.

Fly Reel Maintenance:

  • Test the drag and action of the reel before every outing.
  • After a day of fishing separate the arbor from the frame and allow to air dry before storing.
  • Periodically remove the arbor and inspect the cylinder.  Clean any dirt or debris that has built up.  
  • Never add lubricants or grease to the reel.  It should not need it and these products can ultimately affect the drag function.

Fly Line Maintenance:

  • Inspect your fly line for nicks and cuts before and after every use.
  • Clean the line with a mild detergent and water to remove dirt and debris after every 4-5 outings.  This will help keep the line casting smoothly through the rod guides and also keep floating fly line floating instead of sinking.

Fly Rod Tube Maintenance:

  • Rod tubes are meant to be abused.  It's the whole purpose of having one.  They will inevitably become dirty and battered.  So we don't usually recommend cleaning them.  But if you really want a clean rod tube then try using soft brush with a gently detergent (like Dawn) and warm water.
  • Zippers sometimes break.  If this happens you can often have them repaired by a seamstress or sewing professional.  Honestly, rod tubes are pretty inexpensive and we would simply recommend replacing the tube if the zipper dies on you.  K&E Outfitters offers replacement rod tubes right here on our website.
** Special Note:  If you have used your fly rod and reel on saltwater, it is extremely important to rinse off all of the gear with fresh water as soon as possible.
    If you take these few simple steps to protect and care for your fly fishing equipment than you can expect a long and hopefully fishy relationship with your fly fishing rod and reel combo.



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