Fly-fishing-tackle is expensive. Look after it!
Looking After Your Fly-Fishing-Tackle
The first piece of advice is so basic it is tempting to omit it altogether. Yet so many anglers ignore the obvious when it comes to caring for their fishing-tackle that it needs to be said.
To put it plainly, heed the makers advice about how you should maintain your fishing gear. When you buy a new rod or reel it will almost certainly come with some kind of manual or instruction sheet. Read this and take note of what it says. After all the manufacturer knows better than anybody how to look after your fishing tackle.
Damaging your rod is surprisingly easy. Stepping on a rod section is one of the commonest ways to do this. Accidents such as this almost always happen when you are either assembling or disassembling the fishing rod.
The safest way to dismantle your rod is to grip the top section at the joint and pull the sections apart. Some fishermen, when they are having trouble pulling the sections apart resort to a twisting motion. Doing this is almost certain to damage the ferrules.
Care must also be taken when walking along the riverbank carrying an assembled rod. Make sure that the rod is pointing behind you and that the tip is low, but not so low that it might snag on the ground.
Another thing to consider when assembling your rod at the riverside is keeping the joints free of mud and dirt. The reel and rod rings should be kept as clean as possible.
Make it a habit to check the rod sections and reel for any dirt or grit before you pack your fly-fishing-tackle away at the end of the day’s fishing. Use a soft damp cloth to remove any such detritus.
Fishing-line can also be damaged. Often when you are fishing it becomes snagged on a rock or other underwater obstruction. Don’t try to pull it free by giving a sharp tug on the rod. Not only will this damage the line but it can also strain the rod.
Once you have arrived home inspect your tackle for any damage. Then check for dirt that may have been overlooked. Clean the cork handles with a tooth brush and soapy water, but do not put the rod back into it’s bag until the cork is completely dry. For the rod joints, consult the manufacturers instructions
as to the measures you should take prior to putting the rod away. If you don’t have the instructions then coat the joints with soap.
After a few days fishing you should always check your line for little cuts and scratches that may weaken it. The simplest way of doing this is to transfer the line you have been using from it’s reel to an empty spool.
You don’t have to inspect all the line on your reel, just that portion that has been used for fishing. Any damage will probably have occurred at or near the end of the line. The damaged nylon should be removed and thrown away. Always use a knife to cut the line, never break it off by snapping it.
At the End of the Fishing Season
It is now time to pack away your fly-fishing-tackle for the winter. Before doing so check that all your fishing tackle is clean and in good working order.
Don’t be tempted to make any adjustments to the workings of your reel. If you feel that it is not operating properly pack it up and send it to the manufacturers where their technicians can examine it.
Eventually your rod will have to be re-varnished. Varnish specially designed for this purpose can be bought from your local tackle shop.Any damaged rod rings will also need replacing. For this job you will need whipping thread, rod varnish and some new rod rings.
Having attended to all of the above you can now pack your fly-fishing-tackle away for the winter safe in the knowledge that when spring arrives your rods, reels etc will be in tip-top condition.
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