ReelFlyRod is proud to stock fly lines from the most reputable brands in the world. Airflo, Scientific Anglers, Orvis, and RIO stand by the durability and longevity of their products for as long as the owner properly maintains and takes care of them. That being said, fly lines do have a shelf life and they normally only last between 3-5 years even if they are well maintained and cleaned frequently. Here are some easy maintenance tips to extend the life of your fly line and to keep those lines performing the same as the day they were purchased.
Avoid Unnecessary Sun Exposure
This one is fairly easy. Just store your fly lines out of direct sunlight. UV rays from the sun can really do a number on your gear and lines. Rods, reels, lines, and even backing can be negatively affected by prolonged exposure to sunlight.
Store in Consistent Temperatures
Avoid storing any lines and reels in your car as these extreme temperature fluctuations will dramatically affect the longevity and performance of your fly line. When you are not using your gear just bring it inside your home. Our Pro Staff will strip the lines off of our reels at the end of the season and store them in large loops inside of plastic bags.
Keep them Clean
During regular use, fly lines will pick up small particulates and just get plain dirty in some places. The accumulation of dirt and algae will eventually impact the performance of your fly line and you may not notice it because these things build up slowly over time. A clean fly line will prevent kinks in your line and will help the line to retain less memory, so you will have less coils to deal with when making casts.
Dirt acts as an abrasive both on the coating of the line and your rods guides, the longer dirt remains on your line the more it will effect the longevity of the line.
Dirt on your fly line will eventually affect the way they float or sink as well. A line not floating well is most offen from dirt dragging it down and breaking surface tension. Lines float because they are less dense than water. When dirt starts to accumulate on the line, it will change the density. This is most often first noticed on the tip section which is thinner due to the taper and the section which most prone to collect dirt.
It also effects line speed by increasing friction going through the guides. This is more noticed when double hauling or shooting line.
Cleaning them can be as simple as running them a line through chamois with some fly line dressing or using soap and water to clean the line, then dry with a chamois. It is important to make sure there is no residual soap on the fly line before you begin its storage.
Careful What You Coat Them With
Modern lines do not need to be coated with floatant. The lines are naturally buoyant because the a less dense then water. Floatant tends to capture dirt particles and often have the opposite results.
When it comes to dressing, using the wrong dressing can greatly damage a line. Lots of products have solvents that can degrade the fly line with repeated use.
Our favorite fly line cleaning agents are the Scientific Anglers Fly Line Dressing and the RIO Agent X Fly Line Cleaner. A quick wipe with either of these two fly line cleaners after every few trips will extend the longevity of your line and give it extended performance.
The quickest way to destroy a line is with physical damage. Standing on them, often in a boat, is a real common cause of damage. Studded boots are even worse and can clearly cut through a line. When you are stripping your line on a boat or while wading, be mindful of where the line is laying when you are fishing. In some places a stripping basket can be a big help keeping your line from tangling with your feet but can also keep your line out of the dirt and sand.
Casting a line on a lawn is fine.
It is best to clean it afterwards because they tend to collect dirt from your lawn. Because we spend a lot of time on the casting range, we also spend a lot of time cleaning our fly lines. Properly cleaning your fly line after use means that it does not show any more wear than normal on the water use if kept clean.
Avoid casting your line on cement or pavement, this can quickly degrade the life of your line because those surfaces act like sandpaper.
Drop a Line!
If you're in the market for a new fly line or want to know more about the process of cleaning and protecting your line, feel free to reach out to our knowledgeable Pro Staff here the shop who can help you with any questions you may have. Contact at the shop by emailing [email protected] or calling the shop at 937-434-8472.