Preseason Preparation Tips: Fly Line Maintenance

Article Written by Matthew Borovy. Learn More About the author below / Article Read Time: 3 Minutes

With fly lines being a crucial piece of gear in a fly fishing outfit, taking the time during the offseason to clean your fly line and determine the current condition is smart. Recognizing small details will give you an idea of how much longer you can realistically expect your fly line to last. These small details are harder to recognize when on the water, so we recommend taking a look during the offseason when there is still time to make a change. Now, i'm not saying that you should be examining every inch of your fly line under a magnifying glass but it's important to learn how to preserve & maintain your lines to ensure you are always getting the highest performance out of your gear.

Everyone fishes in different conditions and environments, so use your best judgement to determine how often you should be cleaning or replacing your fly line. Like many people, I mostly fly fish in freshwater systems with very clean, clear water. Although freshwater fly lines generally require less maintenance than saltwater fly lines, it is not to say that they never require maintenance. After a whole season, it may appear that my fly lines are fully clear of dirt and grime to the naked eye but this is far from the case. Upon cleaning freshwater fly lines, it quickly becomes apparent that no matter how the water quality appears, there are always going to be micro-particles of dirt and grime that will attach themselves to the coating of your fly line. Fly Lines have a lifespan but storing them with dirt and grime will accelerate the time it takes for the line to break down. Cortland Line has 2 offerings to help your fly line stay in the best possible shape. Pre-Lubricated pads, which comes with our cleaning fluid pre-soaked into 5 pads and our Fly Line Cleaner Lubricant & Pads, which includes a bottle of cleaner/lubricant as well as 10 dry pads. 

Cleaning your fly line is simple. Pull line off your reel into a clean bucket or tub of freshwater. Put roughly 1oz or more of Cortland’s Line Cleaner solution onto a dry pad or towel. Wrap the towel with the applied line cleaner firmly around the line and slowly pull line through the towel. You should be able to see dirt or discolored streaks start to appear on the pad or towel as you advance down the line. Make sure that you do your best to wrap the towel around the whole fly line to ensure a complete clean. Doing this throughout the season or before you store your line for extended periods of time can really ensure that the shootability, handability and longevity are preserved for many outings to come. 

About the author

Matt Borovy is a Cortland Line Sales Rep. and a member of the marketing team. A Connecticut native, he began freshwater fly fishing at the age of 15 years old and eventually made the transition into saltwater fly fishing for Striped Bass and False Albacore across the Northeast. He now resides in Syracuse, NY and spends most of his time targeting the many freshwater lakes and rivers in the area while still making regular trips to the salt. 

Products Mentioned in this Article: 
Fly Line Cleaner- Lubricant & Pads
Fly Line Cleaner- Lubricated Pads

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