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FLY LINE, WADING BOOTS, WADERS, SUNGLASSES, VEST PACKS & CLOTHING - Care and Maintenance

- FLY LINES:

It is important to keep your fly fishing lines clean and in good condition. Keeping your fly lines clean will make them last longer.
Floating fly lines have a special coating that helps it repel water. When the fly line gets dirty it ability to repel water diminishes and the line will begin to sink. By keeping them clean this will insure that they float as they were designed to do and this will extend the life of the line. Clean lines will cast better. Clean your lines after every 3 to 5 outings, especially when fishing dirty or muddy water.

NOTE: do not use washing-up liquid to wash or soak fly line in, as this changes the surface tension of the fly line and reduces floatability. Better to use natural hand soap or baby shampoo.


How To Tell if a Fly Line Requires Cleaning

It's not too difficult to tell if your line needs cleaning, look for these clues:

• You feel micro-grit on the line as you strip it in
• For floating line, the first 10 feet or few meters of line doesn't float any longer
• The line retains coil memory
• The line has small cracks
• The line feels brittle

If the latter two observations above are noticed, the bad news is that the line is on its last legs of life. The good news is a cleaning and re-invigoration of the line may add another season of use before you have to replace the line.
There are many products available (Like Cortland’s XL fly line dressing) which works very well. Apply with soft cloth, let dry, and buff the line with a lint-free cloth.

Never store your fly lines in hot places. In the summer months it is not a good practice to leave your fly lines or any of your fly fishing gear in the hot boot of a car or the back seat.

Keep things like suntan lotion, insect repellents and any other kinds of lotions from getting on your fly line. These things will greatly reduce the life of your fly fishing lines.

When cleaning your fly lines take the time to inspect them closely for defects like cracks. If the line is damaged now is the time to replace it.
Never put your fly lines (or reels for that matter) away wet. Always ensure they have time to dry properly in a shaded place.

In Summary, never store your fly fishing lines and other fly fishing gear in hot places. Keep chemicals like sunscreens, insect repellents etc. from getting on your line. Keep your floating fly lines clean so that they will continue to float and cast well. Always when cleaning your lines inspect them for cracks or any other damage.

- WADING BOOTS:

After each trip (if possible), hose your boots down immediately while they are still wet. This gets rid of most of the dirt and grime.
If need be, wash the boots in a mild detergent and luke warm water, and scrub them with a nylon brush.
Rinse them thoroughly in clean water, and stand them upside down to dry in a well ventilated, cool place (never in the sun!)
On the water, wear gravel guards. These prevent gravel and ground from entering your boots. This gravel can damage the inside of your boots.
When dry, store your boots in a cool, dry place away from any sun.

- BREATHABLE WADERS:

Waders should be washed by hand, never in a washing machine. a Bath is a good place. Use cold water and a mild detergent. Rinse thoroughly and then air dry the waders in a shaded place (never in the sun!). After one day, turn the waders inside out, to allow the inside of the wader (and especially the toe sections in the neoprene socks) to dry properly.
Storing your waders while wet or damp can result in mildew forming, and the waders tapes peeling. Never try and dry them in the sun or in a tumble dryer. Store them in a cupboard, hanging on a hanger if possible.
You can also use a product like REEF’s “Wetsuit Wash” or “Wetsuit Shampoo”. The added bonus is that these products kill all the bacteria. It can be found at all scuba diving retailers.
To test for leaks…turn them inside out and fill with water. And small leaks will cause the material to darken in the area. You can get wader repair kits from most good fly fishing outlets.

- SUNGLASSES:

Watch where you put them…many are cracked or broken when sat upon in the car.
Use a lanyard to secure them to yourself, around your neck. This prevents them from possibly slipping off and dropping into the water.
Only use non-abrasive cloths to clean the lenses, and periodically wash them with a mild detergent and luke warm water.
You can also use very soft tissue paper to clean them on the river.
Check the glasses’ connections and screws every so often, and tighten if need be.
Don’t stretch the arms apart too far..this will cause the lenses to pop out or the frames to crack over time.
Keep the glasses in it’s protective case when not in use.
If they are expensive, it’s a good idea to have them insured.
Buy the best polarised sunglasses you can afford…you only have one set of eyes!

- VESTS AND BACKPACKS:

Periodically shake them out to remove sand or leaves, etc.
Wash them once a year, by hand, in a mild detergent and luke warm water. Let them dry in the shade.
When not in use, put in a plastic bag and into a cupboard, to keep the dust and bugs away.

- FLY FISHING CLOTHING

It's very important to properly care for your fishing clothing. These items are usually high-priced because of the design, the cut, the breathability, and applications added to it like 3XDry™, GoreTex™, etc.

NEVER dry clean any of your fishing clothing.

For shirts and pants, follow these cleaning instructions:

- Turn inside out before washing
- Machine Wash (or hand wash) cold, and use a gentle cycle
- Do not set the machine to fast spin dry...the lowest setting possible is the best
- Use mild detergent
- DO NOT use fabric softener (this glogs the gaps in the material over time, and ruins the 3XDRY™, etc applications eventually)
- Do not bleach
- Try avoiding ironing all together...but if you want it at least "crinkle-free", use a low iron temperature.