December 15, 2010
Save Lines, Save Money
By Kirk Deeter
If you're looking for a way to save money on fly tackle replacement, one of the easiest (yet most neglected) things to do is take care of your fly line. Rather than leaving that line of yours spooled on a reel, then stuffed in some drawer or shelf to rot and crack over the winter, take the time to stretch it out, clean it, and store it on a hanger.
My simple system is to pinch in the sides of a plain old metal coat hanger. As I take the line off my reel, I run it through a line cleaning pad to remove the excess grit and grime. I wrap loose coils around the hanger, and I always leave a tag end of both backing and tippet attached to the line so I'm never confused about which end is which. Then I take a pice of paper or a Post-It Note, and I write the line type (in this case 7-weight, 250-grain sink tip), and I skewer the note on the curved tip of the hanger.
Come spring, when I'm ready to spool up again, I find the line I want (clearly labeled), run it back through the cleaning/conditioning pad as I wind it back on the reel, and I'm good to go. I find my lines float higher and cast better right off the bat.
Most importantly, they last longer. I'm going to say the average line lasts 50% longer if you take the time to clean it and store it off the spool when you aren't using it. You do the math...for the average fly line a 50% increase in lifespan is like putting a $20 bill in your pocket. Multiply that by a few or several lines, and this little exercise in frugality might make perfect sense for the next day you're snowed in and thinking about fishing in spring...