How to Keep Your Fly Line Fresh Until Spring

fresh fly line
Line Backer: The author’s canvasback drake gets put to work over winter.Dan Saelinger

The problem: a rat’s nest of floating, sinking, and intermediate fly lines in various weights. Wind them on reels for storage and line memory sets in, setting you up for coil-snared casts in spring. Dump them in a shoebox and they end up as tangled as Medusa’s tresses on a bad hair day.

The solution: A permanent marker and an old duck mount. Trust me.

Instructions > Fine Line

fresh fly line
Step 1. Clean each line by soaking in warm water with a few drops of mild detergent dish soap. Pull the line through a clean cloth, then apply fly-line dressing. Let the lines dry.Chris Philpot
fresh fly line
Step 2. Mark each butt end. Using Lefty Kreh’s smart system, make one long dash to represent a 5-weight, with dots in front or behind that are added or subtracted to delineate line weight. (So, a dot in front of the long dash would be subtracted from 5, branding the line as a 4-weight.) Use different colors for various tapers and sink rates.Chris Philpot
fresh fly line
Step 3. Coil each line in long loops and hang them from your duck (or a board studded with nails). My ancient canvasback holds eight lines. Hang the duck in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.Chris Philpot