Five Fly Fishing Lockdown Projects

Original article from Swift Fly Fishing.

Clean Your Fly Lines

Fly lines get dirty through regular use, they pick up gunk and algae in the surface film of the water, lines stripped into the bilge of a boat get filthy quickly and if you’ve been doing any casting practice out on the lawn your line definitely needs a clean. Dirty fly lines don’t float well, they don’t cast or shoot well and they will increase wear on rod guides. Cleaning a fly line is pretty simple. You’ll want some mild soap flakes, or soap (not detergent) a bucket or sink to wash the line in and a micro fibre towel for the final clean and dry.

Now notice I said soap flakes or soap and not detergent: old style LUX soap flakes are perfect. A squirt of liquid hand soap will do the trick too. Detergents are harsh cleansers and will strip out the plasticisers from your fly line. 

Strip your fly line into a bucket of warm soapy water, just a small amount of soap or soap flakes will suffice, just enough to soften the water. Carefully strip the line into the water (at home I use the kitchen sink it’s perfect). Carefully strip the line into the water being careful not to get tangled, let the line soak in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes. Give things a bit of a gentle swish around to help loosen the dirt and gunk. – don’t get the line tangled….

Ideally for the next step you’re going to need an offsider. Get your helper to run the fly line through the dry microfibre cloth while you wind back up onto the reel, you’ll be amazed at how much dirt comes off a seemingly clean fly line.

If it’s a floating fly line you’ve just cleaned, now is the perfect time to apply line dressing if you’ve got some handy.

Fly Reel Maintenance

Even sealed drag “maintenance free” fly reels need maintenance. And if you’re in the old school cork drag fraternity you definitely have some work to do. Maintenance on cork drag reels will be brand and model specific but now is the time to open things up and clean pawls and dogs and lubricate where required.

All reels should get a good clean with a toothbrush and warm soapy water, particularly if they have been used in the salt. Check shafts and bearing housings for corrosion and dirt and lubricate were required as per manufacturers recommendations.

Clean Your Fly Rod

Clean out dirt and grit from all guides using a Q-Tip and warm soapy water. Clean and dry ferrules.

The blank can be wiped down with warm soapy water and then finished with a little silicone based line cleaner or furniture cleaner.

Cork grips can be cleaned with warm soapy water or if you are careful, denatured alcohol or a little isopropyl alcohol on a soft cloth, if going for the alcohol option use it sparingly and be careful. If you like the patina and natural oils and gunk on your cork grip – just leave it as is, all that crap is doing a great job of sealing and waterproofing the cork.

Learn a new Knot

A great use of time is to learn and practice a new knot to two. There are likely a couple of knots that you would like to learn all be more proficient at tying. If you can’t think of any I suggest giving the “guides Bimini” a crack, and most definitely learn the Pitzen knot.

Sort Your Fly Boxes Out

The perennial favourite. You’ve likely got this down to a fine art and have your own trusted classification and organisation system. While you’re mucking around with fly boxes drinking beer, keep an eye out for blunt and rusty hooks, broken or pinched seals on waterproof fly boxes, splits and cracks in lids etc. A good exercise and one that I try (and fail) every year is to rationalise. Try to reduce the amount of flies you carry, lose all that crap in your vest or bag that you’ve not used for a season or so. Generally I reckon carrying fewer flies makes you think more, become more proficient with the good patterns you have and, just is importantly, getting rid of all the superfluous crap certainly helps lighten the load.

Free Stuff!

Right now, Swift Fly Fishing are offering some free gear to help keep you entertained.

Once in a Blue Moon

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The incredible story of a once in a lifetime event. Set amongst the spectacular scenery of southern New Zealand a most strange and bizarre tale unfolds. The stuff of folklore, Once in a Blue Moon unravels the mystery of an event that occurs briefly once a decade. This strange and unreal journey takes us into some of the most remote and beautiful parts of New Zealand as we follow one anglers quest to document and unravel a childhood mystery and catch the fish of a lifetime.

The single most successful Fly Fishing film ever made, Once in a Blue Moon inspired a whole generation of independent filmmakers & was largely responsible for a whole style of night time fly fishing “Mousing”.

Casts That Catch Fish

*Digital Download. Unlimited streaming access via mobile and desktop devices.

Improve your fly casting with in-depth fly casting instruction from Federation of Fly Fishers Master Fly Casting Instructor, Carl McNeil. Featuring:

  • Roll cast
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  • The Five Essentials of good fly casting

Custom Fly Rod Build Book

Swift Fly Fishings’s comprehensive step by step fly rod building book. 42 pages of clear, simple, straightforward step by step instructions on how to put together a custom Epic fly rod.