How often do you clean your line? Be honest. I’m not talking Cash-line register somebody dropped a $5 bill you’re going to give it back to him honest, I’m talking deep down inside honest. Do you clean your line every time you go out or every other time you go out? Or even, ‘gasp‘- once a month?
I have noticed a dramatic increase in casting ability when I clean my line at least every other trip. This totally depends on the type of water I am casting into. Whether it is millpond weed frog scum-slime-slick slow water or if I’m in a nice clean riffle filled stream, it can make a difference. There are still millions of micro particles that stick to your line every time you go out, and they accumulate. Over time, they will not only deteriorate your casting, but your line as well.
Recently, I had the opportunity to cast and fall in love with the new SharkWave from Scientific Anglers. When I lined up all my rods from a heavy week of casting into hoards of spent mayflies, I was concerned with ‘how’ and ‘how often’ I should be cleaning and conditioning this line that has improved my cast and has assisted other anglers reach that twenty incher they might not otherwise have a chance at. Is there a difference between merely cleaning the line and conditioning it? What about these household remedies I hear other anglers recommend, like Amor-All or Rain-X for their line cleaning? What is the best method for the long life and care of my line? So I sent out a few e-mails and got a rather quick and surprising response from Erick Johnson at Scientific Anglers.
The bottom line is we cannot guarantee what is in other dressing or products and how it will react with our lines. A perfect example of this is ArmorAll. For years people said that ArmorAll could be used to clean and condition fly lines. What we know now is that they actually reduce the effective lifespan of the line. This is due to the chemicals in ArmorAll reacting with the plasticizers in our coating and actually drying it out. This can lead to premature cracking and line failure. ~ Erick Johnson at Scientific Anglers
Here is what he had to say.
TNT> How often should I clean my line?
Erick at SA>Regarding frequency, it really depends on the water type and the amount of debris/dirt/grime/sludge in that water. The obvious answer is “whenever it needs it” and you notice a significant decrease in performance but that is hard to quantify. A good guidance rule would be every 4-5 outings in cleaner ‘trout’ water and probably every 2-3 outings in dirtier, warmer water. The BEST way to “deep clean’ your line is to put a small amount of hand soap on a wet cloth and run your line through it. Rinse it and wipe it clean in freshwater and it’s good to go once it is dry. This method is a little more time intensive than the bucket method, but it does a much better job.
TNT>What about with Textured Line?
Erick> Great question! The short answer is that we never want to use any line dressing or conditioner on any textured lines, including the SharkWave. By applying a dressing or conditioner it actually clogs the texturing and attracts dirt and grime which actuallyrenders the line less effective.
A good way to clean any line is by using a small about of HAND soap(not dish detergent) in a bucket of warm water. You can then put the line in the soapy water and agitate it for a few minutes. Rinse your line off with fresh, cool water and set it out in loose coils to air dry. Once your line is dry you have two options depending on whether your line is smooth or textured (such as SharkWave, Mastery Textured or Sharkskin):
For textured lines:
Ensure you line is completely dry. It can then be run through our Fly Line Cleaning Pad here: http://buy.scientificanglers.com/accessories/scientific-anglers-accessories-fly-line-cleaning-pad-html.html . This actually buffs the surface of the line and exposes fresh AST (Advanced Shooting Technology) which is our proprietary additive in the coating itself. The line is good to fish at this point.
For smooth lines:
The process is very similar. Likewise, ensure your line is completely dry and then run it through our Fly Line Cleaning Pad to also buff it and expose fresh AST. At that point the line can be dressed with our conditioner here: http://buy.scientificanglers.com/accessories/scientific-anglers-accessories-fly-line-dressing-w-pad-html.html using the foam pad applicator. The line is now ready to fish.
TNT> What about these so-called Home remedies? Like AmorAll?
Erick>I get a lot of questions from users about different techniques and “home remedies” to use on their lines. The bottom line is we cannot guarantee what is in other dressing or products and how it will react with our lines. A perfect example of this is ArmorAll. For years people said that ArmorAll could be used to clean and condition fly lines. What we know now is that they actually reduce the effective lifespan of the line. This is due to the chemicals in ArmorAll reacting with the plasticizers in our coating and actually drying it out. This can lead to premature cracking and line failure. That is why we recommend using our Line Dressing. We can guarantee the contents are safe to use with our lines.
I hope this helps a few of you on your next cleaning night, I know it has cleared up some confusion for a lot issues for me. I would like to thank Erick and the rest of the crew at Scientific Anglers for always keeping us up to date with the latest in plastics and technology for our casting world.
Leaving you with a short video from Rio on how to maintain your line and keep it performing it’s best.
This post hit a cord with me. I always thought it was inconvenient and awkward to clean your line when you needed to most – when fishing. Ever so slowly I’ve been developing a “line winder” help with this chore. I’ve actually got prototypes made – you’ll probably be getting a package for review!
Awesome! I look forward to it. I have used the Whizz Lube on the river to improve and help casting when line gets tacky…. check it out/http://www.fishwest.net/flyfishing/product/AF39WILU20.html#.U_iP2bCmceE