WD 40 and Fly Lines [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: WD 40 and Fly Lines

03-20-2000, 09:24 AM
I recently had a small problem with a reel I use whereas
a spool started to pit out. I sent the reel spool back and received a call from someone at the reel company suggesting after I wash out the reel with freshwater, I should spray the entire reel with WD-40. I asked what that would do to the line on the spool and was told that there would be no harm to the line. Does anyone have any experience with this or knowledge of what WD 40 might do to lines ??


03-20-2000, 11:41 AM
I just picked up a message from John Harter from RIO lines who said strongly, "Do Not Spray your reel with WD 40 nor get it on the line". Unfortunately, I was too slow to get to the phone. He said he would call me tomorrow and discuss in depth.

More to come...

03-20-2000, 04:15 PM
Thanks for validating that through your contacts - I've heard this discussion go both ways - that WD-40 was derived from fish oil (historically) and did no harm, etc. Some folks spray it on flies and lures, etc. I've stayed away from it myself, although the promise of a protective coating is definitely a motive for my SWFF reels. Thanks and keep us informed as you get more clarification from the line manufacturers.


03-21-2000, 06:01 AM
I use WD-40 routinely on plugs, particularly if there's a chance they've got suncsreen on them. Can't say for sure, but I believe it helps. I also believe that DEET or sunscreen on lures is detrimental and that WD-40 counters that. haven't tried it on flies, but did find that a little silicon lubricant sprayed on the line or on a rag through which a line is pulled, is a nice quick way to put some slick on a fly line.

03-21-2000, 06:29 AM
Makes a lot of sense to put it on SW plugs, seeing as they are subject to a lot of salt and corrosion. It makes sense to put it on reels too, but for some reason I have not been an external lubricant kind of guy (joke there somewhere) despite the fact that I subject my reels to as much salt and corrosion as anything else. I do bathe them like babies though.

It would be interesting to contact WD-40 and ask whether they still make it from 100% pure fish oil. I'll try to hunt down their number today if I get the chance...

03-22-2000, 07:28 AM
I have always been a little hesitant to wd-40 (or tri-flo) my fly lines. I usually just take off the spool, spray the frame side down, and then spray a paper towel or rag and just wipe down the spool side--keeps the line and backing pretty oil-free. When I am being anal, I strip off the fly line, spray an old toothbrush with wd-40, and scrub out the inside of the spool if there has been a lot of salt build up...

I don't recommend using the toothbrush ever again of course ;)

03-22-2000, 08:29 AM
I finally connected with John Harter from RIO last nite and he passed along some thoughts on the WD-40 issue:

* He said that in his opinion, you are far better off taking a rag or paper towel and using very very light instrument oil to wipe down your reel than using WD-40. He felt that you could wipe your reel down with WD-40 but he felt it left too much of a film on the reel. As Jeffg mentions, it is important to get into the cracks and crevices with a toothbrush. In terms of cleaning up the reels, he suggests warm soapy water to clean the reel,line, etc...and then a good rinsing in fresh water. He added that using a small bit of vinegar in the water will help get rid of built-up salt.

* As far as cleaning the line, he recommends Sci-Anglers product. He said even though they are our competition, they make the best line cleaner. He said that for the new Self-Lubricating lines, you would never want to use something like Glide or another wax like cleaner as it would block up the pores of the line.
Hence, why you should not spray WD-40 on the reel with the line on it also as it would block the pores of the Self-Lubricating Lines.

* He also mentioned that he might have some new lines for us to try at the Monomoy Clave if they are ready in time. More to come on this.....


steve moore
03-22-2000, 08:33 AM
I prefer Boeshield T-9 over WD-40 for spraying equipment down. I try to never get it on my lines, but I have and it hasn't had any detrimental effects as far as I can tell. The T-9 acts as a lubricant and surfactant, but it also dries to a waxy consistency which doesn't wash away like WD-40 does. I've never tried spraying lures or flies, but would not recommend the T-9 for that.

I found a bottle of clear100% silicone liquid in an auto parts store and use that on a rag to clean/lubricate my lines when I remember to do it. It really works well and seems to last a while too.

03-22-2000, 10:21 AM

Great point...Harter also said the Boeshield T-9 was the best in his opinion to use on your gear. I forgot to list that as the baby was yelling as I was on the phone !


steve moore
03-22-2000, 02:59 PM
HMMM. I had a lengthy conversation last week with Bruce Richards at Scientific Anglers. We were discussing the new AST technology of their lines and he mentioned that dressing the lines wasn't needed, but that if you did and used a good dressing, it would not have any detrimental effect on the lines. He stressed the importance of keeping the lines clean, but added that the new AST technology actually helped the line shed dirt and grime and cuts down on the amount of cleaning you need to do in the first place.