End of season maintenance [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: End of season maintenance

10-26-2001, 08:39 PM
Can anyone clue me in on "preventative maintenance" measures I should take with my gear for it's winter hibernation?


10-26-2001, 10:07 PM
Mark...Declare war on salt!
Reels...rinse, soak, field strip, clean, dry, lubricate, reassemble, and store in a dry cool place. I wash and wax rods and store them in a safe place as well.
If you can rig a large spool/dowel/electric drill and strip off the backing to make every bit of reel hardware accessible, that would be excellent...If the backing isn't "too old"(?) looks good, rinse/dry and reload. Salt=Corrosion.
Then call me if you need more practice and I'll drop my gear off so you can perfect your technique!
I consider this as investment insurance...Time well spent!

10-27-2001, 07:38 AM
Pete's right on target.

How do others store their lines in the off season? I wash & hang mine in a large loop. Any thoughts?

10-27-2001, 08:09 AM
When I worked in Maine I compared notes with guys who recruited their firemen buddies to hang flylines in the hose towers at the station to keep them straight! Talk about extreme. Heck, any elevator shaft will do. }>

Seriously, floating trout lines need storage off the spool IMHO, but intermediate and sinking striper lines - just let the spring schoolies stretch it for me. No grace required there. Steelhead lines - I store on them on the spool but I noticed that the long belly floater is hard to stretch so it'll go big open loop storage this year.

I do an annual maint. on the reels, strip the lube and reapply. Make sure you don't oil what should be greased and vice-versa (read the instructions). Take apart anything reasonable to take apart and watch out for springs.

NOTE: Be sure to set drag knobs to wide open and replace all cams and positional components the same way or you will alter your drag settings. If you put 'em back exactly as you took 'em out you'll be OK.

I rinse the flyline and most of the backing at the end of the season. Be careful leaving it out if you have a cat, they often have a strange affliction with flylines left out to dry.

The rods are washed after every trip so nothing special there for me.

As an added precaution, the screw heads holding the reel foot can be cleaned and given a drop of clear silicone caulk each season to prevent the accumulated salt from corroding in the gap between the seat and the foot of the reel. I did this a few years back after noticing salt buildup in there and they are still lookin' good.

Don't forget the waders and other gear... My chest pack zippers rotted off last season from residual salt, a run through the delicate cycle on the washing machine may have prevented that.

10-27-2001, 08:45 AM
If you own a Airflo Clear Intermidate line make sure you take it off the spool for the winter. My line was not taken off and it took a bad set which*I was able to get off. I wound't take the lines of just yet if there is a Casting Clave in Jan like last year you'll just habe to put the lines back on. FishHawk

10-29-2001, 12:13 AM
See, if you lived out here in the PNW, this would be question that would never ever come up. :D

10-29-2001, 08:20 AM
Wash down rods with dish detergent ,dry and rub down with 333 ,especially around the guides.. dry keep out of the tub for a day or two to make sure they are dry . Take apart all reels, clean and relube ,especially some neats foot oil on your cork drag disks (they dry out during the off season). Clean lines with glide.

10-29-2001, 08:29 AM
NrthFrk16 (10-29-2001 01:13 a.m.):
See, if you lived out here in the PNW, this would be question that would never ever come up. :D


The intensity of on/off season has it's merits too - I actually had time to tie some flies! }>

10-29-2001, 08:52 AM
I have heard (& practiced), if you have a graphite rod with a mat finish (like a Diamondback Backwater) do not treat with any chemicals (e.g., silicon) it can weeken the rod; just clean off the salt with warm water.

Dble Haul
10-29-2001, 12:25 PM
Let's not forget about corrosion on our footwear. If you have korkers, either the strap on type or those that are already incorporated into the wading shoes, make sure that they are thoroughly rinsed out and free of salt as well. My spikes are made of carbide, so I have to be careful. If you have stainless spikes, then you're smarter than me. :D Replace any spikes that show signs of rust or are stubbed down from excessive use. Waddling with uneven spikes will make you a target of ridicule, even among friends!