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jeffg 11-16-2000 12:39 PM

rod cleaning
No not reels, what do folks clean their rods with? Fly rods, trolling rods, spin rods, whatever...

I have been using plain old pledge on my rods with glassy coatings, and have always assumed I am not damaging the coating with the polishing chemicals--it tends to leave a little waxy finish that I figured was probably good. I am a little more apprehensive on rods with that plain graphite finish, like some fly rods or some of the loomis/st. Croix spinners. Any thoughts? Reel seats and guides all get Boeshield blasts, which also usually tends to get on the rods as well...I assume to no detriment?


RayStachelek 11-16-2000 01:50 PM

RE:rod cleaning
Pledge is a fine product to use on most rod finishes. Before you apply the polish, just make sure of several steps. The rod should be thoroughly cleaned. Mild dish washing detergent will do the job. Use an old tooth brush or any soft brush to reach the hard to get to places where salt/corrosion buildup will occur both on the blank and reel seats.

Check the thread raps, clear coats for cracks, even run your fingers through the guide and check for sharp edges and loose ceramics inserts. Check guide feet also. Now's the time, if you have to, to send it in for repairs. This way it will be ready for spring.

Storing it is your last concern. Place it in the sock and tube and you should be all set. Never keep it strung or store it horizontally if it can be avoided. In the spring put a little paraffin wax or dubbing wax on the ferrule.

juro 11-16-2000 05:07 PM

RE:rod cleaning
Jeff - hangin' the old striper stick up for the winter, eh?

When I get ambitious I give my good rods a little soak in the tub, then a little scrub with soapy water, rinse and dry. I've heard that furniture polish is what manufacturers use to restore luster, and I have used it without noticing any ill effects. Honestly though, I don't polish them often. I think I've done it once or twice in my life.

Anyway, I suspect turtle wax would be a good choice too - it reduces ultraviolet rays and all that. Never tried it but autowax seems like a great treatment for the graphite.

What's most important to me is the removal of salt residue from the guide assemblies where even the best rods are known to build a little superficial rust between the metal and the wraps / coatings.

I also take the time to remove any sand or particles that may have found their way into the reel seat or any other orifice.

I lightly sanded the cork before and that made it look pretty until the next time I slimed it. Decided that wasn't important.

TO tell the honest to goodness truth, the only time I ever "detailed" rods was when I was trying to sell them!



isoh 11-16-2000 07:26 PM

RE:rod cleaning
All great tips!

What about cane rods? Anyone out there have a recommended cleaning regime?

<sorry, i'm a victim of my most current obsession ;)>

Smcdermott 02-24-2003 06:10 PM

Superficial rust...
I took my rods out of the tube for the first time since November and noticed that a small bit of rust developed on the guides near the foot. I thought I gave them a good cleaning but apparently not good enough. Any tips on a remedy? Is it safe to use a little WD-40?


striblue 02-24-2003 10:11 PM

Don't forget to try a little rubbing alcohol on your cork grips and it will make them look like new... a little rubbing them down with a cotton ball or similar material is all you need.

BobK 02-24-2003 11:44 PM

Cane Rods
I learned care of cane rods as a kid. (I built 'em back then, too!)
That was before steelie fishing, and pre-fiberglass and graphite.
This will sound harsh, but here is what we would do.

Clean with mild soap and water, and quickly dry with a soft cloth. (spar varnish doesn't hold up to water too well.) Then closely inspect ALL wrappings (good cane gets LOTS of fancy wraps). Closely inspect the varnish for chips, cracks, etc., and check ferrules to make sure all is sound. Check all guides for telltale signs of wear. Cork is polished with baking soda moistened with water as a "polishing paste", and rinsed and quickly dried. If all is OK, then rod gets several coats of good paste wax (old Simonize
works well).

If anything is found out of order, then guides are removed, wraps are removed, and rod is sanded down and refinished. The tip guide is reversed and guides on the tip section will be rewrapped on the opposite flat to counter the "set" that all bamboo gets from use. You would use your own judgement on reversing midsections, if they needed it. You might also reset or replace ferrules, as needed. (In those days, every trout fisherman worth his salt had ferrule cement on hand - I still do, and it has a myriad of uses.)

Then you would carefully apply several thin coats of good spar varnish, drying thoroughly and rubbing down with rottenstone or pumice between coats, and finish with a couple of coats of paste wax. As far as waxing the ferrules during use, we just used to rub the male ferrules aside of our nose before using. It works well.

Today, this treatment sounds harsh, as we are more worried about "losing the manufacturer's markings". Heaven forbid! Well, sorry 'bout that, but in those days a fly rod was a tool for catching fish, and you maintained it in good working order - brand name or not!


John Desjardins 02-25-2003 08:21 AM


Don't forget to try a little rubbing alcohol on your cork grips and it will make them look like new... a little rubbing them down with a cotton ball or similar material is all you need.
Use caution on this. I have one grip that the alcohol is a solvent for the filler in the grip. Quite annoying to clean the grip and pull the filler out.

Tod D 02-27-2003 07:37 PM

Attended a talk last night by Terry Tessein and he recommended using Olde English Lemon furniture wax on cork grips - after a soap & water clean up. Apparently conditions & seals the cork and protects against dirt, slime, etc...

Haven't tried it, but am intrigued.

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