Fly Fishing Rod - What Should I Do To Keep My Fly Fishing Rod In Best Condition?

"Fishing takes anglers to the best places, at the best times of year"

The rods of today are made with long-lasting materials and provide high performance, but they certainly cannot take care of themselves.  Serious anglers expect a lot from their fly fishing rods and place high demands on them.  But for a fly rod to provide its master a lifetime of angling enjoyment, it has to be in perfect condition.

The care of the precious rod begins the day a decision to bring it home is made.

Every angler wants a great rod that feels comfortable, that is multi-purpose and lasts long.  But how much sense does it make to use a single rod for all conditions and all species of fish?  This will not only provide an unsatisfactory fly fishing experience but also break or spoil the rod.  It is important to pay attention to the specifications of each rod and choose one that meets the exact needs.  Just remember, there is no super-rod that can do it all.

A passionate angler gives the care and respect the fly fishing rod deserves. 

Grease The Connections
When using multi-piece rods, the modern designs ensure the rods do not break easily but you have to be careful with rod connections.  There is a very good chance of the rod connections breaking, when they are jammed too tightly together and force has to be used to bring them apart.  Just a little greasing each time they are connected can make a huge difference. Paraffin wax can also be used.  This helps the rods stay tight when using and easy to separate the connections after the job is done.

Keep Guides In Good Shape
Lures can prove to be damaging to the guides.  Many anglers make the mistake of hanging the hooks on the guides, but the barbs can scratch the surface of the guides.  This is where a hook hanger comes in handy as it is made specifically to handle sharp hooks.  Another important thing to keep in mind is to never reel back the spinner all the way to the tip of the rod.  Doing that creates an impact that can damage the leading guide.  As long as the guides are protected, the rod will continue to cast spectacularly for years.

Do Not Lift The Rod Too High
For an angler, the ultimate excitement of a fly fishing lies in a prize catch.  They forget everything else at that moment, and it has been seen that many anglers high-stick when bringing their catch in.  This means, they over-angle the rod which puts a lot of pressure on the tip of the rod and can easily snap the rod.  Once the fish is brought close, it is important to consciously remember not to lift the rod more than 90 degrees.  Of course, the rod has to be kept taut, but not over arched.  This will prevent from putting pressure on the tip.

Let Your Dirty Handle Be
Nobody likes to get their handle dirty, but this is something that cannot be prevented.  With regular usage, the beautiful and pristine cork handle (which is what most of the latest rods use because it gives a great grip and feels soft) darkens in color or starts chipping.  No amount of washing can actually help it stay brand new forever.  In fact, scrubbing or washing the handles can only disfigure them further.  Never use harsh cleaners in an attempt to make the handles shine.  Just leave them alone and they will last for a long, long time to come.  Just look at the old handle as a way of remembering the years of enjoyment it has given.

Wipe The Rods Clean
The fly fishing rods have to be wiped clean after every fishing trip.  While this gets rid of salt water corrosion that eats away at the metal components, it also ensures that harmful contaminates do not build up on the rod.  Long gaps between wiping does not help, it has to be done each time fishing is done.  Rinsing off with a spritz of fresh water will keep the rod looking clean for long.

Transportation And Storing The Rods
This is where most rod damage is done, much more than the actual fishing.  Most people keep the rods in trunks and trunk beds until it is time to fish.  If the rod breaks when fishing, it is natural for an angler to think of fishing as the culprit, when in fact, it was the wrong storage that has spoiled the rod.  It helps to invest in some of the latest storage devices available in the market, with which the rod can be stowed away safely.  It is important to keep the rod away from any heavy objects or anything that can damage the rod’s surface or the guides.  Then there are the overhead fans, puppies that chew cork and car doors to avoid.

Spelling this out may sound silly, but believe me, there are countless number of anglers who have broken their rods just by laying them on the ground (people step on it). Do not get into the wrong habit of tossing the rod in the back seat of your car.

Check The Guarantee
Okay, this is nothing to do with maintenance of the rod, but it is always necessary to look over the guarantee when buying a fly fishing rod.  Some offer lifetime replacement to the original owner, while others offer a replacement for a modest fee, and with some there is none.  This is true even with rods in the same price range. 

In spite of taking all the precautions in the world, sometimes the rod may break if the angler encounters a fierce fish or when trying to catch a bigger fish.  But then there is the consolation that the rod did not break from negligence.