Cleaning Fly Fishing Rods: Blanks

In the second blog on cleaning your fly fishing rod we’re looking at rod blanks. Believe it or not one of the best products for this is a good aerosol furniture polish, such as Pledge or other name brands. The spray will remove dirt, grime, dried-on algae, water spots, greasy smudges and so on. This type of product not only cleans the rod quickly, but it also leaves a light, protective wax-like finish that helps to prevent further soiling. Furniture polish works well on all types of rods, including graphite and bamboo.

First, shake the can well. Work with one rod section at a time. Rotate the section between your thumb and fingers lightly spraying the entire surface. Next, use a clean, dry terry cloth towel to wipe-down and polish the entire section with a clean, dry terrycloth until spray marks are gone and the rod shines. Work a corner of the cloth under and around the guides until you see that the whole surface has been cleaned. If you have problems getting under the guides, clean these with a cotton bud. Repeat the procedure for each rod section.  If you tend to ignore the condition of the guides on your rods, please be aware that they can and do wear out, particularly rods that you use a lot. So a sensible practice is to inspect the guides carefully at least once a year. And a good time to do that is when you are cleaning the rod. Inspection is best under a bright light. Check for wear or grooving, as this can abrade the line and cause it to fail early. To find worn places that are not readily visible to the eye, pass a gathered section of an old nylon stocking or tights through each guide. If the nylon has a tendency to stick to the guide, it is a good indication of wear. If this is the case, you should replace all the guides, because if one is worn the others will be as well.

Clean fly fishing rods aren’t just about appearance, but functionality and efficiency as well.

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