Cleaning Fly Fishing Rods: Glass and Graphite Ferules

After every two or three fly fishing excursions you should clean and lubricate the ferrules of your rods. This will help the sections seat together more smoothly and precisely. Not only that, but it will stop the sections from sticking together. It’s safe to say that many an angler has ended the day only to find he can’t separate his rod section. Cleaning and lubricating the ferrules will prevent this annoyance.

With graphite ferules, to clean the female, open-ended portion use a cotton bud soaked with plain rubbing alcohol. Rub the inside surface circumference thoroughly, then use a clean swab to wipe off dirt or old wax residue. Next, clean the male portion with a soft cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol. Rub the male slide thoroughly. Dry with a clean, soft cloth. Once the alcohol has dried, apply a light coating of white candle wax to the entire surface of the male ferrule.

The basic care and maintenance of most quality metal ferrules requires a simple clean, and wiping off the male slide regularly with a soft, clean cloth, will do the job, though you can use alcohol as described above. Metal ferrules should be joined and separated with a straight pull only. Never twist on and off as you do with graphite. The male portion should be seated completely into the female tube. Occasionally, some metal ferrules may need light lubrication for smoother operation. Only use a scant film of silicone grease or other suitable lubricant, or wipe the male slide lightly with good quality machine oil. Very little should be applied and it should be removed and reapplied regularly to prevent dirt accumulating.

Remember: fly fishing will always go more smoothly with carefully cleaned and maintained kit.

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