Kit Cleaning for Fly Fishing: Grips
With fly fishing, as with other sports, it's important to keep your kit in good order. While we're not suggesting that anglers are lazy, many clean their fly lines, reels and other equipment, but don't give the same care to their rods. It's not a difficult job, either, and with the cost of rods getting higher and higher it's worth extending the life of the one you have already in top condition.
In general the cork grip needs the most attention because of how dirty it can get. Sunscreen, fish slime, floatants, even natural body oil from the hands, build up layers of grime over time. While several different types of detergents, alcohol, spray cleaners can work well, a liquid household cleanser can work well. Especially ones which have some bleach in them. Not only will it clean the grip but it will bleach out blemishes and lighten the cork to its original colour. You don't want to risk bleach hitting your clothes, so protect yourself from splashes. Have on hand the cleanser, sponge or old washcloth and a dry towel. Work at the sink with the tap on, and a steady stream of warm water. Wet the grip, and apply a small blog of cleanser to the sponge or washcloth. Scrub down the grip thoroughly, working from top to bottom. Avoid rubbing the metal hardware and wood spacer on the reel seat, as well as the finish on the blank as you could accidentally leave permanent light scratches on the shiny surfaces. After the grip has been thoroughly cleaned, rinse it under the water, rubbing it well with your fingers to remove all traces of the cleanser. Dry the grip and with a soft clean towel. Set it aside to dry thoroughly before putting it back into its case.
After this easy job the grip will end up looking good as new for your fly fishing expeditions and its life with also be prolonged.