For some anglers the season never really ends, but for a lot of us when winter is truly here it’s time to wind things down and store your fly fishing tackle for next year.
If you decide to hang your fishing gear up through the winter you might want to consider how to store your reels, lines, rods, leader material and waders – so they are in pristine condition for spring. Our 5 essential tackle item tips explain how!
1. Fly reels. The main enemy of a fly reel is dirt and damp. Before storage always clean the grit and grime out of your reel with a toothbrush then allow to dry. A thin application of reel oil with a soft cloth will really help keep your reels in good shape. Never use WD40 as this can strip grease out and ultimately make things worse. Your reels drag system will need to be slackened to the minimum setting or the drag washer could perish in storage.
2. Fly line. A common complaint we receive in spring is a fly line full of memory. It is no coincidence that when a line is stored on a reel all winter and then hits icy cold water memory kicks in – it is not the fault of the line. It pays to strip the line off your spools and store your fly line in big open coils – the linewinder is the ideal product to do this with. At the same time, take the opportunity to clean your line with a moist cloth to remove all the dirt and grime
3. Fly rods. Make sure your fly rod is never stored all winter inside a wet rod bag – doing this can lead to pimples in the varnish, and a mildew riddled cork handle. Dry your rod thoroughly and take the time to remove dirt from the rings with a toothbrush and soapy water before you place in the tube.
4. Leader material. Leader material degrades with time – it is worth clearing out all of your partially used spools of tippet and re-stocking with fresh ones in the spring. As well as a confidence issue, trusting old tippet that has spent a season (or more!) in your vest then a winter in storage might not be worth it when you get broken off by a big overwintered rainbow early in the season.
5. Waders. Dry and clean your waders before storing for the winter. Fully dry waders reduce the chance of mildew growing in them – and that can cause major issues. Drape them gently over a clothing rail for best results. For for more details on looking after your fishing waders, check out our blog post here.