Video Pro Tips: How to Clean Your Fly Rod


My old friend Harry Murray—of Murray’s Fly Shop in Edinburg, Virginia—posted a bunch of how-to videos a while ago, and they’re very helpful. In this one, he talks about how he cleans his fly rods at the end of the season. According to Harry, this not only makes the rods look better, but helps them perform better, as well. So even if you plan to fish throughout the winter, these tips are for you. His last step is pretty unorthodox. What do you think?

8 thoughts on “Video Pro Tips: How to Clean Your Fly Rod”

  1. Great info! I have always cleaned my cork grips with Comet cleanser and my grips always look brand new. For the rod I use Palmolive dish soap just because that’s what Marge used in the commercial for manicures. I love the line dressing idea. I will probably give that one a try.

  2. Try using a terry wash cloth instead of a paper towel and tooth brush.
    The looped fabric is gentle and deep cleaning. Flor cork grips look like new
    and there is no paper lint after you dry the rod.
    I have tried flyline dressing, dusting wax, and settled on Armorall to finish off.
    There is no greasy residue or film after a light buffing. Water beads which helps with ice conditions.
    Armorall also has a low luster formula that is great for those flat and matte finished blanks
    like the new H2 Covert. Others will leave a gloss.
    Oh… and wash that sock too. It’s amazing how much gunk and grit can accumulate in there.

    Merry Cleaning and Happy New Year!

  3. For years, I have been doing as Mr. Murray suggests — soap and a toothbrush — except I prefer Dawn dish soap because, you know, if it is OK for those baby, oil-soaked ducks in the TV commercials then I know it is OK for my rods. But I vary in one particular: I take my rods into the shower with me and do the cleaning there. This appeals to the cheapskate in me because one shower yields two clean objects — the rod and me. Though this technique is doubtless not original with me, I have never seen it in print before. Needless to say, I do not do this with my bamboo rods, though my impregnated Orvis Battenkills and Madisons would probably shrug it off. I have been doing this with plastic rods for many years but have never revealed it to anyone before lest I be thought odd. But I am old now and no longer care. I have discovered the truth of the adage about aging: “When I was in my 20s and 30s, I cared what others thought about me. In my 40s and 50s, I stopped caring what others thought about me. And in my 60s I finally figured out the truth: They were never thinking about me at all.”

  4. I’ve more or less followed Harry’s advice for years, but I’ve actually got a suggestion for something I haven’t seen him use: use one of those microfiber cloths. No lint, a little better pickup of material, and seems to clean my rods better than anything else I’ve found. I keep one in my fly gear bag and wipe the rods down after fishing before I put them back in the sock and tube.

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