Over time, fly lines can pick of a surprising amount of dirt, grime, sand, salt, and the like, even when fishing on seemingly ‘clean’ waters. Therefore, wise anglers regularly clean their fly line, not only to extend the life of the line, but to increase the line’s performance as well.
Cleaning a fly line helps to reduce friction between the line and the rod guides (often caused by dirt or salt buildup), thus allowing the line to shoot further. So, if cleaning a fly line helps reduce friction between the line and the guides, then we ask; Why not clean your rod guides too?
Friction is a two way street, so if you want your fly line to shoot as far as possible, it’s probably best to make sure both your line and your rod guides are nice and clean.
Unlike your fly line, the guides on your rod are not porous, therefore cleaning your guides as often as your fly line is probably a bit overkill.. However cleaning your rod guides with warm soapy water from time to time (especially if fishing in a salty environment), can actually make a noticeable difference in the ability to shoot line.
We’ve even gone so far as to add just a tiny bit of fly line dressing the each rod guide, and we must say, we were quite pleased with the results!