The fly fishing reels we have today will last a lifetime and give wonderful service if you take good care of them. I’m now fishing with a Hardy Pre-Reissue Perfect Reel that has been in heavy use for over 30 years and it has never let me down. Be sure to follow the manufactures direction on the cleaning and care of your reels.
Here is the way I clean my fly fishing reel. I remove all of the fly line and backing. I remove the spool and scrub the whole fly reel (back, front, inside and out and the spool) with warm water and soap using an old soft toothbrush. I dry it with a soft cloth and set it aside for several days to dry completely. I then apply a thin coat of reel oil to the center pillar, drag, drag screw and all moveable parts inside the back of the fly reel being very careful no to get oil inside the spool where it might contact the line or backing. Next I put on new backing and replace the fly line.
Next week I’ll discuss how to take care of a fly line so it will perform well and last many years.
You are wading in water waist deep and you want to switch from a floating to a sinking tip line. Just remove the spool from your reel and replace it with the spool in your vest which is holding the sinking tip line. The problem is how to safely string up your 9ft. fly rod without wading back to the bank. To achieve this I thread up the lower half of the rod then take the rod apart at the middle ferrule and thread that part and reassemble the rod when I’m finished.
When putting your fly reel away for the winter clean inside the back plate, drag and spindle with a cleaning fluid and a Q-Tip unless the reel manufactures directions specify not to clean and oil it. On other reels apply a light coating of oil or reel grease to all working parts, being careful not to overdo this and get it on the line and backing. Set the reel in a shaded well ventilated area for several weeks to be sure the line and backing are completely dry, then store if for the winter.