Care of Silk Fly Lines

9 January 2016  |  Admin

Care of Silk Fly Lines

Silk lines, contrary to popular belief, do not require extensive amounts of care, but do require a little more than synthetic lines. A major misconception is the question of greasing. Only the lightest coat of Red Mucilin is necessary. Apply the Red Mucilin with the pad provided and then wipe with a tissue to remove excess. Over-greasing attracts dirt and scum and leads to the line sinking. Only apply grease to a dry line.

If one whips loops on to either end of a double taper line, it is a simple matter to reverse the line during a heavy day’s fishing(bearing in mind that 90% plus of fish are caught within 15 yards).The whole line can then be cleaned and put away at the end of the day.  The modified Grey's loop is a good way to do this. 

The most frequent problem with the use of silk lines occurs at the tip ring. Silk lines do not take kindly to being ripped through the tip ring before false casting. The fisherman arrives at the bank side, unhooks the fly from the keeper and drags the fly line through the tip ring, bending the tip of the rod almost double. The sharp bend here does not do the fly line any good at all – likewise a worn tip ring (or if agate, a cracked tip ring) will rip the coating off a silk line very quickly – most fishermen should realise that the rings on a rod are expendable – they do wear and should be replaced as often as is necessary, especially with loop tip rings and snake intermediates.

The other problem is overloading the reel. All the books say fill the reel to its maximum, which is fine when winding on line in one’s living room, but when at the water with a fish on, winding in line evenly is the last thing on one’s mind and it is all to easy to have the line unevenly wound onto the reel and scrape the line on the inside of the reel cage. If the reel is overloaded, then reduce the amount of backing or use a larger reel with your rod.

If one looks after one’s silk line as well as the reel and the rod are cared for, it should give many years of service. After a day’s fishing wipe the line dry with a soft cloth. If possible, leave the line on a line drier or in loose coils until the next fishing trip. At the end of the season, leave it in loose coils between two sheets of paper, in a drawer for example.

Mike Brookes