Gear tip: Clean your line

Want to cast better? Maybe a little further, maybe a little straighter? Who doesn’t? I know I need work.

Practice is the key, of course. And before you shell out the bucks for a spiffy new fast-action fly rod, take 10 minutes to do the one thing that will improve the cast you have, with the rod you have, better than anything else.

Clean your fly line.

Part of my “spring cleaning” routine is to give the lines on my reels a good once over with a sponge and water. That’s it. Sometimes I’ll use a line cleaner from the fly shop. But usually a good rinse and swipe to remove grit will do the trick. And stretching out the kinks doesn’t hurt either.

Think of it like an oil change for your car. A little regular maintenance will extend the life of your fly line dramatically. And a good line on a fair rod will help your cast more than a fair line on a great rod ever will.

Just don’t tell my wife I said this. I think the new rod I ordered is coming in the mail today.

— Kirk Deeter

By Chris Hunt.