How to Care for Your Bamboo Fly Fishing Rod
Congratulations! You’ve moved up to a quality bamboo fly rod. Before you head out to your favorite fishing spot, though, take a moment to understand how to maintain your new rod. Fly fishing rods are made to withstand a lot of strain and stress, but if you take good care of the rod, it should last you a long, long time.
Clean and Protect Metal Ferrules
To clean and protect the ferrules you’ll need a petroleum jelly, a cotton swab and a clean dry cloth. You may also need some denatured alcohol and very fine grit sandpaper. For the female section of the ferrule, put a small amount of petroleum jelly on the swab and move in and out of the section to remove buildup. Next use the cloth to clean the outside of the female section and to clean the male section.
Use denatured alcohol on stubborn stains, taking care to keep the alcohol away from the varnish. For oxidation, use very fine grit sandpaper. Take care not to remove much metal, because it can affect how the pieces fit together.
Proper Care for Bamboo and Cork
Remove bamboo is a type of wood, and as such must be protected from the elements. It can also be polished to a bright shine like furniture. First, clean and dry the rod with a soft cloth. Next, apply paste furniture polish with a soft cloth. The result will be a gleaming bamboo work of art.
To clean the cork grip, use toothpaste, dish soap or mild bleach cleaner. After you’ve removed the dirt and buildup, wipe off the cleaner with a damp cloth. Any cleaner left behind can cause the cork to dry out and crack. For stubborn dirt and buildup, use fine grit sandpaper, being careful not to damage the cork.
How to Store Bamboo Fly Rods
If you’re maintaining your rod, it should already be clean and dry before you put it away. Still, it doesn’t hurt to take a clean, dry cloth and wipe the rod one more time. Storing a rod that isn’t completely clean or dry guarantees damage, so be vigilant.
If the rod’s going to be stored for a long time, give it a good waxing. Take the rod apart and place the individual pieces in a soft rod sack, and then into a protective rod tube. Lay the rod flat to store, and keep it away from extreme heat and moisture.
How to Buy Used Bamboo Fly rods
Flea markets and garage sales are good sources of old bamboo fly fishing rods and can provide you with a great bargain. Take a good look at the rod before you buy. Examine the rod for cracks. Make sure the seams haven’t separated, and check the cork grip for loose and missing pieces.
Assemble the rod and ensure that the ferrules fit snug, but not too tightly, and check the guides and windings. A rod that passes all of these tests is a treasure and definitely worth your investment.