The long dark nights have however given me chance to do an MOT on my fishing gear. I was lucky this Christmas in that Santa bought my one or two bits of fly fishing tackle. 2 new Greys GX500 appeared under the tree and I have spent the last few evenings loading them up with new lines ready for the start of the reservoir season. This prompted me to check over the rest of my fly fishing gear in a pre season tackle check.
So here is my top 6 MOT checks before you venture out!Rods.
A friend of mine two seasons ago took his rod out of the case having not used it since a wet October day the previous season to find the hole thing was mouldy! I still chuckle about his response to this day! So give your rod tube a quick wipe down with a wet cloth to remove excess dirt, put your rod case in the washing machine on a cool wash. You don’t want it to shrink!! Use a soft toothbrush and damp cloth to remove the bits of dirt from around the eyes and eye whippings. Check your tip ring for signs of wear. Reels.
A quick wash in luke warm soap water using your soft toothbrush to remove grit and dirt. Oil the necessary internal parts. Re label your spare spools so you can identify the lines on them. The Greys GX reels saves this hassle with their unique line ID system on the spools Fly Lines.
Take the full line off the reel and check for cracks and damage. Replace with new lines if badly cracked or damaged. My DI7 line had the internal core exposed and my floating line was cracked after three years of heavy usage. Both have now been replaced.Braided Loops and Needle knots.
Check your leader to fly line connectors. For my sinking lines I use braided loops which are nail knotted to the fly line. Those of you who use the sleeve and glue (why?) need to check the point where the sleeve and glue touch fly line as this may well have “cut” through to the core. This will need replacing. On my floating lines I “needle knot” a short section of 15lb b/s nylon or short tapered leader. A quick check here to make sure both the needle knot and nylon loop are ok.Flies.
Remove any rusty flies and flies where the hooks have been slightly straightened. Separate lures, nymphs and dries into separate boxes or separate sections. Stock up on last seasons killing patterns.
Label your tackle.
After 20+ years of being involved in managing a trout fishery it amazes me the amount of tackle which is left on the bankside and never reclaimed. We could have reunited most of this with its owners had it been marked with the owners name and telephone number. So my rod case has a name tag and my telephone number sewn in like my son has in his school uniform. My reel case has a business card inside it. And most importantly my fly boxes have my name and telephone number cellotaped firmly on the back of the box with the fly types cellotaped to the front.
So I now have everything ready for my next session weather and work permitting!
Andy Taylor is a member of the Hardy and Greys Fly Fishing Instructors Academy. He is also a qualified and insured instructor with the Game Anglers Instructors Association. Andy can be booked for part, half or full day guiding on his parents fishery in beautiful south east Cheshire or one of the many large and small stillwaters in the Midlands and the delightful Welsh Dee.