How to Restore Vintage Fly Fishing Equipment

How to Restore Vintage Fly Fishing Equipment
The fly fishing equipment made prior to the technological advancements of the 1980s has a classic appeal to those who have an appreciation of tradition. Whether you have been blessed with a rod or reel that has been handed down from older generations in your family, or you stumbled across a great find at a garage sale, you will want to know how to restore your prized gear.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Household dish soap
  • Sponge
  • Tooth brush
  • Magnifying glass
  • Cotton balls
  • Clean rags
  • Small, thin metal file (fine)
  • Light all purpose oil, 3-in-1 or similar
  • Waterproof sandpaper, fine grit
  • Bar of hand soap
  • Auto polish
Step 1
Clean the rod using some warm water, dish soap, and a soft sponge. Use the toothbrush to clean the line guides and all the nooks and crannies around the handle and reel seat. Rinse the rod and dry it with a clean rag.
Step 2
Pull a cotton ball through the line guides while looking with a magnifying glass. If the cotton ball snags or get hung up, then the guides have a nick or burr and need repair. Use the metal file and gently file down these nicks.
Step 3
Spray the rod with furniture spray, and rub it down with a clean rag. Add a few drops of light oil to the reel seat, and rub it in also. Apply some candle wax on the male ferrules of the rod and they will slide on and off just like new.
Step 4
Bring back old cork grips of rods by wetting the grip, rubbing a bar of hand soap into a wet piece of fine, waterproof sandpaper. Gently rub the cork grip with the sandpaper, and then rinse it. Allow it to air dry. You can repair holes that are in the grip by filling them with a mixture that is made by filing little bits of cork off a larger piece, combined with a little wood glue.
Step 5
Use warm water and dish soap again to clean reels, rinse, and dry with a cloth. Do not allow the reel to soak however, as this can damage the cork drag.
Step 6
Lubricate the reel mechanism with a little of the light oil and a rag. Then take the same rag and use the small amount of oil that is left on the rag to rub down the surface of the reel spool. Finish up your restoration by applying a coat of auto car polish on the reel housing and buffing it to a like-new shine.

Article Written By Anthony Smith

Anthony Smith began writing for Demand Studios in May of 2009 and has since written over 1400 articles for them. He also writes for "The College Baseball Newsletter." He attended the University of New Mexico, and has more than 25 years of experience in the business world.

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