Getting ready for the start of the season.

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With the start of the 2019 season fast approaching now’s the time to turn your attention to your forgotten about tackle, packed away since the end of November when the last of the Fishery Management (UK) Ltd water closed.

In this blog I am going to take you through a bit of check list and preparation, to make sure your kit is up to the test of the hard fighting Rainbow’s this upcoming season.

Firstly, lets look at the most important aspect of preparation for the start of the season your fly lines, paying special attention to the floating line. Often the most expensive line in the kit and the one of the most significant investments, it’s important you look after your “floater” to keep it preforming at its best and make it last if possible. Top quality fly lines like the ones made by “RIO” are made with tiny holes in the coating of the fly line. Within these microscopic holes a balance of a number, of lubricants that essentially act as moisturizers. These lubricants keep the plastic coating supple and strong and prevent it from drying out, or de-plasticising.  Therefore, it’s important to clean your lines, a great product we would recommend for a quick wipe after every third trip, are RIO’s Fly Line Cleaning Towelette, at 85p these inexpensive items will add months onto the life of a line.

These one use cloths are coating in special RIO cleaning agent to help remove dirt and grit.

They are very simple to use its just a matter of pulling the line through your hands while holding the cloth, as you do you will feel the cleaning solution starting to get to work on the line. Just remember to change the area of the cloth you are pulling the line through.
Once you have finished you will be amazed how much dirt comes out from the line even if done regularly like our RIO DEMO line’s.

While this technique is very quick, a line that hasn’t been cleaned in a while or maybe never, may call for deep cleaning techniques. Over the winter your expensive lines may now have the dirt ingrained into the those pours, or worse depending where they have been stored, they may also have some surface mildew that will need to come off.

The first step to a deep clean is to get some lukewarm water with a small amount of detergent in a washing up basin or bucket and allow the line to sit for 5 minutes, allowing the water and detergent to get into those pours and remove the dirt.

Once it has been sat in the water for 5 minutes, its then time to run the line through a cloth. The perfect product for this is the RIO Wonder Cloth as its micro abrasive pad really helps to remove that ingrained dirt.

Again, you will be amazed how much dirt this cloth removes, even on the line I previously cleaned with the quick towelette. Just shows how much dirt has built up over the season. Helping to show how important this pre-season MOT is.

The final step of the process is to treat the line with RIO AGENTX (please note Agent X is only recommended for floating lines), and is specially formulated to enhance the performance of modern floating fly lines with RIO’s patented lubricant and high floating dressing. Just simply apply to a cloth and run the line back through it while winding onto the reel.

Now we have looked at lines and making sure they are in the best order they can be, lets turn out attention to the rest of the kit in the bag. First thing that will need looking at is the tippet material in the bag, give it a little test, tie a knot and make sure it hasn’t deteriorated over the winter. Although the main reason for checking is to check see how much is left on the spool. There is nothing more frustrating than getting up early for opening day, running down to the boat or bank in anticipation of that first fish of the new year. Only to find out you have enough tippet. With this in mind why not visit the online shop and get the tippet ready for the new season before the price increase on the 1st March.

The next step in the tackle bag is to make sure that all the other accessories are still there and hasn’t gone walk about during the closed season. Things such as snips, forceps, priest, gink, mud, zinger essential items. Once this has been done its time to check on the all important flies and fly boxes. The closed season is the perfect time to get all the flies in order. Maybe now is the best time to reorganise in a new fly box? Whether its slimming down the collection into a small pocket sized box or upgrading he box for a larger one? The Vision Slimline boxes certainly have the full range covered I myself opted for the large slimline boxes and organised reorganised my flies ready for a busy season of tuition & guiding.

It’s important when doing this that any flies that have rusty hooks or have been chewed excessively are discarded. During the season and with the help of my tuition team we will be putting together selections of top patterns for all our waters at certain times of year. So be sure to keep checking back my blog for the upcoming early season selection.

Tight Lines

Tom Bird

Guiding & Tuition Manager