Monday, May 25, 2009

Cleaning Fly Rod Handles

I get a number of fly rods in the shop that people want me to look over and a lot that I sell for people on Ebay. If there is one thing that will improve the appeal of a used fly rod more than anything else, it's a clean cork handle. Not only does it look much better but it works better too. A clean cork grip is easier to hold and nicer to fish with. I thought I'd share a quick trick that I have figured out for cleaning cork rod grips that works on everything from a bit dirty to absolutely grimy grips and it will make them look new. I have heard and tried a number of things and many of you may know or have a method that works for you but this is quick, easy, and works wonders. It's very simple really, the best thing that I have found is the Scotch-Brite heavy duty dishwand replacement heads and just about any liquid hand dishsoap. I wet the cork then rub on a generous amount of dishsoap, then wet the sponge down and start scrubbing. Lots of soap, lots of water. The Scotch-Brite is abrasive enough to get the hardest dirt off but has yet to damage any cork grip that I have tried it on and that's quite a few. I have used it on newer high end fly rods down to 50 year old garage sale specials and expensive bamboo fly rods too, the results are always very good! One exception or area to be careful with is if there is already a large chunk missing or the cork rubs/flakes away in your hand. So the next time I disappear to the back of the shop with a ratty old fly rod only to return 2 minutes later with a new looking fly rod, that's it (who says a magician never reveals his secrets). Just remember to mark the one sponge for "dishes" and the other for "rod grips" please.

Now go scrub, fish, repeat!
The Northern Angler


Cpt. Jeff Cooke said...

Ever try sanding? Just curious....tight lines

The Northern Angler said...

I haven't, but I'm sure the right grit paper would do the trick too.