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Outerhebrides
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I read that running lines must be conditioned. What are your recommendations for doing this, and how often must it be done. I have noticed that my running line is more prone to tangling after a few months than it was when it was new.... Thanks.
 

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There are a number of cleaning/lubricating solutions you can buy, but one inexpensive choice is to buy it from Red Shed fly shop where Poppy decants “El slicko” into cheap spritz bottles. I always forget the name of the product when not looking in the bottle, but there is a minimum of the usual fly fishing markup/tax that way. The other one in the picture was one made by airflo. They don’t all do the same exact things, or equally well. When at home soap and warm water, followed by a rinse will to the cleaning part just fine.

How often - like stretching it is safe to say that most people, even the ones who have it in the bag, don’t do it enough. It is true, but probably a cop out to say it depends on the water you are fishing. I definitely do it after any trip to Pyramid lake in Nevada because of the intense alkalinity. You might have to experiment to see how often you feel helps in you case.

Periodic careful untwisting and stretching may help a lot as far a tangling goes. Lines get worse in this regard with age, but usually can be restored. I like to do the stretching just after soaking coated shooting lines in a bath of hot-to-the-touch (but not scalding) water which helps to more easily get rid of any acquired memory.
 

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For floating lines, try a local motor factor shop and look for any proprietary dash board cleaner(here in the UK it has the trade name Armourall).Its a large pump action silicon based dash board cleaner/shiner that will last for ages n ages for a very low cost(compared to anything you'll buy in the tackle shop!).
It's a trick that's been used by many a tournament caster over the years here in the UK.Don't I repeat Don't use on sinking lines as it'll make them float!.
Its really good stuff,I've been using it for years n years(same bottle!).
Yorkie.
 

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Nice tip! Got to try that out. Same trade name here in the US as well.

I’m guessing that just because the “el slicko” only costs $3 per spritz bottle doesn’t mean you can’t buy a gallon for $1.99 somewhere, in some form - if you have the right Rosetta Stone that is. :)
 

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What Poppy sells is "Son Of a Gun"
Ah, so same category as armorall. Nice. Do you know where he got the “ el slicko” he puts on the bottles? Maybe just him being funny.

I use 303 protectant for the same in my car. It’s suppose to be a UV filter so maybe it would also prolong the life of lines ... but sounds like a long shot there.

At any rate, lifetimes supply here I come. ;)
 

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sushiyummy & C&R
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I would stick with silicone based coating. The reason is silicon will not cause the plasticizer, sometimes a soya bean based oil, in PVC from leaching out. This leaching causes the core coating to lose its softness, making it easier to crack.

Of course, this won't necessarily apply with Poly Urethane running lines. But this will affect any PVC heads attached to it.

Also, watch out if you are storing your lines. My storage area is next to a mechanic and their compressors mist out into the surrounding air some fine oil (could be soy based). I removed them when one of my running lines started feeling extra tacky to touch.
 

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Over the years Armorall developed a reputation for ruining fly lines. Has that changed?

Anybody use micro-abrasive petrochemical pads to clean fly lines? 3M once sold them with line dressing if I recall.


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OP Outerhebrides observed: "I have noticed that my running line is more prone to tangling after a few months than it was when it was new...."

ENSO speculates: twisted line is the culprit. The solution could be one of many: 1) toss the over-dressed flies that twist in fast water, 2) mix up the casting while fishing, i.e., cast with the non-dominant arm, cack-hand cast, and 3) remove the fly and allow the head and running line to hang in a steady current for a few minutes.
 

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Enso,don't know where you get that from,I've used Armourall for years on a variety of manufacturers lines and never had a problem in any way shape or form!.Its also very very popular with coarse fishers too for lubricating elastic systems on Roach Poles.
Two problems I have had are: dropping the line as it becomes that slippery after application.Secondly as said, it will cause the slower sinking lines to float or at least not sink properly.
As far as lubricating and increasing the floating properties of floating lines/heads/running lines go's, it's never been less than 100% perfect.
As said, its been a common dodge for some time to improve the float ability and slickness of floating lines for tournament casters,I don't know of any complaints against it at all!
Good luck with it,I'll still be using it!.Yorkie.
 

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Armour All is actuall a company not just a product. Is is possible that there are different enough formulations that both stories could be true - they do have different formulations. Also, in the US at least, I have heard “armour all” used generically about stuff you use on your dash, so maybe very comlelty different product might have been referred to in the sentence “armour all messed up my line.”

YORKIE does it stay on the lines for a while after being in the water? I’m thinking this is actually a possible solution to a different problem I have had, especially on multi day trips, where some of the coated lines I like the best eventually end up cutting my “stripping finger” a bit due to friction.

Anyway, on a humorous note at least in this context, you actually CAN buy a gallon of it on amazon for about $37.

Edit: here it is from the Goog-oracle. “According to patent documents, Armor All typically contains water, PDMS (silicone), diethylene glycol, glycerin, and various additional chemical compounds.” Im betting there is something that cost more like $5 a gallon that does the same, as far as lines are concerned, somewhere.

Also: “Son of a Gun! Protectant contains water-based silicone emulsions, surfactants, ultraviolet light inhibitors, humectants, dispersants and gloss enhancers.”

So basically a silicone emulsion (i.e. in water) with extra stuff to get it to the right consistency and increase other features like UV protection and maybe help with cleaning.
 

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Yorkie, Trust me, Armor All cleaner had, maybe still has a reputation for ruining fly lines.

I used it once on an older single-hand rod fly line 2 or 3 decades ago. It worked for a while and then required constant re-applications on a daily or more frequent basis. The line was recycled for non-fishing purposes.

I also used the stuff to clean the dash, steering wheel, etc., and never really liked it. These days I vacuum clean and then use a citrus-based household cleaner.

Botsari, you are correct. Armor All is a company. I just googled it and saw that there are many, many Armor All cleaning products that can be used in an automobile. Would guess that the multi-purpose Auto Cleaner is relatively close to what I used decades ago. Emphasis on 'guess'. Incidentally, was that STP 303 Aerospace protectant you were referring to?

Yorkie: what specific Armor All product are you using? The multi-purpose auto cleaner?

Are you applying the Armor All to polymerizing vinyl chloride (PVC) lines or Poly Urethane (PU) lines or both?
 

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Yes, Son of a Gun protectant is an STP product.

In the case of the “303” stuff I think it refers to a formula some engineer came up with many decades ago. I think the original company got sold recently and possibly they are now also licensing the formula out, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see other companies using it. Here is the amazon listing info for the one I have been using on my CAR but I emphasize this was just an idea, I haven’t tried it on a line, and probably would want to test it first before doing so on something not too important or expensive. The formulation of this stuff is completely different, and does NOT use silicone so it could even for all I know eat lines like the Alien’s blood eats space freighter bulkheads. I’m thinking using it might be in the same category as microwaving your wet cat, or putting ketchup on fillet mignon. I think the “hey this stuff works great on other stuff, let’s try it on completely new stuff” method lacks a certain scientific heft. :eek:

Amazon listing: 30340CSR Marine UV Protectant Spray for Vinyl, Plastic, Rubber, Fiberglass, Leather & More – Dust and Dirt Repellant - Non-Toxic, Matte Finish.


At least “el slicko” has been well tested by the tribe!


Here is a blurb from the Goog-Oracle about the origins of the stuff:

“303 Products, Inc. CEO Dennis A. Praegitzer founded the Company in 1980 when he recognized that the aviation/aerospace industry needed something that did not exist: a protective chemical treatment for rubber and plastics that actually protected against UV and ozone degradation. 303 Products created the world's first UV-screening surface treatment.
 

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Eh up all as in anything that you apply as an afterthought, its not going to last for ages and will need re-application from time to time.
I used to(still do!) give the line a bit of a wash In warm soapy water, let it dry, then take a soft duster type of cloth and soak it in the Armourall,then I'd pull the line thought the cloth, forwards and back several times.Then allow to dry.
A single application would more than see the line fit for a full weeks fishing.
To date I've used it on Lee Wulffs,Rio's lines(Accelerators,Mid Speys) Airflo and Masterline running lines and my collection of Guideline heads.
Never suffered a minutes trouble in any way at all with any line or running line.
Not tried it on mono running lines yet, purely because I use Mr.Sheen Furniture Polish on mono running lines, as its just simpler to whoosh the whole spool without a line on it and allow to dry while you put the rod up.
Enso,maybe trade names and such are different here in Blighty,my bottle just says Armour All dash board cleaner and shiner.Being honest, my bottle's in the region of 5 or more years old now so things might have changed a bit.But being perfectly honest, it's proved itself to me over the years or I wouldn't say so on here.
Yorkie.
 

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PiscatorNonSolumPiscatur
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I ruined a few SA lines a few decades ago with Armourall. Was recommended by a fly shop at the time, but we all learned later it was not the thing to use. I have used a lot of the STP product with excellent results. Son of a Gun, Poppy sells it as El Slicko.
Perhaps it depends on the makeup of the individual fly line. Perhaps the Armourall formula has changed.
 

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Yorkie, Green Butt,

That is why I asked about Armor All. There are a lot of moving variables here: Armour cleaner chemical composition, fly line composition, stream chemistry.

Some of us are experts in a few narrow, technical areas and then the rest of the time, we rely on minimal research, rules of thumb, received wisdom, etc. Much of the time, the 'received wisdom' works but not always....

My curiosity is in part fueled by some recent frustration with an Airflo Skagit FIST head that resists a little being fed through the guides. Washing and polishing with a clean, dry rag does not seem to work as well as it should.

Did I get sunscreen on it? I am usually super careful with sunscreen or insect repellent, e.g., DEET. I rarely if ever apply insect repellent to my skin. The Skagit FIST head is made of Poly Urethane but then I have fished Airflo Scandi heads in the past and never had this sticky shooting head issue.
 

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PiscatorNonSolumPiscatur
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Enso,
Could your line accidentally got way overheated somehow?

mikesalmon,
Mucilin used to be a standard line dressing. I used a lot of it way back when. Not sure it had silicone back then.
 
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