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Silk lines, contrary to popular belief, do not require extensive amounts of care, but do require a little more than synthetic lines. Here are a 5 tips that are worth knowing about.

1. The major misconception about of greasing silk lines.

Only the lightest coat of Red Mucilin is necessary – apply the Red Mucilin with the pad provided and then wipe with a tissue or soft cloth to remove excess.  Over-greasing attracts dirt and scum and leads to the line sinking. Always make certain that the line is dry before applying Red Muclin.

Note: For Phoenix Silk Fly Lines, we recommend to use Red Mucilin only.

2. They need too much care when fishing.

No.  If one whips loops on to either end of a double taper line, it is a simple matter to reverse the line during a heavy day’s fishing (bearing in mind that 90% plus of fish are caught within 15 yards). The whole line can then be cleaned and put away at the end of the day. 

3. Check your tip ring regularly.

The most frequent problem with the use of silk lines occurs at the tip ring. Silk lines do not take kindly to being ripped through the tip ring before false casting. The fisherman arrives at the bank side, unhooks the fly from the keeper and drags the fly line through the tip ring, bending the tip of the rod almost double. The sharp bend here does not do the fly line any good at all – likewise a worn tip ring (or if agate, a cracked tip ring) will rip the coating off a silk line very quickly – most fishermen will know that the rings on a rod are expendable – they do wear and should be replaced as often as is necessary, especially with loop tip rings and snake intermediates.

4. Overloading the reel

The other problem is overloading the reel.  All the books say fill the reel to its maximum, which is fine when winding on line in one’s living room, but when at the water with a fish on, winding in line evenly is the last thing on one’s mind and it is all to easy to have the line unevenly wound onto the reel and scrape the line on the inside of the reel cage.  If the reel is overloaded, then reduce the amount of backing or use a larger reel with your rod.

5, Loose coils are good.

After a day’s fishing wipe the line dry with a soft cloth. If possible leave the line on a line drier or in loose coils until the next fishing trip. At the end of the season, leave it in loose coils between two sheets of paper in a drawer for example. 

If one looks after one’s silk line as well as the reel and the rod are cared for, it should give many years of service.

And a word of caution from the booklet Kingfisher issued with their lines:

” We do recommend running a line off the reel at the end of the day – or wiping it and then running it back on the drier – but some people never have done this and it hasn’t really mattered. After all, there are lots of things we should do but don’t – so if you are the type that doesn’t bother – we won’t either, though you may have to buy another line before a fisherman in Nottingham (England) did – his lasted 42 years before being caught in the propeller of a boat at his local reservoir.”