Fly Fishing Storage and How to Store Fly Line in the Off-Season


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As the sun sets on another thrilling fly fishing season, it’s time to pack away our gear and bid adieu to our favorite fishing spots until the spring thaw. While it might be tempting to simply toss your gear into the garage and forget about it until the next season, a bit of post-season care can significantly extend the life of your equipment, saving you money in the long run, and ensuring reliable performance when you’re out on the water.

So, how about we take a few minutes to review some simple tips and tricks for keeping your fly fishing gear clean, organized, and ready for many more seasons of fishing fun?

How to Store Correctly

Let’s take a look at how to properly care for and store some of the most commonly used fly fishing equipment during the off-season.

Wading Boots

Wading boots

Given the hefty price tag on a good pair of wading boots, proper care and storage are essential. After your last fishing outing of the season, wash your boots thoroughly with soap and warm water to remove all traces of mud and dirt.

Avoid exposure to direct sunlight, which can cause the glue to separate and the stitching thread to weaken. After the boots have completely dried in a shaded, dry place, store them on a dry shelf in a breathable bag or box until next season. To promote airflow and prevent moisture buildup, lace the boots loosely and pull the tongue forward.



Waders require special attention to prevent leaks. After a thorough washing inside and out with soapy warm water, hang your waders to dry in a shaded area out of direct sunlight, which can soften the construction and stitching, leading to leaks.

Once completely dry, store your waders on a hanger to prevent fabric cracks and tears. For waders with attached boots, hang them upside down to ensure any residual water drains out.

Fly Rods

Fly rods are relatively low maintenance. After a gentle wash and scrub to remove grit and dirt, allow your rod to dry thoroughly before storing it in its tube, preferably off the ground to prevent damage from pests.

Fly Reels

fly reels

Start by pulling all the line off the reel until the backing, then loosen the reel’s drag to the lowest setting. Give the reel a good scrub, ensuring all the dirt and grit are removed. If you’re comfortable doing so, remove the spool and rinse the inner workings.

Once clean and dry, store your reel in a cool, dry place.

Float Tubes

To prevent dryness and cracks, keep your float tube semi-inflated during storage.



A few minutes of care can significantly extend the lifespan of your flies. After soaking them in fresh water, allow them to dry thoroughly before returning them to your fly boxes.

Fly Line Care and Storage

Fly Line Care and Storage

Fly lines, arguably the most crucial component of your fly fishing setup, often receive the least care.

After each fishing session, it’s good practice to wash your lines and leave them in loose coils around the reel. For long-term storage, it’s best to keep the fly lines on a spare spool or an Omnispool.

Avoid tightly wound lines, storing lines on small arbors, and packing away wet lines to prevent damage and maintain the longevity of your fly lines.


Fly Fishing Storage and How to Store Fly Line in the Off Season

Proper care and storage of your fly fishing gear will ensure its longevity and reliable performance for many seasons to come. These simple steps can save you money in the long run, ensuring that every time you hit the water, you can focus on the fish, not faulty gear.

So, as you stow away your gear for the winter, take a moment to give it the care it deserves. After all, well-cared-for gear is the gift that keeps on giving, season after season.

Download our series of fly fishing books for more tips and tricks to enhance your fly fishing experience

Tight lines and see you next season!

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