How to Care for and Clean Your Fishing Rod

Posted by nick under Tips and Tricks

Your fishing rod, if properly cared for should last a very long time. Follow these care and maintance tips to ensure that it does.

getting ready to fish

General Care

  • Do not hand lures or hooks from the guides. This will surely scratch the surface of the guides and negatively affect your casting. Use the hook-keeper.
  • Do not let your lures bang the tip top by reeling in them in all the way.
  • Do not “high-stick.” This refers to over-flexing the rod and creating excess pressure on the tip top. When fighting a fish do not lift the rod past 90 degrees.
  • Don’t strike the rod against hard surfaces.


  • Place your rod in your car or truck so that the rod is not banging against another rod or hard surface, and so nothing heavy will fall on it, smash it or otherwise damage it.
  • If you have more than one rod, consider using one a rod transport system, there are many ingenious designs to meet your particular needs.

In the Field

  • When there is sufficient space, carry the rod horizontally with the tip pointing behind you. This will keep you from digging the tip into the ground and breaking it off.
  • Never lay your rod flat on the ground; that’s like asking for it to be stepped on. Use a bank rod holder instead.
  • If you have to lean the rod on your car, make sure you do it away from any open car doors. Car doors and fishing rods don’t play well together and the car door always wins.Other Options: Try leaning the rod in the recess between the side view mirror and the car body or use a magnetic rod holder.


  • Wash the entire rod with soap and fresh water. Rinse hot and let it dry thoroughly. Taking a shower with the rod after a good fishing day is a an easy way to get this done.
  • Ensure that the ferules are clean. Wipe down the male ferrules and apply a little grease or candle wax. Use a Q-tip to make sure the female ferules are free of dirt and grit.
  • Examine the guides for scratches. You can run a cotton ball or ladies nylon hose through the guides to see if it snags. If the the guides are damaged replace them promptly.


  • Do not store your rod by leaning it on a wall or corner of a room. This will cause it to “set” (unwanted bend) over time.
  • Do use a good rack system to keep your rod off the floor and out of harm’s way.
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6 Responses to “How to Care for and Clean Your Fishing Rod”

  1. How To Maintain Your Fishing Rod ? — The Grand American Fish Rodeo Blog Says:

    […] a soft cloth with a light cleaning chemical or a solution of warm water and vinegar to clean your fishing rod after a long fishing day. This […]

  2. Bonnie Stone Says:

    Typo in the first bullet.

    Is: Do not hand lures or hooks from the guides.

    Should be: hand should be hang

  3. jim watson Says:

    Top level info from a seasoned angler.
    Cleaning bait is kinda tricky. The sharp head of bait can injure hands if it not taken care properly.

    As always great info to keep in mind.
    I just save the page to come back again to learn new things.

  4. Thunder Says:

    This is very good information thank you.

  5. Charles Petit Says:

    How do you clean rod’s cork handles ?

    Thanks; nice web page !


  6. Charles Petit Says:

    Hi ,

    How do you clean rod’s cork handles ?
    Once cork handle is cleaned, do you not seal the cork?
    If, what is the seal used on the cork?
    Does the seal affect “cleaning ease” the next time cleaning the handle?

    Nice web page!


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