Salt & Corrosion

jaredoconnor

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I read some stuff last night about using bronze hooks in saltwater, rather than stainless hooks; the argument was that we should aim for hooks to corrode as quickly as possible, in case a fish breaks your tippet or swallows the fly too deep to retrieve it. This sounds like a good idea and I want to do this, but fly maintenance becomes a consideration.

This also got me thinking about reel care. I've always soaked my reel in water, with a very mild detergent. That seems to be the generally recommended approach. I wondered if maybe I could just throw my fly box in the same bucket for a little while.

I never questioned that reel care approach before. However, now that I have thought about it a bit further, it doesn't make any sense; detergents are going to have a higher PH than water, which I believe is the opposite of what you want to neutralize salt. It seems like a very weak acid would be better, like 10:1 water to vinegar. Has anyone considered this? My immediate thought is that it could affect the line coating or adhesives in the fly, but I can't see any reason why it would be worse than an equally strong alkaline mixture.

I spray dilute shower cleaner (lactic acid) on my boots every time I come back from fishing, just to stop mildew from growing. I never thought about it in the context of corrosion, but it probably explains why the eyelets have no signs of corrosion, despite the surfaces being thoroughly scuffed up.
 
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jaredoconnor

WFF Premium
Compared to most of the world's salt water, Puget Sound isn't all that salty. I just spray my rods and reels down with the hose after fishing. I have rods and reels which have been getting this treatment for 20+ years without corrosion issues.

Thanks for the input! 20 years of data sounds pretty solid. I'll skip the soap and vinegar and just use water then. Hopefully all my flies won't fall apart.
 

wadin' boot

Donny, you're out of your element...
WFF Premium
Mildew doesn't do so well in salt, think of all that bleached driftwood, not a speck of mildew on it.

There is a zen-like feeling when you realize your bronze hook snapped in the last fish's mouth over an hour earlier. Sometimes that zen-like sense can also be described as anger.
 
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wetswinger

Active Member
As I fish I place the days used flies in a little Altoids candy tin I keep on my vest. They do not go back in my fly box until I rinse them. Rust, like a cancer will spread. Stainless hooks only for me. I do rinse, usually just my spool and not the entire reel. Those supposed sealed drags aren't and fail when left wet. IMO. Will give it a quicky rinse if I doused in a good one in the salt but really try to keep the reel alone...
 

wiznet

Active Member
On the flip side, I had the bearing of my reel nearly rust out even with cleaning it every outing on the sound. See my thread posted earlier!
 

Buzzy

Active Member
Waaaaay back in the days when I lived on "the coast" I tied all my flies on bronze hooks. Like Wetswinger says, rust spreads and I learned the rusty way, fortunately, I learned this quite quickly. Started doing a similar program as the Swinger and didn't have too many issues afterwards.

Let us know how your acid/basic bronze fly rinse program goes.
 

gt

Active Member
i only use steel hooks, period. if i break off in the salt, i am confident they will rust out, and quickly. good idea to seperate the flies you used during the day rinsing them and drying them before you put them back in your fly box. only a quick rinse with running water seems to do the trick for me as well with rods and reels.
 

Northern

It's all good.
WFF Premium
You don't mention what kind of reel you're soaking. For my sealed drag reels, they just get a thorough hosing off. I do also fish some older click pawls and disk/caliper drags in the salt, though, and those get taken apart and soaked for 20 minutes or so before rinsing well, drying, then popping back together. I've had those lock up when I skipped the full routine. (Just now had to completely disassemble and scrub a Marryat I just hosed off last week! :oops: ) Lots of nooks and crannies for crystals to form in and jam up the works.
 

XP

Active Member
I’ve only had 1 reel and 1 rod rust from salt. Both were lower end models and I did rinse them after use. I find the salt to really not like wading boots especially the Boa style laces.
 

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