Regarding the silk line, first determine that it is silk, lots of oiled Nylon lines were sold. Hold a burning match to the end, if it is silk, there will only be ash, if it is Nylon, it will form a hard lump. Nylon lines are typically not worth restoring.
If it is silk and very dirty, with no discernible finish left, or is stuck together, I would do the baking soda cleaning, which strips the finish off without harming the silk. Many people have in the past twenty years used this method with no complaints - Purchasing, Cleaning, Restoring, and Care of Old Silk Fly Lines
Good luck. If it is a good silk line, you may get another thirty years of fishing from it.
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About the bamboo ferrules, steel wool is a last resort. Ferrules are lapped with either a lapping stone or a lapping file, and that is fussy work. You need to know why the ferrule is not seating, is the female crimped a bit, or the male out of round? Lots of possibilities.
Fishermen who started with graphite sometimes don't understand that unlike graphite ferrules, you never turn a NS ferrule
as you are assembling the rod. The cane rod maker will typically stamp small register marks on male and female ferrules. Use a straight push with hands close together and the registry marks aligned.
If you still find that the fit leaves more than a 1/8" gap, rub the male ferrule with a candle stub and try again. The hard wax may allow it to mate better. (You can also use a candle stub for ferrules that are too loose from age.)