The North American Fly Fishing Forum

The North American Fly Fishing Forum (
-   General Discussion (
-   -   ArmorAll for line cleaner????? (

wabi 05-27-2011 07:47 AM

ArmorAll for line cleaner?????
I'm low on line cleaner and was thinking of trying ArmorAll (wipes?) as an alternative to the products marketed as fly line cleaner. I've seen it suggested on forums, but I have no idea which ArmorAll product(s) would be suitable for this use. I did a search for ArmorAll products and saw they market "wipes" which would be easy to carry & use if they are suitable.
I know I can clean lines at home in soapy water, but I like to have something to use when I fish. A lot of the warm water lakes/ponds I fish accumulate a coating of substances (pollen, alge, and unidentified :rolleyes:) on the surface, and I thought it would be nice to be able to clean the line as I spool it back on the reel when I leave for the day.

Has anyone used ArmorAll for cleaning fly lines?

fredaevans 05-27-2011 08:00 AM

Re: ArmorAll for line cleaner?????
Long thread on this topic a couple of weeks back on the UK 'Mother Board.' Bottom line was yes you can, but check with the line manufacturer first. Different line coatings may react differently.

FrankB2 05-27-2011 10:35 AM

Re: ArmorAll for line cleaner?????
Google "303 Protectant". It's quickly replacing armorall on a lot of garage shelves: better UV protection, and doesn't leave a greasy film. I bought a Royalex canoe a few years ago, and all of the manufacturers recommend using 303 Protectant, and not armorall. When I googled 303, some car forums popped up, and those guys say that armorall attacks vinyl dashes pretty aggressively, but that 303 is dandy. It's a bit more expensive than armorall, and tougher to find (it's all they carry at the local boat shop, however), but I love the stuff.

Having typed all of that, I've been working on the same little tube of 3M line cleaner/dressing for the past 3 years. It should last another couple. I wipe down lines after each outing, and then place a few drops of 3M stuff on a paper towel. Running the line through the paper towel leaves plenty of the dressing on the paper, and then the excess is wiped of the line. The 3M dressing comes with a micro-srcub pad, and the whole thing is around $7.

Guest1 05-27-2011 11:00 AM

Re: ArmorAll for line cleaner?????
There are a ton of spey guys who use STP Son of a Gun. They call it "El Slicko" The STP version of Armor All. I use STP Son of a Gun and love it. I take a wet 1/2 paper towel and run my line through it till it's clean. I put some 'El Slicko' on the other half and run the line through it and then back through it. Let it dry (don't think you need to let it dry but I do) and wind it back on the reel. It works really well. Shoot much line :thumbsupu

driftaway 05-27-2011 03:49 PM

Re: ArmorAll for line cleaner?????
You asked about it being a cleaner. Armor All is not a cleaner. It is a coating. It will seal in the dirt. It does not last long in water and it slickness it gone pretty quickly. The directions on Armor All say that the surface should be cleaned first.

wabi 05-27-2011 08:07 PM

Re: ArmorAll for line cleaner?????
Thanks for the replies.
I decided to go ahead and order a regular fly line cleaner/conditioner (Loon).

mojo 05-27-2011 08:45 PM

Re: ArmorAll for line cleaner?????
This has been rehashed over the forums for years. With the cost of flyline what it is, I'd stick with dressing/cleaner that is made for flylines. Zip Cast is one that's supposed to kick some serious arse. SA, Rio, Cortland all make it too. I think you did the right thing ordering the cleaner made for fly lines.

fredaevans 05-27-2011 09:31 PM

Re: ArmorAll for line cleaner?????

Originally Posted by driftaway (Post 262413)
You asked about it being a cleaner. Armor All is not a cleaner. It is a coating. It will seal in the dirt. It does not last long in water and it slickness it gone pretty quickly. The directions on Armor All say that the surface should be cleaned first.


There was 'some thing' rattling around in my old brain that I just couldn't grab on to ... exactly!:thumbup:


Jackster 05-27-2011 11:01 PM

Re: ArmorAll for line cleaner?????
With the cost of fly lines being what they are, is a home brew remedy really worth the risk?
I have tried all sorts of line cleaners and dressings. My lines rarely get much rest. When not being used for fishing they are used for teaching and a whole lot of casting practice. The teaching and practice rarely takes place on water... more likely on grass and even in parking lots.
In the over 15 years since I started really caring about them, I can say I've never had a line crack or even slow down to where it would not feed back when hauling.
Besides cleaning with Ivory bar soap (NOT dish detergent!) and water, for real skanky lines I might take the SA/3M micro-abrasive cleaning pad to the lines that have the same type of material in them all the way to the core. I wouldn't use the pads on lines that say they have a hard, slick finish as those lines sometimes have a very thin coating that made them slick. With lines like the better SA and Rio lines, the slickness is throughout the coating. The abrasive pads just bring a fresh new finish to the top. For those who wonder (as I did) if the abrasive pads will eventually sand the coating down to nothing, I took a 0.00005" digital micrometer to a line after swiping it 50 times with several of the SA grey pads. It read no dimensional difference whatsoever.
On really abused lines it appears to me that the best treatments are those that take a little time and work to apply properly to bring about a slick, durable and fast finish. The two I use most are Glide and Rio Agent X. To last they have to set a while and then be buffed in but to me the effort is worth it.
For quick fixes I always just swipe them a few times with the SA pad. That leaves a dry slick that won't attract dirt. If I worry the lines won't take kindly to that (that have a slick surface finish only) I use SA line dressing. I have just started trying Special Delivery spray-on dressing. So far, so good and the quickest and easiest by far.
Zip Cast gets a lot of play on the internet but my experience has been that it just does not seem to last long on the line. Sure I see signs of dirt when applying it with a cloth but then plain water would also show that. On the Zip Cst I am less than impressed.
The absolute slickest stuff I've tried is some sort of secret sauce sent to me by a friend in Europe. It is so slick it is hard to hold on to the line enough to make a haul! He holds the recipe close to his heart and won't even give me clue as to what is in it.
Sorry for being so wordy but I've spent quite a lot of time and effort to find what works best for me in keeping clean, fast lines

wjc 05-28-2011 08:07 AM

Re: ArmorAll for line cleaner?????

It is so slick it is hard to hold on to the line enough to make a haul!
I tried some spray-on silicone for a quick fix and it resulted in the same thing, Jackster. I also noted that it becomes very sticky after it semi-dries out and mixes with salt water, and makes the line worse than without it.

I just use glide now. Nothing I've tried works very long in salt water, but buffed out glide works for a while. I use Ivory hand soap too, because it rinses completely off easier than anything else and is conveniently located in my bathrooms.

I also paste wax my rod whenever I can find it, remember to do it, and get the chance. Getting old ain't for whimps.:icon_lol:


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:24 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.40 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
2005-2017 The North American Fly Fishing Forum. All rights reserved.