Fixing a Cut in a Fly Line

I took my Microspey rod out on Friday and was casting pretty well until I got complacent and wrapped the leader around the running line. This cut through the running line which annoyed me as I had been casting as well as I ever had until that point.

There are not many line options for a Microspey 5wt rod, and what are available are overseas and expensive, right at a time of year where I want to use my Microspey to target sea run browns at the Tukituki estuary. So I had a look around online to see if there were any solutions to fix the cut line.

There is plenty of information about fixing cut lines, with the one I ended up using come from Philip Monahan at MidCurrent.

In The Orvis Guide to Tackle Care and Repair, Ted Leeson recommends using adhesive to bond the exposed ends of the coating together and to the (undamaged) core. This is ultimately a temporary fix because the adhesive will eventually buckle, crack, or fail because of the constant bending and stretching that a fly line undergoes. However, if you only have to perform this operation a few times a year, it might be worth it.

Leeson says he has used Aquaseal®, gel-type superglue, and flexible CA glues such as Loctite® 414 and Flex-Zap with good results. The key is to ensure that you apply the adhesively evenly and completely. Here’s Leeson’s method:

  1. Wash and dry the damaged area thoroughly.
  2. Gently fold the fly line, so that the cut in the line widens, exposing the core.
  3. Using the tip of a toothpick, apply a small amount of adhesive to the gap between the coating ends. Make sure some adhesive gets on both ends, as well as on the core.
  4. Straighten the line to close the gap.
  5. Rotate the line 90 degrees, and fold it again to expose another part of the cut.
  6. Repeat the process until all the damage has been repaired.
  7. Straighten the line.
  8. If any adhesive squeezes out onto the line, wipe it off with a toothpick and spread the remainder evenly with a moistened finger.
  9. Push the two ends together and hold them for a few minutes, giving the adhesive time to bond.
  10. Let the line dry completely before you attempt to use it again.

I purchased some Aquaseal and followed the instructions. The results were pretty good. I cast for about an hour with the line three days later, and while the repaired area was not completely smooth the line cast well enough for me to think I did not need to buy a new line.