This post was last updated on April 24th, 2016 at 01:06 am
Linseed Oil Will Revitalize the Legs of your Flies and Protect them From UV Rays
Trout flies are not usually cheap, especially the full sized rubber leg varieties. We all have piles of flies that are ruined from sitting in the sun, or just years of being in a fly
box. Fact is, you can easily prevent your rubber legged trout flies from getting ruined by putting linseed oil on them. Linseed oil is all natural oil derived from the dried seeds of the flax plant. It has the natural ability to protect your rubber legged flies from harmful UV rays. It will also revitalize your flies legs that are starting to degrade. In a way it does essentially the same thing Armor all does for car tires. Armor all might work for this purpose as well, but I guarantee linseed oil is much safer to use. We don’t need any harsh chemicals in our trout streams. At one point I was using body lotion to rub down the legs of my flies. I have found that linseed oil is much more effective because it provides UV protection that lotion doesn’t.
Once your flies pass a certain point of deterioration, they can be hard to bring back, but it is possible with most flies. You can tell the legs of your flies are starting to dry out by the curling effect. Dried up fly legs become stiff and begin curling like a dead leaf.
How To Treat Your Flies Legs With the Oil
My method for treatment is to simply pour a bit of the oil into a disposable bowl or plate. Give the flies legs a little dip into the oil and gently rub them down with your fingers. After that I will put them onto a plate and let them chill out for a while allowing the oil to do it’s work. Now you can rest easy knowing your flies are treated and ready for the fishing season.
Latex VS Silicon Legs
Another tactic to keep your flies in great shape is to make the switch to silicone from the traditional latex variety of fly legs. Silicone legs won’t degrade quite like the latex ones will, so investing a little more money in quality rubber legs would be worth it.
This method has saved me quite a bit of money in the past few years, because once the legs crumble off my flies, they are destined for the trash can. I have entire large fly boxes filled with Chernobyl ants that have cracked and broken legs past the point of saving. Don’t let this happen to your flies. Save yourself some money in trashed flies and protect your investment using this trick.
Once your Flies are Past the Point of Saving
If you have a bunch of flies with legs that have either entirely cracked off or are about to, you can still use these flies! Tying on new legs for most flies is pretty quick and painless (especially on Chernobyl ants). This time make sure you either use silicon legs, or treat your trout flies legs with linseed oil.