Ok everyone, raise your hands if you sometimes neglect to clean your fly line. I saw a few hands go up! Like many pieces of fly fishing gear, fly line must be maintained. Have you ever fallen behind on line cleaning only to go fishing and have your casts suffer because of it? I'm definitely guilty of that. Using a line that's dirty or has lost its slickness can really have an effect on line management and just general castability. While it's probably safe to say that nobody enjoys cleaning their fly lines (I personally hate it), it's still something you need to think about. Luckily, RIO makes a nifty little product that makes this job easy, effective, and cuts down a bit on excess trash in the process.
The RIO Wonder Cloth is a small micro-abrasive cloth that measures about 5-inches long and about 3-inches wide. Made from a proprietary blend of polyester and cellulose, its gentle scrubbing power is effective at removing stubborn crud from fly lines. Unlike something like a napkin or paper towel, it's also super strong. I wasn't able to pull apart or tear a Wonder Cloth whether wet or dry.
After wiping down a line, a cloth can be hand or machine-washed and reused multiple times. During testing, I cleaned one of my dirtiest lines with a wet Wonder Cloth, then cleaned the cloth with warm water and soap afterwards. After a 2-minute wash session, I found that I wasn't able to fully remove the dirty streaks from the cloth, but they did fade out somewhat. When another one was tested along with RIO's Agent X Line Dressing, afterwards I was able to quickly wash out all the remaining dressing in the cloth with the soap and running water. After rinsing, these towels dry relatively quickly.
For fly line cleaning, RIO recommends using a wet Wonder Cloth, or for very dirty lines, a bit of mild hand soap as well. Simply strip off the line you want cleaned, fold the cloth in half over the line, and pull the line through. Different (clean) parts of the cloth can be used as you wipe the line until the desired result is reached. After the line is cleaned, you can also use a clean Wonder Cloth to apply line dressing, then use another clean and dry one to wipe away the excess and buff the line.
Whether you use them for cleaning, applying dressing, or both, these are a handy product to keep on-hand. The highly-portable and effective RIO Wonder Cloths come in packs of 4 at a price of $4.95.
RIO Wonder Cloth