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  • Writer's pictureMark A. Cartwright

Gottaflylee Lure Cleaning Method

Several years ago there was a magical place called Sportfisherman-com. (I won't even type it as a website because it is gone) All sorts of people hung out in the forums there. There were many characters that hung out and shared their knowledge and wisdom. A few of them had their own forums inside. Marty Hiatt had a little place called Wahoonbox: Welcome to my World. There was an eclectic group that hovered around in there discussing all manner of things that matter to anglers and hunters. He even let me talk a little baseball.

Another was Captain Lee Parsons.

His Gottaflylee forum was the place to learn about inshore fly fishing, Mirror Lure flinging, and all sorts of photography lessons. His Salty Lens Productions has won many contests. He and a partner had a lot of success fishing on the Redfish tour also. He was one of Reel Fun Enterprises first field testers too.

This is his tried and true way of getting your cruddy and rusty lures cleaned up. He had a great detailed post of how he did on the old forum, but sadly it and the forum are gone. I won't do Lee's great post justice here. But here it goes.

Getting Prepared

First thing you have to do is dig them all out from where you have them stowed. You don't want to embark on this process with only two or three lures. Get them all out. At least do a dozen or so.

Now you have to take all the hardware you can off the baits. Lee says he takes off all the split rings. I left a few that still looked pristine. But you make the call. Whatever you take off, you have to replace. Ones like this have to go.

You can use split ring pliers if you have them and want to take that much time getting them off.

I just use side cutters, which some of you might call dikes. A clip here and clip there and your done. Sometimes you will have to make two cuts through the split rings. When you do that a piece is going flying, so wear eye protection. It is best to make your cut on the single piece of wire. This area is where you open it to add a hook or take it off its hanger. When you get all the hardware off, you can begin the cleaning process.

Step One of the Two Step Cleaning Process.

Things you will need:

1. A small ice chest

2. A pot to heat water

3. Denture cleaning tablets

Heat up a big pot of water. Not boiling but hot.

While you are waiting on the water to get hot, put about 15 to 20 tablets in the ice chest. Just rip them open over the ice chest.

I used the cheapest ones I could find at the grocery store and they worked fine.

You see I have a couple of Catcher's Mitts handy for when I get that pot off the fire. I keep some near the Barbecue pit, you never know when you might have to touch something hot.

I added the lures. I put some tap water as a buffer to dumping a pot of hot water on the lures. It is a pretty cool sight when the tablets really get going.

Close the lid and let the lures soak in that solution for 12 to 24 hours. This will get the crud off of the lures without you having to scrub each one with a toothbrush. If you have ever cleaned up some lures with a toothbrush you know how much of pain that is if you have more than a few to clean.

This cleaning step is great. However, it does not get the rust stains off. That is what step two does. Before we get there, take your lures out of the ice chest and use a basket, colander or a utensil basket you saved when you replaced your dishwasher. Give them a good shot with the hose and sit them aside to dry.

Step Two

After your lures have had a chance to dry off, you can now proceed to step two.

You will need to get your hands on this secret ingredient. I could not find it at the local grocery store. I ordered it off of Amazon. Your grocery store may have it. It will be in the toilet cleaning section. Don't be temped to use Lime Away, or CLR. I had Captain Lee on the phone when I was searching in the grocery store. He said, those products can't hold a candle to this...........................Whink Rust Stain Remover

This is potent stuff. Use gloves and eye protection.

Squirt some Whink on a rag and start wiping. Light rust will just disappear. Heavy rust will need a little rubbing. I think if you just held a saturated rag on the heavy rust it would disappear also, but who has time for that! I just rubbed it until the rust was gone.



Sparkling clean

That is all there is to get your lures cleaned up.

Now all that is left is to put the hardware back on. Do you put all the split rings on and then put on the hooks? Or do you put the split rings on the hooks and then attach to lure? Try it both ways and let me know which way you found easier.

Bonus Section

Sometimes when you have a disaster lure situation, the box that the lures were in gets pretty nasty. I had actually thrown this box in the trash. But, when I was talking with Captain Lee, he said that Whink treatment will clean up the boxes and your boat! I haven't tried it on the boat yet, but I pulled the old Trap box out of the the can and got to work on it.

It was in pretty bad shape.

First I got after it with Dawn and a brush.

Then hit it with a hard spray.

Pretty clean except for the rust stains.

Now for the Whink cleaning. This is how the box looked after a few minutes wiping it down with a rag saturated in Whink. A little Scotchbrite pad can cleanse away a lot sins.

I hope you have found this useful. If you did, give it a like and a share. Post a comment too.

Soft rides & hard strikes!!!


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