A bodkin, by it's very nature, is going to get a build
up of dried glue on the point. This build up will, if
not removed, lead you to apply more glue to your flies
than you need, or want to apply. Especially on flies
in the smaller sizes.
An empty 35mm film can, some #1 or courser steel wool
and a few seconds are all we need to construct a nifty
The steel wool is available in most good hardware stores
and 12 pads will make enough cleaners for you and your
buddies. If you don't happen to have a camera, or it is
other than 35mm, empty film cans are usually available
for the asking at photo processors.
Take the empty can, remove the top, and pack it full
of steel wool. Pack your container generously with
the steel wool as over time it will break down with use.
The more you can pack into the can now, the better the
cleaner will do over a longer period of time. Shown here
is an entire #1 steel wool pad stuffed into the can.
OK, you have your can packed, now, carefully, using a
drilling notion push your bodkin point through the
plastic top of the film can. The small hole made by
the bodkin will effectively prevent broken steel wool
fibers from escaping the can, keeping your work space
cleaner and neater. Place the cap back on the can
packed with steel wool.
Now to clean your bodkin simply shove it through the
hole, into the steel wool and with a twisting motion
you will be able to remove a pretty good amount of
that glue build up. (You may find that an extremely
heavy initial build up will require scraping with a
knife or razor blade before you can easily clean it
with our bodkin can.)
As a bonus, this little device will allow you to pack
your bodkin safely for travel simply by packing the
can with the bodkin inserted.
If you have any tips or techniques, send them along,
most of this material has been stolen from somebody,
might as well steal your ideas too!
~ George E. Emanuel
(Chat Room Host Muddler)