I pulled some of my fishing rods out of the rod locker and the grips and blanks were covered with mildew from fishing on rainy days and humidity in the boat this summer. It can be somewhat depressing to pull the rods you paid good money for getting junked up by the elements or just lack of use. But usually they look worse than they really are. One easy cleaning solution for mildew on a rod is a simple SOS pad and some water. I usually clean mine on the driveway or in the front yard.
I cleaned a few of my favorite Mr. Crappie Wally Marshall Lew’s Crappie rods recently and here’s how I did it:
As you can see in the video. I wet the rods down, especially the grips. I then wet an SOS pad and gently begin rubbing on the handles with my hand circled around the grip. The dirtier they are the more you may have to go back and forth on the grip. But you will see it change color pretty quick. Then just rinse and repeat as necessary. On the blanks I am a lot more ginger. Sometimes I will take a softer cloth and use the soap of the sos pad and try cleaning the blank like that first. Steel wool can be hard on refined graphite. But most of the time if it has a nice coating on the rod and durable writing, you can clean the mildew off easily without hurting the rod at all.
Usually I will just apply very little pressure to start and see how it does on one small section of the rod. Then I will rinse the rods completely off and let dry outside before storing in a dry place inside.
I will sit down and do a whole bunch of rods at the end of the summer or fall and get most of them looking brand new again.