Fishing & Hunting Tips

How to clean fishing reels? Complete Guide

If you are an angler, then you must know the importance of smoothness or durability of a fishing reel. If your fishing reel squawk and not as smooth as it was before, there’s corrosion on it, then it’s not gonna last longer. And you are not going to be happy about it if the corrosion destroys your fishing reel and cost you a lot of money.  Here I will discuss how to clean fishing reels.

Most of the companies nowadays are making their fishing reel corrosion protective as much as possible it is, but there’s more to do to keep it safe. With a little maintenance, it can go a long distance. But the fact is we have to know the proper way to maintain it. Even I lost so many bucks over the year because of the improper maintenance.

A lot of guys said that cleaning a fishing reel is a daunting task, but after knowing the proper way to do it, you will be satisfied to learn that it’s so easy actually. All you have to know is when and how to clean fishing reels, that’s it!

Here we will discuss the most effective and successful practice to clean a reel, you will find the complete solutions here. Let’s get straight to the topics, shall we!

Before starting, we have this article on some amazing fishing reels under 100 bucks! why don’t you have a look at our article about The best Bass spinning reel under 100$ in 2019!

Why and when you need to clean your fishing reels :

Why – We all fish in freshwater and saltwater, now freshwater or inshore fishing is not too much risk for a reel cause the freshwater has a 0.05 % of salinity level which is too much low, but the saltwater contains about 3.5% of salinity, imagine how much salt could be there in saltwater!

When – After a freshwater fishing, you can just wash the reels with a water hose and then rub it with a clean wet towel. later keep it to the sun for 1/2 hours, that’s it! Just be careful with the hose which I will explain below this article.

how to clean fishing reels

Saltwater or offshore fishing is what I love and most of you do. Can’t resist from that extreme and harsh environment, right? But with the passion of saltwater fishing, comes greater risk. The major topic of discussion is how to clean a fishing reel after saltwater use.

As you know, the saltwater is too much corrosive and also the debris and sands there can do effective harm to your fishing gears, eventually, it will be destroyed in a few years. If you fish from a kayak than fishing from a dock, pier or shoreline, the reel will have more contact with the salt water which is riskier. But don’t you worry, every problem has solutions.

Must wash your fishing rod and reel after a saltwater fishing, you have to do it every time you fish. Now I saw some of my friends keep there rods and reels in a bathtub, some even go to shower with it! But this is a mistake, we should never do it at all.

The proper way for a basic wash :

  • First wash properly the sands, salts, and debris from the rod
  • Then wash the reel
  • Never wash it from underneath
  • Lightly spray from the top of the reel
  • Never spray forceful water from the hoes, always light spray with it
  • Soak a towel with freshwater and then wipe the whole outer body of the reel, clean all the sands and salts with the wet towel. Just wipe everything out of it, every part of the reel
  • Give it some time to dry itself

Don’t spray the water from underneath because if you do that, there are good possibilities of salt, sands inside the spool and it will wash away and take place to the gear part. You don’t want to lose that gear smoothness, right? Also don’t forcefully water to it, that will result in the same.

Now those steps will let your reel lasts for a really long time. It will take just 5/10 minutes of your time, but remember to follow those steps every time after a saltwater fishing. That will resist corroding, if the corrosion takes place once and you give it some time, then it will be mission impossible to get rid of it completely.

Now, for an advanced cleaning which you can do once in a month or after six months, follow these steps below. I personally do it once in a month.

Advanced cleaning and lubricating it :

For an advanced cleaning and lubricating, you will need some equipment.

  1. WD-40 or a household pledge
  2. Wet wash rag
  3. Dry wash rag
  4. A Toothbrush
  5. Toothpicks
  6. Grease
  7. Oil
  8. Screwdrivers

Those are super easy to get. So after getting these things, In every month or in every 6 months you should do it for better protection from corrosion. The procedure is pretty easy, you need to know that it will help the reel lasts for long enough time, maybe even your lifetime. So you don’t have to go for the complicated ways to clean your reel properly.

Simple steps are :

  • Take a WD-40 or any solvent and spray it on your reel
  • Get a toothbrush and brush it to everywhere to remove any corrosion away from it
  • Get yourself a dry towel and wipe the whole reel

Follow these methods to lubricate your fishing reels :

  • First, open the drag and get to the shaft. Clean it with the dry towel. You can put some grease into it. Don’t use any solvents there, cause that will dilute the grease.
  • Then unscrew the reels gear part with a screwdriver, you will find the gear mechanism there. With the toothpicks, take some grease and put some grease there. It will obviously carry the smoothness of the gear.
  • Then assemble it again following the order. Put some oil now in every moving part of the reels. That’s it, it’s the simplest and perfect way and you don’t need anymore to lubricate it.

Conclusion: There are many complicated ways to clean a fishing reel. But the results are the same, so why we should go for the complex if there’s an easy solution! In this article, I discussed how to clean fishing reels in the proper way which is effective and facile at the same time.

If you are looking for some extremely corrosive resistant reel, check out our article on Best Saltwater Spinning Reel for 2019.

Follow these methods exactly, you will find your fishing reels just as new as it was at first when you unboxed it after many years. All the companies out there are making reels which are durable, they built to last for a long time. But Without a good care, even the most expensive and durable reels will eventually get destroyed because of salt.

Hope you found all your answers and this article can help you maintaining your fishing reels. Happy fishing, folks!

Nicholi Wyto

Hey I'm Nicholi Wyto is a professional sports fisherman and hunter, love to enjoy spending time in Michigan’s rugged northern forests. I love to explore my experience and help others who are interested in fishing and hunting.

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