Maintaining fishing reels takes little time. It will increase performance and how long they will last. Taking care of the reel goes beyond lubing it once a year. Depending on how much you fish it may need to be lube a few times a year. They also need cleaning more often than most anglers do in a year. Shore fishing is harder on reels since the dirt on the ground finds its way into the reel. A few minutes on a regular schedule is all it takes.
Cleaning Fishing Reels
After 5 outings in freshwater, a reel needs a simple cleaning. Sometimes more often if it gets sand or other gritty material on it. Saltwater will need cleaning every time. Rinse the reel with fresh water to clean the housing first. Then look for impacted dirt. Dirt will stick in tight spots and gaps. A toothbrush with water will remove the dirt. On a baitcast check the worm under the line guide. This will get weeds and other material stuck in the grooves or on the edges. It can cause uneven line spooling.
That is a basic cleaning to do throughout the year. After cleaning put a small amount of grease or oil where it needed. This will vary on different reels. So refer to the manual that came with the reel. Look online if the manual became lost. Use caution since many reels come in several models and do have differences.
What is also important is what not to do when cleaning a fishing reel.
- Do not use gasoline or a strong degreaser.
- Do not use a wire brush or sharp tools.
- Do not leave the drag tight, back it off.
- Do not use a high-pressure hose or nozzle
Harsh chemicals can damage the plastic parts on a reel. They remove the lubricants also. A wire brush or sharp tool scratches the paint off that protects the body. It is there for more than looks. The finish protects the aluminum from corroding and graphite bodies from absorbing moisture. Releasing the drag allows the washer to relax and not become deformed to where they do not work. High-pressure sprays push dirt and water into the reel causing damage to the internal parts.
The In-depth Cleaning and Lubrication of Reels.
Today’s fishing reels are complicated internally. Anglers without the knowledge to do work on the inside of the reel. May need to consult an experienced person for the cleaning. Reels look like a watch inside with a lot of little parts. You need to be sure the pieces can be put back in the right place and position. One part out of place can keep a reel from working right and possibly ruin it.
Local tackle shops offer the service or the reel will need to be sent to the manufacturer’s repair center. The cost is 20-30 dollars. If the cleaning is only once a year. This is a safe and cost-effective way to have the reel done. Reels that need the cleaning a few times a year are a different story. Anglers with the experience and fish a lot can do the cleaning. There are too many models and types to explain how-to on a blog or video.
Cleaning and lubing your own reels means having some replacement parts. The drag’s washers and other friction pieces need replacing after a while. Order them before you clean the reel. Also, inspect other parts and order those as well. Once you have the parts consult the owner manual for the reel. It describes the procedure for a thorough cleaning. The old grease and all the dirt must be removed then apply new grease and oil.
Basic cleaning and lubrication are easy and anyone can do the job. The action of disassembling a reel takes some knowledge. An angler with the skills can tear down a reel and save a few bucks. But if you do not have the skills. Then seek a professional to do the work for you. Should you choose to work on a reel without experience, take time to watch a few videos on the model you own. Having an old unused reel is a good one to practice with before trying a good reel. Also, take care of the rod on a regular basis