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How Do You Clean a Baitcasting Reel? – A Step by Step Guide

clean baitcasting reel
Written by Immanuel Baranov
Last Update: July 24, 2023

Millions of anglers be professional or hobbyists like baitcasting reel. The immense popularity of the fishing reel is due to the fact that anglers have more accuracy and control in casting. Especially when you are fond of challenges and always want to fish larger fishes, baitcasting reels become a must.

Despite being an expert fisherman and owing a top-notch baitcasters, you might suffer in the long-run. Soon you would run out of its efficiency, if you do not clean baitcasting reel properly. Already worried about it? You will not have to, if you have a look at our article that demonstrates precisely on how to clean baitcasting reel.

How to Clean Baitcasting Reel

Step 1: Gathering stuffs required

Now, the things that you will need for cleaning the reels are

  • Warm soapy water
  • Cotton or rag
  • Cotton swab or Q-tip
  • Oil
  • Mild degreaser
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Toothbrush


When you are done fetching the required things, you should move towards the steps given below:

Step 2: Disassembling the reel

The first step is to disassemble the entire reel in order to deep clean it. Flip open the key dial to open the cover and take the spool out. Wipe the body and the spool with rubbing alcohol at first. Remove the lines as well and dunk the spool and line in the warm soapy water.


Step 3: Clean off the impurities

Wipe the outside of the reel with clean cloth dipped in warm soapy water. Toothbrushes can also be used to clean. This will help to swipe away all the impurities settled on the baitcasting reel.

clean-off-the-impurities of reel

Step 4: Soaking the spool in water

After keeping the spool for few minutes in the water, wash it, dry it and attach it in its place.

Soaking-the-spool-in-water Clean Baitcasting Reel

Step 5: Cleaning the handles

The handles should be cleaned also. So, for removing the handle turn it anti-clockwise and rinse it thoroughly with the soapy warm water. With the help of Q-tip or cotton swab clean the inside areas like the handle-mounting area on the body if the reel. Degreaser can be used to remove oil or grease. Put reel oil to prevent corrosion and attach the handle back to the reel.

Cleaning the Baitcasting Reel handles

 Step 6: Drying up the reel

As soon as the cleaning procedure is completed, you should let the reel dry or wipe it with clean cloth. As said before, reel oil can be applied to provide moisture and prevent dirt and rust residue. Therefore, put oil inside every part by using cotton swab. For example, on the shaft of the spool, pinon gear that lets the handle move freely, worm drive and gear and many other inside components.

Drying up the Baitcasting Reel

Step 7: Reassembling the baitcasting reel

When the reel is dried up, assemble all the part and adjust them like they were before. Hopefully, you will be able to see a smooth, polished and varnished baitcasting reel.


Follow the guidelines above to clean a baitcasting reel and never forget to take good care of it each time you fish with a baitcasting reel. This method can also be applied to spincast reels if you have one, and hopefully, you’ll get a great result. Just like you, we also want your baitcasting reel never leaves your side but provides a lifetime fishing support.

About the author

Immanuel Baranov

My life is pretty much defined by my avid outdoor activities. I’m generally obsessed with fishing, skiing and occasional hunting and whitewater paddling. I’ve been active since my early years. I inherited my passion for fishing from my father who made frequent family trips to the banks of Sacramento River. Growing up, I did a lot of fishing in the vicinity. Now that I have two sons, our weekends are full of fishing activities. I would say, you need good spots where you can go out a lot for the thing you love. I had the privilege to grow up near numerous water bodies and I’m proud to say that I made good use of them. It’s also great to do something with kids that helps them learn patience, endurance and preciseness.

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