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How to Clean Fishing Reels? – A Comprehensive Guide

how to clean fishing reels
Written by Immanuel Baranov
Last Update: July 24, 2023

Are you fond of fishing? Then you must own fishing reels. But do you know how to maintain its cleanliness? Fishing reels get dirty each time you use it, whether we use it in freshwater or saltwater. They lose their productivity if you do not clean fishing reels regularly. Besides, to preserve its durability we must clean fishing reels every time we use it. You might need a guide to do so. So, here we are to help you learn how to clean reels.

Do not wash it directly with a hose rather follow some adequate steps. We have attached few steps that you can consider for cleaning. These are:

How to Clean Fishing Reels?

Step 1: Cleaning With Soap and Water

The first thing to do is tightening the drag on the reel and damping it with warm water and soap with the help of sponge. Do not soak or wash it in water under high pressure because this will damage gearing and drag system. Now, clean it with fresh water and let it dry after wiping the reel.


Step 2: Cleaning the Spool

You can also wash the spool if you want. You need to remove it first, wash it from under the spool and the top of the reel rotor and then all the salt and impurities will be washed from it.


Step 3: Wiping the Reel

Afterwards, to finish by wiping the reel with a cloth that already has lubricant protectant sprayed on it. You can wipe them to dry, spray the reel using WD40-type surface spray and try to keep it away from the line for further reaction.


 Step 4: Clean Underneath of the Spool

In order to clean underneath of the spool, dismantle the drag knob and slide the spool off the reel. Before replacing the drag knob and spool , you can lubricate  the central shaft for better performance. You should keep the drag knob loosely fitted  to prevent pressure of the drag washers when the reel is not being used. Lastly, use premium grade reel oil to slightly oil the bail arm springs, line rollers,, folding handle and handle knobs and wipe it, if it seems extra. This is called greasing and it prevents corrosion. You can also use furniture polish lemon pledge to get a polished look and prevent corrosion.

step-4-cleaning-the-underside-of-the-spool - how to clean fishing reels

Maintaining Rod

It is also required to clean the rod. Just wash the rod with clean water and be careful with the guides. Clean the grasping part of the rod with warm and soap water. You can also use the same lubricant on rod. After cleaning, check the guides and damaged guides should be changed as soon as possible.

maintaining-rod-how to clean fishing reels

Any type of fishing reel – whether a musky reel or a spincast reel or a surf fishing reel – requires one complete service at least once in a year. Sometimes it requires immediate servicing in a situation if your fishing reel is submerge with water. while cleaning your reel keep few things in mind. First, dismantle all parts of the fishing reel before dipping it into mineral turps. second, use fresh water to clean components of the reel. Third,  dry parts of the fishing reel in open air. And lastly while cleaning ensure that all parts in good condition and avoid using excessive grease.

You must have understood by now how to clean fishing reels and it will never fail to provide the service it has committed to provide. It is more important to maintain a product than to just buy and use it and this expression is a must when it comes to fishing.

Enjoy a happy fishing!

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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