How to Clean and Maintain a Fishing Reel

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How to Clean and Maintain a Fishing Reel
How to Clean a Fishing Reel

It is very important to keep your equipment clean if you want to keep it running for a long time. It becomes even more important to do so when it comes to maintaining fishing equipment. Since it gets in contact with water on a regular basis, it’s very important to clean it whenever it get dirty. If you don’t keep your fishing reel clean, it may not function well in the longer run.

A lot of people have to learn it the hard way when their equipment stops working properly. Well, if you like fishing, you must own a fishing reel. If you don’t know how to clean and maintain a fishing reel, you are in the right place. We will discuss some easy ways to clean different types of fishing reels to make it easier for you to do the job right.

If you clean the reel as soon as it gets dirty, it will be much easier to do. Also, it will make the reel look fresh as new. So, without any further ado, let’s have a look at the ways to clean and maintain a fishing reel.

How to Clean a Baitcasting Reel

Cleaning a Baitcasting Reel

A lot of people use bait-casting reel and especially experienced people stick to this type of reel. It may be a little hard to get used to in the beginning but once you learn how to use it right, you will forget about other types. This is the reason why bait-casting reels are so popular.

When it comes to cleaning a bait-casting reel, you need to do everything right in order to keep it performing well out there. Well, you should do it step by step and try to be gentle while doing it. Following a harsh approach can damage the small parts of the reel and nobody would want that.

It can be as easy as cleaning it with normal water to spending hours on it. The time that you will require to clean a bait-casting reel depends on how dirty it is. If things are messed up, you will need to spend some time on it. Now, let’s have a look at the steps of cleaning a bait-casting reel.

Remove the Cover and Disassemble the Reel

The first thing that you will need to do is to remove the cover of the reel. Once you remove the cover, you will be able to clean every part of the reel. This will ensure that every part of the reel is cleaned properly. But, removing the cover of the reel is not enough. You will also need to disassemble the reel.

Disassembling the reel is pretty easy and doesn’t take much time as well if you know how to do it right. But, if you don’t know how to do it, it may take some time to figure out the right way. You could also end up breaking some part of the reel so it’s better to be careful if you are doing it for the first time. You can also take professional help in such cases, however, it will be better if you learn to do it yourself.

It is important to disassemble the reel because you will be able to clean every part properly. Also, it will make the job easier for you. If you don’t disassemble the reel, it will be difficult to reach some parts. Moreover, it will take you a lot of time to do it properly or you will end up leaving it in frustration. So, it is better to disassemble the reel before cleaning it. Once you have disassembled the reel, you can jump to the next step.

Make sure you check out the instructions. These are some that came with my Lews Tournament MB Speed Spool: This can definitely be a bit overwhelming for first timers and veterans alike.

Lews Tournament MB Speed Spool Cleaning
Lews Tournament MB Speed Spool Instructions

Clean the Impurities

The next thing that you will need to do is to clean off the impurities from the reel. The best way to do so is by using a toothbrush to scrub the reel. You can also use a paintbrush or just a cloth to do it. However, using something with pointy yet soft edges like a toothbrush can make the job easier. Also, it won’t damage the reel so it is a perfect option to go with.

You can also use dishwashing liquid to make things easier. Using a dishwashing liquid will ensure that it gets cleaned properly and you wouldn’t need to scrub it too hard as well. But, make sure that the water isn’t too cold or it may leave some soap on the reel.

There are impurities on the surface of the reel due to several factors and cleaning them is very important. Using dishwashing liquid can do the job for you. If you don’t have it, soap can also do the job for you. But, you should try to use warm soapy water instead of applying it directly to the reel in such cases. Once you have scrubbed the impurities off the reel, wiping it with a clean cloth can be a good option.

You should also clean the handles and it is very important to do so. It is very easy to do so and you just need to use clean water to do the job.

Let It Dry

Once you have cleaned the impurities off the reel, it is important to let it dry in air. However, you should try to wipe it with a dry cloth to fasten up the process. After wiping it with the cloth, you should leave it in the air to dry. This is one of the most important things and you should never reassemble the reel without drying it.

Lubricate

Lubricating the reel is also very important and this is one of the most important things in maintaining the reel. You should never leave it after cleaning without lubricating with oil. Also, make sure that you use the oil that is made for fishing reels. You should avoid using regular oil that we have at home. Moreover, you should know which parts need to be lubricated. Well, these are the parts of the reel that you should apply oil on.

  • Handle knobs
  • Ball bearings
  • Spool shaft
  • Spool release mechanism

Reassemble

After doing all these steps, you will need to reassemble the reel. It is also very easy and you wouldn’t need to spend much time on it. However, if you are doing it for the first time, it may take a few minutes to figure out the right way of doing it. You will get better at it every time you do it.

Well, this is how simple it is to clean a bait-casting fishing reel. But, if you fish in saltwater, there is one more thing that you will need to do. Before scrubbing the reel, you should leave it in clean water for some time. You will need to remove salt residue in such cases and it is very important to do so. When you take out the reel from the water, spray some water on it as well. After doing this step, you can start from scrubbing and then follow further steps.

If you follow these steps right and maintain your equipment, it will keep serving you for a long time. Now, let’s have a look at the process of cleaning a spinning reel.


How to Clean a Spinning Reel

How to Clean a Spinning Reel

Spinning reels are also very popular these days and the reason for their popularity is their open-faced design. This makes it easier for people to handle them and they perform well out there as well. It is also very easy to clean them and you won’t need to put in much effort as well. You can follow the same steps that are mentioned above for bait-casting reels.

Good new:

Spinning reels should be quite a bit easier to dissemble than baitcasting reels. Nevertheless, if you are not familiar with the process, you should follow a user manual to do the job.

Here’s what my Penn Battle II 2500 looks like: About half the parts of my baitcasters.

Penn Battle II Cleaning Instructions
Penn Battle II Disassembly Instructions

Once you have cleaned the reel, you should focus on lubricating it. You should apply oil to the following parts.

  • Spool-release mechanism and clutch screw
  • Handle
  • Kick lever and arm lever
  • Ball bearings
  • Pickup pin

Lastly, you should follow the additional step of keeping the reel soaked in water for some time if you are into saltwater fishing. This will ensure the proper cleaning of the reel. Now, let’s have a look at the last type that we are going to cover.

How to Clean a Spincast Reel

Cleaning A Spincast Reel

Spin-cast reels are very easy to use and this is the reason why beginners prefer this kind of reels. Almost all the important parts of the reel are inside the cover and such a design protects them as well. Moreover, spin-cast reels are easy to clean as well.

Just like the other two types that are mentioned above, you will need to follow the same steps to clean spin-cast reels. There is no difference in the process and you wouldn’t need to do something out of the box here. All you need to do is to remove the sand and dirt that is stuck in the parts to ensure the durability and proper functioning of the reel.

Also, make sure that you follow the additional step of soaking it in clean water if you fish in the saltwater. This is one of the most important steps and you won’t be able to clean it properly if you don’t follow this step. Once you have cleaned it properly, lubricate the parts that require oil and maintain it with care.

So, this is how to clean and maintain different types of fishing reels. As said earlier, it is no big deal and you can easily do it if you know the right way. So, make sure that you follow all the steps and keep the reel clean.

Why Should We Clean a Fishing Reel?

Well, if you want to make full use of your equipment and make it last for a long time, it is important to clean it from time to time. This will not only make it last longer but also make it look fresh. Moreover, you won’t face any issues while using it as it will perform well out there.

When you use a fishing reel, sand particles and other small particles get stuck in it. This could lead to some issues in the future if not now. Also, it will look dirty all the time and you won’t enjoy using it. The problem becomes even more serious when you fish in saltwater. You will need to clean saltwater residue as well in this case.

If you don’t clean the reel, it won’t perform up to the mark when you use it. So, the best thing to do here is cleaning it after each use. When you get home from a fishing trip, you should clean the reel the very next day if not on that day itself. This will make it easier for you to clean it and you wouldn’t need to spend much time on it. But, if you don’t clean it from time to time, dirt will keep adding up and it will be much harder to clean it.

Moreover, you should maintain your reel by lubricating it whenever required or after you clean it. This will keep it running smoothly and you will be able to enjoy fishing without facing any issues. If you don’t lubricate at all, some parts may not work properly. This is why it’s important to clean and maintain a fishing reel.

Conclusion

We hope that you learned how to clean and maintain a fishing reel. If you have read the article carefully, you will be able to clean a fishing reel easily. Also, now that you know the importance of cleaning and maintaining a fishing reel, you should never forget to do it. Your equipment will take good care of you if you take care of it.

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