How to Clean a Fishing Reel
The number of times you clean your fishing reel really depends on how often you go fishing. Nevertheless, whether your fishing reel is meant for freshwater or seawater, the right level of maintenance can help to keep it in good working order and even improve its lifespan and effectiveness.
Surprisingly, most people who own fishing reels do not know how to keep them clean. For instance, you should not blast your fishing reel using harsh spray from the end of your hose. Doing so damages your piece of equipment.
It’s important that you clean your reel every once in a while. Not only does this improve its durability but also its efficiency. The frequency with which you clean will vary based on a number of factors we have listed in this guide.
Gather the correct cleaning supplies and tools
You need a few tools to clean the fishing reel. Before you start, collect all the essential tools or equipment you will need for the cleaning process. You may need screwdrivers, a toothpick, tweezers, and a toothbrush.
You will also need a parts list and a wrench. Depending on your preference, choose the best cleaning product for the job. Once you are through with your fishing expedition, there are several ways to go about cleaning your reel. When you reach home, sponge your reel with soapy water. Do the same for the line. You can then rinse off with water at the lowest pressure.
Do not attempt to wash your reel with high pressure. Neither should you immerse the reel in water, as this would force water up the gearing and drag mechanism. After a thorough rinse, wipe your reel dry using a cloth and then apply some WD40 surface spray. Ensure the spray does not reach the fishing line.
The underside of the spool
The underside is also another area that requires special attention. Remove the knob and slide off your spool. Then, clean the underside thoroughly. Gently grease the major shaft and be sure to replace the spool and knob properly.
Also, ensure your drag knob is loosened a little to keep pressure off the dragline when you’re not using your reel.
In addition, you’ll need to invest in a high-quality sewing machine oil or a reel oil. These are to keep the knobs, line rollers, bail arm springs, and the folding handles lubricated. Don’t forget to wipe off any excess lubricant.
Occasionally, you should open up the side plate and grease the gears and bearing gently. Also, give it a comprehensive service once every year or when your reel falls into the water. This means taking the reel apart completely before you soak it in mineral turps. Fresh water should be used to rinse the parts then air them out in the open to dry. As the parts dry, inspect the gears and check for damages.
If you find signs of damage, ensure you order for new parts as soon as possible. Also, put everything back together and then lubricate moving parts with enough grease.
Most reels have several parts, and chances are you might reassemble everything back incorrectly. If you feel you cannot put things back together as they were, outsource the job to a reel expert and allow them to clean it appropriately. A full service often means cleaning the outside and the inside thoroughly.
Cleaning the outside of your reel is a simple process that will take a few minutes of your time. Perform outside cleaning at least once each week for normal fishing conditions. Take out the spool and put it in a safe place. Turn reel handle and lower its axle. Hold reel at a favorable angle and shift interior rotor away from your body.
Apply some WD-40 on either side. Give the reel a quick spurt and be careful not to apply the stuff in the rotor’s housing or spool axle. With a soft rag, wipe off WD-40 on the reel’s outer surface.
This phase of cleaning the reel is somewhat complicated. It requires attentiveness when taking the reel apart. Once you know what to do, it becomes simple and will not take more than 15 minutes of your time.
Most reels are built the same way, so the interior plumbing is pretty much the same. Work over a towel. Remove the screws holding the reel’s cover and put them somewhere safe. Lay them in the order you took them out if they look different. Take out the gearing and other parts and clean everything properly. Allow them to dry and then put everything back together and apply grease.
Cleaning the entire Rod
If the rod and the reel are in good condition, you will have an enjoyable fishing experience. So, do not just focus on the reel alone.
After each fishing session, spray your rod with fresh water while still on your boat as you head back home. This helps to get rid of the salts deposited on the rod’s components. However, that is not enough to clean the reel. Spraying the rod with some water does not mean that you should not do some more cleaning. Once you reach home, clean the rod the same way you would clean other essential parts.
Take time to inspect your guide for signs of fracturing. If you notice hairline fractures, replace your guide immediately. Failure to amend the damages may cause your guide to weaken your fishing reel.
As you store your fishing rod, ensure you place it in a cover and place it on a rod stand. It would not make sense to clean your fishing reel and fail to give it proper storage. When you store it properly, it will serve you for a long time.