Tips for Fishing Reel Maintenance

Like any other piece of modern equipment, your fishing reel is comprised of complex parts working together, and for that many components to work together smoothly, the owner of the fishing reel needs to be diligent on tool maintenance. This not only ensures a longer lifespan for the reel but also helps improve the performance of the fishing implement. Investing some time and a bit of knowledge into maintaining a fishing reel will result in many seasons of use.



When and how often to do reel maintenance:

How often you use the fishing reel and the fishing technique you employ are essential determinants of how frequent reel maintenance should be done. Some experts suggest that winter is a great time to do some maintenance since doing serious fish tackling chores at that time won’t make you feel you’re missing out on some great fishing activities. Others recommend second level or more comprehensive maintenance at least twice for every fishing season. This will involve cleaning up the ball bearing.


First, take the reel off the rod completel

Before you even do anything, be sure to detach the reel completely from the rod to make the job easier and also to maintain the reel seat. It will help you check if saltwater has gotten into the reel seat so you can immediately handle it before the the water corrodes the seat.


Prepare the proper tools and cleaning supplies before attempting to do any disassembly.

You will need two small screwdrivers-one Phillips Head and one flat head. In addition, have an old toothbrush and a pair of tweezers on hand, along with a nut driver or wrench suitable for the size of the reel’s screw nuts. .

For the cleaning supplies, you will need a pan of hot water as well as some reel oil or lubricant, some lighter fluid and a basic cleaning compound. It is vital to have the detailed design of the reel with you or a parts list for support so you are thoroughly aware of the specifications of the fishing reel to ensure a trouble-free maintenance task. In disassembly, you have to screw in instead of screwing out.

Other items that have to be kept handy during reel maintenance are: cotton swabs; isopropyl rubbing alcohol; gear grease; shop or paper towels; an empty egg carton to hold the components in one place.



Carefully disassemble the fishing reel.

Lay out the parts into the egg carton slots, carefully labelling them using a strip of masking tape and numbering each one as it is removed from the reel. This enables more effortless and less confusing reassembly, and also reduces the likelihood of forgetting to put back any element.

Bear in mind that when working on the fishing reel, all the parts are designed metal to fiber and never metal to metal.


Be sure to hold the fishing reel properly during disassembly and reassembly.

So as not to lose your orientation while accomplishing the task, hold the reel in your left hand and work with your right. Remember to always hold the tool the same way to ensure that the parts can be put together without any hassle.


Remove the spool.

Keep in mind that before you remove the spool, the fishing line has to be secure or removed from the fishing reel. This will prevent the line from getting caught between the frame and the spool, which can make detaching extremely difficult.

Once that is ensured, take off the spool and clean off any visible debris and dirt from the reel’s exterior using cotton swabs along with isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Clean the spool shaft. Inspect for signs of damage, corrosion or rust. Clean away dirt, debris and old grease to ensure resistance against wear and tear.


Grease the parts.

Allow the parts to air dry before greasing. The parts of the fishing reel should be oiled or greased. Never use household oil or car or motorbike grease and oil, which may prove to be too strong and have a tendency to harden or thicken much quicker compared to molecular or reel oil, resulting in a layer of crud on the parts. The quicker-wearing parts including the gears and ball bearings have to be treated with grease. The pick-up, anti-reverse handle and the handle itself have to be lubricated with oil. Do not use too much of the lubricants or oil so as not to invite dust build-up. Just a few drops will do. Grease the gears located in the front of the spiral worm gear along with the worm gear itself, as well as any sliding parts.

Do not spray the internal components with gasoline or strong chemical solvent to prevent damaging the plastic parts or pushing the crud further into the reel’s inner chambers.



Reassemble the reel.

Carefully install the nuts and screws into the fishing reel, keeping in mind to put them back in their correct positions before tightening. Spray the exterior of the reel with WD-40 and wipe the reel down.

Prior to reel re-mounting, use a spritz of anti-corrosion agent on the seat.


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