How to Clean a Fishing Reel

How to Clean Your Reel after Fishing in Salt Water

When fishing in freshwater, your reel does not need much cleaning, especially if the water is clear, but when it comes to saltwater, you must clean your spinning reel because salt will damage your reel if you let it stay there. On most occasions, just a good wipe with a towel soaked in fresh water can do the trick, but periodically you need to clean the parts of the fishing reel and oil them.

How to Do Periodical Maintenance of Your Fishing Reel

How often you oil your reel depends on how much you use it. If you go fishing regularly, you need to oil the reel at least twice a year, and clean it every time after you have fished. If you fish one in every two months or so, you can oil your reel once a year or once in one and a half years. Your cleaning and oiling regime depends on how much you use the reel.

Periodical maintenance of your fishing reel means a thorough cleaning and oiling of every part of your reel. It is important to know how to deconstruct the reel. Every reel is designed and assembled differently.

When you remove each part keep them in a row so that you know which part will need to go first when you are re-assembling it. Drag washers especially can look similar, especially on Shimano reels. It is important that you fix the parts as they are otherwise it would affect the performance of your reel.

It is recommended that you do not remove all the parts of the reel in a go to clean and oil them. It is best to remove a part such as the bail or the line roller, clean up all its parts, reassemble it, and then move on to deconstructing the next part. That will help you in getting together all the parts perfectly and will not confuse you.

Many times people lose parts of a spinning reel while cleaning it, especially the springs, which jump out if you are not careful. When deconstructing a reel, take care of the springs.

Wipe your reel or flush out all sand, mud and salt from your reel by dipping or putting it under tap water. It is also important when you clean your fishing reel. If you clean it as soon as you are done fishing, the damaging elements will have lesser chance to harm your reel. If you cannot wipe it with a wet cloth as soon as you are done fishing, you must clean your reel when you get back home. It’s also smart to clean any of your fishing lures as well.

Protect Your Reel from Damage from Accidents

Hold your reel so that even if it slips from your hand, it will not be totally immersed in salt water. You do not want the salt to enter into every part of your reel. If such an accident happens, clean it as soon as you can, let it dry and then lubricate it. If you have freshwater with you, immerse the reel in it. This is just temporary aid. As soon as you can, deconstruct the reel, clean, dry and oil the parts.

If you are using a saltwater reel, you will still need to clean off the salt after using it. It will make the reel serve you for years without a problem. Cleaning and timely oiling are the only two things you need to do to keep your reels as good as new.

Which Oil to Use

No matter how well you oil the parts and clean your reel, if you are not using the right oil, all your hard work in cleaning a reel will not give you the results you expect. You can use reel oil. Now there is reel oil available in the market that bond with the metals they come in contact with. They are expensive, but it is known to have very good results. If you want to use cheaper oil, you can go for ordinary fishing reel oil.

Your oil must protect your reel from corrosion. If you regularly rip your reel to clean it, you might not need to use expensive oil because you will oil the parts when you deconstruct it. If you only oil your reel once a year or less than that, you might want to use molecular lubricant fishing reel oil.

Which Reel Type Are You Using?

Your reel must be made for saltwater if you want to use it in saltwater. That is because saltwater reels are especially designed to withstand corrosion from salt water. Salt can easily damage a reel if it is not designed to prevent damage. When buying a reel, buy a saltwater reel if you believe you might use your reel in saltwater at some point of time in future, even if you do not plan to use in saltwater presently.

Saltwater reels are created with extra layers that protect your reel from salt, rust and corrosion. No matter how expensive your reel is, if it is not made for saltwater, it will corrode because of the salt.

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A reel company mentions whether a reel is safe for use in saltwater or not. Even if you are using a saltwater spinning reel, you will need to flush out all salt from it after use to protect it from damage. Salt, sand and mud can prove fatal for your reel. A flush with fresh water can do the trick. It is easy and removes all salt from your reel.

Of course, periodical cleaning and lubrication of the different parts of a reel such as the crank, the bail, crank shaft and the line roller need periodic lubrication, especially if you use your reel much. Parts that gather the most salt need frequent and early cleaning than parts that need less cleaning.

Fishing in saltwater is great fun, but after you have enjoyed fishing you need to care for your equipment. Simple flushing off damaging materials from the reels and drying it is enough after you have fished in saltwater. You just need to make sure there is no salt, sand or mud remaining on your reel. If you keep your reel protected, it will keep giving you great service for years without a break.