how to clean fishing reels

How To Clean Fishing Reels – The Ultimate Guide

For beginner fishermen, one of the most important things to keep in mind is the cleaning of the fishing reels. Although they clean them every now and then, they still don’t know how to clean them effectively. In this guide, we will tell you how to clean fishing reels to make your fishing more enjoyable.

It is important to clean fishing reels and fishing rods because if they are not cleaned, dirt and debris can accumulate on them. This can lead to the accumulation of bacteria, which will eventually cause a smell. A clean reel will last longer and be more reliable.

These fishing reels are the most valuable part of any fisherman’s tool. As easy as they might be to pull from water, it still takes time and effort for them to clean properly. If you have been not aware of how to clean fishing reels effectively. Then don’t worry about that anymore here because we will teach you exactly what you should do that.



How To Clean Fishing Reels

Cleaning a fishing reel is no longer just about the mirror finish of your game. This includes cleaning them properly after every use and you should not forget to take advantage of this angle when doing so.

This also needs attention because it could affect how smoothly your casting will function. Which in return might make it easier for fish to spot that potential lure before even having any intentions of biting at all! Practice makes perfect, and getting used to cleaning your fishing reels will not only make your casting experience easier but also from there on how we can perform maintenance!

So be a bit patient with yourself if you were new just like me at learning how to clean fishing reels properly. You’ll eventually get the hang of it within no time once you become familiarized with it on one very valuable lesson: Less is more!

Cleanse all surfaces of the fishing reel! The main and probably most important thing a fisherman should take extra precaution for is his or her reels.



Cleaning freshwater fishing reels

  • Cleaning fishing reels is not just about the mirror finish of your game. It also includes cleaning them properly after every use and taking advantage of this angle when doing so.
  • Practice makes perfect, and getting used to cleaning your fishing reel will not only make our casting experience easier but also from there on how we can perform maintenance! So be patient with yourself if you were new at learning how to clean fishing reels properly. You’ll eventually get the hang of it within no time once you become familiarized with it!
  • Have immersion in what exactly are fishing lures and reels made from, having profound knowledge on every material along with tissue nuances that make up this specific material makes things much easier than washing away/scrubbing them out!
  • Cleaning power is not only about the cleansing surface of the reel – this needs to be expanded on and made more thorough by performing good old scrubbing of all sides.
  • There’s no telling when an area may have a bit of organic matter stuck inside the reel that has not been noticed before, so make sure to give it some warm water to loosen up whatever is obstructing.


How to properly care for a freshwater fishing reel?

Always keep your reel clean. Use a soft cloth to wipe down the body and spool of the reel. For tough stains, use warm soapy water and a stiff brush. Let the reel dry before storing it. Do not store the reel in sunlight or humidity for extended amounts of time.

Letting your reel dry for a couple of days before storing it keeps rust at bay and prevents mildew growth on strands during giving it the “breathing” room that it needs to rejuvenate its components.


The best way to store a freshwater fishing reel

If you are storing a freshwater fishing reel, it is best to store it in a sealed container that is kept at room temperature. The dampness from the tank will cause damage to the reel beyond repair. Another tip that many people have is to store their freshwater fishing reels in a sealed plastic bag and place it into a second one so they steam themselves out well before you pull them again.

Also, if storing your gear for an extended period of time during winter months, make sure that you only keep this gear in extremely cold weather temps (below 40ºF) when it is not in use. Also, rolling your gear up nicely and making a nice tight bundle helps to reduce the effects of water damage from evaporation on these items as well.



How to clean a fishing reel after saltwater use

Cleaning saltwater fishing reels should be done either before or after each use. When cleaning a reel, it is important to use a good saltwater reel cleaning soap that is safe for the gears and other moving parts of the reel. Apply the soap to the reel’s cams, drag knob, spool, and any attached line. swirl the cleaner around the reel’s interior then rinse with fresh water. Be sure to dry off the reel completely before reassembling. Be sure to avoid excessive contact that would cause rust to form.

While weather-resistant, an excess amount of saltwater on a reel is detrimental and will ruin the finish. Worn-out reels may need replacing if at least one gear roller isn’t moving freely or a tight connection between parts has started corroding. If you are going to be fishing for a while then much time should be spent cleaning your saltwater drift boat anchor from regal life by cleaning saltwater fishing reels.


How to properly care for a saltwater fishing reel?

Saltwater fishing reels need to be properly cared for in order to function at their best. The main things you need to do to keep a saltwater fishing reel in good condition are:

  1. Store your reel in a dry, cool place.
  2. Do not expose the reel to direct sunlight or extreme heat.
  3. Make sure the line is clean and free of knots.
  4. Do not lubricate anything with petroleum products (like WD-40 or Vaseline), these are available commercially.
  5. Make sure the spool is well sealed, which can damage reels over time if there’s moisture getting inside of it to rust out other parts inside that aren’t visible in pictures like bearings and gears etc.
  6. Keep the reel airtight so that any salt got caught on lures doesn’t collect around the reel and corrode things up over time.
  7. If a lure is damaged or lost, replace it with another one of the same types to protect the line too much damage will be done if tangled inside.
  8. Keep an eye on your reels and make sure they don’t look old or scary! After all, some armies go into war half-naked while others prepare by going fully boosted out!
  9. If possible keep them in a watertight plastic box or other waterproof containers.
  10. Do not store the reel with your lures on it unattended at all times when someone’s not there to check on it, simply be “attentive” (like my wife…just kidding)
  11. One way or another, wipe off all saltwater and/or other debris before storing reel back into an inside safe place.


Proper cleaning of saltwater reels

Saltwater reels can corrode if not properly cleaned. To clean a saltwater reel, first, thoroughly rinse it with fresh water. Then use a mild soap and running water to clean all the parts. Make sure to remove any excess soap with a cloth before storing your reel. You should also re-oil your reel, but make sure to use a high-quality oil like Penn Spinfish. Probably the most important step in ensuring a long lifespan is cleaning and lubricating your reel.

I recently purchased this Penn Spinfish reel that I took apart to show how it works. Saltwater reels have been around for almost 100 years, but in my 30 years of fishing, I have never seen one fail because of corrosion or failure from being improperly cleaned/lubricated. So go ahead grab a spare gear you use and get it apart, you’ll wonder why when you go through the World Record Cruise and all your other reels are still working.



Materials for cleaning fishing reels

  • Cleaning supplies: bucket, cloths, scouring pad, steel wool
  • Rubber gloves
  • Lysol or other cleaning products
  • A stiff cleaning brush
  • Hot soapy water
  • Squeegee
  • Rag
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Clorox wipes



Cleaning old fishing reels

How to clean old fishing reels?

The best way to clean old fishing reels is with a rotor cleaning machine. To clean the exterior, use a soft cloth and a mild cleaner. Be sure to get into the crevices and around all the teeth. To clean the interior, use a damp cloth and a strong cleaner.

Be sure to get all of the juice and gunk out of the gears and bearings. Finally, dry the reel thoroughly before oiling it up.


What causes reel wear and how can it be prevented?

Reel wear is caused by several factors, including extraneous contaminants, physical abuse, and improper lubrication. To prevent reel wear, use proper lubrication and inspect for contaminants regularly.


The best method for cleaning old fishing reels?

The best way to clean old fishing reels is to use a degreaser and hot water.


How do you lubricate an old reel if it’s not working properly?

There are many ways to lubricate a reel if it’s not working properly. Some people use WD-40, others use lithium grease, and still, others use motor oil. It really depends on the type of reel and how dirty it is.


Old fishing reels can corrode over time, what can you do to prevent this?

You can lubricate the gears with graphite or WD-40 to help protect them from corrosion.


Can saltwater damage an old reel?

Saltwater can corrode old reel hardware. If the corrosion is severe, the reel could fail.


How should you store an old fishing reel so it doesn’t get rusty?

If possible, place the reel in a container of oil or WD-40. This will help to prevent rust.



How to clean a baitcasting reel

Cleaning your baitcasting reel is really important for keeping it in good working condition. Follow these easy steps to keep your reel clean and functioning properly:

  1. Make sure all of the lines are off the reel before cleaning. This will help prevent damage from reels when being cleaned.
  2. Wipe down the entire reel with a cloth or a piece of paper towel. This will remove any dirt, sand, or water that is on the reel.
  3. Use soap or a mild dishwasher detergent to thoroughly wash off all grease and grime from the bearings and internal parts of the reel (see notes). This will help prevent corrosion that can cause problems with your fishing equipment when it comes down to casting or retrieving bait! Some people recommend using gasoline-powered chemicals. But do not use this type should you be near an open flame due to fire risk factors. You can also run some water over the inside of the reel to flush out any shampoo, soap that got lodged in direct contact with your internal parts.
  4. After rinsing off as much grease and grime from the reel spool, dry it by running a cloth roughly across each bearing drum before lubricating and checking for proper function. This will help keep all parts working smoothly and efficiently.
  5. While lubricating no oil or grease into your reel, check all components to see if they are functioning properly. “This simple test can be done quickly by replacing one bearing with a new un-lubricated spindle, another bearing that has been fully lubed with heavy-duty olive oil (400+ grams of extra light machine oil).



Cleaning Spinning fishing reels

Cleaning a spinning fishing reel can be a chore if it isn’t done correctly. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions for cleaning and oiling your reel. Putting oil on the spool will improve your chances of more casts forthcoming. Remember to change the barrel regularly.

It should be cleaned every time you fish/cast out a new line and if not done often enough there are “pull-through” problems with weight such as drift away from baitfish or yellowfin tuna that could cause damage take place later in the fishing season, or even worse would break right before taking one long cast where hundreds may count.

Keep in mind that saltwater and freshwater aquaria have different cleaning requirements as well. But the general premise is always to maintain your fishing reel’s performance.



Cleaning Spincast fishing reels

There are a few different ways to clean a spincast fishing reel. You can use commercially available reel cleaners or vinegar and water solutions. Just be sure to rinse the reel thoroughly afterward to remove any residual cleaning chemicals.

If you have received a fishing reel as a gift, and it is in good condition. Then the best option for cleaning your spincast reels would be to use olive oil. This will work fine but can certainly irritate metal surfaces if left on too long and has been known to take the paint off of metal casting roles with prolonged exposure.

It is also possible to perform free spinning cleaning where water is used to lubricate the spools of your reels and then spin them in a cordless drill which will pull off most (if not all) debris from inside, without damaging any internal parts. The drawback with free spinning cleaning is that it slows casting speed dramatically.

If the reel you have received had been abused, then the best way to clean it would be by using a commercial cleaner; followed by spincast reels being used outside of fishing they were intended for when possible. Spincasts are less harmful to casting performance than other types of conventional fly reels because they’re constructed differently. But each manufacturer recommends specific guidelines regarding how to clean them.

Suffice it to say that spincasts are one of the most popular types of reels used in fly fishing today and for good reason – they offer versatility, affordability, and fun!



What is the best way to clean fishing reels?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to clean fishing reels will vary depending on the type of reel and the cleaning supplies that are available. However, some tips for cleaning fishing reels include using a gentle cleaner and water, rinsing thoroughly with cold water and drying off thoroughly, or using a reel cleaner specifically designed for fishing reels.



What should I use to clean my fishing reel?

You can use isopropyl alcohol or mild soap to clean your fishing reel. I would avoid using a wring type of cleaner as they can be very abrasive and is best to use feather duster style brushes.



Is there any difference between salt water and fresh water for cleaning a fishing reel?

The so-called “Fresh Water” line clean, found in your local drug store cleaner aisle, works primarily on surface dirt and will not hurt a reel’s internal mechanisms.  It also has very little scrubbing action to remove even the smallest bit of lubricant which probably reduces its effectiveness by at least 25%.

In contrast, saltwater is often circulated through the reel for hours before each use along with specific oils and fluids or it can be pumped really hard.  And long using several extremely large hoses from tanks filled with very pure saltwater.

Personally, I have been a big proponent of the use of both types of line cleaners including those sold at various marine-made stores but hate to see anyone waste their money on power tools cleaning rods such as Clorox or chain Cleaners brushes because they are actually far inferior choices in comparison.



What can I use to clean my fishing reel?

Cleaning your fishing reel can be done with a variety of household cleaners. But is best accomplished using a reel cleaner specifically designed for this task. Here are some of my favorites:  Dilute a solution of warm water and dishwashing soap with one part white vinegar.

Use this mixture to soak the reel for about 15 minutes, then rinse off thoroughly before wiping down the reel with a cloth soaked in mild liquid dish detergent and “squeegeeing” it up into the groove between winding shafts. Dry your fishing reels after cleaning them to prevent corrosion or rust.



Is WD-40 good for cleaning fishing reels?

WD-40 is not specifically meant for cleaning fishing reels. However, it can be used as a general cleaner to remove dirt, grease, and other debris from surfaces.



How often should you clean your fishing reel?

There is no specific frequency that you need to clean your fishing reel. As it will depend on the type, material, and size of your reel. However, it is generally recommended to clean your reel once a month or every three months for optimal performance.



Should I rinse the reel?

It is not necessary to rinse the reel. However, it helps keep the bore free of any tangles and makes cleaning the line afterward easier. If you are worried about lime build-up or something that can inhibit glue adhesion get a bleach-based product and spray it all over. (In this case, dunking should NOT be required)



Finishing Up

Keeping your fishing reels clean and functioning at their best is essential for a successful fishing expedition. By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to keep your gear in top condition and minimize the chances of experiencing any frustrating mishaps on the water. Keep reading to learn more about how to clean fishing reels!

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