Fishing Reel Cleaning Tips
Most of us clean our boats after every fishing trip. We clean most of our equipment but many times we neglect our fishing reels. Failure to clean your fishing reels can lead to a shot life span.
But it doesn't have to be this way. Reel cleaning is easy and everyone can do it within a short amount of time and few basic tools. You can visit the Reel Manufacturer for a diagram of your fishing reel. This will help in disassembly and re-assembling your reel.
Here are a few quick and easy tips for cleaning your fishing reels.
Prepare a work area. If you have a work bench great. If you don't, not a problem. A bar or table top makes a great place to clean fishing reels. You'll need an old rag or cloth to put the parts on while you clean them.
Rinse reels off with warm soap and water. Avoid pressurized water like that from a garden hose. I once saw a guy at a car wash cleaning his boat and then he laid his rod and reels against the wall and used the high pressure wand to clean them. A sure way to destroy your fishing reels!
Cleaning fishing tackle, especially saltwater fishing tackle, is very important to get all the corrosion causing salt from your reels and rods. Never leave you saltwater fishing tackle sitting after coming back from a fishing trip! Wash and rinse immediately or risk permanent damage from salt corrosion.
Use a container of hot water with some soap like Dawn dish soap to clean the outside of your fishing reels as well as the inside parts. Then use a hair dryer to dry them before lubricating them and re-assembling them.
Used compressed air or blow dryer to dry off reels. Once you have the reels apart, give the housing a good shot of compressed air from a small air pump or from a can of compressed. You can find these cans at any computer or electronics store like Fry's or Best Buy.
Remove reel from rod. Never try and clean a fishing reel when it's still attached to a rod. Always take the fishing reel off and clamp the line or put a rubber band around the spool.
Use reel oil, not WD-40. I used to be bad about taking the cover off my reels and blasting it with WD-40. Now I'm smarter. WD-40 can leave residue which attracts dirt. Use a high quality reel oil and grease.
More is not better! I once opened a reel that was literally packed with regular grease! The previous owner had used a huge wad of bearing grease on the inside. It's no wonder why it wouldn't work. It's been said before but deserves saying again. You just need a tiny bit of reel oil and reel grease to get the job done. This is one time when "More Is Not Better!"
Don't be a Drag. Make sure you clean all the gunk and crud off the drags. Then apply a tiny amount of reel oil to them. Once re-assembled, tighten them down and then release them. Tightening them down will help spread the oil evenly.
Use proper sized tools for the job. Pliers and One-Size-Fits-All screwdrivers are a sure way to mess up your fishing reel! You can find a small set of screwdrivers at most tool outlets or Hardware stores. Even Wal-Mart sells a set of small screwdrivers. If you can't find the wrench that came with your reel, order several more. Pliers mar the finish and can damage fishing reel parts.
Not for the mechanically challenged. If you're not the mechanical type, that's all right. You can send your reels off and have them professionally cleaned. Many sporting goods stores also offer reel cleaning and repair. The small amount of money you pay now will help your reel last a lifetime.
Just like changing the lower unit oil in your Outboard or your Engine oil in your vehicle, regular maintenance of your fishing reels is essential to a long, trouble free life. (both for the reel and you!)