How to Clean Baitcasting Reel at Home

Cleaning your baitcasting reel is essential to its maintenance. It increases the reel’s life span as well as its efficiency. So, whether you use your reel frequently or rarely, you must clean it afterward. Cleaning your baitcasting reel ensures that it stays erosion-free, tangles-free, and practical.

When cleaning the baitcasting reel, you have two options. The first one is to dismantle it into its components and clean them separately. This option is more effective. This is because by separating the parts, you can reach all the hidden spots and deep clean them. The other option is to clean it as a whole without taking apart its components.

The first option is often used when you come back from long fishing trips or if you are preparing for a tournament. Typically, this will help you keep your reel working properly and ensure it doesn’t have any issues, while the second option is more used by people who rarely use the reel. 

In this article, we’ll intertwine both options to give you the ultimate guide of cleaning your baitcasting reel in five easy steps. 

Get Ready

Prepare all the required materials to clean your reel and make it just like the new ones. Most of these following materials you can find them at home or a local market.

  1. Warm water

  2. A pack of cotton pads

  3. A cotton swab or Q-tip

  4. Reet oil 

  5. A degreaser or soap

  6. Rubbing Alcohol

  7. 2 Towels

You’d also want to prepare the table you are working on with spreading one of the two towels on the table. This helps you keep all the pieces of the reel in one place when you take them apart.

External Cleaning

After you got ready, you can’t open the reel and dig in without checking the cleanliness of its outer surface. 

The outer cover of the reel must be cleaned by using a cotton pad. Wipe the cover in all directions to remove any dirt or salts. You can also use a toothbrush to brush any stuck dirt or impurities firmly.  

Dismantling the Reel 

This step is to clean the reel internally. You should consider cleaning them occasionally to facilitate and smooth the movement of the wire as well as its performance.

Here is How to Clean the Inside of your Reel:

  1. Press the key dial to flip open the reel’s cover 

  2. Separate the spool and the lines

  3. Add soap to the warm water to prepare it for the lines and spool

  4. Soak the spool and the lines in the warm soapy water 

  5. Leave them for a few minutes then take them out and dry them with a dry towel

  6. Wipe the spool with rubbing alcohol to facilitate its movement

  7. Use cotton swabs or Q-tips to wipe the inside body with rubbing alcohol

  8. Repeat the previous process 2 or 3 times to make sure you have reached all the hidden spaces where the impurities accumulate

  9. Clean the pinion area with a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol

  10. Attach the spool back in its place and close the cover

Cleaning the Handles

The handles must be cleaned too. This is because they are subjected to impurities and salts. When you roll them with your salty hands or when you leave them out in the air, these impurities can cause them to erode. Their discharge can also be disturbed. 

You should first remove them by turning them in an anti-clockwise direction. Then, soak them in warm water, and add to a degreaser to remove any oil or grease that could be found. 

Finally, wipe their inside with a Q-tip or a cotton swab. The Q-tip should be dipped in reel oil. Reel oil is recommended to prevent the handles from corrosion and give them a shiny look.

Finishing Touches

After you have cleaned every inch of the reel, the cleaning process is completed with high accuracy. So, that leaves you to lubrication and reassembling. 

As soon as everything is clean, you should dry the reel first by using a dry towel. Then, the lubrication process takes place. Lubricate the reel means putting reel oil as a moisturizer inside every part by using cotton swabs. Reel oil doesn’t only protect the reel and its parts; it varnishes and polishes the reel.

Finally, reassemble the parts back. And make sure that the handles are put in the right clockwise direction.

Final Thoughts

Finally, we can say that cleaning your baitcasting reel is a job worth doing. You might be surprised by how much dirt had been in it. You might as well forget about buying a new one because we assure you that once you clean your reel, its performance will be just like a new reel. 

Moreover, you should clean your reel every time you get back from a fishing trip, especially if your trip was fishing in salty water. Salty water can cause your reel to corrode faster than ordinary water.

A final piece of advice is don’t over-clean your reel. Use reasonable amounts of degreasers and oils. If you use more than the suitable amount, you might not be able to control your spool nor handles. May your reel be as glorious as you want!

Justin Anderson

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