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Keeping your fishing reel clean is an important part of maintaining its performance and longevity. Today we’re talking about the 5-steps in the process of how to clean a fishing reel.

As someone who wants to learn how to fish or continue fishing for a long time, learning how to clean a fishing reel is just as important as knowing how to find where the catfish, muskies or crappie are hanging out.

With just a few simple steps, you can keep your reel looking and functioning like new using items that can be found around your household!

How to clean a fishing reel, photo of a spinning reel with water in the background.

How to Clean a Fishing Reel

A fishing reel is an essential piece of equipment that needs to be taken care of properly to extend its life and ensure its performance. That’s why it’s important to know how to clean a fishing reel.

Regular cleaning is one of the best ways to maintain the quality and functionality of your fishing reel. In this article, we will guide you through a step-by-step process of how to clean a fishing reel.

These instructions are basically the same whether you’re using a spinning reel, baitcasting reel, or even a fly fishing reel.

Adapt these instructions slightly based on your particular fishing reel. You’ll get it, it’s not complicated!

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Before you start cleaning your fishing reel, it’s important to have all the necessary supplies ready. Here are some of the items you will need:

  • A clean, soft cloth
  • A small brush (toothbrush or soft-bristled brush)
  • Mild soap or reel cleaner
  • Lubricant (reel oil or grease)

I say, get a Reel Cleaning Kit < Worth. Every. Cent!

Step 2: Disassemble the Reel

After gathering your supplies, the next step in knowing how to clean a fishing reel is to disassemble it.

Start by removing the spool and line from the reel.

Then, carefully unscrew the side plate and remove it from the reel body.

Pay attention to the order of the parts as you remove them, so you can easily reassemble them later.

Step 3: Clean the Reel Body and Spool

With the reel disassembled, it’s time to start cleaning.

Using a soft cloth, wipe down the reel body and spool to remove any dirt or debris. If there is stubborn grime, you can use a small brush to gently scrub the surface.

Be careful not to scratch the metal or remove any paint.

Step 4: Clean the Bearings and Gears

The bearings and gears are the most important parts of your fishing reel, and they need to be cleaned properly to ensure optimal performance.

Using a soft-bristled brush, gently remove any dirt or debris from the gears and bearings.

If you have a reel cleaner, you can use it to spray the bearings and gears to remove any stubborn dirt.

Step 5: Reassemble and Lubricate

Once you have cleaned all the parts, it’s time to reassemble the fishing reel.

Put the parts back in the same order you removed them, and make sure they fit securely.

Finally, apply a small amount of lubricant to the bearings and gears, as well as any other moving parts.

Fishing reel too far gone? Consider buying one of these awesome baitcasting reels.

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How to Clean a Fishing Reel: Final Thoughts

Teaching yourself how to clean a fishing reel is an important part of maintaining its quality and longevity.

With a few simple steps, you can keep your reel in top condition and ready for your next fishing trip.

Remember to always use mild soap or reel cleaner, a soft cloth, and a gentle touch to avoid damaging your equipment.

By following these tips, you can enjoy your fishing reel for years to come.

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