Wash Your Reel
Saltwater is corrosive and gets into tight spots where it can be difficult to remove. A quick spray of freshwater from a garden hose is not sufficient when it comes to cleaning your reel. After each trip, wash your Abu Garcia reel with soapy water, spray with freshwater to rinse, then use a corrosion inhibitor such as Blakemore Reel Magic or CorrosionX to prevent damage from any residual salt.
Lubricate the handle, line roller and bail spring regularly. These parts should move freely without interference from dirt, grime or sand. A drop of lubricant on these parts is all you need. Lubricate these three locations every other trip or so.
The drag system is located on top of the line spool, underneath the drag knob. When a fish pulls line against the drag, line should come off the reel smoothly. If your drag is sticky and the line comes off in starts and stops, your drag washers might be wet, greasy or worn out. Remove the washers and clean them if necessary.
The housing reel handle and bail spring are kept in place by small screws. Check these screws periodically to ensure they are tight. Loose screws will result in damage from gears that do not mesh properly.
Main Gear and Shaft
The main gear and shaft are located inside the reel housing. At the end of each fishing season, open the reel housing and inspect the gears for water intrusion, dirt, sand or grime. If the gears look clean and are operating smoothly, take no action. If there is evidence of any foreign substance, clean thoroughly, dry, and apply lube to the gears and shaft.