How to Oil Your Baitcaster

How to Oil Your Baitcaster
Your baitcasting reel requires regular cleaning and oiling. Regular oiling of your baitcaster will maximize its performance and prolong its life. Moreover, by coating your reel lightly with oil, you help protect it from dirt, water and sun damage. In most cases, your baitcaster will only require oiling once or twice a year. However, during times of heavy use, or if you experience poor performance or a noisy reel, you may need to oil it more frequently. If you cannot find commercial reel oil, WD-40 works just as well.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Screwdriver Clean, lint-free cloth Bucket of soapy water Toothbrush Towel for drying Reel oil or WD-40
  • Screwdriver
  • Clean, lint-free cloth
  • Bucket of soapy water
  • Toothbrush
  • Towel for drying
  • Reel oil or WD-40
Step 1
Test your baitcaster to determine if it needs to be oiled. Flick your finger on the reel to check how freely it spins. If it rotates fewer than 12 times with a single finger flick, it needs oil.
Step 2
Clean your baitcaster thoroughly before oiling. You can do this by washing the exterior with a clean cloth and soapy water and using a toothbrush to remove any particles of dirt or debris that are not easily wiped away. Rinse and dry.
Step 3
Unscrew the retainer cap on your reel and take off the spool. The screws for removing the retainer cap are typically located on the side of the baitcaster. Store the screws in a safe location.
Step 4
Place your baitcaster reel on a stable table or other surface. Clean the entire spool using hot, soapy water. Wash away any accumulated algae. Rinse and dry.
Step 5
Clean the spool gears with a toothbrush to remove any old oil or other lubricants. Clean the bail mechanism using soapy water and the cloth. Rinse and dry.
Step 6
Apply reel oil to the gears of the spool and to the bail mechanism. Replace the retainer cap. Lightly coat the exterior of your baitcaster with oil to prevent rust.
Step 7
Add a drop of oil to each bearing every 6 months to maintain adequate lubrication.

Tips & Warnings

Less lubricant is always better. If you are unsure of how much to use, apply only a little. You can always add more later. Too much lubricant will actually decrease performance of your baitcaster.

Article Written By Sandra Ketcham

Sandra Ketcham is a writer with more than 15 years experience writing and editing for both print and online publications. She specializes in health, travel and parenting topics, and has articles published in regional, national and international print magazines, including "The Dollar Stretcher" and "Kraze." Ketcham is currently pursuing a degree in psychology.

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