How to Clean & Lubricate a Spinning Reel

How to Clean & Lubricate a Spinning ReelPeriodically it is necessary to clean and lubricate a spinning reel. Whether from frequent use, a result of long-term storage, or from becoming particularly dirty, spinning reels can be cleaned in a fairly simple process that every fisherman should know and do. With a minimal investment of time and a few easy to obtain supplies, anyone can properly clean and lubricate a reel.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Clean and lubricate spinning reels

Things You’ll Need:
  • spinning reel
  • reel lubricating oil
  • clean cloth
  • soapy water
  • clean water
  • small or medium bristle brush
Step 1
Use a clean cloth and soapy water to clean the reel, removing any excess dirt or debris. Pay attention to the spool in particular when cleaning. Wipe the reel with water only to remove any soap and remaining dirt and then wipe dry.
Step 2
Remove the handle of the reel. Unscrew the handle by turning or loosening a retaining screw on the opposite side. With the handle removed, clean inside the body of the reel to remove old lubricants and any debris. Use a small amount of lubricant inside the reel and reattach the handle.
Step 3
Open the bail of the reel and use the small brush to remove any debris or dirt from the bail mechanism. Also pay attention to the line roller, because pond scum and algae will accumulate here.
Step 4
Remove the spool from the reel by either removing a retaining knob at the front of the spool or by simple turning the spool counter-clockwise. Thoroughly wipe down the spool paying special attention to the inside front of the spool where water debris will accumulate.
Step 5
Use the small brush to clean any mechanism exposed with the spool removed. Apply a light coating of lubricant and reattach the spool.
Step 6
Wipe down the entire reel with a thin coating of reel oil. This will help provide a layer of protection to the reel and also will help with future cleanings.

Tips & Warnings

Take time to also apply reel oil to any moving parts. A well-lubricated reel will cast a line more smoothly and farther.
Use caution when using lubricating oils, and follow the directions of the manufacturer. Do not allow the oil to come into contact with eyes.

Article Written By Tara Dooley

Tara Dooley has written for various websites since 2008. She has worked as an accountant, after-school director and retail manager in various locations. Dooley holds a Bachelor of Science in business management and finance.

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