How to Fix a Baitcast Reel

How to Fix a Baitcast Reel
Most baitcast reels will operate smoothly with proper maintenance, but heavy abuse will cause the reels to break. Fixing the reels requires minimal skills and basic tools. Organize parts as they are removed and memorize the order in which they must be replaced. The reels are less likely to break if the parts are oiled and cleaned regularly. It is also important to wind the line on the reel evenly and to avoid winding too much line on the spool. This will cause the reel to jam.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Fresh water
  • Washers
  • Gears
  • Reel lubricant
Step 1
Check the spool on the reel for tangles in the line. If the reel is jamming, it may be because the spool is either over-lined or has a line tangle.
Step 2
Use a flathead screwdriver to remove the screw on the reel handle. Slide the handle and star-shaped drag off the reel. Set the pieces aside. Use a the screwdriver to remove the reel side plate.
Step 3
Pull to separate the reel spool and side plate. The drag assembly will separate with the the handle side of the reel.
Step 4
Rinse the drag assembly with fresh water to remove any debris from the reel. If the reel makes a grinding noise during use, there may be debris in the drag assembly. Rinse the spool with fresh water to remove any extra debris.
Step 5
Check the notched reel gears and drag washers for damage. The washers may require replacement if the reel has been heavily used. Slide the washers off the upright pin and replace with new washers if damaged. Slide the notched gears off the pin and replace with new gears if the notches are chipped or damaged.
Step 6
Add a small bead of reel lubricant to the gears and pin. Replace all of the reel parts and tighten the screws. Attach the reel to a rod and tie on a weighted lure. Cast and retrieve the lure several times to test the reel.

Tips & Warnings

Check the warranty information on the reel before making repairs. The warranty may allow you to send the reel to the manufacturer for repair or replacement.
Replace reel parts with new parts from the same manufacturer. The new parts must also match the size of the old parts. If the parts do not match, the reel may malfunction.

Article Written By Zach Lazzari

Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.

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