Do It Yourself: Fishing Reel Repair

Do It Yourself: Fishing Reel Repair
Fishing reel repairs can range from daily cleanings to periodic parts replacement and maintenance work. While these repairs and maintenance work may seem too much for the average angler, they are not. Using a screwdriver and a few household items, you can repair your fishing reel on your own, without the help of professional, and ensure your reel is in optimum working condition for the season.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • 2 to 3 microfiber cloths
  • Mild dish detergent
  • Cleaning rag
  • Cotton swabs
  • Screwdriver
Step 1
Remove the reel from your rod. Instructions may vary, but typically this action requires turning the reel hood in a counterclockwise direction and removing the foot of the reel from the reel seat. Alternatively, loosen the metal straps that hold your reel securely in place using a screwdriver.
Step 2
Troubleshoot the rod. Persistent line breaks may be the result of deposits and embedded debris, which can snag the line or wear it down over the course of several cast-and-retrieval patterns.
Step 3
Clean dirt, sand, saltwater residue and deposits from the surface of the rod using a wet microfiber cloth and warm, soapy water. Rinse the rod with warm water. Soak for an additional 15 minutes in warm, soapy water if you are unable to lift stubborn deposits. Rinse and then dry with a soft cotton cloth.
Step 4
Remove the reel handle according to the manufacturer's instructions. Turn the handle in a counterclockwise direction and detach it from the reel. Remove any screws if necessary. Visually inspect for damage including breaks, abrasions and warping. If necessary, contact the manufacturer for a replacement handle.
Step 5
Troubleshoot the interior gears of the reel for damaged parts. Unscrew the hardware used to hold the faceplate in place. Clean dirt and other deposits with a dry microfiber cloth or cotton swab; clean the underside of the faceplate as well. Install a new faceplate if visible damage is present, including warping. Contact the manufacturer for replacement parts including new screws.
Step 6
Grease the reel using reel oil. Wet each movable part and gear with one to two drops of oil and distribute with a dry rag. Alternatively, wet the rag with reel oil and run the rag along moveable parts and gear. Eliminate rust, stalled parts---meaning movable parts do not run smoothly with standard cranking---and prevent wear and tear.

Tips & Warnings

Always wipe down tackle after saltwater fishing to reduce saltwater residue on the interior and exterior of the reel and rod.
Reel gears feel rough under pressure when not properly lubricated. Reel oil is available at sportsman's and fishing tackle stores.
DIY repairs on a fishing reel and rod may nullify a manufacturer's warranty. Check your warrant first.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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