How to Take Apart a Small Baitcaster

How to Take Apart a Small Baitcaster
Bait casting reels are used by anglers to catch everything from bass to salmon, but these technical fishing reels routinely need maintenance, primarily greasing the drive gears, to keep them working properly. Taking apart a bait-casting reel can be done quickly with the right knowledge and tools.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Get the reel undressed

Things You’ll Need:
  • Bait casting reel Cotton swabs Reel grease Reel oil Flat head screw driver
  • Bait casting reel
  • Cotton swabs
  • Reel grease
  • Reel oil
  • Flat head screw driver
Step 1
Loosen (don't remove) the screws on the side of the reel where the handle is located. These are usually thumb screws with a slot in them that will require the use of a flat head screwdriver.
Step 2
Once all of the screws are loose, leave them in place and gently pull the handle side of the reel away from the frame. This will be the section of the reel that includes the gear train.
Step 3
Use the cotton swabs to clean the edge of the spool. This is where dirt and debris can accumulate, adding unwanted friction. Add several drops of reel oil to the spool shaft. This will allow the spool to spin freely upon casting.
Step 4
Check the gears to make sure there is no damage to the teeth and add a small amount of reel grease to the teeth that are meshing in the gear train. This will add life to the gears and make them feel smoother when in use.
Step 5
Reassemble the reel by aligning the spool with the side plate and gear train. Once this section is in place, tighten the screws on the side plate. Then rotate the reel handle several times in order to wear in the grease.

Tips & Warnings

If your reel is not casting smoothly, try changing the bearings located on each side of the spool.
Pay attention to the spool alignment when putting the reel back together, the spool shaft can be damaged if misaligned.

Article Written By Brian M. Kelly

Brian M. Kelly has been freelance writing since 2003. His work has been published in respected outdoor magazines such as Outdoor Life, Great Lakes Angler and Salmon Trout Steelheader. He holds an associate's degree in automated machine design from Macomb College.

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