How To Clean A Baitcasting Reel?

Is there an avid fisherman who doesn’t own a baitcasting reel? The answer is going to be a ‘no’ mostly. At this point, it is almost a must-have tool for fishers considering its extremely accurate casts.

However, regardless of how effectively and expertly someone uses the reel, it will be dirty. Your precious baitcasting reel won’t perform as it should once the dirt has built up. That is the appropriate time you clean the dirt off the reel.

In the article, we focused on five steps that you can follow to clean the baitcasting reel. You do not need anything fancy to complete the process. The best thing about the instruction is that you can do it at home. Let’s jump right into it.

STEP – 1: Having the necessary tools

Maintaining the cleanliness of the reel will allow it to perform at its best. Nonetheless, we are not referring to simple cleaning. To get the most from the reel, you should deep clean it. Several tools are required for that. Check them below.

  1. A towel. It mustn’t be wet.
  2. Oil. You may opt for a degreaser too.
  3. Rubbing alcohol.
  4. Cotton swabs.
  5. A toothbrush or cotton.
  6. Lubricants.
  7. Hot or distilled water.
  8. Soap.

STEP – 2: Cleaning the outer surface

When cleaning, we tend to focus on the internal part first, don’t we? You should also be concerned about the outside area because usually, it is quite dirty. Hence, clean the outer cover first. You can use the toothbrush or towel to remove dirt off the cover.

The next thing you want to do is cleaning the reel’s cover. Make sure you detach the spool before doing so. Take a good portion of cotton and put rubbing alcohol on it. Now use the cotton to wipe the cover. Instead of wiping, you may also tap the cotton all over the cover until the dirt is gone.

We will also be cleaning the line and spool. Detach these items from the reel and put them in warm water. It is recommended to use soap that can remove stubborn dust from the items. Let the spool and line soak for 5 minutes in the water. Dry them afterward.

Please do not put them on the reel immediately after drying. Our suggestion is to apply a little oil to the spool. It helps the spool to deliver maximum performance.

STEP – 3: Deep-cleaning the inside of the reel

Here comes the internal part you’ve all been waiting for. As you know, it is tricky to clean this part because the most amount of dirt accumulates here. Thus, we will deep clean the internal area.

Take the Q-tips or cotton swabs and put rubbing alcohol on them. You may also sink them directly into the alcohol. Make sure the cotton swab has got enough liquid on it. To wipe all dirt off the surface, move the cotton swab across it from right to left and top to bottom. Repeating it a few times should do the job properly.

The hardest part is cleaning the pinion area since it is the narrowest. Use a Q-tip instead of the cotton swab to reach that spot.

The tip is softer on the Q-tip compared to traditional cotton swabs. Hence, you will reach the pinion area more conveniently using a Q-tip. Before using the tip, be sure to dip it into rubbing alcohol.

STEP – 4: Lubing the bearings

Since you have thoroughly cleaned the baitcasting reel’s interior and exterior parts, it should appear as good as new. However, the work is far from done. It is the right time to lubricate the spool and bearings of the product. You can use the lubricant gel for this.

Many folks may skip this step which is certainly not a wise choice. The role of lubrication includes decreasing the friction of the line and spool. As a result, the baitcasting reel will function as smoothly as if it were brand new. Furthermore, it won’t face issues such as corrosion.

STEP – 5: Finishing touches

You want to put all the pieces back together? Our work isn’t done, though. We will clean the handle in this final step. There are multiple ways to do so.

You have the option to use cotton swabs with oil to clean it. Or you can directly dip the handle into warm water and use soap to clean it. Whatever choice you make, be sure to apply oil afterward.

In fact, all the clean parts should be polished with oil when they are dry. It will keep them safe from corrosion. Moreover, when oil is still present on the surface, dirt does not accumulate.

Once all the parts are dry, and the oil is applied, you can reattach them together.

Bonus Tips

  • The number of times you need to clean the baitcasting reel depends on its usage. Some people do hard fishing and end up cleaning it almost every week, whereas others go months without washing the product.We recommend you clean the reel following our instructions once (minimum) every 2-3 months.
  • Fishing in frigid weather may cause your reel to freeze up. It is a common problem that occurs due to the cold weather. You can easily avoid the issue by using dry lube.
  • If you see that the wet weather is causing corrosion on the baitcasting reel, change the o-rings.

Final Words

It is clear from the article that cleaning a baitcasting reel is not difficult. By following our instructions and properly using the necessary tools, you should be able to clean the reel easily.

Make sure you reach all the confined areas and clean those. Handle every part carefully and delicately so that you do not cut or tangle anything.

Assembling the reel and seeing it look new, polished, and glossy is very satisfying. You will also notice a big difference in performance. We hope you enjoy it.

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