How to Clean a Spinning Reel

Here’s our overview on how to clean a spinning reel. With regular maintenance, your spinning reel can serve you for decades on end. But, if you slack on cleaning, the functionality of your spinning reel will start to deteriorate, sorting you more in the long run.

If you are a beginner in fishing and just bought your first spinning reel, you may be wondering what is needed to clean it properly. You may also not understand how to do it properly; therefore needed guidance on the same.

Below, you will find a comprehensive guide on how to clean a spinning reel. You will learn everything you need for the job and how to go about every process to ensure proper cleaning.

Key Takeaway

  • Spinning reels are easier to clean than spin-cast reels; therefore seamless for beginners in fishing.
  • You ought to use reel-safe cleaning solutions and oils to preserve the protective layer on components.
  • An effective cleaning process for spinning reels includes taking components apart, cleaning thoroughly, drying with a clean cloth, and oiling all movable parts.

What You Need To Clean A Spinning Reel

You need to have all the essential items for cleaning your spinning reel before you start the process. If you get the wrong solvents and oils for the job, you may be risking damage to your spinning reel, which can be an expensive affair in the long run.

As a beginner, it is advisable to get a spinning reel maintenance kit; this is specially crafted to take care of your spinning reel from start to end. Most reel manufacturers provide these kits with manuals on how to use them effectively.

The most important items in the kit are the cleaning solvent and the oil for lubrication. These get into contact with the crucial parts such as the bearings, reel shaft, handles, and gears. Therefore, there is a need to use only recommended products for these parts.

Other basic items you will need to clean your spinning reel include:

  • Q-tips or cotton swabs
  • Soft, clean cloth
  • Paper towels
  • A set of screwdrivers
  • Soapy water or cleaning solvent
  • Soft brush or toothbrush.

How To Clean A Spinning Reel

Cleaning a spinning reel is much easier than cleaning a spin-cast reel. Spinning reels have fewer parts to take apart and are generally easier to put everything back together. That said, they still need attention when cleaning to preserve the quality over time [1].

Below are steps you should take when cleaning your spinning reel.

Step 1: Prep

It is important to set a clean working space to clean your spinning reel. Get a clean, flat surface such as a table and organize all your cleaning supplies. Use a clean cloth to place the delicate parts you will take apart during the process.

Have some sticky notes or stickers that you can use to label all the parts that you will take apart. This will guide you on putting them back together, ensuring you do not lose any of them.

Step 2: Disassembly

Start by securing your line before you take parts out. A good idea is to secure it with masking tape to prevent it from tangling after. Next, remove the spool carefully, paying attention to the spool bushings and the washers.

Remove the handle knobs and follow that up with the pick up in and pick up arm. Next, remove the crankshaft, starting with the gears, the center shaft, and the clutch screw. Lastly, remove the ball bearings and the roller wheel.

It is important to take note of everything as you remove it. Use sticky notes to label them or organize the parts in a sequence for easy reassembly after cleaning.

Step 3: Cleaning The Parts

Use a soft brush or a toothbrush to clean the spool, starting with the exterior. Dip the brush in your cleaning solution and lightly brush each part paying attention to crevices. Be careful when cleaning to avoid bending delicate parts.

After brushing off grime and dirt, use a soft cloth to dry the parts completely. You may need to use cotton swabs or Q-tips to clean the deeper crevices of the components. Take your time to dry every corner of the pieces to remove moisture completely.

Step 4: Lubrication

Once every part is clean and dry, use your reel-safe oil to lubricate before reassembly. Oil the pick up in the arms and the handle knobs. When oiling the ball bearing, use very little oil to avoid oil from dripping off the parts [2].

Use little oil on the main shaft, too, and the rest of the crank system. Although not necessary, rub a little oil on the washers, the bushings, the pick up arm, and the roller wheel. Go over all the parts with Q-tips to remove excess oil before putting everything back together.

Step 5: Assembly

Follow the sequence to put everything back together to reassemble your reel. The good thing is that spinning reels are simple to put together; therefore; seamless for beginners.

Cleaning A Spinning Reel After Saltwater Use

If your spinning reel comes with sealing technology, you can follow the steps above to clean after use in saltwater.

Sealing technology prevents corrosive saltwater from getting into contact with the body of the frame and the rotor housing. This protects the gears and bearings from rapid corrosion, preserving the quality over time.

When cleaning, pay attention to parts with sand residue and clean that off completely. You can use a soft towel or a Q-tip dipped in a cleaning solution.

If your spinning reel does not feature sealing technology, you may have to take everything apart to clean it properly. Once in a while, you may need professional reel cleaning services to ensure the interior-most parts of the reels are safe from saltwater corrosion.

The Bottom Line

Cleaning your spinning reel regularly is essential to maintaining its functionality, especially if you use it all the time. Following the steps above, you can clean your spinning reel and preserve its quality over time.

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