Tackle Workshop

How to Maintain a Fishing Reel Step by Step?


A fishing reel is a vital tool for any angler, enabling them to cast their line and reel in their catch. However, like any other piece of equipment, it requires regular maintenance to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. In this article, we will discuss the step-by-step process of maintaining a fishing reel, allowing you to keep it in top shape for your next fishing adventure.

Step 1: Cleaning the Reel

The first step in maintaining your fishing reel is to clean it thoroughly. Start by removing the line from the reel and wiping away any dirt or debris using a soft cloth. Next, use a toothbrush or a small brush to gently scrub the reel, paying close attention to the nooks and crannies where dirt can accumulate. Be sure to use a mild detergent or reel cleaner to remove any stubborn grime. Rinse the reel with freshwater and allow it to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: Lubricating the Reel

Once your fishing reel is clean and dry, it’s time to lubricate its moving parts. Apply a small amount of reel oil or lubricant to the gears, bail arm, and handle. Be careful not to over-lubricate, as this can attract dirt and cause the reel to become sticky. Use a cotton swab or your fingers to spread the oil evenly, ensuring that all the parts are well-lubricated. This will not only improve the reel’s performance but also prevent premature wear and tear.

Step 3: Inspecting and Replacing Parts

Regularly inspecting your fishing reel for any signs of wear or damage is crucial to its maintenance. Check the rod guides, bail arm, handle, and drag system for any signs of corrosion, cracks, or loose screws. If you notice any issues, replace the damaged parts immediately to prevent further damage and ensure the reel’s proper functioning. It is a good practice to keep spare parts on hand for quick replacements when needed.

Step 4: Storing Your Reel Properly

Proper storage is essential to maintain the longevity of your fishing reel. After each fishing trip, make sure to rinse the reel with freshwater to remove any saltwater or debris. Allow it to dry completely before storing it in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Avoid storing the reel in a tightly closed container, as this can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. Instead, use a reel cover or a soft cloth to protect it from dust and scratches.

Step 5: Regular Maintenance Schedule

To ensure that your fishing reel performs optimally, it is important to establish a regular maintenance schedule. Depending on how often you use your reel, a thorough cleaning and lubrication every few months should be sufficient. However, if you frequently fish in saltwater or harsh conditions, more frequent maintenance may be necessary. Regularly inspecting your reel for any signs of wear or damage should also be a part of your maintenance routine.


Maintaining your fishing reel is vital to its longevity and performance. By following these step-by-step instructions, you can keep your reel in top shape and extend its lifespan. Remember to clean and lubricate the reel, inspect and replace any damaged parts, store it properly, and establish a regular maintenance schedule. With proper care, your fishing reel will continue to serve you well on your fishing adventures for years to come.

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