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Home » Blog » How To Clean A Reel After Saltwater Fishing?

How To Clean A Reel After Saltwater Fishing?

Cleaning a reel after saltwater fishing is essential to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. Saltwater can be corrosive, and if left unattended, it can lead to damage and decreased functionality. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean a reel after saltwater fishing:

Materials Needed

Freshwater (preferably warm)
Bucket or basin
Mild soap or reel cleaner
Soft brush or toothbrush
Reel oil and grease
Soft cloth or paper towels
Q-tips or cotton swabs

Step-by-step guide

Rinse with Freshwater:
Start by rinsing your reel thoroughly with freshwater. Use a gentle stream, such as a hose or a faucet, to remove the salt residue from the surface. Pay special attention to all the nooks and crannies.

Disassemble the Reel:
If your reel is designed to be disassembled, carefully take it apart. Refer to the manufacturer’s manual for instructions on disassembly. If you’re unsure, it’s better to leave it intact.

Clean the Exterior:
Mix a small amount of mild soap or reel cleaner with warm water in a bucket or basin. Dip a soft brush or toothbrush into the soapy water and gently scrub the exterior of the reel, removing any salt and grime. Be cautious around delicate parts.

Clean the Spool:
Remove the spool if possible and clean it separately. Rinse it thoroughly with freshwater, ensuring that all salt residue is removed. Wipe it dry with a clean cloth.

Clean the Interior:
If you’ve disassembled the reel, use a soft brush or toothbrush to clean the interior components. Be gentle and avoid using excessive force. Remove any sand, salt, or debris that may have accumulated.

Inspect for Damage:
While cleaning, inspect all parts for signs of damage or wear. Check the gears, bearings, and other moving parts. If you notice any issues, address them promptly.

Dry Thoroughly:
After cleaning, allow all parts to air-dry completely. Avoid using compressed air, as it can force water and contaminants into sensitive areas.

Apply Reel Oil and Grease:
Once the reel is dry, apply a small amount of reel oil to the bearings and moving parts. Use reel grease on gears and other friction points. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the type of lubricant to use.

Reassemble the Reel:
If you disassembled the reel, carefully reassemble it following the manufacturer’s guidelines. Make sure all parts fit together properly.

Wipe the Exterior:
Use a soft cloth or paper towels to wipe down the exterior of the reel one final time. This helps remove any remaining moisture and ensures a clean, polished finish.

Store Properly:
Store your reel in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Consider using a reel cover for added protection.

Regular maintenance and cleaning after each saltwater fishing trip will help keep your reel in good condition and extend its lifespan. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines for specific care and maintenance recommendations.

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