How to Clean Spinning Reel: Step-by-Step Guide



How to clean spinning reel


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Keeping your spinning reel clean is crucial for maintaining its performance and prolonging its lifespan. Regular cleaning removes dirt and debris, ensures smooth operation, and prevents rusting.

Proper maintenance is essential for anglers who want to enjoy their fishing experience. In this blog post, we will provide step-by-step instructions on cleaning your spinning reel effectively.

By following these simple yet important tips, you can keep your reel in top-notch condition and improve your chances of a successful fishing trip. So, let’s dive in and discover the best practices for cleaning your spinning reel!

Quick Tips

  • Use a soft bristle brush or toothbrush to gently brush away any dirt or debris on the exterior of the spinning reel.
  • Remove the spool and clean it separately by rinsing it with warm soapy water and wiping it dry with a clean cloth.
  • Inspect the line roller and bail arm for any tangled fishing line or dirt, and clean them by using a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol.
  • Lubricate the reel’s moving parts with a small amount of reel oil or lubricant, ensuring smooth operation.
  • As a final tip, store your spinning reel in a cool, dry location to prevent rust or corrosion, and keep it away from extreme weather conditions and direct sunlight.

Start by removing the fishing line from the reel to ensure better access for cleaning.

How to Clean Spinning reel?

Start by removing the fishing line from the reel to ensure better access for cleaning. This step is crucial, as it allows you to clean the reel without any obstructions thoroughly. Unscrew the cap on the reel, giving you access to the spool. Begin by unwinding the fishing line from the spool, careful not to tangle or twist it. Once the line is removed, you can move on to the next step of cleaning your reel.

Now that you have removed the fishing line from the reel, it’s time to clean it thoroughly. Start by using a soft brush or toothbrush to gently scrub away any dirt, debris, or residue that may have accumulated on the reel’s surface.

Pay close attention to the crevices and hard-to-reach areas, often hotspots for grime buildup. Moisten the brush with a mild cleaning solution for added effectiveness if needed. Remember to take your time and be gentle, ensuring you don’t damage any delicate internal components.

Once the reel’s surface is clean, it’s essential to lubricate the internal parts for optimal performance. Use a precision applicator or a cotton swab to apply a small amount of reel oil to the gears, bearings, and other movable parts.

This lubrication will help reduce friction and ensure smooth operation when on the water. Additionally, be sure to also apply a thin layer of grease to the reel’s main shaft and any other areas that require a heavier lubricant. It’s important to note that excess oil or grease can attract dirt, so be mindful not to overdo it.

Finally, after cleaning and lubricating your reel, it’s time to re-spool it with a fresh fishing line. Before doing so, check the reel’s user manual or consult a reliable source to determine the recommended line weight and capacity. This will ensure that you select the appropriate fishing line for the reel.

Carefully thread the line through the correct guides and tie a secure knot to the spool. Slowly wind the line onto the spool, ensuring that it is evenly distributed and not too tight. As you wind, occasionally tighten the line in small increments, preventing loose loops or tangles. Once re-spooling is complete, your reel will be ready for your next fishing adventure.

Following these step-by-step tips and tricks, you can effectively clean and maintain your fishing reel, ensuring optimal performance and longevity. Remember, regular cleaning and lubrication will not only extend the lifespan of your reel but also enhance your fishing experience. So take some time to give your reel the care it deserves, and reap the rewards on your next fishing trip.

Use a toothbrush or a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub away dirt, grime, and salt deposits from the reel.

Regularly caring for your fishing reel will ensure its long-term performance and longevity. One step is cleaning and maintaining it regularly to prevent dirt, grime, and salt deposits from building up inside it.

This guide will walk you through a step-by-step process and provide valuable tips and tricks on effectively cleaning your fishing reel using a toothbrush or a soft-bristled brush. Following these instructions, you can keep your fishing reel in top condition and increase its lifespan.

Step 1: Choose the Right Brush

To start, select a toothbrush or a soft-bristled brush specifically designed for delicate cleaning tasks. Avoid using brushes with hard bristles, as they may scratch or damage the delicate components of your reel. By opting for a soft-bristled brush, you can ensure a thorough cleaning without compromising the integrity of your fishing equipment.

Step 2: Remove the Reel from the Fishing Rod

Before beginning the cleaning process, removing the reel from the fishing rod is important. This step will give you more control over the cleaning procedure and prevent any damage to the rod. Gently disassemble the reel from the rod according to your reel’s manufacturer’s instructions and set it on a clean, flat surface.

Step 3: Scrub Away Dirt, Grime, and Salt Deposits

With the reel separated from the fishing rod, take the toothbrush or soft-bristled brush and dip it in a mild soapy water solution. Gently scrub away any dirt, grime, and salt deposits accumulated on the reel. Pay special attention to hard-to-reach areas, such as the crevices between the reel’s gear handles. Be patient and thorough to ensure a deep clean without causing any harm to the reel’s delicate components.

Step 4: Rinse and Dry Properly

Once the scrubbing process is complete, rinse the reel using clean water to remove any soap residue. Ensure that no water enters the internal parts of the reel, as this can lead to corrosion and damage. Gently pat the reel dry with a clean, lint-free cloth, or allow it to air dry completely before reassembling it onto the fishing rod. By following these steps, you will maintain the reel’s functionality and protect it from potential degradation caused by dirt and salt accumulation.

Regularly cleaning your fishing reel is vital for its optimal performance and durability on your fishing expeditions. Utilizing a toothbrush or soft-bristled brush, and following the outlined step-by-step process, will help remove dirt, grime, and salt deposits effectively.

Remember to choose the right brush, disassemble the reel, scrub gently, and ensure proper rinsing and drying to prevent damage to internal components. By dedicating a little time and attention to cleaning your reel, you can expect increased performance, enjoyment, and longevity from this essential fishing gear.

Be cautious while cleaning the bail assembly, gears, and spool so as not to damage any delicate parts.

To prevent any damage to the delicate parts of your fishing reel, it is essential to use extreme caution when cleaning the bail assembly, gears, and spool. Step-by-step instructions will be provided in this comprehensive guide to ensure a safe and effective cleaning process.

First and foremost, before attempting any cleaning, it is crucial to consult the manufacturer’s manual for specific instructions. Different fishing reels may have varying mechanisms, and following the guidelines will prevent mishaps. Once familiar with the manufacturer’s recommendations, you can proceed with cleaning.

To start, gently remove the bail assembly, gears, and spool from the fishing reel. These parts are typically interconnected, but with careful manipulation, they can be detached for thorough cleaning. Ensure a clean workspace is prepared, free from any dirt or debris that could disrupt the cleaning process.

Now that you have the individual parts in front of you, it’s time to clean them meticulously. A soft-bristled brush or a cotton swab can be your best ally, allowing you to reach the nooks and crannies where dirt tends to hide. Gently brush away any sediment, grime, or debris that may have accumulated over time. Be cautious not to use excessive force, which can unknowingly damage the delicate components.

Once you have removed the visible dirt, it’s time to go deeper. Utilize a mild cleaning solution specifically designed for fishing reels. Dip a cotton swab or a soft cloth into the solution and wipe each part meticulously. This will ensure that any residual dirt or grease is entirely eradicated, allowing for smooth functionality.

Finally, you should approach the task of cleaning your fishing reel’s bail assembly, gears, and spool carefully and with caution. Following the manufacturer’s guidelines and employing the step-by-step tips mentioned above will make the process effective and safe.

Remember, regular cleaning is vital to prolonging the life of your fishing reel and ensuring optimal performance during your angling adventures. So, dive into the meticulous cleaning process and cherish the thought that your beloved equipment will be in its prime condition for your next fishing expedition.


A spinning reel can be a valuable tool for any angler if they know how to clean them. You can ensure that your spinning reel will be in optimal condition for your future fishing adventures by following these steps: removing the fishing line, gently scraping away dirt and salt deposits, and exercising caution when cleaning delicate parts.

Regular maintenance not only prolongs the lifespan of your reel but also enhances its performance, allowing for smoother casts and reeling. Incorporating these cleaning techniques into your routine saves you from potential breakdowns and money in the long run by eliminating the need for costly repairs or replacements.

By cleaning your spinning reel properly, you invest in your fishing experience and ultimately improve your life on the water. So don’t overlook this essential task and make it a part of your angling routine.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is it important to clean your spinning reel?

Keeping your spinning reel clean for aesthetic and functional purposes is essential. Different methods for cleaning a spinning reel include using a cotton swab or nylon brush for a baitcasting reel and a toothbrush for a spinning reel.

2. What do people use to clean the body of a spinning reel?

People use a few different things to clean the body of a spinning reel. Some use WD-40, others use mineral spirits, and others use kerosene. All of these are effective at cleaning a reel’s body. However, WD-40 is probably the best option because it is non-toxic and will not harm the reel.

3. Can I use WD-40 on my fishing reel?

Yes, you can use WD-40 on your fishing reel. It will help to lubricate the gears and make them easier to turn. It will also help to protect the reel from corrosion. Just wipe off any excess WD-40 after use, as it can attract dirt and dust.

4. Is Vaseline a good lubricant for fishing reels?

There is debate over the effectiveness of Vaseline as a lubricant for fishing reels, with some arguing it is the best option because it does not evaporate and others stating it is too thick to work effectively.
The speaker has used Vaseline on their reels with no issues and believes it performs as well as other lubricants, such as WD-40.

5. How to clean the sand out of a spinning reel?

To clean the sand from a fishing reel, unwind the spool and use a screwdriver to remove the housing. Once the housing is opened, use a small brush or pipe cleaner to remove the sand inside the reel. Be careful not to lose any screws during the process.

Additional Resources

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