Baitcasting Reel Maintenance – Wonder how to take care of yours?

​Regular baitcasting reel maintenance will ensure that your equipment is in tiptop condition, and is performing efficiently on water. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a small hook or a big component like the outboard motor since all these are essential components that will lengthen the lifespan of the equipment. Furthermore, some expert anglers now say that regular cleaning and maintenance improves casting distance, accuracy as well as efficiency.

​Now, before attempting to carry out any DIY task on your baitcasting reel, make sure you’re familiar with the schematics of the reel. Of course you’ll need screwdrivers, small painting brushes, a toothbrush, detergent for scrubbing dirty reel, paper towels and many other items as you’ll find necessary.

​After you’ve spent the day fishing out in the ponds, you should ensure that the spool is removed and rinsed using fresh water — together with the rest of the fishing reel. Once the cleaning has been done, dry these components with paper towels before applying a few drops of machine oil for purposes of lubricating the hinge springs, roller, shaft, crank handle knob, and any other moving part of the mechanism.

  • Detailed maintenance

When carrying out detailed baitcasting reel maintenance tasks, you will need to remove the side plate, rotor, spool, handle and the crank gear. Once these parts have been removed and are exposed, you can clean them using a paintbrush or a toothbrush for that matter. You could also use mild detergent for this purpose.

Dry those parts with a cloth and start greasing the bushings, the gears, oscillator parts, bearings and other moving parts. The process should be followed by careful re-assembling of the parts back to where they belong.

  • Saltwater maintenance

After a fishing spree, you need to remove the spool so it can be soaked in fresh water. The reel body should also be rinsed with a spray of clean water. Your reel is most sensitive when used in a saltwater setting, and therefore maintenance is crucial if you love fishing in this type of water.

Each time saltwater gets into contact with the surface of the reel and dries up, it leaves behind a microscopic coating formed by crystalline salt residue. As a result, the salt crystals will attack the mechanisms of the reel, thus creating a wearing or binding effect — the same way dirt or sand does.

After you’ve cleaned the saltwater residue from the reel and spool, dry the remaining water with a dry cloth. Apply a light coating of quality lubricant which inhibits corrosion (they often indicate this on the package). It is highly recommended that you use lubricants that are intended for use on fishing reels.

  • Lubrication

​You should exercise care when lubricating baitcasting reels. Therefore, this section outlines the proper guidelines that should be observed when handling baitcasting reels. But first, take note of the following points:

(a) When correctly maintained and lubricated, the spinning reels will serve you for years.

(b) When lubricating with grease and oil, only apply small amounts as too much of grease/oil can actually hinder the performance of your spinning reels.

(c) The higher the frequency of use, the more frequent you should maintain it. There should be cleaning and lubricating after every fishing trip in salty water. The same should apply when the reel is dropped in sand or dirt.

(d) Annual cleaning should take place at your local technician’s shop. It is always good to have your baitcasting reel checked professionally. This will cost you money, but it’s worth the investment.

Spinning reels have different points that should be lubricated, though these points will vary from one reel to the other. In general, the following points should be paid attention to: Worm shaft, main gear, oscillator gear, pinion gear, anti-reverse clutch sleeve, and ratchet bushings. These parts only apply when it comes to greasing.

When oiling, you will pay attention to parts such like bail hinge, handle knobs (both sides), bail spring, roller bushing, spring holders, ball bearings, and kick leaver mechanism.


​The oil and grease you use for this application should be of good quality. Grease should be light in form.

​Other Baitcasting Reel Maintenance tips worth knowing

​You will want to know how to safely store your reel so it can last longer and serve you better. The following are ways to get the most out of your fishing reel:

(a) Fishing rods must be kept in an upright position. If not, store them in a rod rack that is capable of supporting both ends. If you store by leaning them against a wall, you risk bending the blank.

(b) Rods should not be stored in areas that may experience extreme heat. A few places that are not recommended include inside a boat rod locker or a car trunk.

(c) Rods cannot sustain direct sunlight for extended hours. This has been known to cause the coating on the rod to start fading away, and can create a perfect opportunity for the blank to get weakened or damaged in the process.

(d) Avoid storage when the line has some form of tension in it. A good example would be when you store the rod with a lure still on the fishing line. Otherwise, you will be making a permanent bend on the rod.

(e) When transporting your fishing rod, ensure that the blanks are not positioned in such a way that they rub against sharp edges since this causes abrasion on the blanks, plus there’s a big risk of damaging the line guides.

(f) When you intend to store your fishing rod for an extended period of time, loosen the reel seat in order to eliminate the constant strain that the reel seat material often faces.

(g) And lastly, you have to periodically run a ball of cotton on the line guides to investigate for line burrs.

​Final word

​Any angler that follows these baitcasting reel maintenance tips will enjoy the long lifespan of their fishing reel. It’s never fun to keep replacing broke parts because they are costly. But on the other hand, it makes economic sense when you know how to clean and maintain since it will keep you from making numerous trips to the fishing reel stores.

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