How to Clean a Fishing Reel (Reel Restoration)

Cleaning your fishing reel is an essential task that ensures it performs well and lasts longer. Over time, grime, garbage, and salt buildup can cause your spin to malfunction, resulting in poor performance or damage. Learning how to clean a fishing reel is easy, and in this article, we’ll provide you with the steps to get your spin back to its best condition.

Why is it Important to Clean Your Fishing Reel?

The fishing rotation you use is one of the most crucial pieces of equipment that you will use when fishing. Additionally, it may be one of the most expensive options. Washing your fishing reel will help to extend its lifespan and keep it in optimal condition. Over time, dirt, debris, and salt can build up on your spin, causing it to malfunction. Washing your whirl will remove these pollutants, reduce friction, and increase the reel’s performance. Additionally, scrubbing your rotation will help to prevent rust and decline from developing, which can damage the reel’s internal tools.

The Supplies You’ll Need

Before How to Clean a Fishing Reel , you’ll need to gather the necessary supplies. 

  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Clean, lint-free cloths
  • Fishing reel oil
  • Reel grease
  • Toothbrush
  • Warm soapy water
  • Screwdriver (if required)

Step-by-Step Guide How to Clean Your Fishing Reel

Cleansing your fishing spin can seem daunting, but it’s a straightforward process that can be completed in a few simple steps.

 Disassemble Your Reel

The first step in washing your fishing reel is to dismantle it. Refer to your reel’s manual or online tutorials to ensure that you disassemble it correctly. Remember to keep all the parts arranged and marked to make it easy to reassemble the reel.

 Clean the Exterior of Your Reel

Scrubbing with a gentle bristle brush, gently remove any dirt, debris, or salt buildup from the exterior of the rotation. If necessary, use a toothbrush to clean hard-to-reach areas. Ensure you use only a little force to avoid damaging the spin’s finish.

 Clean the Interior of Your Reel

Remove any dust or debris from the revolution’s interior by wiping it down with a clean, lint-free cloth. Gently scrub with a toothbrush if any areas need extra cleaning. Avoid using excessive force or abrasive cleaning agents that could scratch the reel’s internal mechanisms.

Apply Reel Grease

Spread some spin grease on the gears and other moving parts with a clean cloth. Be careful not to over-grease, as this can cause grime buildup.

 Apply Reel Oil

Use a clean cloth to apply reel oil to the bearings and other moving parts. Again, avoid over-oiling, as this can cause dust and dirt buildup.

 Reassemble Your Reel

Once you have finished cleaning and lubricating your reel, it’s time to reassemble it. Follow the reverse order of the disassembly process, referring to your reel’s manual or online tutorials if necessary.

Signs That Your Fishing Reel Needs Cleaning

Regular cleaning of your fishing rotation is essential to ensure it works properly and lasts long. Here are some signs that your fishing spin needs washing:

  • Grinding or roughness: If your revolution feels gritty or rough when you turn the handle, dirt, debris, or salt buildup has likely accumulated inside the process, and it needs to be cleaned.
  • The drag system isn’t smooth: If your spin’s drag system isn’t functioning smoothly, it’s a sign that it needs cleaning. A dirty or greasy drag system can cause irregular or uneven tension when reeling in a fish.
  • Line twist: Line twist is a common problem when fishing, but excessive line twist could indicate that your rotation needs cleaning. A neat and well-lubricated spin will help prevent line twists.
  • Corrosion or rust: If you notice any signs of decay or rust on your spin, it’s essential to wash it immediately to control further damage. Saltwater fishing can cause corrosion if the revolution isn’t rinsed with fresh water after use.
  • Strange noises: If your spin makes unusual noises, such as clicking or squeaking, it could signal that it needs cleansing. Mud and wreckage can cause the rotation to make strange sounds when in use.

Maintaining your fishing revolution will help it last longer and perform better.

Can you clean a fishing reel with water?

You can cleanse a fishing reel with water, but you must take protection to ensure you don’t damage the revolution. Here are the steps to wash a fishing spin with water

  1. Remove the spool and wipe it clean with a dry cloth.
  2. Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the rotation body gently, the handle, and other parts.
  3. Use a low-pressure stream of water to rinse the spin, ensuring that it does not get water into the inner workings of the rotation.
  4. Dry the reel thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth, paying particular attention to the areas where water may have collected, such as around the drag system.
  5. After cleaning, apply lubricant to the appropriate areas of the swirl, such as the gears and bearings.

NOTE: It’s important to note that some revolutions may not have water-resistant or water-repellent parts, and using water to wash them can cause damage. In addition, saltwater can cause corrosion, so it’s a good idea to rinse your spin with fresh water after using it in saltwater.

Tips for Maintaining Your Fishing Reel

Knowing how to clean your fishing reel is the first step; the following advice will help you keep it in good working order for as long as possible

  • Always store your spin in a dry place, away from direct sunlight or excessive heat.
  • Clean your reel after every fishing trip to remove any salt, dirt, or debris that may have accumulated.
  • Use reel covers or cases to protect your revolution during transportation and storage.
  • Please don’t use harsh cleaning agents, which can damage the reel’s internal mechanisms.
  • Avoid using water to clean the spin’s interior, which can lead to rust and corrosion.
  • Regularly inspect your rotation for any signs of wear and tear and replace any damaged parts as necessary.

Final Thought

 Knowing how to clean a fishing spin is an essential skill every angler should have. If you follow the advice in this manual, your rotation will always run smoothly and last many more years. Remember to clean your reel regularly and carefully maximize your fishing experience. If you want to put the right weight on fishing line so, read more.


How often should I clean my fishing reel?

It would be best if you washed your fishing whirl after every fishing trip to remove any salt, dirt, or debris that may have accumulated.

Can I use water to clean my fishing reel?

Water is not recommended to cleanse the spin’s interior, as it can lead to rust and corrosion. Instead, use a soft-bristled brush and a lint-free cloth to clean the revolution.

Can I use any oil or grease on my fishing reel?

No, it’s recommended that you use rotation oil and grease specifically designed for fishing revolutions, as they have the correct viscosity and won’t damage the spin’s internal mechanisms.

Can I use a dishwasher to clean my fishing reel?

No, using a dishwasher to wash your fishing rotation can damage the reel’s internal mechanisms and finish.

Can I clean my fishing reel without disassembling it?

It’s not recommended to clean your fishing reel without disassembling it, as you won’t be able to clean the interior and lubricate the internal mechanisms properly.

Emma is the wordsmith behind the insightful articles and guides on our website. Her extensive research and passion for fishing shine through in every piece she creates. Whether sharing angling tips or delving into the latest conservation efforts, Emma is dedicated to providing valuable and engaging content.