How to Clean Fishing Reels? Useful Tips

It is essential to know how to clean your fishing reels as it contributes to two crucial aspects. First, you can extend the service span of your fishing reel. Secondly, it will improve the experience of fishing.

Now you must be very familiar with how it is essential to maintain your fishing reels. In this article, we will highlight all the vital steps you must consider while cleaning your fishing line. 

And how you can effectively do it without expanding your effort on it. No more delays. Let’s start with this guiding procedure of cleaning fishing reels. 


Why Must You Clean Fishing Reels?

Before discussing the methodology of cleaning fishing reels, it is indispensable to understand why we must clean them regularly. 

The statement is of no argument that if we do not take care of our reels, they will start getting crowded. This thing happens particularly in freshwater. Imagine seeing your fishing reel corroded at different parts. This will ultimately lessen the health of your fishing reel, and you will not experience a joyful fishing trip.

In this regard, it is crucial to clean and grease your fishing reel with consistency. 

Most people find this cleaning and greasing process quite tricky. But now, more advanced fishing reels are available which are expensive, and there is no need to disassemble its parts. All you need to do is apply the natural oil or any good grease directly on the fishing line.

Freshwater vs Seawater Reel Cleaning

It is a usual scenario to talk about the maintenance of freshwater and seawater fishing reels. Fishers who fish in these two water bodies clean their reels after appropriate intervals.

Freshwater vs seawater reel cleaning

Freshwater fishing reel

If you are fishing in freshwater, we suggest you clean your fishing reel after five trips. It means if you have done your fishing with the same fishing line without cleaning it five times.

Then now, it is time to clean as well as grease your fishing reel so that it can function better and you can use it for a more extended period or longer

Seawater fishing reels

People who spread their fishing reels in seawater must clean their fishing reels after every fishing trip. The main reason we suggest this maintenance of fishing reels after every trip is that seawater has more particles. 

The salt and water get attached to two different parts of reels, and it might damage it accordingly. So it is crucial to clean it, if you want to increase the span. There are a variety of options for saltwater reel cleaners in the market.

How to Clean a Fishing Reel: Products & Equipment

Here is brief information about the leading products and equipment that you need to clean your fishing reel.

  1. Two screwdrivers 
  2. A wrench
  3. Tweezers
  4. A cleaning brush
  5. Real grease
  6. Real cleaner
  7. Toothpicks
  8. Paper towel
  9. Cotton cloth or soft sponge

Try to have a complete portion of accessories that is required, with you before you start cleaning your fishing reel. 

Generally, there are two options for you. You can either disassemble your fishing reel or clean it when it is in assembled form. 

How to clean a fishing reel

Cleaning the Reel Coil

It is the first step in fishing reel maintenance. Firstly you need to detach the coil. After that, remove all the grease or anything from the actual coil. Use a soft brush here and clean it properly.

Cleaning the Reel

Now start cleaning the absolute fast cleaners’ external components. Use a soft cloth and soap here. We suggest you place it in vinegar for some time. It will protect the real from harsh chemicals in the cleaning products.

Always keep in mind that soaking your fishing reel in water will develop the risk of corrosion and discolouration.

Cleaning the Spool

When cleaning your fishing reel, it is one of the most fundamental parts many people skip because they think it is free from impurities.

So you must not skip it and clean the rail from top to bottom of the reel rotor. After rinsing it with clean water, air dry it properly. 

The last step is to oil or grease the fishing line to protect it from corrosion and discolouration. You can also use homemade fishing reel oil to grease your fishing reel. 


These are the few steps to help you thoroughly clean your fishing reel. You are familiar with how to clean an oil fishing reel. Whatever products or methodology you prefer, you must ensure these basic cleaning steps.

A pro tip for cleaning your fishing reel is to avoid soaking it in water because this will damage the components of the reel, and it will not be as practical and functional as it was before.  

We hope you now have the basic knowledge of cleaning a fishing reel. 

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