How to Clean Fishing Reels


North American Fisherman Magazine
Have you ever looked at your fishing reel and thought "hmmmm! could do with a clean"? then though "looks way to complicated to strip down though"? Well, worry no further because I will take you through the procedure step by step so that your reel will be as clean as a whistle errr I mean a clean fishing reel. It really isn't that difficult and you wont need to attend night classes or anything close to that and once you have done it you'll never look back and you will never look at your reel with such disdain again.
It is actually very easy to clean your fishing reel and if you follow the instructions in this article you will accomplish the task easily and quickly. You will need a few items to hand before you start and these are as follows:
A towel, preferable clean.
A little screw driver, this is usually a Philips or cross head.
A little reel grease or WD-40 will suffice.
Some Q-tips, 5 or 6 will do nicely.
Some kitchen roll or paper towels.
That's all you need to return your spinning fishing reel to pristine condition again, and I think you will agree that all the items are easily and cheaply obtained. OK, down to the task in hand, cleaning your fishing reel. You will soon have your reel looking great again and a good clean will prolong its working life. Please read on below and follow the simple steps, by doing this you will find it quite straight forward.
Step 1 - Separate the reel from your rod. This will make the operation much easier. Give the reel a general clean with some paper towels. The aim of this step is remove the bulk of the muck such as sand, and dried mud or dirt that is sticking to the reel body.
Step 2 - The dismantling process starts with the removal of the reel handle. Removing the handle is usually either by the removal of a screw or threaded bolt in the center of the handle crank, in which case remove the screw or bolt then the handle or the handle may be attached to the reel by a thread, in this case simply hold the reel to stop it rotating then unscrew the handle by turning it in the reverse direction. In either case put the removed handle on to the clean towel.
Step 3 - You should now see 3 to 5 screws. These screws are responsible for holding the fishing reel together. Remove them and set them down where they cant be accidentally scattered or lost. Once these screws have been removed a small plate should be visible, remove this and put it in a safe place with the screws.
Step 4 - At this stage you should now see the mechanism. Grab your Q-tips and clean out any dirt and dust from the innards of your reel. Once clean, smear a little grease or spray some WD-40 on the moving parts and gears.
Step 5 - All that's necessary now is to re-assemble your reel. Refit the plate and retaining screws, making sure you fit the same number that came out. Smear a little grease or oil on to the handle before refitting.

That's it! you have restored your fishing reel to look and work as good as new. Now that you have done it once, it will be something you can do on a regular basis. In the long run this will save you money on not having to buy new reels just because of lack of cleaning and a little grease.