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Best Way to Clean a Fishing Reel [Beginner-Friendly Tips]

Here’s a detailed guide on the best way to clean a fishing reel. Every angler, regardless of experience, will eventually need to clean their reels to ensure long-lasting performance and reliability. As an avid fisherman, you likely have your favorite fishing gear that you meticulously care for after each outing, storing everything neatly to prolong its life. However, you might also possess a collection of rods and reels that you occasionally pull from the depths of your garage for those larger group fishing trips. This gear often requires untangling and is frequently replaced when it breaks, as it’s often more convenient to buy new ones than repair old ones.

Metal Protector.
AMSOIL MP Metal Protector

This might include the equipment hastily purchased from a local hardware store during a spontaneous trip because the kids found a promising fishing spot. Such gear tends to accumulate dirt, corrosion, and wear from infrequent use and neglect, necessitating thorough cleaning. Ensuring that your fishing reel remains in optimal condition involves careful, regular maintenance. Here’s a comprehensive approach to effectively clean your fishing reel, thereby extending its usability and performance on future fishing expeditions.

Step-by-step Guide for Cleaning a Fishing Reel

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Take Off the Line Spool

Start your reel cleaning process by carefully removing the line spool. This initial step is essential to prevent the fishing line from tangling, which can clutter your workspace and delay the cleaning. Additionally, taking off the spool ensures the line stays free from exposure to cleaning agents, grease, or oil. If these substances get on the line, they could leave residue in the water during your future fishing trips, negatively affecting the environment and your gear’s performance.

Moreover, removing the spool gives you better access to the reel’s internal components, making it easier to clean thoroughly without obstructions. This step not only streamlines the cleaning process but also helps maintain an organized workspace. Keeping the fishing line away from cleaning substances promotes a safer, more eco-friendly fishing experience by preventing contamination and extending the durability of your line.

It’s crucial to note that skipping this step could result in unwanted complications. For instance, if the fishing line absorbs cleaning agents or oils, it can weaken and become prone to breaking during use, leading to lost catches and potential equipment damage. By prioritizing the removal of the spool, you’re ensuring that each part of your reel is cleaned effectively, maintaining the high performance and longevity of your fishing gear.

Clean The Reel Body

Apply a thin layer of a high-quality cleaner to the reel body. Personally, I’ve found AMSOIL MP Metal Protector to be particularly effective for this purpose. Use a clean rag to meticulously wipe down the reel, ensuring you reach all nooks and crannies, including those often-neglected areas around the handle and spool. The effectiveness of AMSOIL MP Metal Protector in removing dirt and grime from fishing reels isn’t just anecdotal; it’s evident in the accompanying photographs that highlight its superior cleaning capabilities.

This formulation not only excels at cleaning but also provides a protective layer that helps maintain the reel’s longevity and performance. Unlike some other cleaners that may leave residues or fail to fully remove contaminants, AMSOIL MP Metal Protector delivers a thorough cleaning without compromising the reel’s functionality. This double-action approach—cleaning and protecting—ensures that your reel remains in optimal condition, reducing the likelihood of corrosion and wear over time.

Furthermore, the product’s ability to prevent the buildup of future grime makes it a worthwhile investment for any serious angler. While other products might claim similar results, they often fall short when it comes to maintaining long-term reel efficiency. AMSOIL MP Metal Protector, however, stands out for its reliability and consistent performance, ensuring your fishing equipment stays in top-notch condition trip after trip.

AMSOIL 100% Synthetic Firearm Lubricant and Protectant.
AMSOIL 100% Synthetic Firearm Lubricant and Protectant

Oil/Grease The Gears

To begin, disassemble the reel carefully so you can thoroughly inspect the gears and determine if lubrication is necessary. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the specific type of lubricant recommended, as using an incorrect lubricant could result in poor performance or even damage. Generally, high-quality gear lubricants or NLGI #2 grease are dependable options. For superior performance and extended protection, I highly recommend AMSOIL 100% Synthetic Firearm Lubricant and Protectant.

When applying the lubricant, use a minimal amount on each gear and ensure it’s evenly distributed. This meticulous application is crucial for the reel’s optimal performance. Be sure to wipe away any excess lubricant, as too much can attract dirt and debris, which might degrade the reel’s functionality over time. Properly applied lubrication guarantees smooth and efficient operation, significantly enhancing the reel’s longevity and reliability.

Beyond basic lubrication, consider the reel’s operating conditions, like exposure to water or dirt, and select a lubricant that offers resistance to such elements. Often, synthetic lubricants provide better protection against harsh environments. By adhering to these detailed steps and recommendations, you ensure your reel operates at peak performance, withstanding wear and environmental factors effectively.

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Oil Pivot Points

Once you’ve taken apart the reel, it’s crucial to apply AMSOIL MP Metal Protector to any pivot points or other moving parts. This application is essential in reducing friction, allowing the reel to operate more efficiently by ensuring smoother motion. Additionally, AMSOIL MP Metal Protector forms a protective barrier that prevents rust and corrosion from developing. Rust and corrosion can severely hinder the performance of your reel, leading to increased wear and tear. Over time, the absence of such protection can cause significant damage, making the reel less effective and shortening its lifespan. By taking this preventive measure, you’re not only maintaining the smooth operation of the reel but also significantly extending its longevity. This small yet critical step ensures your reel remains in optimal condition, providing dependable performance and reducing the need for frequent repairs or replacements.

AMSOIL Firearm Cleaner and Protectant.
AMSOIL Firearm Cleaner and Protectant

Reassemble The Reel

Once you’ve meticulously cleaned and oiled your reel, reassemble it with care, ensuring each component is properly aligned. This preparation is crucial for your next fishing trip. Recently, our team undertook this maintenance task with notable results. Over the weekend, we experienced exceptional performance from our reels, evidenced by their flawless operation and absence of mechanical problems. This optimal functionality allowed us to concentrate solely on the act of fishing, which significantly contributed to a substantial catch of bluegill and crappie.

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Conclusion: Best Way to Clean a Fishing Reel

Ensuring your reel’s longevity and performance means dedicating just a little time each year to maintain it. By following the best way to clean a fishing reel, you safeguard those cherished family fishing outings from unnecessary disruptions. With a smoothly operating reel, you can focus more on making memories and less on technical glitches.

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