A lot of fishermen find cleaning a reel to be such a daunting task that they will simply replace it rather than tackle the process, which is at the least wasteful and at the most a costly proposition.
Cleaning a reel isn’t rocket science and if you do it on a regular basis, particularly if you fish in areas where the air and water are salty, it will add literally years to the life of the reel you’re using.
I clean mine about two times a year, and they’ve lasted, some of them, in excess of five years, and are still going strong.
Its a simple straightforward process to clean it up and keep it singing along, and it can be done simply and easily if you follow a few simple steps.
You will need: a clean towel, a small screw driver (usually Phillips head), a small bottle of reel grease (or WD-40), some Q-tips, and some paper towels.
That’s it. How to clean your spinning reel, and add years to it’s life.
Let’s get down to it.
The first order of business will be removing the spinning reel from it’s rod and using a couple of paper towels to wipe it off completely.
Now remove the handle of the spinning reel. The handle normally is removed in one of 2 ways. Either by removing/loosening a screw of some sort in the handle itself or by simply holding the reel and turning the handle backwards. This will remove the handle. Once removed, set the handle onto the clean towel.
Now make sure that the reel is laying with the screws that hold it together exposed. Now simply remove these screws (usually from 3-5) and place them next to the handle. This will expose a small plate which can now be removed. Remove the plate and set it next to the screws.
At this point the inside of the spinning reel should be exposed. Use a clean Q-tip to remove any visible debris on the inside of the reel. Now use your reel grease and put a couple of drops of grease on every moving gear that you see. If you’re using WD-40 simply squirt a little on every gear you can see.
Now simply reverse the process. Put the plate back into place and screw in the screws. Before re-installing the handle, add some grease/WD-40 to it as well. Now re-install the handle.
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