Welcome to how to clean your fishing reel. Saltwater, sand and dirt are the arch-enemy of your valuable spin reel. These materials and corrosion can take away the feeling of that once smooth spin reel. This article will walk you through a step by step guide on basic maintenance you should do regularly for your spin reel. Doing this will increase the longevity of the reel, keep it performing well and remove saltwater and corrosion build up which can degrade or seize your spin reel.



How to clean your spin reel

  1. Tighten the drag on your reel, this will expand the seals and stop water from entering.
  2. Rinse the reel on a very gentle pressure setting. ( Do not use pressure this will only push salt and dirt into the reel rather than washing it away ) Also when rinsing try to avoid getting excessive water on the braid which can cause the line to later slip and not apply drag pressure. I cover the line with a cloth for this reason when rinsing. If possible use warm water which is more effective in removing and breaking down saltwater and sand.
  3. Wipe down with a smooth cloth and allow it to air dry in an area with a good temperature. Also at this stage loosen the drag so you don’t stress the drag washers and seals.
  4. Once dry remove the reel from the rod, then unscrew the drag knob and remove the spool.
  5. Carefully wipe away any sand, reside or dirt from the inside of the spool and exposed reel.
  6. Use a very small amount of lubricant. ( ideally a non-corrosive material like inox ) and apply a small amount to the moving components. Including the handle, bail arm and line roller.
  7. carefully wipe away any excess lubricant.
  8. At this stage, I also like to grab a microfibre cloth ( like a glasses cleaner ) and wipe the reel and spool. For silver reels, this will bring back the shine making it look like new.
  9. Place the spool back into the reel and screw the drag knob back on but keep the tension nice and loose until your next usage on the water this will help reduce any stress on the reel.


I do this after each usage especially if I have fished inshore or offshore and had any chance of saltwater contact or wash onto the reel. A video tutorial step by step guide on how to clean your fishing reel can be found in our member’s area so make sure you go and check that out.



What to do if your reel still isn’t smooth after cleaning

The steps above are quote basic maintenance, periodically you may need to take your reel to a repair centre to be properly serviced. We would encourage you not to take apart your reel unless you really know what you’re doing. New technologies like magseal, monococque single piece reels, means its a very complex process to take your reels apart these days and an authorised reel maintenance repair centre would be your best bet. They will carry out tasks like regreasing, changing drag washers, cleaning gears, shims and bearings. Therefore it may be best to contact the manufacturer directly and get their device to the best repair centre. Eg if you have a Daiwa reel contact Daiwa, or if you have a Shimano reel contact Shimano. Or at very least run it by the tackle store you purchased the reel from.

Additions or Corrections for Buying a used fishing kayak

Thank you for reading our Buying a used fishing kayak. If you feel this fish species guide is missing key information or needs any corrections. Also feel free to view our Kayak Buyers guide for 2022 which has invaluable information on today’s fishing kayaks on the market rating their performance, stability range of accessories and price. Then please let us know by emailing our team at enquiries@fishingmad.com.au with specific details in the email. Thank you