How to Maintain Spinning Reels? All You Need to Know

Maintaining your spinning reel at least once in a year will definitely extend its lifespan. If you go fishing often and want a reel to serve your longer, then you should clean the reel right before each time you store it.

I have knocked on the door of some of my friends who are professional anglers and asked them to share their way of maintaining spinning reels. And they did give me the entire process which I am going to show you right now.

Before we start, there are different types of reels from different brands, so cleaning and maintaining process would be different. However, I am going to show the process following which you can maintain most of the spinning reels.

Let’s get started then.

10 Steps to Clean & Maintain a Spinning Reel

Before we start the entire process let me tell you about a few things that you would require during the process, which are

•    White towel.

•    Reel oil.

•    Flathead screwdriver.

These are pretty much all you would need to complete the entire process with ease, so now without wasting any minute, let get to the actual business.

Step 1

The very first thing you would want to do is to remove the reel from the rod, that would be easier for you to clean the reel. And then take the white towel, put that one a workbench.

You will be putting all the tiny easily lost items on the white towel. Putting them in hard surfaces increases the chance of losing them.

Step 2

Time to remove the handle. To do that hold the reel properly and turn the handle counter-clockwise. It would spin freely and is supposed to come to lose soon. Now do exactly the same to remove the cap from the other side, just turn the cap to left and it will come to lose soon.

Step 3

Now put a moderate amount of reel oil into the bearing. Buddy, you have to be very careful here. Choosing the wrong oil will do more harm than doing absolutely nothing. So make sure you choose the right oil for your reel.

Step 4

Remove the side plate of the reel seat, for doing that you have to unscrew three or four screws. Make sure you keep all the tiny items including screws on the white table, otherwise, there are chances that you would lose it.

A flat head mini screwdriver will work fine here. During the process make sure that no internal gear slips from its place, if not you might end up damaging your reel with your own hand.

Step 5

Once you remove the side plate, put a moderate amount of reel oil on the gear and pinion. You can use the screwdriver tip to scoop up a drop of reel oil. Just put the oil and do nothing. Once the gear starts functioning, oil will spread to where they should be.

Step 6

Ensure that no gear has been misaligned during the process, some brands have their specific gear alignment which could be very hard to restore if misaligned once. However, put the side plate back on its place and screw it properly.

Step 7

Now time to get your hands on the important but sometimes irritating part of the reel, the spool. Nothing can be much irritating than having a spool of tangled lines. However, you have to remove the spool and in order to avoid the mess, I suggest taping the loose line end so that it doesn’t spill off and make a mess.

Do you see the drag adjustment knob around the spool? Keep turning that counterclockwise until it comes off freely.

Step 8

Put a little amount of oil on the spool shaft and that’s all you have to do with the spool. Now put the spool back on place.

Step 9

Oil all the bail attachment ends and if you have a bail roller check if that rolls freely, if not put a drop of oil on the bearing of the roller too. A stuck bail roller will make an irritating noise.

Step 10

Just put that handle shaft back along with the cover plate on the opposite side, make sure they are attached tightly and you are all set to go.

Expert Tips on Maintaining Fishing Reels

According to professional anglers, never dip the reel into the water thinking that it will be cleaned. This is the thing most newbie does, never do this, it will damage the functioning of your reel.

If you somehow the reel requires cleaning with water, don’t clean it with a hard stream of water, doing that will push dirt even deeper. And some newbies think that, if they put more oil, the more smoother the reel will become.

Anything extra is poison, have you ever heard this line? This is so true. You love someone more than they deserve, you’ll end up losing your love. You eat more than you need, you gain weight. Similarly, over lubricant will affect negatively on the moving parts of the reel. So, avoid that.

Never keep any reel stored for longer periods with the tightened drag down. It won’t work properly when you will need it to.

Another important suggestion for newbies, if several parts of your reel require replacement and that exceeds the price by 50% of a new reel, then you should consider buying a new reel. Replace the old items will be a loss.


Times up! I have poured everything I had in my bucket regarding reel maintaining in this very article. Follow these steps you would be able to maintain and clean the reel very easily.

And if you like the process, make sure you share with your friends, colleagues, who also happens to be an angler.

With that said, I am going to end this article. If you have anything else to know about, don’t hesitate to knock me through the comment section. I will be coming with more fishing tips to help all the anglers around the world.

And visit here for getting your hands on the lightest spinning reels. If you are interested in baitcasting, check out this top baitcasting reel guide and best walleye fishing reels as well. Goodbye!!!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.