How to Clean a Fishing Reel

Fishing reels are an essential tool for any angler, and keeping them in top condition is essential for having a successful day out on the water.

Unfortunately, constant exposure to moisture and salt can take its toll on these delicate pieces of equipment. Thankfully, with just a few simple steps, you can keep your fishing reels clean and running smoothly.

Disassemble Your Reel

The first step in cleaning a fishing reel is to disassemble it so that you can access all of its internal components.

Depending on the type of reel you have, this may involve unscrewing or detaching various parts. If necessary, consult your owner’s manual or manufacturer’s website to ensure that you do not damage the reel while taking it apart.

Remove Debris and Grease

Once you have taken apart your reel, use an old toothbrush to remove any dirt or debris that may have built up on the components.

You should also take a rag dampened with warm water and gently wipe away any grease or oil that has accumulated over time. Make sure not to use too much pressure when scrubbing as this could damage delicate parts within the reel such as bearings or gears.

Apply Light Oil and Grease

Once all of the dirt and debris have been removed from your reel, it is time to apply some light oil and grease for lubrication purposes.

This will help ensure that all moving parts move freely without sticking or jamming up due to a lack of lubrication.

Be sure to only use a light oil such as WD-40 as heavier oils may cause unnecessary wear-and-tear over time. It is also important not to over-oil your reel as this could attract more dirt and debris in the future.


Cleaning your fishing reels regularly is essential for ensuring they remain in top condition at all times.

By following these three simple steps—disassemble, remove debris & grease, and apply light oil & grease—you can keep your reels running smoothly for years to come!

Joshua Hickman

Joshua has a vast knowledge of different types of fish and how to catch them, and he loves sharing this information with others. When he's not writing or fishing, Joshua enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

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