How To Clean Spinning Reel

Spinning reels, just like every other piece of fishing gear, sustains dirt from time to time. Given that dirt interferes with the functionality of the gear, it has to be kept as clean as possible always. The spinning reel is also sensitive. This calls for great care and attention while engaging and cleaning it.

To do a good job, you will first and foremost assemble all the necessary cleaning items and tools. You thereafter have to follow certain cleaning procedures. We are going to look into those twin issues i.e. the tools and items required as well as the procedures to follow.


Step I: Start by cleaning the exterior of the reel

Start by cleaning the exterior of the reel. Use a clean piece of cloth to get rid of dust, dirt, ugly marks, or other contaminants. Use only water to do the job. Refrain from other detergents at this stage. Pay greater attention to the spool given that it is more vulnerable to dirt than the rest of the parts of the reel. After you are through with this stage, leave the spinning reel to dry first before proceeding to the next stage. This is to prevent you from inflicting more dirt to the reel.

Step II: Proceed to the Interior

After the spinning reel has dried completely, proceed now to cleanse its interior. Remove the handle of the spinning reel. Do so by loosening the retaining screw on the opposite end of the handle. Use a clean piece of cloth to get rid of debris and old lubricants. You will need some vinegar or methylated spirit to do this. This is because these two substances are effective at getting rid of such kinds of dirt. After you have got rid of the dirt, use some lubricants to reattach the reel to the handle back to the spinning reel.

Step III: Clean the Spool

Separate the spool from the reel. Do so by removing the retaining knob which is located at the spool’s front. Alternatively, turn the spool in a counter-clockwise direction to remove it from the spinning reel. Proceed to wipe the spool thoroughly. Pay more attention to the interior front of the spool. This is the area that is most susceptible to the accumulation of debris and water. As soon as you are through, leave the spool to dry one more time.

Step IV: Lubricate and Return the Spool

After the spool has fully dried, lubricate its movable parts and components. Use a small brush to thoroughly clean any dirt that may still have been left behind. Follow this by applying a light coating of a lubricant to the movable parts and components of the spool. Finish off by re-assembling the spinning reel step by step yet again.

Step V: Wipe the Reel and Store

Wipe the entire spinning reel yet again using a clean piece of cloth. Follow this with a thin coating or layer of lubricating oil. This layer of coating keeps off moisture and dirt from settling permanently on the exterior surface of the reel. It also helps you with future cleanings as it reduces the amount of dirt that the spinning reel may possibly sustain. After you have done all these, store the spinning reel in a cool dry place.

PS: It is worth noting that spinning reels are available in various types and forms. These include the saltwater reel, freshwater reel, general fishing reel, Spincast Reels, and bait caster reel, among others. The precise approach may, therefore, differ slightly from the general one we have outlined above.

Final Verdict

Cleaning a spinning reel is not as simple as it may seem from the foregoing explanations. This is because the method used largely depends on the amount and nature of dirt or contaminants that soil the reel. This calls for unique or customized approach in response to the kind of dirt that the reel contains. You should, therefore, take note of this while cleaning your reel. In all, these procedures actually work. They will more likely yield you the desired outcomes.

  • Updated August 30, 2018
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