How to Clean a Baitcasting Reel at Home?

A baitcasting reel is one of the most popular reels in the fishing world. It is the easiest type for beginners and the lightest type for the pros. You can’t go fishing without it. Naturally, after a long successful fishing weekend, you may want to clean your baitcasting reel, to ensure that it stays practical, flawless and free from any dirt or tangles. 

Also, if you clean your baitcasting reel frequently it wouldn’t corrode quickly. Although you can give it to a fishing shop to clean it for you, you are better off doing this job yourself. If you clean your baitcasting reel at home, you are more likely to get it cleaned faster and with higher accuracy.

So, how do you clean a baitcasting reel?  There are 5 simple steps you should follow. Continue reading to know what you should do, the tools you should get and what details you shouldn’t miss.  

Step 1: Gather the Required Cleaning Tools 

For the efficient cleaning of your baitcasting reel, you will need the following tools:

  1. Warm water with soap or distilled water
  2. Dry towel
  3. Cotton or a toothbrush
  4. Cotton swabs or Q-tips
  5. Oil or a degreaser
  6. Rubbing alcohol
  7. Lubricants

Step 2: Double-Cleaning

The outer cover can be as dirty as the inside of the reel. So, firstly, you must clean the outer cover by brushing the dirt off with a dry towel or a toothbrush.

Secondly, you should open the reel’s cover, take the spool out, either smoothly wipe it with a cotton pad containing rubbing alcohol or tap it gently to dust out any dirt. 

Thirdly, separate the lines and spool from the reel and soak them in warm water, you may add soap with them. Leave them for a few minutes, then dry them. After the spool is dry, it is better to rub oil on its sides. This is because oil makes the spool performance easier and smoother. 

Finally, clean the inside of the reel by using cotton swabs or Q-tips. 

Step 3: Deep Cleansing 

To properly clean the internal sides of the reel, you need to deep clean it. 

Dip the cotton swabs or Q-tips into the rubbing alcohol, then move it along the internal surface to get any stuck dirt out. Repeat the process 2 or 3 times to make sure that you have reached all the places the dirt might accumulate in.

The internal sides of the reel contain “ the pinion area” and because it is a small and narrow area, you will need to use a Q-tip to reach its insides. This Q-tip must be dipped in rubbing alcohol. 

Step 4: Re-touch 

After cleaning the reel internally and externally, you have to finish with lubricating the bearings and the spool by using a lubricant gel. This process of lubrication will reduce the friction between the spool and the line and will reduce the chances of the reel’s corrosion. It will also keep the baitcasting reel working as smoothly as a new one. 

Step 5: Final Touches

Now, it’s time for the final touch before re-putting the parts of the reel back together; to clean the handles. You can clean them by removing them and soaking them into the warm water with soap or by using a Q-tip or a cotton swab with oil. You may want to polish it with oil to prevent its erosion. 

Furthermore, you have to wait for the cleaned parts to dry, then protect them from future dirt and corrosion by putting a layer of oil on them. Reet oil is the best choice. And when everything is dried up, add all the parts together. It will be as smooth, polished and cleaned as a new reel.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning a baitcasting reel can be a fulfilling job, polishing and varnishing your baitcasting reel can give you a feeling of glory as cleaning your baitcasting reel is essential for smooth and long-lasting performance without having to buy new reels or getting your reel repaired every now and again. 

So all you have to do is to make sure that your cleaning process is successful is that; while cleaning your reel, you must search for the hidden parts where the dirt can accumulate, But be careful not to mess, tangle or cut any part. 

The most favorable time to clean your baitcasting reel is after a long fishing day in saltwater. Though you don’t have to do it frequently, it is preferable to clean it when you have been using it for long hours. If you follow those steps closely, the look and glow of your reel will speak of itself.