Reel Maintenance

Today we are covering a topic which is so simple but is often neglected by majority of anglers – reel maintenance. Any individual with a basic set of mechanical skills can carry out this task. However, here is a simple guideline to do a basic maintenance and cleaning “service”. Prevention is better (and cheaper) than cure!!

(Please note that full services should still be carried out by a professional – your local tackle shop should be able to point you in the right direction).

What you will need: A screwdriver with multi-bits, a non-abrasive rag (e.g. mutton cloth), cotton buds, fishing tackle protector, TG’s rocket fuel liquid grease and oil, multi-purpose lubricant (preferably WD40), marine grade lubricant (grease).


Step 1: After giving the reel a spray with some fresh water, allow it to dry. Remove the spool and handle and give each component a light coat of multi-purpose lubricant.


Step 2: Using the mutton cloth and cotton buds, give the entire reel a proper wipe down – be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies (this is where the ear buds come in handy).


Step 3: On most new reels there is a screw/cap that allows you access to the bearing in the handle. Add a few drops of liquid grease. The handle knob takes a lot of strain and is often one of the first components to pack up – a few drops of liquid grease will help to prolong the lifespan of your reel handle.


Step 4: Ensure that all salt residue is removed from working parts, in the handle, by giving it a decent spray of multi-purpose lubricant, wiping it down and then applying a light coat of grease. Be sure to apply some grease to the thread as well.


Step 5: Remove the handle screw cap and handle and apply some liquid grease to the bearings on both sides of the reel.


Step 6: Apply a few drops of liquid grease to the main shaft of the reel.


Step 7: Apply some grease to the thread of the shaft.


Step 8: Add a few drops of oil to the roller bearing and work it through by rolling it with your fingers or a piece of line. Wipe off the excess when complete.


Step 9: Give the reel and spool a light coat of tackle guard, wipe it lightly and re-assemble. Your reel is now ready to be stored or fished!

A few extra tips:

– Perform this basic service on your new reel before use, this will prolong your reels life by at least 40% by reducing the risks of corrosion. When the factory assembles any reel, minimal lubrication is used.

– Be sure to always tighten your drag before hosing down your reels. By tightening the drag you compact your drag washers which eliminates the chances of water from entering the drag assembly and later creating a sticky drag. After the hose down, be sure to loosen the drag and spin the spool freely before storage – this prevents the drag washers from sticking together.

– NEVER submerge your reel in a bucket of water, it is the worst thing you can ever do to it!

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