How To Clean A Spinning Reel

How To Clean A Spinning Reel?

Many of you have emailed me for a separate article on how to clean a spinning reel and of course, this article is for you.

If you’re an avid angler, then you know that having the right equipment is crucial to your success on the water. One of the most important components in any fishing tackle arsenal is a spinning reel—and if you want it to continue performing for years to come, regular cleaning and maintenance are essential. If standard servicing isn’t part of your routine yet, don’t worry! We’ve laid out the steps you need to take in order to properly clean and grease up your reel so that it continues running smoothly. Read on for more information (plus some top tips) from our experts on re-building and repair: it’s time to get your spinning reel into tip-top shape!

As you know, for a reel to work smoothly and durable for a long time. Cleaning and maintenance are essential. In just a few simple steps your spinning reel will be like new again.

In this article, I will detail how to clean a spinning reel, just including some simple steps.

You can refer to this article for more information: How To Clean A Baitcasting Reel

What can I use to clean my spinning reel?

The most asked question in real repair is what can I do every time I get back from fishing to keep this reel running smoothly. Please keep it clean, keep it from rusting, and, all in all, make it last a whole lot longer.

There are several things that people will tell you, especially on the Internet, as far as getting a degreasing solvent. We’re getting just a water hose, spraying it all down, and then wiping it off later. And I’ll tell you first of all that as far as outside cleaning. I’m going to go over this in this article. There is not much to be done to clean the outside of a reel, especially when you’re talking about spraying water directly on the reel. First of all, you get up underneath this spool. There is the direction that water accesses the shaft and goes down. They can go inside reels gears.

Spraying water and especially spraying a solvent directly on your reel is not always a bad thing, but you have to be careful and do it in moderation. So that you don’t make that water get onto the grease of that shaft because eventually, that water will get down into the compartment, and it will start to break down that grease, and it will start to dilute the grease. Eventually, it’s going to start adding all the shavings from the gears and the shavings from the plastic case to that grease, and it’s going to make it very noticeably not smooth.

What can I use to clean my spinning reel

The component we will use today to clean this reel or one is a spray degreaser. You can also use isopropyl alcohol if you don’t have any of this stuff. These components at my local sporting goods store just come as a real cleaning kit.

The next thing you want is some grease and a little bit of oil. A small brush toothbrush would be fine. And then, of course, a screwdriver to remove any screws. This particular kit does come with this cleaning pad here. I doubt I’ll use it, but it does have that more, so what I’ll use are just napkins, paper towels, anything like that.

Now you have all you need for cleaning, next is learning how to clean spinning reels.

How to clean a spinning reel

  • To get started cleaning a spinning reel. The first thing we need to do is remove the reel handle. We are going to start by removing the little knob on the opposite side. And you’re going to find that as we go through this cleaning process, there will be a lot of small parts, so make sure you keep track of those. Now to get the real handle off reel handle will spin two ways here one would be forward, and the other is backward. So if I try to spin it backward, it sort of locks. But to get the reel off, I’m going to spin all back there and keep going until the handle essentially comes out.
  • Now we’ve got that off, what we can do is we can remove the spool. The little knob controls the drag, and if you turn it counterclockwise on this particular reel. You’ll notice that this little knob will just come off, so this is how we remove the spool. Once that knob has been removed, I will set that aside, and the reel pulls off now. What you’ve got here is you’ve got this little pin, and you’ve got some drag components down in here. We’re going to go ahead and clean these guys up. We won’t be cleaning that, and we’re also going to be cleaning the spool. Remove dirt on the Spool and the lines are stuck in it.
  • I’ve got the spool. What we’re first going to do is reach in here, and we’re going to pull out all this excess line that was trapped in there. Again I’m just going to go ahead and dispose of that. Now you’ll notice there are some other components in here you can see that some of those are the grease that’s just from the factory and so first thing we’re going to do is we’re going to take our degreaser.
    I’m going to take our degreaser. We’re just going to spray a little bit onto a napkin, and you can use whatever type of fabric you want to clean this in there and to clean that section out there. You can also use a small brush to do it. You can even soak these and some degreaser but maybe not necessary.
  • We’re going to start working on the reel body. And again, I’m just taking my napkin or my rag and that degreaser on it. Clean that bail. We’re just removing any mud or any other type of debris that happens just to be caked on there. Try to clean your reel as possible.
  • We’re going to open the faceplate up. Note that these screws may not be the same. Arrange them carefully to make sure you install them in the right position. Pull that plate off gently, and you can see that it exposes the internal gears. You can use a brush to clean it.
  • And to oil, I’m going to add some grease there, some of the main points of friction so anywhere the teeth meet. We can add some grease in there, and again I’m not going to remove anything from here. I’m simply going to come in and lubricate these spins. Make sure you lubricate the necessary places and do this slowly not to miss, both of reel handle and the bail. After finishing work, we install the old positions.

This is a detailed video tutorial on how to clean a spinning reel:

Tips for spinning reel maintenance

To keep your spinning reel in optimal condition, regular maintenance is key. Whether you’re tackling saltwater or freshwater fishing trips, developing a habit of cleaning and assessing the tackle can make those weekly checks much simpler. For an easy upkeep plan to ensure peak performance with every cast, read on for some essential tips!

Regular re-spooling is key: Depending on certain factors such as what type of line you’re using and how often fishing occurs, this could be a monthly task that should not be overlooked.

Cleaning the exterior of your reel is a breeze with a simple spray bottle. To prevent dirt and salt from entering its interior, opt for misting it gently rather than drenching it in strong jets of water. Finish up by wiping away any residue with a soft cloth – you’ll have that sparkling clean finish looking as good as new!

Be sure to loosen the drag after each angling adventure: This will not only maximize its lifespan by taking pressure off of the drag washers but make sure that you don’t find yourself stuck with a tight setting when all you want is some slack.

Secure all screws on your spinning reel to avoid potential disaster while fighting a fish. Ensure the handle is tightly screwed in place, or fold it for storage if desired. If any come loose while battling with your catch, you could face some serious problems. Also, don’t forget to securely screw in the handle – unless you’re packing away afterward – so that everything remains tight when reeling in success!

Store your reel somewhere away from direct sunlight: Avoid damaging your precious reel by taking the necessary precautions to store it safely. Wrapping in a cloth or sock and protecting it from direct sunlight will extend its lifespan while keeping it as good as new.

Don’t take apart your spinning reel in an attempt to fix it: Taking apart complex pieces of machinery requires expert knowledge and skill. If done incorrectly, reassembling these parts may cause more damage than repair. For any first-time repair, it’s best to play it safe and leave the disassembly of your spinning reel to an experienced angler. Taking apart a fishing reel without knowing what you’re doing can be tricky – or even impossible! – when it comes time for reassembling.

But sometime you can’t avoid taking it apart! To ensure successful reassembly and maintain peak casting performance, we recommend having schematics handy when disassembling – plus try putting all pieces in order as they are taken out of the reel for quick reconstruction by reversing that same process. Although it is not recommended that you completely take apart the entire unit, certain parts can easily and safely be removed for cleaning spinning reels. These include spools, handles, and bail arms; all of which should form part of any basic clean-up routine.

Questions & Answers

Can u use WD-40 to clean a fishing reel?

Never use WD-40 to lubricate a reel. WD-40 can be used in place of a cleaner, degreaser. Use it to clean the outside surface of the reel. Note do not use to get the wd-40 anywhere except the outside. Don’t use it for the spin or inside the reel. Someone said that WD-40  can collect dust and debris but I’m not sure about this.

How often should I  clean my reel?

To help ensure your fishing reel operates at its best, it is important to clean and maintain the equipment. For freshwater fishers, this means cleaning a spinning reel every five trips. However, saltwater anglers require more frequent maintenance and need clean gear after each journey on the waves. Whatever you do, avoid using harsh chemicals such as lighter fluid or petrol – these will damage delicate plastic parts!

Should I use alcohol to clean the fishing reel?

If it’s too dirty or greasy for regular cleaning methods to tackle the job, reach for some mild alcohol such as rubbing or isopropyl. A cotton swab or toothbrush should suffice when it comes to applying the cleaner. Ensure you don’t use an overly harsh solution that could damage your fishing equipment in the long run.

Should I soak my reel in water?

No, this is not recommended. Water can easily enter the reel’s interior and cause damage to its delicate parts. Instead, opt for misting or gently spraying the exterior of your reel with water and a mild detergent solution. Finish up by wiping away any excess residue with a soft cloth or brush. You’ll have that sparkling clean finish looking as good as new in no time! If you’re saltwater fishing with spin casting equipment though – don’t forget to give it that quick soak; excess brine left on board could lead to corrosion if overlooked!

What should I do if some screws come loose while fishing?

It is important to make sure all screws on your spinning reel are securely fastened before fishing each time. If they do come loose while you’re out on the water, it could lead to serious problems – so be sure to check them regularly. If necessary tighten any loose screws using a screwdriver or wrench to prevent any further problems. Also, if you’re packing away afterward, remember to securely screw in the handle so that everything remains tight when reeling in success!


You already have the answer to the “How to clean a spinning reel”. Remember, everything depends on your personal preferences. Any reels are expensive or cheap, it will still be useless if you can’t master them.

I hope this article is helpful to you. Do you have another idea?

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