What Do You Do If You Drop A Reel In Saltwater?

Everyone knows how a good reel affects our fishing trip. However, to get it, you have to take a lot of money. But during a trip, you accidentally drop it into saltwater, so what should you do? What consequences will you get from it?

So what do you do if you drop a reel in saltwater? First, you should open it and clean salt residues, sand grains, or the salt water will destroy it

I used to think that just washing it with fresh water and nothing would happen until saltwater spilled into the inner bearing of my reels, so I can get valuable experience from it. Therefore, as an “experienced person,” I will share with you the most helpful advice.

Things to do if you drop a reel in saltwater? ( all in posts)

As I said, I’ve dropped my reel a few times and in this article I posted, I will share with you what should you do?

Removing parts

First, I will remove parts like the spool and the rotor, the bearing support, funny minor parts. Note when removing, do not drop the one-way clutch spring and the spring pin.

remove rotor, bearing support, funny little parts when cleaning reel

Cleaning up

If you see a large amount of salt and sand grains on the reel, you can put those parts into vinegar for about an hour, it will make you easier to clean up.

Next, if there is still dirt on the reels, don’t hesitate to use everything you have. A toothbrush and the cotton swab combine a little soap to easily clean every corner for your reels.

How to clean your fishing reel

Washing off

Then you can rinse your saltwater reel and remove soap. Note, should not put reels directly under the tap. The drag and gearing systems can get many grains of sand and salt when they are pushed in by the pressure of the water. Instead, it is better to use a spray bottle.

Next, to dry the reel, you can use a dry towel to wipe through it and leave it in the air for about 1 hour.


Lubricating reel (including the handle, the line-roller bearing, the bail arm, and the anti-reverse switch) is always an indispensable step. It will play an essential role in the next fishing trip. Almost when buying, the manufacturer will recommend the most suitable lubricating oils for the reel. If they don’t recommend anything, Lucas Oil can also be suitable for you.

Buy protective coating

Should spray a protective coating to reels’ gear housing, anti-reverse, bail arm, role to help fight dampness, and elements corrosion. What I always use is WD-40 for my reels, It will also be indispensable for my reels later on. It is not only the best money solution but also has long-term effects.

Of course, if you are a simple person, you maybe take the reel into the shop to service. And the average cost for each service is 20-30$, depending on the shop.

WD-40-What do you do if you drop a reel in saltwater

What happens if cannot clean the reel when it drops into saltwater?

I have to use a “horrible” word to express what happens of not doing anything for the reel bring our reel.

In the battle between you and the fish, your reel will oppose you. If the reel is rusted, the drag system is also affected, leading to induce reels line cut-offs. From there, you missed a productive fishing trip. Besides, the ability to retrieve the line of the reel also cannot be as smooth as before, and the smooth spinning of the spool can get hindered if salt water enters and you don’t release it after a period of time; from there, you cannot cast far.

These impacts cannot feel in the first days, but gradually, when you realize it on reels, everything is too late, and that’s the time need to equip yourself with a new reel. As I also mentioned above, the reel is considered one of the most expensive things in your fishing kits, so if I was you, I would clean the reel as soon as it just fell to saltwater to save that a large amount of money.

After every fishing trip, I clean my reel and take good care of it even if my reels don’t get wet. I always keep my reels in top condition before going fishing because they are not only helping me have a productive fishing session but also my beloved friend.

That’s all I want to share with you, I hope it can be of some help to you. and to help other anglers, you may share them with them to help the fishing community grow stronger

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