How To Clean Baitcaster Reel?

How to Clean a Baitcasting Reel at Home?

Know How To Clean Baitcaster Reel in this article. Baitcasting reels are one of the most well-known reels in fishing. This is the most basic type for beginners, and the most advanced for pros. It is essential for fishing. After a successful fishing weekend, it is important to maintain your baitcasting reel’s functionality, cleanliness, and tangle-free.

It won’t corrode if it is cleaned regularly. You can take it to a fish shop for them to clean, but it is better to do it yourself. You are more likely to clean your baitcasting rod at home and get it cleaned with greater accuracy.

How do you clean a casting reel? These are the five steps to follow. Keep reading to learn what you need to do, what tools you should have, and what details are important.

Your reels need to be cleaned if they squawk or refuse to cast as far as they used to. Every reel should be cleaned annually by any serious bass angler. This keeps them running smoothly, and gives them years of life.

Before you start to rip into a reel, make sure that everything is assembled. This includes the reel’s diagram, the correct screwdrivers or wrenches, cleaning solutions, a toothbrush, a lint free cloth or paper towels and cotton swabs.

You can find schematics for all reels here that you can free download and print. You can easily soil everything by placing it on a light-colored towel or Tshirt. It helps you see the small parts and stops them from bouncing off into an invisble fourth dimension when they are dropped.


It must not damage any plastic parts, so the cleaning solvent should be mild. It must also dry quickly without leaving behind any residue. These criteria are met by Ardent’s citrus-based reel cleaner, which is used in this photo essay. If a reel only needs minor cleaning, Isopropyl Rubing Alcohol will work, according to Dan Thornburn, a Shimano expert who conducts reel maintenance clinics at sporting events.

The alcohol is applied using a spray bottle and a pump sprayer. Thornburn stated that he uses Crystal Simple Green cleaner for heavy cleaning. Thornburn scrubs the reel parts with a toothbrush after spraying them. He rinses parts with water after using Crystal Simple Green.

A degreaser such as WD-40 can be used to clean a reel, but it will leave a film that is difficult to remove once it dries. This film must then be washed with soapy water. This is an additional step.


Abu Garcia, Quantum, Shimano, and Quantum are just a few of the companies that produce grease and oil for fishing reels. The lubricants made by the reel manufacturer can be used in any way you like. WD-40 is a grease remover and oil oil scavenger.

Never use it to lubricate reels. Grease gears and oil all other parts sparingly is the rule of thumb. Too much grease or oil can cause a spool to become clogged and reduce the casting distance. Between the annual cleaning, oil should be applied once or twice per month. Only the main drive gear of reels should be greased.

Step 1 – Gather the Essential Cleaning Tools

To clean your baitcasting reel efficiently, you’ll 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 and a degreaser
  6. Rub alcohol
  7. Lubricants

Step 2 – Double-Cleaning

The reel’s outer cover can get as dirty as its inside. You should first clean the outer cover with a towel or toothbrush.

Second, open the reel’s covers and remove the spool. You can either wipe it clean with a cotton pad that contains rubbing alcohol, or tap it to dust off any dirt.

The third step is to separate the lines from the reel. Let them dry for a while before drying them. It is a good idea to apply oil to the sides of the spool after it has dried. Oil makes the spool perform better and more smoothly.

Use cotton swabs, Q-tips or a brush to clean the interior of the reel.

Step 3 – Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning is necessary to clean the internal surfaces of the reel.

To get rid of any dirt, dip the cotton swabs in the rubbing alcohol and then drag the cotton swabs along the surface. To ensure that dirt is removed from all possible places, repeat the process two or three times.

You will find the “pinion area” on the internal sides of the reel. A Q-tip is required to access its interiors. The Q-tip should be dipped into rubbing alcohol.

Step 4 – Retouch

After cleaning the reel both internally and externally, lubricate the bearings and spool with a lubricant gel. The friction between the line and the spool will be reduced and corrosion will be less likely. This will keep your baitcasting reel running as smooth as new.

Step 5 – Lubrication

Lightly oil the case for casting brakes by adding a drop of oil to each bearing. Use a dab to oil each brake collar. A drop of oil on the shaft will suffice. Use your fingers to grease the main drive gear.

You shouldn’t do it too often or grease could get on the shaft. This can cause problems with casting distance. One drop of oil should be applied to each end of your levelwind shaft, and one drop directly onto the worm gear.

Step 6 – Spinning Reel Particulars

Lightly oil the bail line roller assembly. Oil the bail arm assembly. Oil the drive gear bearings underneath the handle. If the reel has one, add three drops of oil to the maintenance port.

Final Touches

It’s now time to finish the job and clean the handles before you reassemble the reel. They can be cleaned by taking them out and soaking them in warm water. To prevent erosion, you may polish it with oil.

You must wait for the parts to dry before you apply oil to protect them against future dirt and corrosion. Reet oil is the best option. Once everything has dried, combine all parts. It will look as new reel-like.

Final Thoughts

A baitcasting rod can be fun to clean. Polishing and varnishing your baitcasting rod can bring you joy.

All you need to do to ensure your cleaning process goes smoothly is to search for dirt in your reel. But, be careful not mess up, tangle, or cut anything.

After a long day of saltwater fishing, the best time to clean your baitcasting rod is right after. Although you don’t need to clean your reel every day, it is better to do so after a long fishing session in saltwater. These steps will make your reel shine.

Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.