How to Oil a Fishing Reel

If you are an avid angler, you might be quite familiar with fishing reels. Fishing reels are an essential part of any anglers fishing equipment. As with any other fishing gear, fishing reels should also get properly maintained. Regular cleaning and oiling are quite crucial for the long run and better performance of the fishing reel.

Reels are incredibly delicate pieces of equipment. A well-oiled fishing reel performs better and provides an angler with pleasant and productive fishing experience. After every use, the reels should get wiped down and dried. During maintenance, you should also check and remove any debris like sand particles, stones, among others.

You need to be extra careful while removing them as this debris can damage the internal parts of the reel. In case of any damage, please seek the help of a professional for repair and maintenance. Read the instruction guide below on how to oil a fishing reel. After going through these instructions, one step at a time, you will be able to successfully clean and oil a fishing reel.

Related Article you may like: What Does Gear Ratio Mean on a Fishing Reel

Arrange the materials required for oiling the fishing reel

First of all, you need to arrange the necessary materials for oiling the fishing reel. The things you will need are as follows:

  • Paper towels
  • Reel oil
  • Reel Grease
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Cotton swabs/ Q- Tips
  • Screwdriver

Oiling is more effective with alcohol and cotton swabs/ Q- Tips. Ensure that the products are of high quality. Many anglers use gasoline for oiling due to ignorance.

It is better to avoid gasoline while servicing your fishing reels. The plastic parts of your reels can potentially melt if you use gasoline too much. You can use isopropyl alcohol or any other biodegradable alternatives to clean your fishing reels.

Detach the Spool Assembly from the fishing reel and clean with isopropyl alcohol

Next, remove the spool assembly from the fishing reel by unscrewing all the screws using a screwdriver. For spin-cast (also called closed face) reels that have rear drag, you can push the release button. Check and inspect if there are any damages or debris like sands, stones, and others in the spool assembly.

You can proceed if there are no such damages. In case of damages, seek the help of a professional. Start by cleaning the internal parts of the reel using a few drops of isopropyl alcohol and cotton swabs/ Q-tips.

Isopropyl alcohol is a great cleaning agent. Deep cleaning of the reel increases the effect of the lubricant. Then, put some oil drops on the spool assembly. Beware of any products that could damage your reel.

While cleaning the fishing reels, you should also check the line. Strip the line and take it off if you are not going to fish for some time. You can strip the line and re-spool if you fish regularly. Place all the parts correctly use manual if required.

Determine the parts that need lubrication and start oiling

You might wonder what the components of a fishing reel that you need to lubricate with oil. The general consensus among anglers is that you should put oil on everything that moves. Use a few drops of reel oil to lubricate the drive gear bearings, line roller assembly, bail arm assembly, and maintenance port. You can also lubricate any other parts you find necessary.

The parts you might need to oil also depends upon the type of fishing reels you use. How to oil a baitcasting reel differs significantly from how to oil a spinning or closed face reels. For example, spinning reels and the spin-cast reels have a bail, whereas the baitcaster doesn’t.

Continue applying a drop or two of the reel oil on the parts. You can also dip a cotton swab in the oil and lubricate the different sections of the reel. Don’t miss a spot as it can adversely affect the reel’s performance. Do not use any degreaser. Degreaser causes premature wear and tear of the internal sections of the fishing reel.

Petroleum jelly (vaseline) does not make a good reel lubricant. Many anglers have said that the reels get stiff or even locked down when lubricated with unknown products. You can buy dedicated reel-care products designed for specific parts of the reel in the market.

You can use reel grease for every part that mesh like the gears. For parts that rub you can use reel oil like the spool shaft on baitcasting reels. Grease slows the spool and shortens casts. Grease is different from reel oil as it has thickening agents that help it stay in place on gears.

Dismantling the reel is not as hard as it sounds. You don’t have to worry about damaging any part when disassembling the fishing reel. For safety, you must keep the dismantled parts in front of you in a piece of white paper. Advanced baitcasting reels have more components, and it might confuse you. You can also take notes about the specific parts on white paper if necessary.

Assemble the parts of the reel back together

Assemble back the parts of the reel correctly. Use the help of a manual if necessary. You are now all set to go on your fishing adventure.

Proper cleaning and lubrication make the reel to move smoothly. Every angler should learn the skills of maintaining and lubrication for their convenience. There are no technical details required for maintaining your fishing reel.

All you have to learn is how to dismantle your reel. You must remember all the parts and their position as you have to assemble it again. I hope this step by step guide helped you learn about how to clean and oil a fishing reel properly.