Spinning Reel Maintenance
Sometimes, we as anglers overlook the importance of cleaning our fishing reels. Many times your fishing rod and reel simply get thrown in the basement at the end of the fishing season and then dragged out at the beginning of the next season to be used again.
Very often your reel will choose to not work properly at precisely the worst time, such as when you're fighting a large fish. This is why I do a little routine maintenance on my fishing reels before the start of every fishing season. You only have to lose a trophy one time because of your fishing reel not performing properly to make you a believer.
Take my word for it. Do a little routine "check up", such as what's described below, before the beginning of every fishing season and you won't have any problems. First of all, gather the following tools: A small screwdriver, a pair of needle nose pliers or hemostats, grease of some sort (either purchase a small bottle of reel oil or simply just use WD-40), a couple of clean towels, 5-6 Q-tips, and a clear area to work. Any cleared off table will work fine.
First off, take the fishing reel off of your fishing rod and set it aside. Now take the reel and some warm water and wipe it off thoroughly. Once you have the reel wiped of debris, remove the handle. The handle normally simply unscrews either by a screw that you back out with your fingers or by turning the handle the opposite direction that you turn while reeling. Once the handle is removed, set it aside.
At this point the reel has exposed screw heads and position the reel so the screw heads are visible. Now using your small screwdriver, remove the screws that are holding the reel together. Once these screws are removed, set them aside as well. At this point you can remove the reel plate. Once the reel plate is removed the gears and springs on the inside of the fishing reel are exposed. Without taking anything else apart, simply examine the inside of the fishing reel. Many times you can see sand and or dirt particles. Using the Q-tips, gently remove any exposed sand or dirt particles. Once this is accomplished you want to add reel lubricant to any exposed gear (not too much, just enough to cover the gear).
At this point, simply reverse the process by installing the reel plate and screws. Add a little lubricant to the spindle of the handle and re-install the handle. That's it; you just maintained your fishing reel and shouldn't have any problems with it. I've been doing this to my fishing reels for a long time and it works wonders. I have fishing reels that are fifteen years old and still work like new.
Performing maintenance such as this enables you to know if your reel is in need of being replaced, before you get on the water, which is what we're trying to accomplish. Because losing a trophy because of a reel malfunction is no fun at all. Routine maintenance, such as outlined in this article will alleviate that problem forever. Not only will it alleviate the problem, it also doesn't take much time and effort. This entire "check up" can be performed on most spinning reels in under an hours time.
Trevor Kugler is co-founder of JRWfishing.com and an avid angler. He has more than 20 years experience fishing for all types of fish, and 15 years of business and internet experience. He currently raises his three year old daughter in the heart of trout fishing country…..Montana!
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