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An Outdoor Guy

Reel Cleaning question.

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Sorry if its been asked before but I'm wondering how often should you clean your reel?? Is there a rule of thumb for cleaning or is it just like gun cleaning? (clean after every use no matter how little)

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I do a deep clean/re-lube at least once a year, more often on reels that are used heavily. 

Oil the levelwind ~ once a month.

Tom

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My casting reels all get cleaned and lubed in the spring and any time something feels or sounds to be off.  My spinning reels are mostly used by the wife and kids so I tend to neglect them, and only service them if somebody complains about them.

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Pretty much the same here.  December and January cold days are for reel cleaning.  I do have a couple of favorites, which during the year I will clean and re oil the bearings on because they get a real work out compared to others.

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It really boils down to usage. I have some reels that may only get used a handful of times a year for a few hours at a time (niche reels). I also have some that go with me about every time. I don't fish as much or as often as some so generally a full tear down and cleaning of all the internal parts gets done once a year or every other year for the ones that don't see much use. I usually flush and clean all the bearings annually or semi-annually if they need it.

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Ya, annually is a good starting point. Semi annual, bi annual or some other schedule may be indicated by use and conditions. 

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The type of water you fish and how you transport your reels has a major impact on how often to service them. 

Most of the lakes I fish are drinking clean with very little algae or particulates suspended in the water, the line doesn't pick up debris. If the reel is operating perfectly and clean, no reason to service more than once a year. A few lakes the water is off color with lots of vegetation, algae and suspended particulates, I clean my reels after a weekend on these lakes.

My tackle gets transported in my boat locker and have both rod and reel wraps to protect them. When fishing with someone else in thier boat, the rod and reels still have wraps, but if traveling dirt roads, I check them out closely before using them and clean them after fishing when I get home.

Don't often use my fresh water rods and reels in salt water, if I do they get clean when I get home.

So it depends on the conditions I am fishing.

Tom

 

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No one has given a definition of "cleaning."  If it means taking apart, brushing everything with a solvent, re-lubing, and putting it back together, I don't think that needs to be done very often, maybe not for years.  That doesn't mean one doesn't open it up and re-lube.  That is appropriate fairly often depending on use.  I recommend the "taking apart" be done by experts since reels are so complex now.  

On casting reels, the most important two areas, IMHO, are the level wind and the spool bearings, and relubing them a number of times a season is probably appropriate, and will keep a reel in good condition.

On spinning reels, the most important area is the bail, its pivots, bearings, rollers, etc.  Relubing them a number of times a season is appropriate.  Taking the reel apart and doing the "cleaning" is not necessary very often.  Again, I'll send mine to the experts.

But I have to admit to having reels that are as smooth as they were when new that have been used for many years and have never been dis-assembled.  They have been strategically relubed regularly. 

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Thanks for the reply guys! I just tried to clean my cheapest reel to get practice and while it made everything operate much smother I also did something to the little saw blade looking gear that makes the thumb release go back up. (sory for my poor description) so now it feels...mushy. it still works but it doesn't feel like it used to. oh well.

 

On a spinning reel how far of a tear down is "enough"? just taking the spool off? or should I completely tear it down?? (id rather not do that though because of my experience with the bait cast)

 

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I do a deep clean once a year in the winter because it gives me something to do.  I lube as needed.

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I usually tear my reels down every winter. Aside from that I'll only look at them if it's needing attention. With centrifugal brakes, the brake pipe usually needs a light coating of oil a few times throughout the year. 

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