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I'm in the middle of my mid-season cleaning of my reels and rods and thought it'd be a good Idea to bring this practice to light for those here on the forum. Grant you, I put more time on the water than many, but a mid-season cleaning and check of your equipment is a good practice for anyone.  Baitcasters and rod guides are collectors of grime and if you fish water with a lot of muck that collects on the surface, it doesn't take long for your guides and level wind gearing to get gummed up. I don't break down my reels, just clean out the line guide and the level wind gearing along with the guide rod, add a drop of oil to the spool bearings and clean the rod guides. The 15min. time invested will pay for itself in the long run as your equipment will perform at its peak and you'll extend the life of your reel.  I have a few reels that are over 25yrs. old that still perform like new and I seriously doubt whether they would have lasted this long without that extra cleaning. At the very least, I recommend a close inspection of your gear sometime during the season. You just may avoid the heartache of replacing your favorite reel or the loss of a big fish.                         Yes, I'm OCD when it comes to maintaining my equipment. :glasses11:

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Excellent reminder, especially about the guides which are easy to overlook. 

 

 

 

Mike

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Now that this thread has run it's course, it might be a good time to mention the importance of level wind maintenance.   The worm gear in the level wind is more exposed than the spool bearings and should be more frequently cleaned and lubed.  It's exposed in the front of the reel where the line will bring water and lake gunk to deposit in the gear housing.  Without taking anything apart on the reel the worm gear can be cleaned with a little soapy water and a child's nylon toothbrush.  After thoroughly scrubbing the gear, I use a can of compressed air and blow out the housing. I let it dry for a bit and liberally lubricate the worm gear on both sides of the pawl running the pawl across the worm gear several times.

 

Obviously, cleaning the level wind worm gear should be done as often as a build-up of gunk can be seen and that might be after every trip if the fishing conditions are very sloppy, but even if you fish really clean water it should be re-lubed more frequently than you'd realize as the water carried and deposited by the line in the housing will wash off the lube quickly.  The result isn't apparent immediately, but a pawl will wear and need replacement much more quickly when not well lubed.

 

 

oe

 

 

A little more expanding Papa Joe's thoughts from a couple of weeks ago...

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My worm gear and levelwind are always pretty gunked up in the summer after even a couple weeks just because of all the vegetation in our waters up north. ESPECIALLY when frog fishing. A quick swab to get out excess dirt and grime can make a big difference for sure. 

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