How To Clean A Baitcasting Reel


A baitcasting reel, although durable, requires regular maintenance to ensure that it operates at its best. Just like any other piece of equipment, neglecting its care can lead to decreased performance and potential damage. A brush, a towel, and oil are not just accessories but essential components to properly clean a baitcasting reel. By following the steps detailed below, not only will you ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your reel, but you’ll also be more confident during your fishing trips, knowing that your gear is in top condition.

Essential Cleaning Supplies

Before diving into the cleaning process, preparation is key. Ensuring you have the right tools on hand will make the process smoother and more effective. You’ll need a set of cleaning supplies, including a screwdriver set, a cloth, cotton swabs, soap or degreaser, a brush, and lubricant. While it might be tempting to grab the nearest cleaning solution available, always opt for the best products when choosing cleaning and lubricating solutions.

Brands like Ronsonol lighter fluid, super lube grease, or simple green cleaning solution have been favored by many for their efficacy. Researching and investing in the best products ensures you are providing the best care for your reel. Always buy from reputable sellers, read product reviews, and look for high-quality, efficient products.

baitcasting reel

Disassembling the Baitcaster

Although a baitcaster reel might appear simple on the outside, its internal components are intricate and require meticulous care. Even if you don’t use your baitcaster frequently, it’s beneficial to disassemble the fishing reel for a thorough cleaning. This step ensures that no debris or dirt is lodged in the hidden parts of the reel. Remember that consistent and regular cleaning helps maintain the reel’s performance.

Depending on your baitcaster reel’s design and model, always disassemble it following the manual’s guidelines. This reduces the risk of damaging any parts. As you take apart the baitcasting reel, carefully clean each part, paying attention to even the smallest details. Once you’ve meticulously cleaned each component, ensure you dry the reel using a soft cloth before proceeding to the next step.

Lubricating Baitcasting Reel

Once cleaning is complete, lubrication becomes the next essential step. Lubrication is crucial for the efficient operation of your fishing reel while fishing. A well-lubricated reel ensures smoother casts, reduced wear, and tear, and a longer lifespan for your equipment. Before starting the lubrication process, ensure the spool, bearings, and the entire reel assembly are completely dry. This helps in the effective application of the grease and reel oil.

Pay special attention to areas like the handle joints, which often experience the most friction. A drop of reel oil in these areas can make a significant difference in performance. Reel oil not only lubricates but also polishes and varnishes all the reel’s joints, enhancing the overall casting speed and operation. It’s important to note that while lubrication is essential, overdoing it can attract more dirt and debris.

After lubrication, let the reel sit for a few minutes to allow the lubricant to seep into the joints, then reassemble it and tighten the screws based on the manual’s guidelines. Remember, it’s always best to tighten handles in a clockwise direction to ensure they’re securely fastened.


A baitcasting reel, when maintained properly, can be a fisherman’s best friend. The overall functionality and durability of your fishing reel are heavily dependent on your maintenance and cleaning routine. By dedicating time and effort to its care, your reel will not only last longer, but will also provide an unparalleled fishing experience.

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting out, the importance of reel care cannot be overstated. Use reel oil, follow the steps diligently, and always prioritize quality when selecting cleaning products. If ever in doubt about cleaning and lubricating your baitcaster, refer back to these instructions for guaranteed excellent results. Remember, a well-maintained real leads to a successful fishing expedition.

Check out this Abu Garcia reel from our shop:

Abu Garcia Revo SX Low Profile Baitcast Reel, Size LP (1430428), 9 Stainless Steel Ball Bearings + 1 DuraClutch Roller Bearing, Strong and Lightweight

$179.73  in stock
14 new from $179.73
as of June 5, 2024 7:38 pm


  • PREMIUM CONSTRUCTION: The Abu Garcia Revo SX Baitcast Reel is made from an X2-Craftic alloy frame and C6 carbon sideplates. The Infini II spool design allows for extended castability and extreme loads. It's strong and lightweight at 7.8 oz.
  • RECOVERY RATE: Recover 27” | 69cm of line for every turn of the crank. Gear ratio of 6.6:1. Made with a D2 Gear Design and Duragear brass gear for a more efficient system and extended durability.
  • INFINI BRAKE SYSTEM gives almost limitless adjustability, allowing you to handle any fishing situation. The Ti coated line guide reduces friction and improves durability. The lube port allows you to easily lubricate your fishing reel.
  • DRAG SPECS: Carbon Fiber Star Drag, Max: 24lb | 10.8kg. The Power Stack Carbon Matrix drag system provides extreme drag pressures combined with unparalleled smoothness. Mono Capacity yd/lb: 175/10 145/12 100/15. Braid Capacity 190/20 140/30 100/50.
  • LEFT HANDLE POSITION: The compact bent handle and star are more ergonomic to give you all-day comfort. 10 total bearings: 9 stainless steel ball bearings plus 1 DuraClutch instant anti-reverse bearing provides smooth casting.

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