How To Clean A Spinning Reel

How To Clean A Spinning Reel

Maintaining your fishing equipment is very important for a fisherman. Maintenance affords you the opportunity to keep your setup as new and will bring the fish into the boat instead of leaving them in the water. One of the most important pieces of fishing equipment is the spinning reel. In order to keep the reel in tip top shape, one thing you should know how to clean the reel. Read below for how to clean a spinning reel.

A spinning reel should be maintained at regular intervals in order to keep the reel performant. According to the best quality spinning reel manufacturers, if the reels are maintained properly they can last a lifetime.

There are other pieces of equipment like the rod, fishing lines and hooks which also require some maintenance, so that they will be able to retain their performance. Let’s start with the reel today as it is the main component to the setup.

Before cleaning your spinning reel, you will require some items as mentioned below:


For cleaning the reel from inside and outside, it is necessary to open up the reel. Removing parts that can be removed and thoroughly cleaning the inside and out. For that we require a few small screwdrivers, which will do the task for you.


For cleaning your spinning reel properly and to restore performance, you will want to have some lubricating oil to keep the reel working smoothly.


For cleaning you may require some cotton, some alcohol, a toothbrush and some dry cloths which will help you get into the crevices of the reel and keep your area clean.

Now you are ready to clean your spinning reel. Make sure that you take the best quality alcohol and choose the best lubricant oils which will have a better impact on your spinning reel. Here are a few steps you need to follow to clean your spinning reel:

Spinning Reel Cleaning Steps

  • First take some soapy water, a towel and a dry cloth, then cover the reel with some soapy water. Then clean the reel with a towel, making sure to remove all of the dirt on the outside of the reel.
  • Next remove the spool assembly by turning the spool counter in a counter-clockwise direction. After you have removed the spool assembly, inspect the inside for dirt, debris, or rust. Clean the surface with cotton or cloth then add some oil. You also need to pay attention to the spool lip and check whether it’s not damaged. If it is damaged it will consequently wear on the fishing line leading to less fish!
  • Next you will want to clean the outer surface of the reel with cotton and alcohol.
  • We will then clean the line roller assembly. Using a cotton swab, check whether the line roller bearings need to be changed. If it has caught rust, it gets more noticeable during line retrieval.
  • After cleaning the roller assembly, you will want to add some oil as well, which will increase its performance and life. Add the oil slowly as not to over saturate the roller assembly.
  • Remove the handle from the reel and you will then be able to see the bearings. You need to oil the drive gear bearings and some reels also have an additional gear bearing on the right side. Make sure you oil both the bearings slowly.
  • Some reels also contain maintenance ports. You will need to oil those ports too. The oil will reach to the interiors of the reels and give better performance.
  • Then oil the bail arm assembly. This will allow the bail to smoothly click back into place after casting.
  • Dry the reel with a dry cloth and you are ready to go.


Though it can be time consuming cleaning your spinning reels, is very important for everyone who loves to fish. It keeps the reel from collecting dirt, rust, and reduce the amount of fish you lose.

Following the guide above, it will become very easy for every beginner to clean their spinning reel regularly. By cleaning the whole components of the spinning reel, you will be able to enhance its performance and the reel may be able to last for a lifetime. We hope you enjoyed our How To Clean A Spinning Reel article. Favorite us and click here for more reviews and articles!

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