How To Make Your Spinning Reels Last Longer (Tips, Tools & Mistakes)


How often do you clean and oil your fishing reels?

Do you do it at all?

Do you even know what you’re supposed to do?

Today’s reels aren’t cheap and just like your car, lawnmower, or any other machine with moving parts, a little preventative maintenance goes a long way.

In this video, I’m going to show you the tools you need, what to do, and what NOT to do, as far as preventative reel maintenance goes.

Ready to dive in?

Click the play button below to watch the video.

P.S. Have any questions about reel maintenance? Let me know down in the comments!

Preventative Reel Maintenance [VIDEO]

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Now, before you dive into these preventative care tips, make sure you have the right tools.

Here’s a list of the tools I use:

  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • flathead screwdriver
  • reel lube/oil (any brand works)
  • Q-tips
  • Clenzoil
  • clean rag

Pre-step: What not to do…

Don’t take your reel all the way apart unless you are confident you can get everything back together.

I’ve made this mistake before and have not been able to fully reassemble the reel.

Step #1: As soon as you get off the water after every trip, lightly spray your reel down with freshwater

Two things to not do in this step:

  1. Don’t drown your reels in freshwater
  2. Don’t use a lot of pressure when spraying your reels

Both of the actions above can push salt deeper into your reel, so just lightly mist off your reel and then wipe it down with a rag.

I keep a freshwater spray bottle in my truck to do this as soon as I get off the water.

Step #2: Take the spool off your reel before you start

Make sure there’s no sand or debris on the spool and if there is, lightly wipe it down and remove it.

Another reason you want to take the spool off if so that you don’t get grease or chemicals on your line.

Step #3: Put a dab of reel oil on the shaft where the spool rests

After you do this, crank the handle a few times to make sure the oil is covering the shaft.

Pro-tip: with grease or oil, less is more.

Step #4: Put a dab of oil where the handle spins

After you do this, make sure to wipe off any excess oil so that it doesn’t get on your hands later.

Step #5: Put a dab of oil where the handle inserts into the body of the reel

I made a mistake in not doing this, and as you can see in the video the handle does not want to move now.

Step #6: Clean and lubricate the roller on your bail

This is one of the most important parts of the reel to keep clean since the line touches your reel under lots of tension here and any debris or lack of mobility in the roller can cause your line to break.

Step #7: Make sure all the screws on your reel are tight

As you use your reel over time, there’s a chance some of the screws could come loose and you don’t want your reel falling apart with a trophy fish on the line.

Step #8: Spray a rag with Clenzoil and wipe down the entire reel

This is will help reduce corrosion and extend the life of the reel.


best inshore fishing reels

Whether you fish once a month or several times per week, it’s important to take care of your reels so that they last longer and perform better on the water.

I fish every week, so I normally clean and lubricate my reels every other trip, but if you fish less you can do so once a month.

Also, remember that your reels can corrode from just sitting in the garage unused, so make sure to keep up with maintaining them even if you aren’t using them.

Have any questions about preventative maintenance for your fishing reels?

Let me know in the comments below!

And if you know someone who needs to take better care of their reels, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Petar Mijovic
1 year ago

Hi, I am wondering is this the proper way of maintining Daiwa’s MagSealed models as well?

To be precise I own Caldia 18 which is MagSealed and I am wondering if this tutorial can be applied for maintenance of that model as well?


Petar Mijovic
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

Thanks Tony, just to be sure we are on the same page, steps 1-8 from the text above are okay for me to do them?

Petar Mijovic
1 year ago
Reply to  Petar Mijovic

the only “taking apart” I did was once when I opened the bail (step number 6) and oiled the ballbearing below the roller. Do you think there is a chance I impacted the meagseal in any way?

Do you know if that ballbearing is mag seal protected?


Jordon Garlow
1 year ago

I have a reel that after casting when I start to reel it in sometimes the bail will flip down on its own and sometimes I have to manually flip it down. Would that just be a little oil on the hinge or is it a bigger issue?

Jordon Garlow
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

Thanks for the advice!

Thomas Hall
1 year ago

Thanks Tony! Nice to know how to take care of these investments.

Salt Strong! Thomas

Sonny Reeves
2 years ago

Good Video on maintenance, after 50+ yrs of mechanical work;
Be sure to read the MSDS of aerosols before using inside. Especially if you want to live with your lungs, liver and all working nice. Some of this stuff will kill you and hurt doing it.

Sonny Reeves
2 years ago

To prevent the screwdriver, tool from slipping in the fastener we use automotive type valve grinding compound to increase the friction at point of contact for the blades of the driver into the driving face of the fastener. A small amount on the tip of the driver places diamond dust in suspension to dig into the metal at the micro level. Won’t harm the tool or screw like easy outs.

Raul Fernandez
2 years ago

Tony, Do have a solution for taking out or smoothing out any nicks or wear and tear on the spool. I was going to use some type of wet emery cloth.

Richard Fiorentino
2 years ago

I remember hearing from Luke that he never does maintenance on his reels. I ALWAYS agree with Luke !

Glenn Mc Murrian
2 years ago

Hey Tony what is a good Cleaning Sulution to use for soaking the gears of a casting reel to help cut the grease and grime but still leave a clean no residue behind once it is dry.

John R Arnett
3 years ago

I DO think it is important to use certain brand lubricants.if you use a product (grease,oil etc) that is not compatible with the lubricants used from the factory it can have bad reactions.unless you have completely disassembled the reel and cleaned the original grease out and replaced it with your lubricant of choice just be careful!!! You guys are awesome salt strong rocks!!!!!

Son Ho
3 years ago

I’m deaf. I like to fishing.

Last edited 3 years ago by Son Ho


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