How to clean a baitcaster reel

How to Clean A Baitcasting Reel [A Complete Step-Wise Guide]

We’ve all been responsible for placing our reels in the water while they’re screeching and whimpering, which briefly sets the problem, but it’s the worst thing you may do to the reel. Here we will discuss how to clean a baitcasting reel? Read more to have knowledge about the correct method to do so.

Cleaning your reel regularly is crucial for ensuring smooth and efficient performance. Most people have always been afraid of reel maintenance. I understand that you don’t want to disassemble your reels, but you may do several easy things.

Many companies provide a full line of reel maintenance products. Their product range includes reel oil, grease, gear, brake oil, line conditioner, and cleaner.

Use Bait Caster Oil [How to oil a baitcasting reel]

I’m going to tell you more about cleaning baitcaster reels. You can apply a handful of drops of baitcaster oil to the squirm gear that holds the level line and a handful of drops to the bar that the level line holds.

The needle swage is ideal for applying a precise quantity of drops where you need them. Wind the reel a couple of times more, and it will be incredibly smooth.

The further step is to remove the side plate and a drop in the middle where the shaft enters and add a drop on the bearing. Drag the spool out and, just as previously, place a drop upon the bearing. Finally, replace your side plate, and you’re done with cleaning a baitcaster.

Another thing you should do is undo the tension knob and remove it. Add one drop on such a bearing, and a drop or two on the inward of the handle won’t harm. Replace the handle, and the job of oil is finished.

Use Grease [How to grease a fishing reel]

Now for the gears, they do not require oil. Unscrew the reel’s cover plate using a screwdriver. I would not advocate filling this with grease. Instead, apply a small amount of grease and spin it for approximately a quarter of a turn, and that’s all there is to it.

That’s all the oil you’ll require. Make careful to twirl your reel three to five times to distribute the grease. Then, put your plate back on, and here the job is done.

Additional Tips for Maintenace of Baitcaster

There are some more suggestions for your query about how to clean a baitcaster; let’s move further.

The majority of modern baitcasting reels are nearly indestructible, withstand the severities of the fishing conditions, and perform tour after tour.

However, regular baitcaster reel maintenance will guarantee that your investment (some of the best reels are relatively expensive) lasts for many years. That includes more than simply spraying your reels or dunking them in a pail of water.

Either way, reality will merely push grit and impurities further into the reels’ workings. Instead, after each trip, wipe and clean your reels.

Follow these step-by-step procedures for a more thorough cleaning baitcaster reels.

Just keep in mind to open the cases carefully since some screws and springs may snap out and slide beneath the closest piece of furnishings or snap on the floor of your shop. I assure you that each of those components is required for optimal operation.


This is one of the most overlooked components of a reel, yet a properly functioning drag system may be the difference between landing that big one and letting it go.

Make careful to loosen the drags on your reels after each trip to keep them from sticking. When the system is tightened, oil is pressed out of the drag washer; therefore, relaxing the star drag enables grease to reabsorb.

And the casing should be cracked a minimum of one time a year (dual a year for the one fishing saltwater and saline conditions), the drag oil wiped off, and substituted with a fresh pat of drag grease that is Teflon-based. Scrape it away with a flat-head screwdriver before greasing if glazing is visible.

Anti-Reverse Bearing

This bearing should not be oiled, ever. If you suspect that this bearing is creating issues, it’s time to take the reel to a specialist to clean the baitcast reel.


Modern bearings are virtually maintenance-free; however, if the reel gets stuck, it’s most likely due to a bearing problem. The spool and pinion bearings, placed at either end of the spool, are the only two bearings that might fail. Soak a Q-tip in alcohol, remove the side plates, and clean all the bearings. Close the reel after putting only one drop of oil on all the bearings.

Pawl/Worm Gear

You don’t want to disassemble this reel component since it’s difficult to put back together. However, you may clean it with a toothbrush and some Simple Green solvent. Using a Q-tip, dry it off and apply a drop of oil.

Remember that; While cleaning baitcaster reels, keep everything in the same order and direction you pulled it off when you disassemble your reel.

How to Clean Baitcasting Reel [A Step by Step Guide]

Here are some easy and proven steps on how to clean a baitcasting reel:

  • Begin by removing your reel from your rod.
  • Clip the lure off your line, reel it snugly onto the spool, and tape it down.
  • Remove the brake plate from the reel.
  • Take the brake plate and spool off the reel.
  • Examine and start cleaning the brake plate, which collects enormous dirt, and then repeat the process with the spool.
  • Examine and start cleaning the worm gear – the uncovered gear beneath the spool where the line exits the spool.
  • Examine and clean baitcast reel body; certain areas become dirtier than others due to the line coming off the reel flinging dirt about every time you throw.
  • Loosen all of the screws that keep the other side of the reel to the body.
  • As you unscrew everything, make sure to keep the plate close to the reel body.
  • Turn the reel on its side, with the handle pointing upwards, and CAREFULLY raise it straight up from the body.
  • Small springs beneath the plate can “pop” off if you’re not cautious – they’re not pleasant to locate on the floor.
  • Place the reel body with the gears facing up, then examine and clean the plate.
  • Now check and clean the gears, being sure to scrape away the globs of grease that will accumulate in particular areas.
  • Clean out the primary, large gear teeth with the toothbrush.
  • If you frequently fish – like every day – or if you’ve never cleaned your reel, the quantity of grime, sludge, and stink you’ll get out of it will be unbelievable.
  • Once you’ve removed all of the nastiness, apply the grease on the gears, baitcaster oil on everything that has a pin or spins (such as the handle knobs or spool pin), and bearing oil on all of the bearings.
  • Begin reassembling the reel as you put grease and oil to every part (not setting recently greased parts back on the napkin). Reel in the handle and adjust the tension, drag, and brakes to ensure that everything is correctly reassembled when you’re finished.


This was all about how to clean baitcasting reel. Your reel should be as good as new if you did a decent job. If the reel isn’t functioning, take your schematic and go over it part by part.

Check that you’ve reattached all of the components in the correct sequence and orientation. Say goodbye to tangled lines and improve your fishing experience with a sparkling clean baitcasting reel.

For more information on baitcasting tips, keep reading our latest blogs.

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