to clean your reels annually
for best results
By Bob Neice, Midwest
The worst enemies of fishing
reels are dirt, grime and pollutants from the water you are fishing
in. Fishing reels should be cleaned and lubed no less than once
a year, or more often if you are a tournament angler. If you
prefer take your rod and reels to a tackle repair service. The
fall of the year is best for this type of service. If you missed
cleaning your reels last fall, then now is the time, but be prepared
for a delay of a week or two to get your reels serviced.
If you clean and lube your
reels yourself, be careful and deliberate when you disassemble
a reel. Lay the parts out in order and reassemble in reverse
order. Mineral spirits, or denatured alcohol is good for cleaning
gears and mechanisms. Use the alcohol to clean painted parts
such as frames, side cover and plastic parts. Gears are the priority
parts for grease, oil for most everything else and don't over
do it on grease or oil. A little dab will do it.
Use your manual for oil
points. I highly recommend using only grease and oil made by
reel manufacturers. Vaseline and WD-40 are very poor substitutes.
If you fish weekly you should oil bearings and line guide worm
shafts. Check your manual.
A word of warning - Some
of the newer reels of the last two or three years are very complicated,
high tech machines. Some use special lubricants and will not
work without them. I strongly suggest you let a tackle sevice
company do the work.
One tip I give my customers
is to back off the drag after every fishing trip. Leaving the
drag on constantly will rapidly decrease the life of a drag system.
Now is also a good time
to clean and repair those rods. If the guides are loose or need
to be replaced taken them to a tackle repair service. If the
rod only needs cleaning use denatured alcohol and use a toothbrush
to clean around the guides. Soap and water works well on cork
handles, or alcohol for stubborn stains. Wipe the rod down with
Armor All to help protect the finish. Remember, good regular
maintenance of rods and reels will prolong their life and keep
down repair costs.
Another important tip is
when spooling on braided line do not tie direct to the spool.
Wrap a few yards of monofiliment line on first, then tie the
braided line to the mono. The reason for this that if braided
line is tied direct to the spool it will slip. Numerous complaints
of drags not working turned out to be braided line slipping on
the spool. Also, on the subject of braided line, you should check
your line guides on reels and the tips and line guides on rods
for grooving. If they are grooved have them replaced. The grooves
will fray or cut your line.
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