How To Clean A Fishing Rod And Reel Properly?

How To Clean A Fishing Rod And Reel Properly

For every sport, there is a piece of equipment and gear that you use and needs some cleaning and maintenance; and there is no excuse for fishing rods and reels. Let us share with you some easy ways to clean a fishing rod and reel properly to get the best results from this fishing gear for a long time.

When it comes to cleaning fishing rods and reels, you must rinse it with clean water. Get a small bucket of warm and soapy water and wipe down the entire fishing gear with a clean rag. Pay extra attention to the reel seat and rod handles. For hard to reach areas, you can use a small soft bristle brush to clean that part. As you clean your rods and reels, you can inspect for any damage. Finally, rinse every part of the fishing gear gently, and let it dry. 

Unless you want to feel frustrated being fishless, you have to know the right ways to maintain your fishing equipment. This step may sound boring, but it is essential to want every piece of your fishing gear to work with maximum efficiency all season long.

Fishing Rod And Reel Cleaning Materials

When it comes to cleaning your fishing rod and reels, make sure that you get the right tools and materials for the job. Before you jump into the cleaning process, look first for a clean towel that is your primary material in washing your fishing gear. Check out these other cleaning essentials that you will need.

  • A few small screwdrivers
  • A pair of tweezers
  • A box of toothpicks
  • An old toothbrush
  • A small wrench
  • Your choice of cleaning products

Some anglers use Ardent Reel Kleen, Penn Rod, and Reel Cleaner. These are all excellent products that offer everything that you need when it comes to cleaning your fishing gear. If you don’t feel buying a new one, you could always use a standard soap that would work well in breaking down excess grime on the rod and reel. If all the appropriate items have been put together, you are ready to start cleaning the rod and reel.

Clean up and down the whole equipment to ensure that you won’t miss any unnecessary residues. There’s nothing like that about your rod to disassemble or think about, and the cleaning process is straightforward. The primary aim of cleaning the rod itself is to remove any contaminants or minerals that corrode the rod material and cause it to crack and become brittle.

How To Clean Your Fishing Rod?

Before you ask ‘how often should you clean a fishing rod’, ask first how you can do it right for every action that you make in maintaining your fishing gear properly. Proper cleaning increases your rod and reel’s lifetime, so you must get on a routine cleaning schedule. So, let us share with you the best and easy steps to clean a fishing rod.

How To Clean A Saltwater Fishing Rod

Since the saltwater causes more corrosion, saltwater fishing rods need a little more care than freshwater ones. It is what you have to bear in mind when it comes to fishing in saltwater. Any time you return from a saltwater trip, you want to cut some line from the guides and cut the reel from the string. Clean the rod and a light all-purpose cleaner with warm freshwater.

Make sure they are thoroughly rinsed off to ensure there are no salt deposits built up. Also, search the guides well. Use a little brush with wire to clean them off. They can rust and corrode quickly from saltwater. This step is easy, but some beginner anglers often forget to do it, especially after a long fishing day.

Cleaning Your Rod Handle

It is more for aesthetics, but having a dirty handle could make the rod more challenging to handle while fighting a bigger fish, and if you fish saltwater, the water could also take its toll on the handle. The easiest way to clean the rod handle is by taking some rubbing alcohol and scrubbing the handle and wiping it down. Ignore this process again and again until it all shines out.

Keeping Your Guides Clean

If your guides have a lot of dirt build-up on them, it can damage your line quite a bit, resulting in a breakdown. As a result, you’re going to lose fish. As the line runs in, an accumulation of minerals and vegetation accumulates all day long, so you want to make sure you get it off there.

With a bit of Simple Green or WD-40, you can use a Q-tip or a soft brush and brush the guides clean. The best approach is to keep these things with you so that you can do this while fishing. However, if you have to wait before you get home, it’s perfectly fine.

Tips And Techniques In Cleaning Fishing Rods

Regular cleaning of fishing rods is a must for proper maintenance of the fishery tackle. If you want to become an expert in cleaning your fishing rods, check out these tips and techniques correctly.

  • Wash the rods after every use, especially if you were fishing in dirty, muddy, or saltwater. To wash carefully and thoroughly around the guides and reel surfaces, use a brush or cloth.
  • Restore the rod-wrap finishes as needed with the epoxy rod finishes available at most tackle shops to prevent line guides from falling loose.
  • Do not use a rod for lures or weights, which are heavier or lighter than prescribed. On most rods, the instructions for line- and lure-weight are specified just above the handle.
  • Do not use a rod to drive a lure or to pull a snag off. Such in-line tension may also cause breaking or cracking of a pin.

Fishing Rod Maintenance

Regardless of the type of fishing rod, you have to maintain it well. Wash it with fresh water after using your fishing net. Carefully wash the grips and use warm soapy water to clean thoroughly, if possible. Use grease from light reels on rod guides to avoid corrosion. Check all hairline fracture guides, and instantly substitute the guide if any are detected. These guides can damage the line if not attended well, and weaken it. In rod covers, lock all rods and keep them secure on rod stands.

Remember, high-quality fishing rods are built to last for a lifetime and endure different water species and bodies. Of course, these fishing equipment pieces have limitations, but you can prolong its use and efficiency through regular cleaning and maintenance. If you want to be the best angler, you have to learn how to clean and maintain every gear that you will use. Otherwise, you will end up spending more money when you could have provided significant issues if you were thorough in delivering solutions for minor fishing gear problems.

How To Clean Your Fishing Reel?

The reel is the essential piece of equipment for an angler, so you want to handle this piece with special care. During the cleaning process, the amount of attention you give the reel depends on what kind of water you catch and how much you acquire. You ought to clean your reel at least once every five trips if you fish the freshwater. If you are fishing for saltwater, after each trip, you must clean your reel.

You want to spray your reel down with a light cleaner after your trip, like the ones mentioned above. Do not soak it because it may get excessive moisture into the gear system and cause long-term harm. When it’s all soaped up, you can use a tiny brush to get in there and clean off any extra gunk and grime. If you think the reel is clean enough, then go ahead and rinse it down with low pressure to make sure you don’t get any water in the drag.

Make sure the whole cleaner is thoroughly rinsed off and the reel fully dried to avoid rust. It would help if you sprayed the reel with rolling oil after it is nice and dry. The Ardent Reel Kleen kit comes with some reel oil when you buy it. Penn Reel Oil and Passionate Reel Butter Oil are some cleaning brands that anglers use for their fishing reels. You may as well use WD40 if you prefer.

The underside of the spool is one region that is frequently overlooked. You want to loosen the drag knob during your cleaning process and clean the spool’s bottom to avoid rust and corrosion. For optimum efficiency, before replacing, graze the main shaft inside the spool. You can also do a full-service job on your reel once in a while; it means you take it apart and clean each piece using small brushes and wash it separately.

You shouldn’t have to do this more than once a year, but if you haven’t ever done it, it is something you want to remember. Maintaining your reel ensures it works at its finest and can last as long as you need it to use.

Cleaning Your Saltwater Reel

Saltwater can be detrimental to a reel if the correct cleaning is not done. You can get a head start on cleaning even when you’re fishing by spraying down the reel with freshwater and wiping it dry. After a day of saltwater fishing, once you get home, cut off all the line that has been used and take the reel from the rod. 

Rinse the rods with moderate pressure and a reel cleaner of your option. Use a small brush to get into the tight spots. After giving it a good scrub, down-rinse off the reel and thoroughly dry it all out. Do not store the reel until it dries completely.

Oil Care Your Fishing Reel

To have a great reel for a long time, many parts of your reel must be filled with oil and greases. It will ensure your reel stays in the rough and sand longer. If you intend to fish for saltwater, then oil and grease will save your reel and rods from the salty water.

You should put oil on the reel regularly. The sections that need oil in spinning reels are the handle, rotor, and line roller, and level—wind track in casting reels and axles. Add grease in casting reels to the internal gearing and the level wind worm gear. Moreover, you have to put some lubricants on the gears, pawls, and around the handle. On the other hand, fly reels need little greasing-only. 

Most handbooks on the reel will give you additional information about your tackle. So, aside from reading guides, it would be best if you can also learn from books and other experienced anglers.

Tips And Techniques In Cleaning Fishing Reels

Reels need special care because they have so many working parts that can corrode easily. Moreover, it handles a spool of wet fishing lines whenever you reel in, making fishing reels more prone to rust. Hence, you must understand how to clean fishing reels correctly if you want to prevent it from happening. Here are some simple ways you can maintain your fishing reel.

  • Spool the line onto the reel to be packed tightly and filled to within ⅛ inch of the bottom.
  • Often use fishing line within the range and style of pound-test suggested for the reel.
  • Back off the drag after fishing; otherwise, it can become jerky or sticky the next time you use it.
  • Wash every reel after use, mainly when fishing in dirty or saltwater. The easiest way to remove salt and dirt is to scrub it with warm water and a small brush.
  • After a reel is dry, spray it to cover the metal parts with a DE moisturizing agent (WD-40 or CRC).
  • Pick up straight lines on all reels. That will help avoid tangles and knots.
  • Remove and repair all lines once a year-more often if you regularly fish. Strip off any line that is abraded or damaged while fishing.
  • Clean the fly lines with a mild detergent or cleaner for a specific sequence, then rinse and dry.
  • Place fly lines in loose coils or on the reel, if clean and dry.

Fishing Reel Maintenance

Sponge your reel lightly with warm soapy water after each use in the salt or freshwater. It is also fantastic for the fishing line. Rinse off at external pressure with the freshwater. Do not submerge the reel in water or wash it under high pressure in any conditions because this pushes water into the gearing and drag systems with very damaging effects. Wipe the reel dry with a clean cloth after completing this task and spray it lightly with WD40-type surface spray while trying to keep it off the line, as some products can respond with it.

Remove the drag-knob, slip the spool off, and clean the spool’s underside. Grease the main shaft gently, and replace the spool and drag knob. Leave the drag knob loose to hold the drag washer pressure off when not in use. Lightly oil the handle knobs, line rollers, bail arm springs, folding handle, and then brush off the excess using high-grade reel or sewing machine grease.

The side plate is opened regularly, and the gears and bearings are greased lightly. You should give your reel a complete service once every twelve months or so, depending on the use or mistakenly submerging your reel in water. Dismantle all pieces absolutely and soak them in a clean bath. Rinse in the freshwater and let them dry out in the light. Check for harm on all bearings and gears. If they are in some way impaired, then repair them.

All moving parts are reassembled and grated gently. Do not use too much grease-all that is required is a thin cover. Most fishing reels consist of several pieces, and they can be easily reassembled incorrectly. If you’re not fully assured in handling your reel yourself, most expert anglers would recommend that you drop it by an experienced reel technician into your nearest tackle store for full service.

If you don’t use or store your reels for a long time, reel covers and reel bags are a must-have. They’re all designed specifically to protect your reels. Most damage and corrosion occurs when the gear has long been stored without adequate cleaning.


In reality, there are many ways you can look after your fishing tackle. Fishing rods and reels are the two most essential gear when it comes to catching a fish. Therefore, you must take care of these pieces if you want to get the maximum efficiency for a long time. Moreover, well-maintained fishing equipment will give you better performance and higher accuracy in catching various fish species. Without any attention, they can lose their potential output and, when you go fishing, will cause problems.

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