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How to Clean and Maintain Fishing Reels


Fishing is an exciting outdoor activity that requires fishing reels that come in various models and sizes. Anglers are spoilt for choice when choosing Penn fishing reels because they have a wide range of exceptional products. However, if you want your reels to perform optimally, you must regularly clean and maintain your fishing equipment. A reel is an essential tool that enables fishing because it holds the hook and line that lure the fish to the bait.

While you may think that your spinning reel is already clean after fishing, it isn’t. It accumulates dirt and grease after a while, which may gradually cause challenges. If you don’t clean your reel regularly, it might not function properly; hence, affecting your fishing experience and causing you to lose your bait.

Cleaning fishing reels is a systematic process that requires time, effort, and the right cleaning products. Below is a guide to help you clean your fishing reel and maintain its performance:

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Preparing all the right cleaning tools and products is the first and most important step. Some vital tools include two screwdrivers, a toothbrush, toothpick, and tweezers. Ensure that you also have the user’s manual to help you disassemble and assemble the reel for cleaning and a notepad for writing the assembling order. The cleaning products are a suitable rod and reel cleaner, synthetic oil and grease, and a soft towel/cloth.

Follow the steps below to start the cleaning process:


As mentioned above, set all the cleaning tools and products ready before you disassemble your Penn fishing reels. Have a nearby table that will hold all the reel parts safely. You can also use a mat to avoid contact with other metals.

Soak in Water

Soak your spinning reel in freshwater, especially after saltwater fishing. It helps remove all the salt and hidden minerals off the reel. Later, dry it using a soft fabric. Then, remove the line from the reel and proceed to disassemble the parts.

Note the Assembling Order

Using sticky notes or a note pad comes in handy in this step because you need to write down the order when disassembling the reel. Number every component when removing it to help you remember when putting it back. Writing down the order is an efficient way of assembling the reel in order after cleaning.

Use the screwdrivers to disassemble the parts starting with the spool. Clean it and continue to the other parts carefully handling them with the tweezers. Remove the handle knob, arm, pin, gear, crankshaft, and clutch screw. Don’t forget the ball bearings and roller wheel.


Now that you have all the parts ready for cleaning, take the rod and reel cleaner and clean them using a toothbrush. Clean all the components thoroughly to remove all the dirt build-up and residues. Finally, dry them with a soft fabric cloth.


After cleaning the Penn fishing reels, lubricate the components as part of servicing and maintaining the equipment. Use the synthetic oil on the intricate parts of the reel, such as the knobs, pin, levers, clutch screw, spool, and ball bearings. Finally, grease the center shaft, bushing, and crank system.

After this final step, you can begin assembling all the reel parts back together. Ensure that you follow the order to avoid missing any piece.

Other tips to help you clean and maintain your reels include:

  • Clean saltwater

Clean your reel thoroughly after saltwater fishing because salt contains minerals that gradually corrode reel components.

  • Dry all parts

Removing excess water after cleaning the reel ensures effective drying, getting rid of other stuck residues

  • Use adequate lubricants

Knowing the right amount of oil and grease to use on your real enhances maintenance and prevents dirt-build up after cleaning.

  • Handle the reel with care

The reel is a vital fishing component, thus, treat it carefully when assembling and disassembling.

Anglers must regularly clean their reels to improve their fishing experiences. So, maintain your fishing equipment and catch your trophy fish easily.


Hi. I'm Mursaleen Siddique, The guy behind I'd rather call myself a struggling Blogger. I love Blogging with WordPress, Covering Tech, General Topics, Graphic & Web Design Inspiration., Feel free to get in touch via mentioned social media platform or E-mail me at hello[at]
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