5 Golden Rules You Should Always Follow When Cleaning Your Fishing Reels
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The internet is full of guides about how to do things, and cleaning your fishing tackle is no exception. Not only is cleaning your rod and reel essential to ensure the best performance, but keeping all of those components clean and properly lubricated can help save you from a disappointing day on the water should your reel jam up, or even worse if a very expensive, catastrophic failure occurs.
To help save you from making those disastrous mistakes we're going to focus in this article on what you should never do when cleaning your reel. Tight lines!
Never start cleaning your reel without first securing or removing the fishing line
This one is probably the least technical point, yet so easily forgotten. Whether you remove the line altogether or tape down the tag end, you must remember to secure it. Loose line can make its way into delicate mechanisms and cause serious damage. Even if you escape permanent damage, you'll spend forever picking it back out!
The benefit of removing the line altogether is that you'll get the chance to clean the spool properly without the line getting in the way. Put simply, taking 5 minutes to secure the fishing line can save you hours of work later on.
Never use solvents or petroleum products to clean plastic partsp> Whilst solvents and diesel or gasoline can make light work of cleaning greasy and dirty parts, they can be hugely destructive when it comes to plastic components. Instead you should look for a dedicated biodegradable rod and reel cleaner product which is designated as safe for use on plastic and rubber parts.
To make a long story short, never use gasoline or the likes to clean your reel, this will ensure that you do not end up warping or dissolving critical plastic parts.
NEVER use oils that contain TFE
When it comes to lubricating bearings during the cleaning process, stay well clear of any lube containing TFE. TFE is a solid and over time will return to its solid state, gumming up and causing jams in your reel, potentially leading to large scale damage.
For the best lubrication you should always use specialist reel lubrication or a good quality machine oil. To sum up, avoid lubes that contain TFE and any viscous types of oil to prevent gunk, dirt accumulation and gumming.
Never apply grease to the tops of the gear teeth
Picture this, you just bought yourself a brand new fishing shirt. You cleaned your reel after your last trip and liberally applied grease all over the gear teeth. You cast out then reel in. Disaster! The grease flew all over and ruined your favorite new shirt.
To avoid this happening to you, you should never apply grease to the top of gear teeth, only a light coating at the bottom is necessary. By applying just the amount of grease to your reel in the right places you'll ensure a mess free experience and less cleaning necessary later on.
Never allow metal on metal contact
Remember that reel parts are designed to work with metal on plastic. Metal on metal will very quickly destroy your reel from the inside out. If plastic components of any kind need to be replaced, never replace them with metal parts thinking them to be more durable.
Also, when scrubbing components, never use wire wool or similar or you'll risk serious damage. The components in your reel work with very tight tolerances, and cleaning with anything likely to scratch the surfaces will lead to unnecessary wear and eventually failure of parts. Microfiber cloths are very effective for fishing reel cleaning purposes.
When following these 5 simple rules, you'll ensure your gear lasts long and serves its purpose for years to come!