Spinning Reel Clean

How to Clean a Spinning Reel – 7 Easiest Ways for Beginner

We all know that a spinning reel is the most important thing required for fishing. However, many fewer people know that they require frequent maintenance and cleaning for a long-lasting life. Hence, we have brought you this detailed guide on how to clean a spinning reel for a long lasting and great reeling experience.

Cleaning is a mandatory part while using a machine, otherwise its performance gets affected. Similarly, a spinning reel also requires maintenance. A good quality reel, if not maintained properly, can’t even work for two months. On the other hand, a good spinning reel with frequent cleaning and maintenance can last for years. Therefore, take some time out of your busy schedule and clean your spinning reel with our detailed article. 

How to clean a Spinning Reel 

Now let’s move towards the crucial point of this article, which is how to clean a spinning reel

You will require these following items: 

Water, mild soap, brush grease or oil, damp cloth, reel maintenance kit, screwdriver, reel cleaner

1. Secure the line

Before cleaning, it is important to secure the line using tape or a rubber band. Otherwise it may loosen up and make things harder for you. In case it loosens, check out our article on how to spool a spinning reel

2. Disassemble the spinning reel

Detach all the parts of the spinning reel by using a screwdriver. You can refer to your user manual for disassembling the reel. Remove the spool out of the reel by simply rotating the drag dial until it comes out. Then with the help of a screwdriver, unscrew the bail. However, there are many small parts inside it so make sure you remember them while reassembling them. Otherwise, you can number them in case you forget the sequence. 

3. Clean the parts 

Except the spool, clean all the parts using a small brush, mild soap or reel cleaner and water. This step makes sure there is no sand, dirt, oil or any other debris inside the spinning reel 

4. Dry the parts 

Get a dry damp cloth and dry all those parts after cleaning them. Make sure there is no moisture left as it can corrode your spinning reel. 

5. Reassemble the spinning reel

Now that you have cleaned the spinning reel inside out, reassemble it again with the numbers you allocated to its parts. In case you didn’t do that, you can watch a YouTube tutorial on how to reassemble a spinning reel for your convenience. Again use the screwdriver and reattach the bail and handle. However, keep the spool aside as it is not required yet. 

6. Oil the spinning reel 

Once you have reattached the spinning reel, use some grease or oil on the screws, handle and shaft of the spool so that it works smoothly. Moreover, rotate the handle and bail so the oil reaches everywhere inside the reel. Afterwards, reattach the spool to the spinning reel. 

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7. Clean the exterior

Spray some of the reel cleaner on the reel and wipe out the exterior of the reel again and store it away until your next fishing trip. Moreover, do not forget to oil the reel before your fishing trip.

Now, your spinning reel is clean and ready for your next fishing adventure. 

Maintenance tips for spinning reels

  • Clean your spinning reel after every fishing trip. It will make sure that the reel won’t corrode easily and lasts for a longer period of time
  • Use only a limited amount of lubrication while lubricating a reel. Otherwise, it will be a hassle to manage it 
  • Oil your spinning reel at least once a month even if you don’t go for fishing trips frequently 
  • While on fishing trips make sure you keep the spinning reel clean and do not let the sand particles enter the reel’s interior. 


No, petroleum jelly is not designed to be used as a lubricant for a fishing reel. There are many other good options to choose for while lubricating a reel. Go for those. 

If you frequently go for fishing trips, oil your spinning reel once a week. Moreover, oil your spinning reel once a month even if you use it rarely as they require good maintenance. 

You can use some vinegar to clean the corroded reel or soak the parts of the spinning reels in vinegar solution overnight. 

There is no need to oil ceramic ball bearings as they don’t corrode and require no grease or oil to work. However, other ball bearings will require a coat of grease or oil for smooth functionality. 


So that’s how you should clean and maintain your spinning reel. It’s quite easy to follow these steps as a beginner. Therefore, do clean your spinning reel frequently so that it will last longer, work smoothly and save your hard earned money. However, if you want to buy a new top quality spinning reel, check out our article on top 10 best spinning reels of 2023. Moreover, if you have bought a wonderful quality spinning reel and are a bit confused about its working, check out our article on how to use a spinning reel, it’s a detailed guide. So that you can enjoy fishing and catch a large number of fish. 

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