How To Clean a Baitcasting Reel-Complete Steps

Baitcasters are regarded as more expensive gear used by professional fishermen that want large game fish. Though many fishermen choose baitcasting reels, they rarely consider maintaining them, particularly how to clean a baitcasting reel.

Reel maintenance has typically caused individuals to feel fear. Although you don’t want to disassemble your baitcasters, there are a few straightforward things you may do. To ensure that fishing goes smoothly, cleaning a Baitcasting reel is essential for the reel to last the longest.

I will describe how to disassemble, clean, and lubricate a Baitcasting reel in this article. Although, a baitcaster generally requires a little more effort to put together than a spinning rod. But I will work to keep it as straightforward as I can. Let’s get going!

How to Oil a Baitcasting Reel

Numerous companies provide a large selection of reel maintenance products. They provide a variety of products, including cleaners, line conditioners, brake oil, grease, and reel oil.

Utilize BaitCaster Oil for Reel Cleaning

Let’s go into more detail about the cleaning of a baitcasting reel now. First of all, apply a few drops of baitcaster oil to the bar holding the level line and a few drops to the squirm gear holding it. For applying precisely the right number of drips where you need them, the needle swage works best.

After placing the oil drops, the reel will be wonderfully smooth after a few further winds. Furthermore, the next stage is to install a drop on the bearing and remove the side plate and drop it in the center where the shaft enters.

Now just like before, pull the spool out and drop something onto the bearing. When you replace the side plate, a baitcaster has finished being cleaned.

You should also release the tension knob and take it out. Then one drop on such a bearing, plus one or two drops on the inside of the handle, won’t do any harm. Once the handle is replaced, the oiling process is complete.

Utilize Grease for Reel Cleaning

The gears, however, don’t need oil. You may take off the reel’s cover plate using a screwdriver. Now it only requires a modest bit of lubricant and a quarter turn of spinning motion and you won’t need any more oil than that.

When distributing the grease on your reel, just be cautious to turn it three to five times. The procedure will be finished by replacing your plate.

Maintenance of a Baitcasting Reel

Even though most modern baitcasters are nearly indestructible, performing several journeys while withstanding the demands of the fishing environment. But regular maintenance and proper cleaning will guarantee that your investment lasts for a very long time.

Additionally, it involves more than just simply rinsing your reel thoroughly or putting it in a pail of water. In any case, the reel’s internal workings will only get more contaminated and grit-filled. Rather, simply clean your baitcasters after each trip.

You should adhere to these detailed guidelines for more in-depth knowledge of how to clean a baitcasting reel. Since there are springs and screws inside that might pop out and slip through a crack in your company’s floor you have to open the cases with caution.

Therefore, baitcaster reels must be cleaned with everything remaining in the same position and orientation as when it was taken apart.

The following components are required for a Baitcasting reel to function properly.


Even though the drag mechanism is one of the most ignored parts of a reel, it may be the difference between successfully landing a big fish and letting it go to waste.

To prevent stuck reels, be sure to loosen your reel drags after each trip. When the system is tightened, the drag washer’s grease is ejected. Consequently, releasing the star drag allows grease to reabsorb.

Additionally, at least once a year, the case has to be cracked (dual a year for the one fishing in saltwater and saline conditions). A fresh dab of Teflon-based drag grease was added in its place once the drag oil was removed.

In the end, remove any glazing that is present using a flat-head screwdriver before applying grease.

Reverse-bias Bearing

The grease should never be applied to this bearing. Take the baitcasting reel to a professional to have it completely cleaned if you think this bearing is creating problems.


Although most modern bearings don’t require any maintenance, if the reel becomes stuck, it’s probably because of a bearing issue. Moreover, only the two bearings called the spool and pinion, are susceptible to failure. At each end of the spool, both are present.

Finally, just remove the side plates, clean all the bearings using a Q-tip dunked in alcohol, and then replace them.

Line Guide and Pawl/Worm Gear

These elements are exclusive to baitcasters. When used often, especially when casting and retrieving are involved, they might get dirty and dusty.

Even though it is difficult to reassemble this reel component, it shouldn’t be broken apart. But you may clean it with a toothbrush and simple Green cleaner. With a Q-tip, you may properly remove any leftovers (Or perhaps a Q-tip with the cotton swab ends removed). Dry it off with a Q-tip before applying an oil drop.

Braking System

Another component specific to baitcasters is the brake, which is normally located beneath one of the side plates. You will see a row of pins arranged in a circular pattern when it is removed.

After they have been thoroughly cleaned, a very thin layer of oil should be applied. Additionally, you must take care not to lubricate any of the friction surfaces.

Steps of How to Clean a Baitcasting Reel

The ideal technique to clean a Baitcasting reel is not to concentrate on the actual cleaning but rather to create a disciplined cleaning/maintenance routine so that when you sit down to clean a reel, it doesn’t turn into a mess.

Additionally, since the internal mechanism would mimic that of a brand-new reel, this would enable the reel to run at its peak level and require minimal maintenance.

To learn how to clean a baitcasting reel, just follow these simple and effective instructions.

Step 1: Reel Removing and Cleaning Outside Body

  • Remove your reel from your rod to get started.
  • Clean the reel’s outside body using a moist cloth to remove any dust and debris.
  • The bait should be taped down after being removed from your line, reeled in tightly, and secured.
  • To clean tiny components like the level wind, line spool, and spool tension adjustment, use a cotton swab. By adjusting the spool tension, you may open it up and clear out the entire water supply.

Step 2: Spool and Brake cleaning

  • Disconnect the reel’s brake plate.
  • Remove the reel’s spool and the brake plate.
  • Look over the brake plate, which attracts a lot of dirt, and begin cleaning it. Next, do the same with the spool.

After that, start cleaning the brake pads around the edge of the spool after it is removed. You might have to press in and out of several reels to see the brake pads. Wipe the brake pads with a Q-tip soaked in reel cleaner. And don’t forget to throw away and not reuse the used Q-tips.

Now on the opposite side, you will see the spool’s shaft covered with oil and filth. Dry it off using a gentle cloth. After finishing cleaning the shaft, carefully clean the spool region. For difficult-to-reach places like tiny fissures, the spool pin, etc., always use Q-tips soaked in reel cleaners.

Step 3: Inspection and Cleaning of Worm Gear

  • Worm gear refers to the exposed gear beneath the spool where the line exits the spool. Inspect it and begin cleaning it.

Step 4: Internal Body Cleaning of a Baitcasting Reel

  • Inspect and clean the body of the baitcasting reel. Some areas get dirtier because the line flings dirt about every time you toss.
  • There may be screws holding certain reel covers in place. All of the screws holding the opposite side of the reel to the body should be removed.
  • Make sure to maintain the plate near the reel body while you remove the screws.
  • Next, turn the reel upside down so that the handle is pointing up, then carefully lift it straight up from the body.
  • Just be careful with the tiny springs that might pop off under the plate and end up on the floor, which is not a nice situation.

Step 5: Cleaning and Lubrication of Gears

  • Examine and clean the plate after positioning the reel body so the gears are facing up.
  • Check and clean the gears now. Just be sure to remove any globs of oil that may collect in certain spots with a scraper.
  •  Check your gears to determine whether any lubrication is required. If it does, use a degreaser or reel cleaner to remove all of the existing greases. After that apply a fresh dab of grease.
  • With a toothbrush, thoroughly clean the main, major gear teeth.

Step 6: Oil lubrication in the reel’s rotating components

  • Clean all the water and debris from any joints, such as bearings, spools, and handles, where you believe there will be rotation. After doing that, put a drop of oil in each location in that manner. Rotate them gently to ensure that the oil is distributed equally.

Step 7: Reassembling of a Baitcasting Reel

  • As you apply grease and oil to each component, start assembling the reel. When finished, reel in the handle and make sure everything is assembled correctly by adjusting the brakes, drag, and tension.

There you go. Your baitcasting reel is neat and fluid. To keep your reel in top condition and guard against any harm, it is important to repeat this cleaning procedure after each fishing excursion.

A committed competition fisher should grease the reels and gears once or twice a year, especially if they fish frequently in and around the lawn.


A Baitcasting reel can’t be continuously utilized. It can only work effectively for a time if they are frequently maintained and greased.

A regular cleaning schedule not only keeps the baitcasters in good operating order but also helps you in spotting any issues early. This article was focused on how to clean a Baitcasting reel. I urge you to give your reel an outside cleaning each month and an inside cleaning using the techniques and steps explained above once every three months. If you perform a good job, your Baitcasting reel should look brand new

About the author

My name is Camryn Riley and I am the Author/Owner of Fishing Products point. Fishing is my passion for the last 10 years. I always share my experiences with other people through this Blog. I always love to share my knowledge and experiences about the best fishing products.

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