A guide to cleaning your rod and reel

To keep your fishing rod in optimal condition and extend its lifespan, rod and reel maintenance is a must. Here’s how to clean and lubricate your fishing rod.

Clean your rod after fishing

A simple rinse is generally enough to clean your rod and protect it against corrosion from saltwater. However, a more thorough cleaning with a cloth, lukewarm water and vinegar or a mild detergent should be done after every few uses. If there’s dirt on the rod, remove it with a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush. Always allow your rod to dry completely before putting it away.

Clean and lubricate the reel

After each use, clean your reel with warm, soapy water and a sponge, then lightly rinse it and dry it with a cloth. Never immerse the reel in water or spray it under high pressure, as this could force water into the gears and damage the reel. 

Additionally, lubricate the va­rious components of your reel using a reel lubricant. To do this, remove the spool so you can clean the inner compartment and lightly lubricate the shaft. Reattach the spool, then lightly lubricate the handle knob, line roller, bail arm, reel handle and spool.

Every year or so you should give your reel a complete tune-up. This involves dismantling it, checking the bearings and gears for damaged components that need to be replaced and lubricating the moving parts. 

If you aren’t confident about dismantling the reel yourself, drop it off at a nearby tackle shop and entrust this task to a local pro.

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