Loosen Drag for Storage. Between fishing trips store each reel with its drag loosened. If you leave the drag tightened the drag washers are compressed and you could end up with a jerky or ineffective drag. Reduced pressure on the drag washers helps them last
Some of my fishing buddies like me have invested a lot of money in the fishing reels they own. With few exceptions though these guys rarely treat their reels like the expensive finely tuned pieces of equipment they are.
After a day of fishing rinse each of your reels with fresh water and allow to dry. Don′t use a spray nozzle to do this however. High-pressure water can force sand dirt and salt into the reel. Use light pressure straight from the hose.
Proper Lubrication. Proper reel maintenance includes lubricating all moving parts such as bearings spool spindles and gears. You should lubricate lightly however and do not use heavy oil or grease. These can gum up or leave a residue that can inhibit movement of the bearings
Before rinsing tighten down the drags especially on spinning reels. This will help keep water from seeping inside. Hold spinning reels upside down with the drag toward the ground when rinsing giving water even less of an opportunity to get inside the reel.
Clean parts with Simple Green. "Never use gasoline or similar products to remove dirt and grease from your reel's parts. It'll melt plastics. Use a biodegradable product such as Simple Green and a toothbrush that won't hurt the plastic or fiber parts of the reel."
Grease gears. "Apply grease to the bottom of the teeth not the top. Applying grease to the tops of the teeth will cause the gears to throw the grease everywhere. You want it in the bottom. Also don't slop the grease all over the place;
Each reel is a little bit different but the basics are the same. Here are the elementary steps the Kilpatricks recommend to keep your reel working properly.
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