How to Clean a Fishing Rod and Reel?

Probably the most hated task by fishermen is that of cleaning their tools as soon as they return from a day’s fishing, after living an intense emotion of hours in a give and take against our beloved and desired fish. This is a job that we know we must do without complaining because not doing so could cause problems in the elements themselves, which would gradually age and reduce their useful life.

That is why it is very important to get into the habit of cleaning as soon as possible, so that this does not become a problematic or unpleasant moment. In addition, a routine can be achieved so that the cleaning of the cane and reels is simple and effective. In this way, our equipment will stay in good condition for more years and it will be difficult for its parts to rust or break during the day or even while it is being stored.

The rod or fishing rod should be washed after each use and before storing it inside its case, it should be dried completely so that it does not suffer any damage from storing it wet.
The reel, on the other hand, should simply be washed following the tricks that we will tell later.

Next, we will explain how to clean both the fishing rod and the reel in a few steps. You will see that it is not something complicated and, if you pay attention, it will be a fast work and very beneficial for your fishing tools and their maintenance.

How to clean a fishing rod

Let’s start with the rod, which is obviously the main element of fishing. These are the steps that must be followed to do it successfully:

First, you must fill a container with warm water. Fill a cup with vinegar and pour it into the bucket as well. Finally, you must add some liquid detergent. When everything is inside the bucket, I recommend that you mix it slowly so that it is a homogeneous mixture.


Then, you should take your cane and a sponge. Little by little, wet the sponge in the mixture and rub it, without draining, on the surface of the cane, little by little and following the same direction. Only in this way will you be able to remove all the dirt that has accumulated in the device during the fishing time. Unfortunately, it is not enough to just hose it off.


When you have completely covered it with the mixture, you must pass the rod through water to remove the excess.


Then, take a dry cloth and remove any moisture from the rod. This procedure should be done slowly, so that all parts of the cane are dry. If, for any reason, any part of the cane is still wet, the cane could rot on the inside.


Finally, and not as cleaning but as maintenance, it is important that you put a lubricant on the whole surface of the cane. You can get a specific lubricant in a shop specializing in fishing or simply take some working oil (or even cooking oil or massage oil sold for babies’ skin) and pass it over the entire surface. Allow it to dry for a few moments and then store it in its case until it is time to take it out again for the job.

How to clean a fishing reel

The reel is a little more complex when it comes to cleaning it. You have to spend more time and be very thorough because you can’t always see the dirt at first sight. Remember that it is very important that it is perfectly clean so that its useful life is very long and its operation does not get worse.

To clean the reel, it is necessary to start by brushing it to remove all the dirt, sand and other larger lumps.


Then, the reel must be removed from the reel. We must wet it in water and then we can proceed in two ways. On the one hand, it can be rinsed under the cold water tap, or it can be placed in a container full of water for a few hours. If you have decided on the first option, it is best to dismantle the brake, as there are some models of reels that have a special type of grease that if it gets wet with water loses many of its properties.


With the previous steps, we will achieve that most of the saltpeter disappears and thus we will conserve the thread for much more time. We must be very careful so that the rest of the reel does not get wet, because if water gets inside it, the grease will be affected and will not brake properly. For this reason, many of the expert anglers recommend that a well-moistened cloth be used for cleaning this part. The crank, the pick-up, the screws, the body… In short, clean it slowly by wiping it down.


Finally, the time comes when you must dry all the parts of the reel. It must be done completely and, once we have finished, the best thing is to assemble it again and leave it in its corresponding place in one piece.


For this cleaning we can also give you some interesting extra tricks:


First of all, we recommend using a silicone spray on the reel to nourish the nylon ropes, so they are completely lubricated for the work. This is usually done when the reel has been cleaned, so that it is brighter. In addition, if the rings are lubricated it is likely that we can achieve a few more meters at the time of the cast.


In the event that the rings start to rust, something can be done to stop the damage, there are two measures:


One is to rub lemon on them (it’s known to have great antioxidant properties), letting it dry for a while and then rubbing it with a toothbrush.


On the other hand, you can also apply a degreaser, clean it with a brush and then rinse it with water in both cases.

Now that you know how to clean your fishing equipment, make sure that you don’t go too long without thoroughly cleaning your fishing rod and reel.

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