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By Neumie
#2289903
Today I realized I haven't done a complete breakdown of any reel for 3 years; so long over due.

Here's what I do. For cleaning & degreasing I use Dawn, hot water, and an old toothbrush for most parts and Simple Green for cleaning bearings. I have an assortment of tools and foam swabs for dismantling the reels. To rebuild I use Lucas oil, Penn grease, and CorrosionX as a final wipe down. I keep all of this in a bag which travels with me on all the trips to the coast in case I dunk a reel and need to do a complete rebuild.

Oh and usually cold brew or two during the process.

What's y'all's process?
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By SWFinatic
#2289926
I usually don't spend a lot on a reel so if I get a couple years out of them I'm happy. I carry a gallon jug of water in the truck when I'm fishing in the salt so as soon as I am done fishing for the day and get to the truck I rinse my reels off then spray some Corrosion X on the external moving parts when I get home. That's pretty much all I do. I have an old green Curado that I've been planning on tearing into but haven't. From what I've been told tho blue Dawn works best at getting the parts clean. That's all we use at home so I'm good there.
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By TexasJim
#2289929
I'm not so organized as Neumie. I just open them up, clean out all the salt with Q-tips, oil everything except the drag washers with 3-in-1 Oil, clean the drag washers and lube them lightly with Vaseline, and put everything back together. Been working well for me. I'm not a big reel snob. I have a Shimano Chronarch Ci4+, an Abu Orra SX baitcaster and a Daiwa cheapo a friend gave me. I HAVE discovered every possible way to re-assemble all my reels wrong! I spool them with Mean Green 15 mono and go fishing. My rods, reels, and boats are not the reasons I don't catch many big fish. TexasJim
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By Ron Mc
#2289932
you guys are motivated - I don't tear them apart if they have good line, but I do keep worm gear, rider, spindle ends and casting brake race clean enough with q-tips, and lightly lubed.

I use Boeshield most often to clean (carrier is mineral spirits), and it's my corrosion inhibitor.

If I'm going to use a water bath, I begin with vinegar with 3 parts warm water; I have access to Micro non-filming lab soap (which I also use to clean electron microscope parts)

I still have a small cache of Quantum Hot Sauce grease and oil, and their grease is (was) the one that never turns to paraffin.

In the field - if I think about it, I'll rinse daily, but at least a good rinse (maybe a few days of rinse, dry, repeat) when I get home

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#2289937
I am more in the Neumie camp. I break my reels down once a year cleaning the gears and cases with alcohol, a toothbrush and some Q tips. (Note that I place everything on a paper towel in the order that they came off - which makes it so much easier when you reassemble everything - just reverse the order.) Then I reassemble using Remington Rem Oil and Shimano Star Drag Grease.
I also lightly rinse my reels off after each trip with fresh water. I'll also break things down if I hear any unusual sounds (ticks or abrasion) or if a reel isn't functioning properly (a grain of sand can do wonders for a reel!). Maybe an overkill but I do enjoy breaking them down.
And as for Neumie's pic - Looks like a Laser AH (American Hero) bait caster by Lew's. These are good little reels. Usually $59 so a ton of value there.
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Remington Rem Oil Shimano Star Drag.JPG
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By shoffer
#2289938
I actually enjoy the process of cleaning my bait caster reels. I do a complete breakdown once a year (usually in the winter), put all parts in an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner with hot water and some jewelry cleaning solution, and run it for 720 seconds. I let the parts dry on a paper towel for a day (although I have used a hairdryer to dry the parts quickly before also), and then re-lube and re-oil the reel. I use Penn Grease, Quantum Hot Sauce Oil (which I cannot find anymore) and Cal's Universal Reel and Star Drag Grease for the drag washers. I also break the reels down 3-4 times a year during prime fishing (not completely) and just re-lube, re-oil and clean few parts that are easy to access to keep them buttery smooth.

And like Neumie, I might knock back a cold feller while I do it.

One guy I saw uses an old egg carton to keep his parts in order while he does it. I have done this with my reels for so long that I don't need to put them in order as I take them off; I know where they go and what order they go in. Of course, the exploded views that came with the reels, or that are online, are helpful if you mess up there.
I also use those exploded views to find/order replacement parts by part number. I have replaced all the bearings with Boca Orange Seals, and I have had to replace inner tubes, anti-reverse clutch bearings, and some of the little screws from my earlier days when I stripped them using the wrong size Phillips head.

I also recommend that you use a towel or an old piece of carpet on your desk or table while you work (preferably a white towel for visibility). If small parts fall, they will bounce all over the place if they hit a hard surface; a towel will let them land softly, and you can find them again. I buy a bunch of cheap white hand towels at Walmart and use them for dish towels, reel cleaning towels and fishing towels (I put a tarp grommet through them and connect them to my crate or body using a carabiner and small piece of bungee).
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By Neumie
#2289944
Drifting Yak wrote:And as for Neumie's pic - Looks like a Laser AH (American Hero) bait caster by Lew's. These are good little reels. Usually $59 so a ton of value there.

These are the inshore models; a BB2 & LFS. I picked up the LFS at Cabelas Bargain Cave (RIP Bargain Cave) for $75.

shoffer wrote:I do a complete breakdown once a year (usually in the winter), put all parts in an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner with hot water and some jewelry cleaning solution, and run it for 720 seconds.

I've thought about getting one of these as well. Just haven't pulled the trigger.

Glad I'm not the only one who does complete teardowns.
User avatar
By shoffer
#2289950
Neumie wrote:I've thought about getting one of these as well. Just haven't pulled the trigger.


20 (okay 37) bucks on Amazon. Totally worth it. Your reels will shine and sparkle like they are brand Neu-mie!
Last edited by shoffer on Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By Neumie
#2289953
shoffer wrote:
Neumie wrote:I've thought about getting one of these as well. Just haven't pulled the trigger.


20 bucks on Amazon. Totally worth it. Your reels will shine and sparkle like they are brand Neu-mie!

Which model do you have?
By Longliner
#2289963
That Lucas oil additive is good stuff for engines, I use a gallon in my 2015 international prostar in every service, but never thought of using in reels . I do use commercial grade lithium grease made for big rigs for my reels but its overkill and not needed but Its plentiful and I have access to lots of it. Doesn't seem to do any better or worse. Good thread!!
#2289966
I have a couple of "nicer" freshwater reels that I clean about every 3 or 4 years. The rest are cheaper reels that I usually buy on sale and usually upgrade them with new "on sale' cheapies before they need cleaning and then I usually donate the old ones to my kids or friends and such.
My saltwater gear I have a little more invested in (even though I still buy them on sale because I'm a cheap SOB) so I take better care of them since the saltwater hates metal (or maybe it's the other way around). I always spray them with a solution of salt terminator before every trip to the coast. I also pour bottled water over them at the end of each day while there. When I get home I put them all in a 5 gallon bucket, put the garden hose in the bottom, turn the water on and let it run for about 30 min. Then I dump the water and fill with a solution of salt terminator and let sit for an hour. I then dump that and repeat the garden hose rinse process again. After that I let them dry and then disassemble/clean/lube them 1 or 2 at time over the next few months as I find time. I've been doing the same 12 reels (2 Okumas and 10 Cabelas Salt Strikers) this way for the last 10 years with no issues. It's time consuming but it gives me something to do when I can't go fishing.
I also spray anything metal that goes to the coast with me with the salt terminator and rinse, including the under carriage of my truck. Its kept everything nice and rust free.
User avatar
By shoffer
#2289967
Neumie wrote:Which model do you have?


Sorry, I misspoke. 37 bucks. It is Fosman Ultrasonic Cleaner, Professional Jewelry Polisher with Digital Timer (18 Preset Cycle, 600 Milliliter Stainless Steel Tank) for Eye Glasses, Watches, Earrings, Ring and More
User avatar
By JW FunGuy
#2289982
Boy I didn’t realize what a slacker I am!
My freshwater reels might get cleaned and lubed evry other year unles I happen to dunk them in the water then I will rinse, let dry and lube them when I get back. And those are usually only fly reels so pretty simple.
My saltwater reels I just rinse off and then dunk them in a bucket of fresh water, let dry and lube just the external moving parts (I use bicycle lube because that’s what I have handy) Once a year I will open them up to check the gears, clean and lube. I don’t have a bait caster so nothing complicated.
I have only been fishing the salt for a year so this may come back to bite me! I have also never heard of “salt eliminator” or whatever the sprays were y’all mentioned but I am going to check that out.
FYI, I am also using a probably 20 year old Cabela’s Sterling Pro-5 3000 reel that I kind of would not mind dying so I can have an excuse to get a new one! :D
Once again thanks for all the tips!
#2289984
JW FunGuy wrote:Boy I didn’t realize what a slacker I am!
My freshwater reels might get cleaned and lubed evry other year unles I happen to dunk them in the water then I will rinse, let dry and lube them when I get back. And those are usually only fly reels so pretty simple.
My saltwater reels I just rinse off and then dunk them in a bucket of fresh water, let dry and lube just the external moving parts (I use bicycle lube because that’s what I have handy) Once a year I will open them up to check the gears, clean and lube. I don’t have a bait caster so nothing complicated.
I have only been fishing the salt for a year so this may come back to bite me! I have also never heard of “salt eliminator” or whatever the sprays were y’all mentioned but I am going to check that out.
FYI, I am also using a probably 20 year old Cabela’s Sterling Pro-5 3000 reel that I kind of would not mind dying so I can have an excuse to get a new one! :D
Once again thanks for all the tips!


here ya go

https://www.amazon.com/CRC-SX128-Termin ... way&sr=8-2

I bought 2 gallons last year on clearance at Academy for 12 bucks apiece and you mix it with water so a little goes a long ways. I should be set for a few years with the 2 gallons I have now.
#2290015
JW FunGuy wrote:Thanks for that!
I see you say the “salt terminator “ and I see also the “corrosionX” . What’s y’all’s thoughts on the two?
I've never personally used corrosionx so I can't really make a comparison of the two. I'm also certainly not anywhere close to being a chemist so not even sure how the salt terminator actually works. I just know it does.

Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
#2290232
Neumie's post is spot on... if it's dunked for sure a total take down. Other wise the reel goes down hard in the middle of a trip about 6 months later.

My kits looks a lot like yours except I use denatured alcohol instead of dawn. I'm mainly looking to remove salt and water and not grease or oil. I think that's splitting hairs though..

good post.. I like it.
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By Angler
#2290244
I’m curious what everyone’s after fishing reel ritual’s are like. I carry a couple milk jugs of fresh water on every outing which is used to drench reels, rod guides, or anything metal on my yak, knives, pliers, seat clips, etc. immediately before trip home. Then everything gets laid out and throughly hosed or rinsed and mostly left to dry out after shaking it off real well. My stuff seems to last, but maybe some of the rinsing is overkill. Part of it is that I don’t want my storage getting all smelly cuz of some microscopic sea stuff dying in my equipment ;)


Otherwise, my reel maintenance is very similar process for cleaning which I tend to do annually unless I dunk in Saltwater too. I’ve heard old bushings are more tolerant to dunking than bearings, but I’d still break it down anyway. Just the way I roll.

3 in 1 / Rem Oil (really good for knives too!)

plus white lithium grease and Corrosion-X

I am still using reels I bought in College such as various Penn Jigmaster/Squider level winds, and my Shimano Calcutta’s are older than my kids and still work like a Lab for me after all these years. IMO a great reel will outlast you if you take care of it.
User avatar
By Chubs
#2290281
My approach is to leave them alone unless they give me a reason to open them up. Otherwise I just give them reel oil on the bearings that I can access.

If I do have a need to open it (generally at time of reel failure), then I try a soak of all components in WD-40 for a few days (dissolves oil, grease, even rust it seems, and knocks out grime/ sand/ salt attached), and a scrub of all plastic parts with soap and bristle brush/ Q-Tip. replace frozen bearings if it's economical (e.g. it's not cheaper to just buy a new reel - boca bearings are expensive!). Re lube and reassemble till it breaks again or fails catastrophically.

As a matter of fact - my Shimano Sienna that I've had for probably 4 years now, which I surf fish with - was finally starting the seize up. I'd dunked it in the salt for an extended time about 2 months ago when my kayak tipped upside-down.
I didn't do anything about it and the reel has been getting worse and worse (not smooth at all when cranking). Note it's been dunked multiple times while surf fishing but a fresh water hose off was all it needed.

I figured it's finally a goner since it was a $60 reel when I bought it ($30 replace now it looks like!!!).

I opened it up though just to see if I can salvage it, and maybe replace the bearings. I'm seeing rust on some random parts, but the bearings are actually SST sealed type. I did find the culprit bad bearing though. I was going to replace it with maybe a boca bearing but deiced to use my old trick of WD-40 soak 1st.

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Would you believe that the bearing is rolling smooth as butter again?!?! I just tested it!

I have to say I'm ultimately impressed with the Shimano Sienna's. Say what you will about cheap reels, but this one just seems to keep going and going, and it's partial plastic construction makes it light weight. They cheaped out on a few parts, but honestly they used real quality sealed bearings, and didn't add superfluous bearings it doesn't need. For example, the handle and Bail Roller are just Teflon bushings, cheap but an expensive reel would have used bearings which are just 1 more part to fail. The rust is a bit concerning but hell, I bet I get at least another 3 years out of this thing.

Shoffer, I really like the idea of that sonic cleaner vs my above process, I'll have to try it out especially seeing how cheap that thing is.
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By crusher
#2290305
https://tacklehut.com/
I don't work for them, don't get recognition from them, don't get anything from them except perfectly cleaned and lubed reels within 2-3 days, for cheaper and faster turnaround than all the other shops or people claiming to service reels.
On the north side of Houston - not convenient for me, but worth every penny. When 3 or 4 of my 5 or 6 reels are nasty, I make the trip during a "long lunch" from work. I even think Yaklash found them nice following my original post when I found them a few years ago. Check this post:
REEL CLEANING - TACKLE HUT here on TKF. http://www.texaskayakfisherman.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=245777&p=2253206&hilit=tackle+hut#p2252215

All that said, IF i thought I could reassemble a reel broken down beyond just a spool and handle removal, I would like to do it myself. All respect goes to Neumie and others that do it themselves.
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By Ron Mc
#2304768
I searched up Josh's thread, because I thought this was a good place to add.
I recently upgraded line rollers for my two 4000/5000 spinning reels.
Shimano and Daiwa both use chromed brass for their line rollers.
On any spinning reel, this one tiny BB does more work than any other.
Image - the brass roller is the reason they need seals in the salt.
Shimano's good grade roller has chromed brass line roller, one ball bearing, nylon sleeve, rubber seals, and packed with lithium grease.
The grease will have a finite life, salt ingress will add green deposits from the brass, and these parts will need rebuilding
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The Japanese, MTCW/Jackson, offer a titanium upgrade, braid-specific only for 30-lb and finer, and designed to drop the braid into the roller groove quicker.
Imagethough it looks anodized, the finish is simply titanium heat-tint
They also don't need seals, replace them instead with 2 ball bearings, and they spin like a bicycle wheel.
They don't need grease, and you can simply keep them oiled with a hydrophobic-filming bearing oil like McLube One Drop.
The titanium roller is here to stay.
You'll still need to replace the bearings every few years, but no seals to futz with.
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MTCW (MetroTech) builds these parts, and packages some with their trademark.
Jackson is a big-time lure maker with wide distribution, and the part packaged with Jackson trademark is Shimano specific.
https://www.hedgehog-studio.co.jp/produ ... mit=Search
MTCW-packaged parts include versions for Shimano, older Daiwa, and newer Daiwa

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