How to Clean and Maintain Your Rods and Reels Safely and Properly
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How to Clean and Maintain Your Rods and Reels Safely and Properly

Sep 13, 2022

How to Clean and Maintain Your Rods and Reels Safely and Properly

Fishing is a great sport and can be enjoyed by anyone. However, fishing rods and reels can also be a great source of frustration if not properly cleaned and maintained. This blog will inform anglers and people who use fishing rods and reels in saltwater on how to clean and maintain your rods and reels properly to ensure they remain great for years to come. By following the tips outlined in this blog, you will be able to keep your gear in top condition and avoid any potential problems down the line. Thanks for reading!


How often should you clean your fishing rods and reels?

Fishing is a fun and rewarding activity, but sometimes your gear can fail on you if not taken care of on a frequent basis. You should clean them every time you use them, regardless of the length of the trip. Make sure to dry them properly after each use to prevent rusting. In order to keep your fishing gear in the best shape possible, we've created this list of steps to help you out!


Cleaning Material List: 

  • A clean towel
  • Freshwater source
  • A small bucket
  • An old toothbrush
  • Dish detergent
  • WD-40 or reel butter


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How to Clean Your Reels

An angler's reel is the most important piece of equipment, so you should handle it with special care. The amount of care you pay to the reel throughout the cleaning procedure is determined by the type of water you fish in and how frequently you fish it.

If you fish in freshwater, you should clean your reel every five excursions. If you fish in saltwater, you should clean your reel after each trip. After your trip, you should clean your reel with a mild cleaner, such as dish detergent. It should not be soaked since sufficient moisture might enter the gear system and cause long-term harm.

After everything has been washed, use a little brush to get in between everything and remove any excess muck and filth. If you believe the reel is clean enough, rinse it with low pressure to ensure no water gets into the drag.

To avoid rust, properly rinse the cleaner from the reel and completely dry it. After everything has dried completely, spray the reel with reel oil. You might also use WD40 if you like.


How to Clean Your Rods

Cleaning your rods is an important task that must be done on a regular basis to ensure their long-term safety. First, make sure to check for any damages. If there are any, have repairs done by an experienced tackle shop. Since saltwater produces greater corrosion than freshwater, saltwater fishing rods require a little more care than freshwater ones. Be sure to keep this in mind.


When you return from a saltwater fishing excursion, you should remove any line from the guides and remove the reel from the rod. Warm fresh water and a mild all-purpose cleanser should be used to clean the rod. Make sure to properly rinse them to remove any built-up salt deposits. Check the guidelines as well. If your guides have a lot of build-up on them, it may do a lot of damage to your line and cause it to break. That means you could possibly lose a fish.


Brush the guides clean with a Q-tip or a soft brush dipped in Simple Green or WD-40. Scrub them down with a small wire brush. They rust and corrode fast when exposed to seawater.


Tips on Storing Your Fishing Rods and Reels

There are several helpful tips to keep in mind when storing your expensive fishing gear. Here are some general do's and don'ts to remember:


  • Keep your fishing poles out of direct sunlight. Sure, you may spend all day fishing on a lake or river with your fishing pole, but that doesn't imply it should be exposed to direct sunlight when in storage. Keep your rod out of the sun to extend its life.
  • Maintain the condition of your fishing poles. Many fishing poles contain cork or foam handles, which may readily mold and decay if exposed to enough moisture. Keep your poles clear of the moist, humid parts of your garage.
  • Keep fishing poles away from the ground. If you store fishing poles off the ground, they are less likely to decay, mildew, or be harmed. So place your vertical fishing rod rack or fishing rod holders at least a foot above the garage floor.



Frequently Asked Questions


What are the best cleaning solutions for rods and reels?

To clean your rods and reels properly, use mild soap and warm water. Make sure to dry them off completely before storing them, and if necessary, use a little industrial degreaser to clean the metal parts properly.


How often should I inspect my rods and reels for damage?

It's important to inspect your rods and reel for any damages or cracks on a regular basis, as this can affect the way they function. In addition, it's also important to clean them properly before and after each use.


Should I replace my gear every season?

Depending on the condition of your gear after a long season of fishing, it is important to consider whether you should replace your rods and/or reels to ensure your gear remains strong enough for those long days on the water. Although it's not necessary to replace after each season, with these tips provided to you, you should be able to maintain and care properly for your gear to make it last longer.



Fishing is a popular sport that can be enjoyed by everyone, but it's important to take care of your equipment to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. By cleaning and maintaining your fishing rods and reels properly, you can make sure that you catch plenty of fish! Read through the blog for tips on how to clean and maintain your fishing rods and reels, as well as instructions on storing them safely. Don't wait any longer - start taking care of your gear today!

1 comment

  • Heidi Pyne
    Jul 26, 2023 at 09:33

    Thank you for your blog. I surf fish in salt water and learned how important it is to clean your rod and reel after every use. I use a telescopic pole and had one where one of the pole parts got stuck and would not fold back anymore.


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