How to Clean Corrosion off Fishing Reel

Every sport will need special equipment, and angling is no different. If your equipment is broken or abused, it will not perform properly, leaving you frustrated and without a catch. It is important to know the optimum way to maintain and care for your fishing rods to make sure you get the best results with this important tool. It is especially crucial to know how to clean corrosion off fishing reel. You need to have the knowledge needed to keep your fishing equipment in optimal condition to deliver with maximum efficiency every time.

How to Minimize Saltwater Corrosion in Reels– how to clean corrosion off fishing reel

How to Clean Corrosion off Fishing Reel
Fishing rod & reel, Mahamaya Lake

The following are cleaning items you will need:

  • A plastic line spool
  • Screwdriver
  • Spray metal-solvent
  • Paper towels
  • Big mixing bowl
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Extremely fine steel wool
  • Clean and dry towels
  • Water
  • Any of the following: Reel oil, silicone spray, grease

Step 1

Get any type of reel suffering from corrosion due to saltwater and take out the fishing line into a plastic spool.

Step 2

Utilize a screwdriver and loosen the screws from the side plates on the reel. A spinning reel can be disassembled by unscrewing the drag adjustment so the spool can slide out. Remove all main moving parts and spritz them with a solvent to eliminate any old oil or grease. Make sure you wipe it clean with a paper towel and lay down the parts in the order you removed in so you will be able to put them back together without a hitch.

Step 3

In a mixing bowl, pour a distilled white vinegar solution and put all the reel parts in the bowl, ensuring they are all soaked in the vinegar. Put about a teaspoon of baking soda to the vinegar and mix it until it foams. Let it steep overnight to allow the solution to dissolve the rust and corrosion. 

Step 4

Remove the reel from the mixture and place it flat on a paper towel. The majority of the corrosion on the reel’s metal parts should now be softened and easy to scrape off. Remaining residues can be cleaned off with a paper towel or clean cloth. If there is still some corrosion remaining, apply extremely fine steel wool to get rid of it.

Step 5

Make sure to rinse the reel parts with water and let it dry. Put oil on every reel piece to stop further corrosion. Assemble the reel. 

Step 6

Ensure you follow preventive maintenance by always routinely washing down the fishing reel with fresh water after using it. When it comes to the conventional reel, submerge it in a bucket of fresh water to prevent corrosion. A spinning reel can be rinsed with a water hose or under running water in a faucet. Regularly take the reel apart and put fresh oil or grease on all the moving parts.

How To Clean Your Fishing Rod– how to clean corrosion off fishing reel

How to Clean Corrosion off Fishing Reel

When you ask people how often they clean their fishing rod, the typical answer would be rarely or never. When you maintain your equipment, it will extend its lifespan; thus, you must follow a regular cleaning schedule.

Although it is crucial to clean your gear, you must clean everything right away using the right cleaning materials.

Fishing Rod and Reel Cleaning Materials

Using a bottle of Windex and paper towel rolls is effective when it comes to rod cleaning; you need to gather the right tools and materials.

Before you start the cleaning process, make sure to lay out a clean towel. The following are just some of the things you need to clean your rod and reel effectively:

  • Small screwdrivers
  • Tweezers
  • A box of toothpicks
  • An old toothbrush
  • Small wrench
  • Your preferred rod cleaning products

Some of the most effective fishing rod cleaning products will be Ardent Reel Kleene and Penn Rod and Reel cleaner. You may also opt for the Ardent broad cleaning kits. It is a great product that offers everything you need in one convenient kit. Most experienced anglers have been using this cleaning kit for years.

If you are not interested in purchasing any of these, you can always utilize standard lighter fluid, which effectively breaks down extra grime that has formed on the rod and reel.

Once you have all the cleaning products necessary, you are ready to clean your rod. Make sure to clean up and down the entire blank to ensure there is no excess corrosion buildup in any of the nooks and crannies.

When it comes to your rod, the cleaning process is straightforward. The main goal is to get rid of dirt to reduce the risks that corrode the rod material and cause it to become damaged, brittle, and eventually break.

How To Clean Your Fishing Reel– how to clean corrosion off fishing reel


The most important equipment to an angler is the reel, so you want to apply extra care to this piece. The amount of time and attention you give the reel when you clean it depends on the body of water where you fish and how often you use it.

If you fish in freshwater, it is crucial to clean your reel once after every five uses. If you fish and saltwater conditions, clean your real after every use.

After your trip, you want to spritz your reel with a light cleaner such as those recommended above. Avoid soaking it because excess moisture could get into the system and result in long-term damage.

Once you have applied soap to every area, you can utilize a small brush to get in between tight spaces and get rid of gunk and grime. If you think the reel is thoroughly clean, rinse it with low-pressure water to ensure that you do not get any water stuck into the drag.

Ensure that you have rinsed off the cleaner thoroughly and dried the reel completely to prevent rust formation.

Once everything is nice and dry, you can spritz the reel with a reel oil. When you utilize the ardent Reel Kleene kit, it already comes with a reel oil.

Spool area

A part that is often overlooked is the underside of the pool. During the cleaning process, you will want to loosen the drag knob so you can clean the spool to get rid of rust and corrosion. For optimal results and performance, apply grease to the main shaft inside a spool before replacing it.

It would help if you also did a full-service job on your reel from time to time, meaning you need to take everything apart and clean every piece utilizing small brushes and washing every piece separately.

You really don’t have to do this more than once a year, but it is something that you may want to consider if you have never undertaken it before. Servicing your reel ensures that it is performing optimally and will last you for the long-term.

How To Clean A Saltwater Fishing Rod– how to clean corrosion off fishing reel

Rods for saltwater fishing need a bit more attention than freshwater ones since the saltwater causes more corrosion. It is crucial to remember this.

Each time you return from saltwater fishing adventures, you want to loosen any line from the guides and take off the rod’s real. Wash it thoroughly using warm water and a light all-purpose cleaner.

Always ensure that you are rinsing it thoroughly to make sure there is no buildup of salt deposits. Check your rod’s guide thoroughly. Utilize a small wire brush to scrub this piece. It can rust and corrode rather quickly due to the saltwater.

Cleaning Your Saltwater Reel– how to clean corrosion off fishing reel

How to clean corrosion off fishing reel? Saltwater can cause damage to your reel if you do not apply proper care and maintenance. Even while you are angling, you can start cleaning the rod by spraying the reel down with the freshwater available and wiping it all over.

When you arrive home after a day of saltwater fishing, cut away all the line that was used and loosen the real from the rod to remove it. How to clean corrosion off fishing reel? Wash down the rod using moderate pressure and use reel cleaner like one of the products discussed. Utilize a small brush to get into the nooks and crannies, and make sure to rinse and brush it well, so you are not spreading salt components around the equipment. How to clean corrosion off fishing reel?

After you have scrubbed everything thoroughly with the reel and dried everything. Do not put away the rod and reel for storage unless you’re sure everything is dry

Keeping Your Guides Clean– how to clean corrosion off fishing reel

Fishing rod guides

If you find that your guides have a lot of buildup on them, it can do a number on it, which will result in damage and breakage. Meaning you might lose fish. A buildup of gunk, minerals, and vegetation can happen during fishing, so you want to make sure you get it off.

You can utilize a soft brush, apply a cleaning solution, and brush the entire guides clean. The optimal method is to keep these items as you fish to clean it right after you fish. However, it is also fine if you want to wait until you get home.

Cleaning Your Rod Handle

Cleaning your Rod handle is beneficial for its appearance. However, it is crucial to note that having to deal with a dirty handle could make the rod more difficult to handle when struggling with a larger fish, and if you fish in saltwater conditions. This type of fishing can take its toll on the handle.

When it comes to cleaning the rod handle, the optimal method is to apply some rubbing alcohol, scrubbing it, and wiping it down. Follow these steps until everything is sparkly clean.

Why It’s Important to Clean Your Reel– how to clean corrosion off fishing reel

How to clean corrosion off fishing reel? Modern type reels are sophisticated equipment. A fishing reel needs to be cleaned right away, or it can break. Avoid using a fishing reel that is dirty and has grit and grime on it, or it’ll get damaged.

A lot of variables will determine how often the fishing reel should be cleaned. Some factors include whether it is being used in freshwater or saltwater and how much dirt or sand it is exposed to. Salty waters are the enemy of your reel. A reel used in saltwater fishing should be cleaned to stop corrosion on the equipment. How to clean corrosion off fishing reel? It would help if you ensured that the bearings, gears, and reel bodies are free of corrosion.

It should be noted that even the ball bearings and gears of the reel that are used in freshwater fishing can get corroded by the water. How to clean corrosion off fishing reel? Corrosion can influence the performance of your real. The process of cleaning removes grease and when you reapply grease to the gears and oil to the ball bearings it will work effectively again. Some types of reels can be cleaned efficiently without the need to disassemble it.

CLEANING SOLVENTS– how to clean corrosion off fishing reel

It is crucial that cleaning solvents is a mild solution so it doesn’t damage the plastic pieces. It should also be able to get rid of the residues. Some solvents such as Ardent checks the boxes of these criteria. Isopropyl alcohol can also be applied if a reel only needs minor cleaning.

You can apply alcohol with a pump spray bottle. After you have spritzed the reel parts with this solution, it is crucial to scrub them down with a toothbrush. Afterward, rinse off everything with water.

Final thoughts

It is crucial to know how to care for and maintain your fishing equipment properly. If this equipment is not working optimally, it puts a damper on the fun and excitement of fishing. Imagine when your equipment breaks in the middle of hauling in fish. It can be a real killjoy. Thus, it is crucial to know important care and maintenance processes, such as how to clean corrosion off the fishing reel. If you invest a few minutes on your reel’s care and maintenance, you are assured that you are well prepared for any angling adventure.