How Do I Fix a Fishing Reel

How do I fix a fishing reel? Under ideal circumstances, you don't. There is such a wide array of fishing reel types that difficult to know what to do. If you're into expensive or custom fishing reels, your best bet is to take the broken reel to a professional repair shop. If you're using a cheaper fishing reel some home repair and proper cleaning can usually help resolve most problems.

Fishing Reel Maintenance
To avoid having a broken reel, you need to provide proper care for your entire fishing pole. Saltwater fishing reels are particularly susceptible to damage because of the effects the salt can have on the equipment. This means your fishing rod, including the reel, should be rinsed with freshwater after every use. Every type of reel should also have all moving parts, except the line, lubricated after each use. Use line conditioner on the line to help lubricate and preserve it.

Fishing Reel Repair
There are a few types of easy repairs even the greenest novice can perform on a broken fishing reel. However, the more complicated the problem, the more likely you need to take the reel to a repair shop. Be aware that trying to repair a damaged fishing reel yourself may void any warranty on the reel.

  • Loose handle. A loose reel handle can be fixed with just a screwdriver. Depending on the type of screw used, you may need a Philips head or slotted screwdriver. Gently tighten the screw that attaches the handle to your reel. This should help fix a loose or wobbling handle. Be careful not to tighten the screw so much that you strip it.
  • Slow gears. Slow gears on your fishing reel are usually caused by a build-up of dirt. Cleaning the gears can often solve this problem. Depending on the type of reel you're using, you'll probably have to remove some screws and the reel spindle to reach the gears. Wipe the gears down with a soft cloth and warm water to clean them. Use a little reel lubricant to help grease the gears for better results. If any of the gears are chipped or broken, it's best to take the reel to a repair shop.
  • Sticking spool. A sticking spool on your fishing reel is usually due to a dirty spool. Remove any fishing line from the reel. Unscrew the screws that hold the spool in place. Remove the spool from the reel. Clean the spool with a soft cloth and warm water. Pay close attention to the inside of the spool, since this is where dirt tends to build-up. If the spool is dented or scratched, you may want to replace it. Just buy a new spool that matches the old one. Place the clean or new spool onto the reel and screw into place. 
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