Ensuring Smooth Sailing: A Guide to Keeping Your Fishing Reel in Top Shape

For avid anglers, the anticipation of a fishing trip doesn’t solely lie in the actual time spent on the water; it begins with the preparation. Choosing the right rods, deciding on the perfect combination of hooks, lures, and weights, and assembling a backup plan – these aspects make the pre-fishing ritual a hopeful and exciting time. One thing many anglers overlook is the maintenance of the fishing reel itself.

Neglecting this ritual may lead to unwanted surprises like clanking and clattering noises or, worse, a reel that’s “all stove up,” as some might say. Even a well-loved fishing reel eventually craves some tender loving care, specifically in the form of lubrication.

Now, if the thought of unscrewing tiny screws and peeking into the intricate world beneath the reel’s surface makes you uneasy, fear not. Head down to Beach Street in Daytona Beach’s historic downtown, and you’ll discover a local gem – The Fishin’ Hole. This bait shop, a stalwart for 64 years, run by Gene and Lisa Lytwyn for the past 34, is one of the dwindling full-service shops.

Apart from expertly respooling your reel with fresh line, Gene offers a delicate touch for those in need of a bit more attention. Armed with a small bottle of oil, a tube of grease, a rag, and occasionally some mineral spirits, Gene dives into the inner workings of fishing reels with finesse.

For general maintenance, Gene advises unscrewing the drag cap, popping off the spool, handle, and lower cap to access ball bearings and gears. “Grease for the gears and shafts, a drop or two of oil on the rest,” he says. This routine, if performed regularly, keeps the reel in good working order.

However, for issues beyond routine maintenance – perhaps your reel took an unintended dive into sand or saltwater – Gene shares additional wisdom. Removing the retaining ring reveals washers that might need cleaning with mineral spirits if sand or aged grease has infiltrated.

Gene also emphasizes the importance of paying attention to the order of washers during reassembly; a mistake here could affect your drag system’s functionality.

If your reel produces noise under tension, a single ball bearing inside the line roller might be the culprit. A few drops of oil on that bearing could resolve the issue. Gene suggests an annual look-see inside your reel for a touch of oil and grease, especially if you’re a regular angler.

For those uncertain about attempting this at home, Gene is ready to help. Take your reel to The Fishin’ Hole, and for a small fee, Gene will not only get your reel back in top shape but also provide a valuable lesson.

Between these annual check-ups, Gene offers a piece of Captain Obvious advice: “Spray everything off with the water hose after each fishing trip.” This simple act, while not directed inside the reel, removes salt and debris from the exterior, preventing corrosion. And don’t forget to wash the whole rod to ensure the guides and tip are clean.

With a weekend on the horizon, if the weather doesn’t cooperate for a fishing trip, consider a garage lube job for your reel. It’s a small investment of time that pays off when your gear hums smoothly on your next fishing adventure.

Images/Source: NewsJournalOnline

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