Cleaning Baitcaster reels after saltwater fishing: Complete guide

Saltwater fishing is a common term among fishermen because fish fished from the sea are more valuable than local fish. But saltwater fishing is totally different. The best way to take care of your fishing reel is to clean it after every fishing trip in saltwater.

The presence of salt in the water makes it corrosive. So, saltwater can rust or corrode the fishing reel quickly if you do not take much care of it.

In general, we can clean the fishing reels after every five trips. This cleaning frequency is appropriate for keeping the fishing reel good for a long time.

What happens when you do not clean your reel after saltwater fishing?

Saltwater fishing is the most common fishing experience among professional fishermen. It is also popular with fancy people who like to catch fish from the river or sea by riding on a boat with their fishing reel.

Cleaning a fishing reel is essential after using it for saltwater fishing. Several problems can happen if you do not clean the reel after every time you fish in saltwater.

  1. Rust or corrosion is the most important one.
  2. Retrieving the line may be difficult. The damaged fishing reel will restrict the task.
  3. You can not throw the hook of your fishing line too far. The rust on the fishing reel will make the work more complex.
  4. Saltwater makes fighting fish more difficult. It damages the fishing reel gradually if you do not clean it.

Does saltwater cause rust on a fishing reel?

Yes, because salt water is an abrasive material. When it enters the fishing reel, it removes the reel’s smoothness. The rust on the reel also affects the drag system and makes the fishing reel’s drag problematic. Finally, it may cut off the line by damaging the drag system. So, you can easily understand how necessary it is to clean the fishing reel after using it for saltwater fishing.

How to clean a Baitcaster reel after saltwater fishing?

A baitcasting reel is a popular fishing reel with a different appearance that sits on the top of the fishing rod. Here, the spool is parallel to the rod, which makes the reel unusual. The line of the bait caster fishing reel comes off the spool directly into the line of the rod. So, it provides a better casting distance to hunt more fish from a faraway distance. Now we are going to discuss cleaning a fishing reel after saltwater fishing. To do this, you need to disassemble the Baitcaster reel first.

Does saltwater cause rust on a fishing reel

Essential items you need:

  1. A toothbrush or a tiny scrubber to clean the reel
  2. A set of screwdrivers to remove the reel
  3. A toothpick to reach into the tiny places
  4. A wrench
  5. Cotton swabs
  6. Reel oil
  7. High-grade cleaning agent

The process of cleaning Baitcaster reels after saltwater fishing:

Rinse the fishing reel: Take a toothbrush, cotton swabs, toothpicks, and water and start cleaning. You should remove the handle and spool while cleaning the interior of the Baitcaster reel.

Take clear water to rinse your fishing reel. Be careful about the water, and it should be clean and clear. Apply less water force to the inner part of the reel. It will remove the sand and salt particles from the inner compartment quickly.

Using soap or other cleaners removes the dirt from the fishing reel. But, they are harmful and break down the fishing reel’s grease. So, using clean water is mainly recommended to wash a fishing reel.

Wipe the reel: After rinsing, you will take a soft cloth and wipe your fishing reel. Drying the reel off and wiping it off will remove the water and prevent the reel from rusting or corrosion.

Applying lubricant: Lubricating is one of the most important steps after fishing in saltwater with your Baitcaster reel. The lubricant removes the rust from the reel and gives a smooth performance. Remove surplus oil when lubricating is complete.

Spray-on protective coating: The fishing reel’s protective coating is extra care for the reel, which will keep its metal parts safe. Take a coating spray and apply it to the reel. It will save the reel from any unwanted harm from moisture or other harmful elements.

Loosen the drag: This task is the last one of cleaning your fishing reel. After the cleaning is complete, loosen the drag on your reel. This task prepares your reel for the next catch.


What will happen if I submerge the reel in the water?

Your reel should be dry at all times, even after cleaning. But, if you sink your reel into the water for a long time, it may rust your reel quickly. So, you should keep your reel away from water.

How to prevent dirt from the Baitcaster reel?

Water, salt, sand, or other subtle dirt may enter the drag system. But, if you tighten the drag properly, it will be safe during the cleaning process. Crank the drag knob clockwise to check if the drag is tight. You will do it until you can feel the drag discs are entirely squeezed together

Can I oil the anti-reverse bearing of a Baitcaster reel?

Applying oil on the anti-reverse bearing of a baitcasting reel is not admirable. But, if the bearing works slower because of rusting, you have another option to solve the problem. You have to take the bearing to an expert and give it to him to repair.

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