Tips For Cleaning Saltwater Fly Reels

Tips For Cleaning Saltwater Fly Reels
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Reels for saltwater fly fishing can last longer if they are cleaned. It is your responsibility as a saltwater angler to ensure that all of your gear is properly maintained and cleaned. The maintenance of your saltwater fly reels is jeopardized because undesired sand, weeds, and other debris stick to your fly fishing rod.

Your finest saltwater fly reels must be properly washed and cleaned in order to maintain them free of any contaminants. Modern reels are definitely made with good design to minimize contamination. 

However, some maintenance is necessary to keep your reel functioning properly. Thus, a few cleaning suggestions for saltwater fly reels will come in useful and enable you to quickly wash your reels. 

Why is it necessary to clean saltwater fly reels?

When fishing in saltwater, it becomes imperative to clean the fly reel. You may wind up with a broken fly reel as a result of the particles and dirt present in seawater. There is a lot of salt in saltwater. Therefore, rust might cause harm to your reel if you neglect its aftercare. 

Cleaning often is not necessary if you fish in freshwater because there is no concern about rusting there. 

Cleaning Saltwater Fly Reels: A Guide

Cleaning Saltwater Fly Reels

Here is a solution to your problem if your reel is really disorganized and you are searching for strategies to clean it.

  1.  Remove the backing and the liner from the reel.
  2. Remove the spool from the reel with care.
  3. Apply a cleaning solution-dipped Q-tip to the reel to remove any remaining debris or grease.
  4. Now, completely wipe away all of the dirt with a cloth.
  5. Using a cloth, thoroughly wipe down the spool.
  6. Now give the spool’s backing and inside a small bit of oil.
  7. Before using such tactics, make sure to read the manufacturer’s warranty since it can be violated that way.
  8. Now insert a fresh backing and secure it to the line using an Albright Knot.

Here’s a brief explanation of how to effortlessly restore a fly reel to its original condition.

Here Are The Top 7 Best Saltwater Fly Reels

Image Product Name Amazon
Fly Fishing Reel, 2+1BB Comfortable Touch Prespool Reel for Saltwater Fishing Fly Fishing Reel, 2+1BB Comfortable Touch Prespool Reel for Saltwater Fishing Check Price
Okuma Tesoro Alumilite Waterproof 13BB Saltwater Spinning Reel, TSR-18000Ha, Black Okuma Tesoro Alumilite Waterproof 13BB Saltwater Spinning Reel, TSR-18000Ha, Black Check Price
Okuma Avenger ABF Graphite Baitfeeder Saltwater Spinning Reel Okuma Avenger ABF Graphite Baitfeeder Saltwater Spinning Reel Check Price
Okuma Solterra SLX High Speed Open Top Frame Lever Drag Saltwater Okuma Solterra SLX High Speed Open Top Frame Lever Drag Saltwater Check Price
Okuma Cedros Saltwater Spinning Reel Okuma Cedros Saltwater Spinning Reel Check Price
Okuma Salina Litecast Aluminum 7BB Saltwater Spinning Reel Okuma Salina Litecast Aluminum 7BB Saltwater Spinning Reel Check Price
Shimano Spheros SW 3000 4000 Saltwater Spinning Reel Shimano Spheros SW 3000 4000 Saltwater Spinning Reel Check Price

Maintenance of Fly Reels

Cleaning fly reels may be a little difficult, as we’ve discovered. Therefore, you may take a few measures to guarantee that the flying reels require as little cleaning as possible to maintain their superb condition. The following tips are helpful for maintaining a fly reel.

Handle Reel with Care

When it comes to first handling, the reels need to be treated very carefully. Don’t drag it into the sand or knock it on the rocks either. as it might shatter the frame. Additionally, be careful to shield it from any mist from the boat you are traveling in. 

Rinse After Each Use

Now, let’s concentrate on this. Whether you are fishing in freshwater or saltwater, always give your reels a thorough cleaning with water. Cleaning it with water is generally regarded as best practice to prevent contamination or dirt buildup. It will just take a few minutes.

Don’t Put Pressure on the Fly Reel

It is not recommended to rinse your reel with a high-pressure hose or sprayer. It can do more harm than you could ever imagine. This is because, instead of cleaning or washing the reel, the pressured water may actually drive the grit into it. 

How can the Saltwater fly reel be fixed?

Following are some instructions for repairing a saltwater fly reel that you may have broken while fishing.

Step 1: Take Out The Reel From The Rod.

Take the reel to your work area after removing it from the rod. You will have plenty of room to work on it and be able to thoroughly navigate through the problem if you do this. As soon as the reel comes free from the rod, remove the bottom holding nut and continue to unscrew it. 

Step 2: Take Care while Cleaning the Saltwater Fly Reel

Prior to delving deeper into the internal workings of the reel, clear away any dirt or contamination you find on it. Gently wipe away the filth particles using a soft cloth, and if the grease is very tenacious, apply a soap solution to remove it. 

Step 3: Take Off the Spindle From the Reel

It’s time to remove the reel’s spindle now. It is recommended that you read the handbook before removing the spindle because different reels operate differently. Usually, you just need to unlock the spindle and slide it out.

Step 4: Clear the internal reel gears.

It’s time to give the reel’s internal gears a thorough cleaning. The gears inside the reel are easily accessible when the spindle has been properly removed. However, if these gears are twisted or misshapen, they may need to be replaced. The accumulation of dirt and salt on your reel is one of the primary causes of malfunctions. Apply a thin layer of reel lubricant after the reel has been thoroughly cleaned. Your reels are now shielded from saltwater-induced corrosion.

Step 5: Make Your Reel Lubricated

Let’s get the spindle out. Use any excellent reel lubricant and remove any dirt from the ocean.

Step 6: Alter the Handle of the Reel

It’s time to replace the handle on your reel if it has been used a lot. The screw tends to come free after a very busy and extended fishing season, which causes the handle to start to dislocate. Put the new handle in its position and make sure the screws are completely tight.

Aftercare of Saltwater Fly Reel

One of the most crucial chores to do while discussing aftercare is drying the saltwater reel. Using a fresh cloth, fully dry the reel. Subsequently, gently mist the chassis and spool with oil and give it a thorough cleaning. After that, store this reel in a zip-lock bag and close it until you need it again.

Always remember to clean your reel to remove any material that might harm the fly reel after using it in freshwater or saltwater.

After using them in saltwater, fishing reels of all kinds need to be cleaned. In general, baitcasting reels are very well-liked for saltwater fishing, particularly when bigger species are the focus.


Can I use any soap for cleaning the reel?

Use a mild, non-abrasive soap to avoid damaging the reel’s finish.

How often should I clean my saltwater fly reel?

Clean the reel after every saltwater fishing trip and perform a more thorough cleaning at least once a month.

Can I use regular oil for lubricating the reel?

Use a reel oil specifically designed for fishing reels to ensure proper lubrication.


So, is maintaining the saltwater fly reel really that hard? It seems that this article covered a variety of methods for cleaning saltwater fly reels. Moreover, this post will help you if you have inadvertently destroyed your fly reel by providing you with the necessary knowledge on how to repair a saltwater fly reel.

Depending on how well you take care of them, fly fishing, baitcasting, and spinning reels all require the least amount of maintenance. Not only will regular maintenance save you money and effort, but it will ensure that you are always prepared to fish throughout the year without having to constantly fix your reels. 

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