Fluff Chuckin' with Lowell King - Winter Reel Maintenance

WInter maintenance on your reel can keep it problem free all year.

Keeping your fly reel looking good and in top working condition is a fairly simple task that should be done at least seasonally. A quick inspection for sand and other debris should be donefrequently throughout the season.


If you have taken apart a fly reel, you know that there are very few moving parts. Most of today’s quality fly reels have maintenance free sealed bearings and drag systems which makes the process that much easier.


The first step in the cleaning process is to transfer the fly line and backing from the reel spool to a fly line winder / holder. We will discuss fly line care and how to make a simple and inexpensive fly line winder / holder in the next issue.


Next, remove the spool from the housing and place both parts on a clean towel. Inspect the spool and the housing for dirt and debris. Pay particular Remember to put all the bits back!attention to the spindle and other areas that contain grease or oil. Dirt will readily adhere to greasy areas. A cotton swab makes an excellent tool for clearing away debris and old grease.


On disc drag reels make sure that the drag surfaces are clean and free of debris. Even one grain of sand can cause damage.


The spool and housing can be cleaned with water and a mild detergent. An old toothbrush and a soft cloth will help to remove any stubborn grime. Rinse them with clean water and place on a towel to dry thoroughly.


After the spool and housing are dry, reapply any grease or oil that was removed in the cleaning process using lubricants designed specifically for reels.

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