Unlocking the Secrets: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Oil a Fishing Reel

How to Oil a Fishing Reel: A Step-by-Step Guide for Smooth Performance


Fishing reels are an essential piece of equipment for any angler. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced fisherman, properly maintaining and oiling your fishing reel is crucial for its optimal performance and longevity. In this detailed guide, we will walk you through the steps required to efficiently oil your fishing reel like a pro.

Gather Your Tools

Before diving into the process, make sure you have all the necessary tools ready. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Clean cloth or towel
  • Fishing reel oil (specifically designed for reels)
  • Nylon brush with soft bristles (toothbrush can also be used as a substitute)
  • Screwdriver set (if required)

Cleaning the Reel

To ensure effective lubrication of your fishing reel, it’s important to start with a clean surface.

  1. Carefully disassemble: Refer to your manufacturer’s manual or online resources on how to safely open up your specific reel model.
  2. Wipe off debris: Using a clean cloth or towel, gently wipe away any dirt, dust, or residue from both the exterior and interior parts of the reel.

    Note: Be cautious not to use excessive force while cleaning delicate areas such as gears and bearings.

    Selective cleaning: Utilize a nylon brush with soft bristles (or toothbrush) dipped in warm soapy water to target stubborn grime in hard-to-reach areas.

    Note: Avoid immersing your reel in water as it may cause damage to its internal components.

    Dry thoroughly: After cleaning, ensure that all parts are completely dry before proceeding to the next step. This will prevent moisture from affecting the lubrication process.

    Applying Lubricating Oil

    Now that your fishing reel is clean and dry, it’s time to apply oil for smooth operation.

    1. Select the right oil: Choose a high-quality fishing reel oil specifically designed for lubricating reels. Avoid using general-purpose oils or WD-40, as they can attract dirt and reduce performance.
    2. Oiling key components: Using the manufacturer’s recommendations as a guide, apply a small amount of oil on essential areas such as gears, bearings, drag washers, spool shafts, and handle knobs. Ensure even distribution of lubricant while avoiding over-application.

      Note: Be cautious not to get any oil on brake pads or friction surfaces.

      Screw tightening (if necessary): During reassembly of your fishing reel components, check if any screws were loosened during disassembling. If so,+ use an appropriate screwdriver set to carefully tighten them back into place.

      Warning: Do not overtighten screws; this may lead to stripping or damaging threads.

      Maintaining Your Fishing Reel

      To keep enjoying peak performance from your fishing reel:

      • Frequent cleaning: Regularly clean both the exteriors and interiors with gentle wipes using a cloth/towel.
      • Beware of saltwater corrosion: If you fish in saltwater, rinse your reel with freshwater after each use to remove salt and prevent corrosion.

        Note: Be cautious while rinsing; avoid excessive pressure or forcefully spraying water directly into the components.

        Annual servicing: Consider a professional annual service by experienced technicians to ensure optimal performance and longevity of your fishing reel.


      Properly oiling your fishing reel is an essential maintenance task that guarantees its smooth operation on every fishing adventure. By following these step-by-step guidelines, you can be confident in prolonging the life of your reel while experiencing efficient casting, reeling, and overall angling satisfaction. Remember to always refer to manufacturer instructions for any specific recommendations related to your particular model. Happy fishing!