How do you clean your reel? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: How do you clean your reel?

07-07-2005, 10:09 PM
I have a battenkill large arbor.

I was going to take it completely apart... Wash each part. Use some WD-40 on the correct parts...

Do I have the right approach?

This reel has been gunked up using it in the saltwater...

07-08-2005, 12:08 PM
I clean mine with a hose after each use. If I'm not planning on using it again for a few days, I'll pull the spool and clean behind it too. My reel has a very open design so that pretty much takes care of cleaning it!

07-08-2005, 01:01 PM
i do wash my equipment regularly after fishing except this one reel is really old and all gunked up. the drag really isn't working well so i had to take apart then entire real last night...

i was just wondering if WD-40 was a bad or good idea...

07-08-2005, 01:17 PM
I don't use it but don't see the harm in it provided you put grease where grease goes and oil where oil goes. WD40 would qualify as oil, not grease. I prefer a tube of reel grease and reel oil, using the oil in the handle spindle, etc - and the grease on the main spool shaft, click pawls, bearings, etc.

For hard working reels I've used lithium grease in place of reel grease with great results but it's kind of nasty on clothing or in the pack wit spare spools.

I would bring it to an Orvis shop or call one that has a knowledgeable fly guy on staff. Each reel often has a slightly different recomendation based on drag disc materials and design, worth knowing if you own the reel.

07-12-2005, 07:31 PM
Christopher, WD-40 would be OK to loosen up the nasty stuff...followed by a good wiping and then a bath in warm, soapy water with a good rinse. Let it air dry afterward and then use Penn reel oil or equivalent to lubricate the spindle only. WD-40 is not a very good doesn't last and attracts dirt...which would only add to the problem. It's a decent "solvent" though. :smokin:

Hope this helps!


07-13-2005, 10:02 PM
Soaking works good with wiped down and soaked again. I finish it off with some reel lube.

07-14-2005, 04:14 PM
how gunked up is it? You might want to soak the drag gear/clutch in some wd-40 and them give it some light oil (pen lube or tri flow). Remember: too much oil is worse than no oil.
In the future, a quick rinse under warm water after fishing should be fine. A drop of oil (on the clutch mechanism and spindle bushing) a couple of times a season. Don't put oil on the drag discs. I don't think I would oil the gear teeth, but I would put a half drop on the gear bushings. It's been a while since I opened up a Battenkill LA, so if some of this doesn't sound right....

07-15-2005, 08:55 AM
I know that this is stating the obvious, but if you start spaying WD-40 on the reel you want to take the line and backing off first. I haven't tried it, but I'd bet it would ruin the line...