Do You Need to Oil Spinning Reels? A Step-By-Step Guide

A good spinning reel could last you for decades if it was maintained properly. However, without proper maintenance, your fishing reel will be prone to various issues that will hinder your performance and cause you to lose your catch.

A significant part of maintaining any kind of reel is oiling it on a regular basis.

So, do you need to oil spinning reels? You do need to oil spinning reels in order to keep them functioning properly. That is because the oil will reduce the friction inside the reel and prevent it from heating up. Some oils also have anti-corrosion qualities which will help protect the reel from rusting and make it last longer.

Continue reading to learn more about why you should oil spinning reels and how to oil your spinning reel properly.

Do You Need to Oil Spinning Reels?

a photo of an angler using a functional spinning reel to show you do need to oil spinning reels

Whether you’re a professional angler or simply a seasonal angler, you need to maintain your spinning reel by oiling it.

Since most fishing reels are made of metal, they are susceptible to malfunctioning as they frequently come into contact with sand, dirt, or saltwater. 

In addition to that, using your fishing reel for a long time will eventually cause it to become fragile or rusty.

That’s why it’s essential to maintain fishing reels by oiling them on a regular basis, as this will help keep them functioning properly and make them last longer without any rust.

With proper maintenance and regular oiling, a high-quality reel could last up to 10-12 years. Learn more about how to pick a spinning reel here. You can also check out my guide to the best ultralight spinning reels here if you want something high-quality that won’t break the bank.

How Often Should You Oil Spinning Reels?

Generally, you should oil spinning reels every 5 to 7 months. However, the frequency depends on various factors, such as the material that the reel is made of, the environment where you’re fishing in, and the frequency at which using the reel.

If you fish in grassy regions, you should oil your reel more often, every 2 to 3 months. Meanwhile, if you’re fishing in saltwater, you should oil your reel after every trip, as saltwater makes the reel more prone to corrosion.

If you’re a frequent fisher, you should oil your reel at least once a month. Meanwhile, if you’re a seasonal fisher or like fishing on your vacation, you can oil your reel less frequently, like once a year.

If you are going to store your fishing reel for an extended period of time, you need to oil it completely first, especially if you’re storing it during wintertime.

How To Oil A Fishing Reel? 

Oiling your fishing reel won’t be so hard as long as you know how to do it properly. So, here is a brief step-by-step guide on how to properly oil a fishing reel:

  1. Set up your workspace in a well-lit area. Make sure to place a clean towel over a solid, smooth surface where you’ll be working.
  2. Start by gently opening the bail, then wash the bail connection point and line roller by gently scrubbing them using an old toothbrush or a bristle brush dipped in a cleaning solution.
  3. After you’re done washing, wipe the bail connection point and line roller clean and leave them to dry completely.
  4. Next, apply a small amount of reel oil to the bail connection points. Make sure to open and shut the bail several times during this step to ensure the reel is operating in oil.
  5. Disconnect and detach the drag knob and the spool from the fishing reel, then use a cleaning solution to clean them along with any other visible surfaces on the reel. Make sure to wipe away any debris, residue, or excess oil.
  6. After that, add a few drops of reel oil to the shaft and gears before reattaching the drag knob and the spool to the fishing reel.
  7. Disconnect and detach the reel body cap and handle, then use a cotton swab to clean the bearings to eliminate any dirt. Finally, apply a few drops of reel oil to the handle’s bearings and joints.
  8. You can also apply reel oil to the whole body of the fishing reel to add an additional layer of protection and lower the risks of rust.

If you need something more visual, check out this YouTube video on how to oil a spinning reel:

You can also check out my guide to the best budget spinning reels here.

Related Questions

What Kind of Oil Can You Use on Your Spinning Reel? 

The kind of oil you can use on your spinning reel is any kind of oil that’s specially manufactured for use on fishing reels. That is because this kind of oil will help clean the line and protect it from rusting. Avoid using vegetable oils or mineral oils as these could cause more damage to the reel.

What Are the Qualities of a Good Fishing Reel Oil?

The qualities of a good fishing reel oil include high protection against rust and corrosion, water resistance, and an easy-application method to reach all the little parts inside the reel. It should also be suitable for use on all kinds of fishing reels and on other parts of your rod.

 Is WD40 Good for Fishing Reels?  

WD-40 is not good for fishing reels and should never be used to grease a reel. That is because WD-40 acts as a degreaser, meaning it dissolves grease and oil. This will cause the friction inside the reel to increase, leading to many issues with the reel’s performance.

What are the Effects of Corrosion on Fishing Reels?

The effects of corrosion on fishing reels are negative as corrosion will cause the reel to become stiff which will hinder the performance of the angler when casting or retrieving. In order to protect the reel from corrosion and keep it in a good condition, it’s important to oil it regularly and apply a coat of grease

Can You Clean Your Fishing Reel By Soaking It in Water?

You cannot clean your fishing reel by soaking it in water. Exposing the reel to high water pressure might damage the inner parts of the reel and make it more prone to rusting. It will be safer to clean the reel by taking it apart, then gently wiping each part with a soft cloth and a special cleansing solution.

Helpful Resources

Fishing Reel Maintenance

Check out the best Fishing reels For The Money

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