Why Does Your Baitcasting Reel Squeak? And How to Fix It?

If you possess a baitcasting reel, you will undoubtedly have some issues with it no matter how long you’ve been fishing. These issues will have a negative impact on your fishing performance, and you will miss out on many opportunities to land a fish.

One of the most common issues anglers face with their baitcaster is hearing a squeaking noise when reeling. It’s important to know the reason behind that noise to be able to fix it.

So, why does your baitcasting reel squeak? Your baitcasting reel squeaks because the reel’s brakes are too dry, which causes them to grind on the interior surface. The friction from the grinding will lead to the squeaking noise, which often occurs while actively using the reel. To fix the issue, you need to oil the reel regularly.

Keep on reading to explore more about why your baitcaster squeaks and how to solve this issue.

Why Does Your Baitcasting Reel Squeak?

a photo of a baitcasting reel to show why it does squeak

A distinctive squeaky or high-pitched sound that occurs when reeling is one of the most common problems with baitcasting reels.

Most of the time, anglers assume this problem concerns the bearings, but the bearings aren’t the cause. In fact, when bearings go bad, they don’t really make a squeaky but rather an internal, rough clicking noise. 

Commonly, the squeaking noise occurs when you are actively using the reel and tends to get worse as you continue to use it. 

Noises like that are caused by something rubbing against the surface, and in this case, it’s the reel’s brakes.

Plastic or fiber tabs on rotating brake reels scrape on the inside of the brake ring. If they aren’t oiled, they will rub against a dry surface and create a sound, and the tab ends can even dissolve.

Other Reasons Why Baitcasting Reels Makes Noise

It’s possible that your baitcasting reel is making noise due to an internal issue. Your loud baitcasting reel might be caused by one of the following factors:

  • Bearing issues on the reel: When your baitcasting reel’s ball bearings fail, you may expect it to make a lot of noise. It’s possible that the bearings are either slack or too tight. Whichever the situation may be, the noise is annoying, and it may frighten the fish away, leaving you disappointed every time you go fishing.
  • An unclean fishing reel: Another reason for a loud baitcasting reel is dirt. Some fishermen do not clean their baitcasting reels after fishing, and as a consequence, they acquire too much dirt, causing the inner parts to dry up.
  • An old baitcasting reel: It’s possible that the noise comes from using your baitcasting reel for an extended period of time. Due to higher use, the various pieces have most likely rusted and shrunk in size.

How to Fix a Squeaky Baitcasting Reel?

Implementing these easy tips can help you get the most out of your reels in between repairs:

  • Regularly lubricating your reel will solve the dry reel brake problem. This method eliminates noise caused by the grinding of dry reel brakes. Better still, get them examined and oiled on a regular basis by a specialist.
  • To eliminate any noise caused by ball bearing troubles, check sure the bearings are compatible with your baitcasting reel. Then, ensure that the bearings are oiled on a regular basis.
  • Cleaning the baitcasting reel. Kindly remember to fully cleanse the baitcasting reel with fresh water after each fishing trip. Disconnect the reel once or twice per month and properly wash all parts.
  • Replacing old baitcasting reel. The only method to resolve this issue is to replace your baitcasting reel with a new one. Check out these recommendations for the best baitcasting reels.

How to Lubricate a Baitcasting Reel? 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to lubricating your baitcasting reel to prevent it from drying up or making any noises.

  • Firstly, thoroughly clean your baitcasting reel with a cleaning solution.
  • Open or release the slide or side panel of your baitcaster to gain access to the spool. This will unlock the spool fastening mechanism, allowing you to detach it. 
  • Inspect the part for signs of distress such as scratches, fractures, and excessive wear. 
  • Apply a few drops of reel grease. Then, scrub gently with a bristle brush and let dry. 

The parts of the reel that require regular greasing are: 

  • The bearings that aid the spool in rotating
  • The axis of the spool as it rotates within the driving pinion
  • The friction brake’s metal disc 
  • The level wind (if available), non-spool bearings, and sliding parts 

Keep in mind that you would not want to over-lubricate the reel because this may create friction in the bearings, reducing their performance. 

When the centrifugal force pushes the excess lubricant out of the bearings, it will spread throughout the reel, which will also hinder the performance. 

So, the ideal method is indeed to add a little lubricant but more frequently, at least for the fast-rotating sections — the rest of the parts can function with minimal maintenance. You can check out my complete guide to maintaining and cleaning your reels here.

Related Questions 

Why Is My Baitcasting Reel Making a Noise When Reeling?

Your baitcasting reel is making a noise when reeling because of the brakes. Plastic tabs on all rotational brake reels scrape on the interior of the brake ring. If the brake ring and tabs are not greased, they will scrape against a dry surface. When anything scrapes against a dry surface, it makes a noise.

Why Is My Spinning Reel Making a Clicking Sound?

One reason for the clicking noise in your spinning real is that the brake is not fully set. If your reel has a magnetic brake, then the spool could be hitting the edge or anything on the side of the reel. It’s also possible that the bearing has sand in it, which is causing it to click. 

What’s the Difference Between Baitcasting Reels and Spinning Reels?

The difference between baitcasting reels and spinning reels is the way their spools are designed. Baitcasting reels are designed with a rotating spool while spinning reels are not. It’s usually easier for beginners to use a spinning reel, although baitcasting reels are more efficient.

Helpful Resources

How To Clean Your Reel

Check out the best Fishing reels For The Money

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