Gulf Coast Guide Reports Logo


Fishing Reports By State
Submit Reports
Texas Louisiana Mississippi Alabama Florida
Texas Bays
Fishing Maps

Fish Finder Maps

Rod And Reel Care

Article by:

Flats Lady Charters & Angler's Repair

Captain Thom Smith
Brandenton, Fl




In the years gone by, not much thought was given to your rods and reels when the day of fishing was over.  Yes, you may have hit them with a spritz of water from the garden hose, then put them in the garage or in a corner somewhere until the next time you used them. If you did have an urge to lube them, some reels came with a little grease port on the side of the reel that you could take off and pack as much grease into the reel as you wanted.  The strange thing about doing that is it didn’t seem to mess up the ability of the reel to function.

Looking back, I must say the old reels were pretty “clunky”, clunky but sturdy.  Most were built on a strong frame with gears made from stainless steel and brass, metals that could stand up to the wear and tear. Even to this day, we still see reels come into my shop that belonged to Dad and Grandad.  Some are still in good condition and with a clean and lube, can be put back into service as a spare or backup in a just “in case” situation.

The reels that are on the market today could not hold up to the abuse and neglect that some of the old reels were subjected to.  Today’s fishing reels are far more advanced in design and engineering that provides smoothness, balance, strength in a light-weight reel that you can fish all day without wearing yourself out.  Some of the new features on reels are really good ideas, such as the longer shallow spools that allows the angler to make longer casts.  Also, some manufacturers supply an extra spool when you purchase the new reel.  On the old style deep spools, you had to carry an extra 100 yards of line that is only being used as filter to get the line up to the lip of the spool.

One of the best ideas to come along is the “Instant Anti-reverse”.  Each manufacturer may call it something different, like “Super Stopper” or “Infinite Anti-Reverse”, but it all boils down to, they are all basically the same.  The benefit being that on a hook set, there is no slop.  The hookup is instant!  The instant anti-reverse is a little unit that consists of some elongated bearings set inside of it.  It slips over the main shaft and pinion and is held in place by screws.  A sleeve fits down between the roller bearings and the pinion and when the anti-reverse is activated, the reel cannot back up.  There are still a lot of the old style “dog and ratchet” style anti-reverses available on a variety of reels and some are quality reels, but they do have some of that slop I mentioned. Some reel manufacturers like to brag that their reels have multiple ball bearings, sometimes up to 14 ball bearings in the reel.  I believe that in some cases that can lead to multiple problems.  Most reels can be smooth and balanced with as little as three ball bearings in them and can be less expensive to care for or have serviced. 

Care of your rods and reels is a must to protect your investment, if you plan to use them for more than a short time. After a day on the water, I will wash the salt off of my rods and reels with a light spray from the garden hose.  Try not to blast the reels with a hard stream of water.  It could drive the salt into the reel.  Afterwards, I use a towel or rag to dry them off.  If I’m using them the next day, I usually don’t lube them.  If they are going to sit for a few days, I will use some quality lube like CRC, Boesheild or Corosion X to lube handles and movable parts on the reel, to be sure they still move the next time out.

One thing I would caution doing is getting overspray on the line.  It may have some effect on mono or it could be a turnoff to some fish.  Always back off on your drag to release pressure on the washers, so the next time you want to use that drag, it’s not fused together or seized up when you really need it.  Rods are easy.  Just a shot of lube on each guide can help ward off salt buildup or rust.  For those that want to try or can do maintenance on their own reels, I would recommend first saving the parts schematic that usually comes in the box with the reel.  This can save you a headache when ordering parts or maybe just getting the reel back together.  I would also recommend you look at the schematic before you tackle the job to decide if you can do the job or if it needs to be done by a professional.  I can’t tell you how many people bring us a coffee can or ziplock bag full of parts that have been sitting for months or years after they realized they couldn’t put it back together.  Reel repair is not Rocket Science, but it can be a little difficult, especially for some of the newer, more complicated reels on the market today. 


©2005 Gulf Coast Guide Reports About UsDisclaimer