Looking After Your Reels


Surf fishing has to been one of the most exciting forms of fishing around as we are surrounded by many natural elements that can change an exciting fishing trip to a very disappointing and very frustrating fishing trip.

Weather will always change, and as fishermen we have to learn to adapt to change in weather patterns and test our skills - but there is nothing more disappointing than fishing equipment that has failed due to a lack of simple maintenance.

I think on a personal level, maintenance to my Shimano reels are extremely important due to so many moving parts that can fail on you when fighting a trophy size fish. Before I go fishing I tend to spend some time doing some visual pre inspections, but also having a  feeling that you have a smooth drag system and check that all rotating mechanical parts are well lubricated and bearings and gears are not feeling and sounding rough.

When returning from a fishing outing you should spend a few minutes on the very basic maintenance to prevent future problems with your reels which will give you greater life out of them. I have the basic tools needed to maintain my fishing reels after a good session. I use a soft wet cloth to wipe down my reels, removing all the salts & moisture and sand. You should never use a hose pipe or high pressure water as the water will find its way into the reels even the most well sealed reels will be affected which can even force sand and salt into your mechanical gears and bearings.

Reel maintenance

My next step is to dry the reel with a soft cotton cloth and start removing the spool and handle for a good general clean up by using an old soft tooth brush and fresh warm water to remove salt and dirt build up as much as old grease.

Reel cleaning

A few ear buds help for more of the finer work that is needed around bearing, seals and other moving components. Before reassembling the reel, give all your components a few drops of Shimano Bantam reel oil - keeping all mechanical moving parts well lubricated and corrosion free and to remember to slacken off your drag systems when storing it away to prevent your drag washers from warping and sticking which causes major problems and disappointment when fishing.

All the best,
Justin Alborough