How To Clean a Spinning Reel – 2021 Complete Guide

Keeping a spinning reel clean is not that difficult and is a perfect habit to force yourself into right from the start.

You can do most of it yourself, provided that you stay organized and committed.

A deeper clean is better left to professionals such as tackle shops who will know things such as when parts need replacing, and where to source them from.

Quick Questions Before Starting

Before you get underway with cleaning, consider: 

  • How Difficult is This to Complete?

         This task ranges on a scale of easy to experts only. While you should be able to do most things yourself,            some will be beyond your expertise.

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  • How Long Does it Take to Complete?

          Depending on the type of cleaning required, you will need to set aside from around 10 minutes to an                    hour.

  • How Much Do Materials Cost?

          Cost ranges from $7.76 for individual items up to $36.99 for a complete cleaning kit.

Items Needed For Cleaning

While you can purchase a complete fishing reel cleaning and maintenance kit for up to the $36.99 mentioned above, a list of requirements (together with a price for each) to make up a kit for yourself follows:


Price ($)

11/12 mm Wrench


Flat and Phillips Screwdriver




Oil and Grease Combo


Soft Cloth


Small Brush


Cotton Buds


Small Tweezers


Paper Towel


Note: The items marked N/A are not priced as they will most likely be lying around at home; An old toothbrush, earbuds, old pieces of cloth, etc.

Spinning Reel Maintenance

The following is a step-by-step guide on the cleaning and maintaining of your spinning reel split into two sections for clarity.

You must find a clean, open surface to work on that has no clutter. Keep a section to set aside all removed parts, screws, so nothing can go missing.

While working with your reel, we suggest that you hold the item in your non-dominant hand and clean, remove screws, using your dominant hand.

Drag System