Updated On May 18, 2020

How To Fix A Fishing Reel?

Having trouble with your fishing reel? Here is everything you need to know about fishing reels and how to fix them.

A fishing reel is a circular device attached to a fishing rod, used in dragging back a fishing line. Its uses include:

  • Winding
  • Casting (Sports)
  • Angling (Sports)
  • Stowing line

Types of fishing reel

There are four types of fishing reels. These include:

1. Fly reel

This is what we call a single action reel. It works manually by stripping the line of the reel and then casting the rod.

2. Spincast reel

This is the easiest reel to use. Its casting is simply through the press of a single button.

3. Baitcasting reel

It’s a reel in which has a line stored on the bearing revolving spool. It works by gearing the crank handle in which results in the production of multiple revolutions of the spool.

4. Centerpin reel

It’s the type of reel that runs freely on its axis. The centerpin works differently from the other reels. It uses the angler’s thumb to control the fish, unlike other reels.

Can fishing reels be fixed?

The best part about fishing reels is that they are easily fixable depending on the extent of the damage. To fix them, you’ll need to identify the problem first and then choose the appropriate solution to solve it.

A common problem in fishing reel includes the following

  • Broken spool. (Common in fly reels)
  • Broken bail. (Common in open-face spinning reel)
  • Bail springs malfunction. (Common in open space spinning reel)
  • Drag washers and spring malfunctioning

Procedures of how to fixing the reels

As I said earlier, fishing reels are fixable depending on the extent of the damage. Some may need their spare parts replaced while others just need good old fashion lubrication. Now, let’s look at the procedures of fixing a fishing reel below

1. Dismantle the reel

It’s a common thing in fixing machines to dismantle it or parts of it first to fix the problem. The same goes for fishing reels, only here you’ll have to determine its design first. To determine its design or how to dismantle it, you’ll need to refer to its instructions manual or search on the internet.

Note that the reel parts are very small (example screws) and so, they need to be kept safely when dismantling the reel, to avoid the risk of losing them.

2. Mark each part of the reel

After dismantling the fishing reel, you’ll need to mark every part of it. This will help you during the reassembling of the reel to know each parts’ position. A numbering marking system tends to be effective in these kinds of situations.

3. Identify the problem

As I said earlier, the most likely problem you’ll encounter on a fishing reel is parts working out (depending on the type of reel). After sorting out the part whether it’s a broken spool or bail, your next move will be replacing it with a new one. Now, if the problem is stiffness or squeakiness, then a lubricant is inevitable. Before applying a lubricant, you’ll need to clean the metallic parts with a clean cloth first. Afterward, apply a lubricant like a grease to the metal parts.

4. Assemble the parts back together

Here is when the marking system comes to effect. The marking system acts as your guide during the assembling of the reel parts. You’ll also need a screwdriver in this process to fit all the screws and nuts in their right position.

5. Change the leader

Replace the new line by taking out the worn-out ones. After replacing it, open the reel bail, attach the new line and then close it.

Afterward, load the reel and do a couple of testing to see if it works properly. If it’s okay, then your fishing reels ready for use.

Tools you need when fixing a fishing reel

To fix a fishing reel you’ll need a set of tools and equipment. These include:

  • Tweezers- used for holding fishing reel parts like screws
  • Toothbrush- used to clean out the dusty parts of the reel by brushing
  • Lubricants- used to create fluidity on the metallic parts of the fishing reel
  • Clean cloth- used to rub the parts of the reel before lubrication
  • Screwdriver- used to open and close screws on their positions
  • Wrenches- used for loosening and closing of nuts of the reel.

Thus, each tool is essential in the fishing reel fixing.

How to maintain and take care of your reel

To safeguard the longevity of your fishing reel, you’ll need to take care of it. Now, below are some of the tips on how to maintain and take care of your reel

  • Clean your drag wash regularly. If you use your reel regularly, your drag wash will likely wear out. Thus, to avoid this you need to clean it every time you use your reel.
  • Apply lubrication to your fishing reel from time to time. The fishing reel contains metal parts in which need lubrication otherwise, they’ll end up being worn out. This is because the grease wears out when you use a reel regularly.
  •  Replace the bearings from time to time to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of reel’s functionality
  • Always check the inside parts of the reel regularly. As I said before, reels contain metallic parts. Now, the disadvantage of this is that they tend to rust in which results in malfunction. To avoid this, have a habit of checking up on the inside parts of the reel.
  • When cleaning one-way bearings, use solvents to clean them. One-way bearing functions best when they are dry and thus using lubricants might affect its functionality.
  • Coat your gears with lubricants regularly. This is because they often dry out due to frequent usage. Thus, apply lubricants on them every week to prevent stiffness.


Modern fishing reels contain metallic parts and plastic parts. Thus this makes them more durable and more cost-efficient in terms of maintenance. 

Categories Fishing

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