Informational Guide

DIY Fishing Tips

by Andrew

Informational Guide

DIY Fishing Tips

by Andrew

by Andrew

A fishing reel can last a long time when the angler is careful and gives it some of the maintenance that it deserves. However, the more you take the fishing reel out on the water, the more potential there is for it to get rusty and old. Fresh and saltwater can cause some issues, and the angler will need to oil the fishing reel every 5 to 7 months to keep the reel in good shape.  

There are many benefits to oiling up your fishing reel and making sure all of the components will last as long as possible. Our guide will show you the steps that you need so you can learn how to oil a fishing reel properly. 

Anglers need to lubricate their fishing reel to ensure that it lasts a long time. Oiling the different internal components of the fishing reel will make it more effective and help the fishing reel last longer. When the angler uses high-quality oil and grease, they can keep all moving parts functioning efficiently and smoothly. This will minimize the amount of friction between the different parts of the reel.  

When there is a lot of friction between the components, it can cause permanent damage, and the fishing reel is going to wear out faster than before. Taking five or ten minutes a few times a year to lubricate the different components of the fishing reel will prevent this friction and help you to keep the reel for a lot longer.  

fishing gear rod

Where Do I Oil My Fishing Reel? (Parts That Require Oil) 

There are different parts of the reel where you need to add a bit of oil to it. This will help the reel work longer and not get rusty and ruined when you go out fishing. Some of the parts of the fishing reel that you can add oil to include: 

  • Main Shaft:
    You can take a moment to oil down the main shaft of the fishing rod to ensure that the saltwater does not start to erode it. 
  • Knobs:
    Unless you want to struggle more than usual with fishing, the knobs will need a little oil on them too. 
  • Bail Arm Springs:
    The springs can get hidden deep into the fishing reel and are hard to notice. When they get rusted and need lubrication, you will notice, though. Take the time to add a drop of oil and see their work as good as new. 
  • Bearings:
    The bearings will help the fishing reel work well. Taking the time to lubricate them will help the reel perform better. 
  • Anti-Reverse Bearing:
    The anti-reverse bearing is essential to keeping the reel strong and not having the bearings lock up on you. 

You will need to take apart the reel to get to all of the parts. Keep the user’s manual nearby as you take the fishing reel apart, making it easier for you to put the reel back together.  

Offshore Reels

How To Oil A Fishing Reel: Step-By-Step DIY Guide 

Oiling the fishing reel will help it last as long as possible. Some of the steps that you can follow to lubricate the fishing reel includes: 

1. Clean the Fishing Reel 

You should take the time to clean out the fishing reel before you lubricate it. This will get all of the dirt and grime out of the reel and makes it easier to add oil to all of the components. You should get a screwdriver, some tweezers, and other cleaning options like a reel cleaning solvent, terry cloth rags, and cotton swabs to get down deep into the reel and get it cleaned out properly.  

2. Set-Up Work Space 

Find a good, well-lit area that has a flat surface. Lay a towel down on the work surface and then put all of the now-clean parts of the reel on top. Make sure that nothing rolls off or gets lost during this part.  

3. Disassemble The Reel 

Consider securing the fishing line to your spool with some masking tape before you start. This will make sure that the line is not going to get tangled while you do the rest of the work. To ensure that you remember which order to do things, take out strips of masking tape and put the part next to it with a number, so you know how to put it back.  

4. Oil The Bail 

Open up the bail of the fishing reel and use a soft-bristle toothbrush to help rub a bit of oil onto the roller. You can then apply some oil to the connection points and open and close it to allow the oil time to seep into all the parts.  

5. Oil The Spool 

Now take off the drag knob and remove the spool. You can use a small cotton swab to help apply oil to the gears and main shaft.  

6. Oil The Bearings 

For this step, remove the screw cap and the reel handle. A cotton swab will help you apply a few drops of the reel oil to the bearings and the joints that are found on the handle of your fishing reels.  

7. Oil The Fishing Reel 

With all of the smaller moving parts are taken care of, it is time to oil the rest of the fishing reel. You can take a dry cloth and add just a few drops of the oil to it. Use this to rub down the body of the fishing reel to get everything lubricated.  

8. Put The Reel Back Together 

To finish this process, you need to put the fishing reel back together. Use the numbered pieces of tape or the owner’s manual to help get all of the pieces back in place. This will take the longest time, especially the first time that you do it, so go through the process slowly for the best results.  

fishing net

How Often Should You Oil Your Fishing Reel? 

It is best to oil the reel every 5 to 7 months. This means you should consider doing it twice a year. This will make sure that the fishing reel will stay lubricated, and none of the parts will get rusted, stuck, or ruined.  

Oiling it at the beginning of the fishing season, in the spring, and again in fall when you want to put the reel away will be a good option to help you keep the fishing reel in good shape. Let it dry when done to make sure no moisture is left in the reel.  

People also Ask (FAQs)

What are some of the most popular fishing reel oils on the market? 

There are several types of fishing reel oils anglers can choose to keep their reel in good shape. Ardent Reel Butter, Penn Grease, Liberty Oil, Rocket Fuel, Shimano, Daiwa, and Lucas are good options to choose from.  

Is it OK to use WD40 on fishing reels? 

WD-40 is not a suitable lubricator for the fishing reel. This chemical is a degreaser that is going to break down the oil and grease on items. This results in it doing the opposite of what we want when cleaning the reel.  

Is Lithium Grease good for fishing reels? 

Anglers can use lithium grease on their fishing reel as lubrication. However, you do need to avoid aerosol or acetone-based lithium on the reel to ensure that you do not cause damage to the fishing reel.  

Can you use 3 in 1 oil on fishing reels? 

It is possible to use a 3 in 1 oil if you would like on the fishing reel. It is thicker than some of the other oils, which allows it to last longer and saves you time. If you only want to lubricate the reel once a year, then the 3 in 1 oil will be one of the best.  

Can you use gun oil on fishing reels? 

Gun oil is not a good fit for lubricating your fishing reels. The gun oil is going to be too strong for most of the finishes on fishing reels, which means that this oil is going to eat away at the fishing reel components and can ruin them.  

Can you use sewing machine oil for fishing reels? 

It is possible to use a small amount of sewing machine oil on the fishing reels. Only use high-grade sewing machine oil for this. Put it on the bail arm springs, folding handle, line rollers, and handle knobs. A thin covering is plenty for this.  


When you want to make sure that your fishing reel will last a long time, it is important to take care of all the parts. Oiling up the components will prevent them from getting rusty and not working. Follow the steps above to make sure your fishing reel is oiled and ready to go the next time you want to fish.