Tips: Working part-time at Mastry's Tackle, one issue I see regularly is a lack of reel maintenance. Here are a few tips to keep your reel from letting you down.
Most moderately priced reels have four bearings or more controlling the rotor head, handle, main gears, etc. Flushing with fresh water drives the salt into these bearings, causing rust or corrosion resulting in a costly repair. Mastry's charges around $10 a bearing, and that doesn't include labor.
Instead of spraying your reel with fresh water after using it in saltwater, use a salt-dispersing lubricant like Reel Magic. Not only will it dissolve the salt, it will lubricate all moving parts. Spray the reel down with Reel Magic and let it sit. It doesn't leave an oily residue and it's safe to get on the line. It's a good idea about once a month to service your reels by spraying them with a bonding lubricant like Corrosion X..
And have your reels professionally cleaned and lubricated annually. This includes taking the side covers off, cleaning out the old, hard grease from the gears inside the body cavity and replacing it with new, fresh grease. Grease is cheap and it really makes a world of difference. You can pay a little now or a lot more later.
Rick Frazier runs Lucky Dawg Charters out of St. Petersburg and can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 510-4376.