Nice! Brand new reel, shiny out of the box. Here are some tips and tricks on looking after it and what to expect as you use it a bit.

Most reels are warranted against manufacturing defects. They are not warranted against water immersion, corrosion, drops, impacts, poor maintenance and use beyond specification. The onus is on the end user to look after their own fishing gear, not the supplier or your friendly retailer.


It's not waterproof.

Many higher-end reels are marketed with increased levels of water resistance. However, it's very important to understand that no reel is totally waterproof. Even with the latest seals and technology - we still need to be careful about exposing our new metal reels to the highly corrosive environment that is salt water.

Warranty repairs do not cover corrosion due to water ingress into a reel. So it's a good idea to both protect them from getting hit by salt water in the first place and clean them well after use. Our reel covers are a great way to protect your investment by keeping that water off them while travelling to the fishing spot in the rod holder - be it on the boat, jetski or kayak. Though, as always - we have to caution transporting rods and reels in those rod holders - as that is how we see a few damaged.

We have an entire article over here about the subject -

Transport it Carefully

This relates to both travelling on and off the water. Off the water, make sure the reel is not banging around in the back of the truck with your tools and other equipment. Reels have a lot of working parts in them, and the higher-end ones are often even more finely balanced and set up. Get a decent bag or the like to carry them in.

On the water, think about how they are stored on the way to your fishing spot as well. Sticking all your rods and reels in the rod holders at the back or on top of the boat could also mean they are getting a bit of a dousing in salt. Either directly through waves and water coming in and over the bow and sides of the boat or the salt spray that is everywhere on the water. 

Always use a reel cover when transporting your reel, on and off the boat to protect the reel from surface damage, water ingress, and UV damage to the line. Important to remember - always remove and wash & dry your reel cover when storing your reel at home. Do not leave a wet reel cover on a reel.

Reel covers can help, but if you can, even better is storing the reels inside the cabin until you get to your fishing spot. 

Don’t allow contact between reels and any metal components of alloy boats. Electrolysis in the salt-water environment can cause pitting and corrosion in a very short space of time. Electrolysis is not limited to aluminium boats - but is worse.

Pump and wind the rod instead of winching when playing with a fish. After a long fight with a fish it is a good idea to run off plenty of line and rewind it (do this ASAP if you have put the line on tight during the fight) the stretched nylon can return to its original size and expand and burst most spools! This will not be a problem with braided or fused lines - but make sure these are tied onto the spool arbour tightly, or the whole line load can spin on the spool under load!

On the way back in, If you can, run out and clean more line used during fishing through a damp cloth (a large nylon spool on an electric drill or a hose reel may help) this will allow salt and dirt to be removed from the line and your line will last longer and retain its strength better. When the line is off the reel, give the spool edges a wipe with INOX, WD4O, or CRC...When rewinding check your line for any damage.

Give it a clean. But don't overdo it.

It's important to clean your equipment when you return from your trip. The sooner, the better.

While the subject of reel cleaning can spur long discussions and arguments on the internet, often, simpler is better.

  • A wipe-down with a clean, wet cloth and then a drop of oil on all the points of movement is often enough
  • Avoid pressure - don't hit them with the hose or compressed cleaning products as these can simply force any remaining salt water down into the reel - and once there, it is difficult to get back out without stripping down the reel
  • Give moving parts a light oil. You don't need to soak the thing, just a drop here, a drop there. We tend to suggest avoiding aerosol applicators - as they can force any remaining water down into the reel - we recommend - ReelX
  • Store them in a dry environment with plenty of air to help dry them out - the bottom of a tackle bag is not ideal

More on the subject here -

Store it with care.

Loosen off drag and store in a dry, warm, dark area, out of the sunlight, and away from touching any other metal object e.g. do not store on aluminium boats due to electrolysis. Hot water cupboards are perfect. Leave the reel cover off.

It needs to be serviced regularly.

Even with regular cleaning on the outside, it's a really good idea to regularly get a technician also to have a look on the inside. Despite our best efforts - salt water can get down into the gears and working parts of the reel - even with irregular trips - and as the salt water dries out, it leaves salt behind - which can act as an abrasive between the metal parts - wearing them away and eventually causing them to fail. A regular check-up, where the tech gives it a good clean and relubrication can help ensure you get the longest, smoothest life out of your reel. In fact, many suppliers require regular service as part of their warranty conditions.

More about reel cleaning & servicing over here -

It might get a little noisier.

This is important to understand. We have a few people coming back after using the brand-new reel a couple of times, asking why their reel has developed a little noise. Normally, this is fairly minor (as in, you need to listen for it in a quiet room) - but - it's not uncommon for a little whirring noise to develop as a brand-new reel breaks in.

This depends a little on the brand and the model of the reel.

Manufacturers, as they try to meet certain price points or design goals choose different manufacturing methods for their reels. Some mid-priced reels utilise CNC machining to cut their gears, while many high-end models use cold forging, resulting in a much finer tolerance and tighter meshing.

What this means, in a practical sense, is as a new reel gets a little bit of use, there can be a bit more movement in the CNC-cut gears, which results in a slight smoothing of the metal and can result in a little more sound. This is most noticeable when you come back into the store and try listening to the new, minimal-use reel on the showroom floor.

We are certainly not meaning massive, clunky, grinding noise, and if you are unsure, do feel free to pop in so we can quickly assess the reel and confirm it's within our expected tolerances.