This guide is a quick lesson to dispell some myths on cleaning your fishing reels after use, and how to clean your reel correctly to ensure efficient operation.
Let us start by explaining what not to do. Never hose your reel, this will force water (be it clean or not) into the gear casing of your reel. This will humidify and leave build up on your internal gearing which in turn will cause corrosion. It will also force debris like sand etc on the outside of the reel inside. This will result in gears, moving parts and bearings seizing up (regardless whether they are stainless steel or not). Secondly as with the first rule, never dunk your reel into a bucket of water. Again, this will result in the same scenario as the previous point.
The best way to clean your reel after use is to wipe it over with a damp cloth that has been in soapy water. Thats it. Simple. If you do this from new, you will be very unlucky for anything to go wrong with your reel due to incorrect cleaning. You can oil parts such as your line roller, worm etc if you so like. (Make sure that you do not use WD40 or any penetrating oil like this as it will losen screw etc. You can use normal reel oil, sewing machine oil etc.) I do recommend that you get your fishing reel serviced from your local tackle shop every 6 months if you fish often or yearly if you only fish up to 20 times a year. As with all maintance, you do need to make sure that when fishing your reel stays out of water, spray etc. Spinning reels, egg beaters, threadlines, baitcasters, overhead reels are all geared reels. These are the reels that you need to take care with. The only reel that you do not need to worry about getting wet is an "Alvey" brand reel. These reels are designed to be washable and are able to get wet without maintance dramas. Thanks for reading and good luck catching that next big fish.