Today’s generation of fly reels are the best they have ever been. CNC machining has liberated reel designers so they can give full vent to their imagination. The gorgeous Loop reel with the capital ‘L’ shape on the backplate, for example, is a work of art. Speaking as a creature of machine shops and toolrooms I take my hat off to that designer. The aero-grade aluminium that’s used on reels today is corrosion resistant but it is not totally impervious to corrosion, especially if your reel goes anywhere near saltwater! Keeping the reel clean and wiping away any grit or earth is good day-to-day advice. Then, once a year, give it a good clean.
Wipe and clean the reel body and spools, removing any grit and dirt.
Use a cotton bud and wipe away tired and coloured grease or oily deposits.
Apply the minimum of grease or machine oil. A drop is all that is needed.
Avoid submerging your reel. If your reel is submerged for whatever reason, as soon as is reasonable, strip the line and backing from the reel and allow it to dry before re-spooling it. Then wipe, clean and re-grease the reel. Dampness will eventually eat through the anodisation on the spool and you’ll see white furry deposits on the aluminium telling you that it’s being eaten away.
Don’t forget the handle. Just a small drop of machine oil once each season will keep it functioning perfectly.
Use a cotton bud to wipe away old grease or oil. Treat your reel with a lightweight oil or lubricant. A drop or two of oil is all you need.