Maintenance Tips

After purchasing a new reel

  1. You invested a chunk of cash for a new reel, why would it require maintenance?  Reels come from the manufacture with enough grease and oil to last longer than needed.  I guess the thought is that no one will give it regular routine maintenance so lets pack it full.  That does not deliver optimal performance.
  2. Cleaning out spool bearings and oiling them with a high performance oil helps them start faster and with less force.  You will be able to throw lighter weights with ease and improve casting distance.
  3. Replacing stock drag washers with Carbon Matrix washers that are properly lubed delivers increases in drag strength and smooths them over a greater range of settings.  No more hurky jerky drags.

After fishing

  1. Tighten drag down
  2. Light spray
  3. Wipe
  4. Reel magic rub down
  5. Oil bearings, worm gear and handle knobs with one drop each.

After swimming or sand bath

  1. Dunking a reel in the water is introducing foreign materials into the reel and mechanisms
  2. Please don’t intentionally dunk reels in the water after feeling something rough or sticking. You are hurting your reel
  3. Carry a spare reel just in case
  4. Take dunked or rough running reels out of service immediately
  5. Cranking on a reel that is running rough will not help it, but it will hurt it
  6. Complete tear down, cleaning and re-lube is required.

Annual maintenance

  1. Depends on how well you have done in keeping foriegn material out of your reel throughout the year.
  2. Heavy use requires heavier maintenance routine, complete tear down, new oil, grease, drags, complete cleaning, inspect parts for wear.  Bearings cleaned and lubed.
  3. Lighter use requires lighter maintenance routines, oil bearings, grease or oil handle knobs, oil the worm gear.

Upgrade Recommendations

  1. Drag washers and drags from
  2. Oil for bearings, Rocket fuel yellow or TSI 321
  3. Spool Bearings from Boca bearings, ceramic, sealed, fast.
  4. Drag grease from Cal’s
  5. Handles and knobs, 4 bearings smooth see JDM

Feel and noises

  1. If it does not feel right or it is making strange noises  take it out of service immediately.  Using a reel further can only cause additional damage and complicate repair.
  2. Simple maintenance at home will uncover the problem(s).  Tear it down and clean it.



5 Responses

  1. Jeff Jamison

    after fishing – tighten drag down? is this for storage as well? I was always taught to store with drags loose ?

  2. Bill Brown

    It is good to tighten the drag before spraying the reel after fishing — but then you should loosen the drag before storage!!

  3. Marty

    Hello ,thanks for all the info,over the last few months I broke down most of my senators, cleaned, greased and reassembled. I used a marine grease for my trailer bearings a blueish/green I also cleaned and light grease(same) to my existing drag washers, any concerns ? I did 1-115,3-114,5-113’s,I still have a few senators a few smaller penns, 2-okuma 50’s,a bunch of spinning reels and finally I’m upgrading 2- 9500ss handles, drags,dogs. Should I be switching out all those drag washers to the new carbons ? Reels look and feel like new. thanku Marty

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