How to Fix a Fishing Reel Before Your Next Trip!

How to Fix a Fishing Reel

The best thing you can do is practice proper maintenance, as that will help you extend the life of your device.

However, being aware of the problems you can run into while casting will make you better prepared to deal with the reel in a timely fashion. Thus, you must fix a fishing reel after you have invested all the money in buying the item.

The solution can sometimes be as simple as letting the line out; however, sometimes, the problem requires you to take apart the entire reel, clean it and then assemble it. Whatever the case may be, this article is sure to guide you through it!

How Does a Fishing Reel Work?

Before we get into how to fix a fishing reel, you must know how this contraption works. A fishing reel is a pulley placed on top of a fishing rod to withdraw a fishing line.

The most common fishing reels are open-faced spinning reels, closed-faced spinning reels, and bait-casting reels.

It is important to know when to use which. If you are an experienced fisherman, you will know the difference between these.

However, if you are an amateur, you need to identify the differences between them as this will help maintain the line.

Also Read: How to Get a Fishing License at Walmart [Complete Guide]

Things That Can Go Wrong with a Fishing Reel

Before taking the reel out to the lake, you must know what can go wrong. For example, amateurs might face issues with their line tangling.

Lack of reel maintenance can also lead to multiple problems. Problems can arise due to lubricating too much or not enough. Braided lines can slip if you don’t install them properly.

If you’re using a bait caster, the level wind can get damaged by outer elements. The water you cast your reel in also matters since saltwater tends to corrode reels.

However, old reels can also be corroded by freshwater. The moving reel part, like the bearings and drag, suffers the most damage. Thus, you must keep an eye out for such damage.

Important things to Look Out For

While some reel problems are simple to resolve, some aren’t. Try to be cautious when starting! You must know what to look out for so that you don’t have to buy new reels. The important things are:

  • Twisting Problem

If your line keeps getting tangled, you might have a line twist problem.

  • Bearings Issues

Worn-out or corroded bearings are the main cause of bearing glitches.

  • Inconsistent Drag

If you can’t seem to set the drag or have inconsistencies, check the internal drag parts.

Items Needed for Fixing a Fishing Reel

fishing reels

The items you will need for fixing a fishing reel are as follows:

  1. Lubricants
  2. Water
  3. Screwdrivers
  4. Tweezers
  5. Toothbrush
  6. Wrenches
  7. Cleaners
  8. Pliers

These items are quite readily available in every household; if not, you can always go to your local hardware store. In addition, all of these will help in the assembly/disassembly of the reel.

Each serves a unique purpose. For example, water will remove the debris on the reel, whereas wrenches and screwdrivers will help during the assembly/disassembly process.

How to Fix a Fishing Reel – Frequently Asked Questions

Fishing Reel Before Your Next Trip

How to fix a twisted fishing reel?

A twisted fishing reel is one of the most frequently occurring problems with reels, so it’s bound to happen to everyone sooner or later.

Spooling by hand doesn’t guarantee precision; it will also increase the chances of an uneven line. A loose line can also be a likely cause for a twisted reel.

The first thing to do is to let the line untwist entirely. Then, a current can be used to speed up the process.

By slowly releasing the meter, you can untwist it. When it can hang freely, reel back in. Now make sure that it’s firm and sturdy.

How can you fix a reel that won’t go in?

A reel that refuses to go in can be an indicator of a tangled line. You can resolve this by observing the abovementioned steps.

Another reason for it can be that your cast bail is crooked, so you will need to remove the reel’s housing. After doing this, you must check the spool and its bushing because lines tend to get stuck back in there.

However, if that is not the case, then you must check the bail. You can remove the bail quite easily.

After removal, you can check for any damage or impurities of any parts. However, all of this requires you to have a keen eye – after all, practice does make perfect, especially when learning how to fix a fishing reel.

How do you fix reel handles?

Fixing reel handles will depend on the problem that you are facing. If the handles are functioning smoothly, disassemble them. Also, cleaning the bearing inside will help run it smoother.

Lubrication is also essential in keeping it running smoothly. Debris in the handles can cause it to rotate harder than normal. However, if your reel is broken, you will have to buy a replacement.


Now you know just how to fix a fishing reel! This is an important skill that every fisher should know of.

By using the right material and having the proper knowledge, you can extend your reel’s lifespan. In addition to that, you can solve its frequently occurring problems.

You must identify all the things that can go wrong so that you can work towards figuring out how to fix your fishing reel rather than spending money on a new one.

Working towards resolving the problem will keep you from splurging money via reel maintenance!

In the end, we would say that you must maintain the fishing reel even when it’s working great because dirt and grease can cause irreversible damage to your reel.