It’s been awhile since I shared with you some of the great how-to information in my book, Better Bass Fishing.
Here’s a portion of the section about caring for your reels:
Secret: Good maintenance advice to remember is to grease the gears and oil the bearings. But too much oil can be just as bad as too little. Too much will make the bearings sluggish. Just a drop is best.
Also, avoid using aerosols. Sprayed on oil is more likely to leave a messy film and more likely to evaporate, leaving no lubricant.
Here are some general maintenance tips for levelwind reels from Lake Fork Tackle Repair:
Outside of reel: Wipe the entire reel to remove dirt, salt, and crud. Use a cotton swab to reach into tight places.
Hub or brake drum: Use a cotton swab and alcohol to clean the brake hub or brake drum, as well as the spool edge. Then apply a small bit of oil to the inside of the hub or drum.
Spool shaft: Clean in similar fashion to that used for hub. Apply drop of oil to ends of shaft.
Bearings: If the bearings are dirty, clean and apply a drop of oil. If they are not dirty, simply add oil.
Cast Control Cap: Remove cap inner parts and clean with cotton swab. If copper part is dented, turn it over and apply one drop of oil.
Levelwind or worm gear: Clean with a swab or pipe cleaner. Add a drop of oil on each end.
Handle knobs: Apply one drop of oil.
Secret: Lighten up on both your drag and your hookset if you have put braided line on your baitcasting reel. Braided line typically is much stronger than monofilament and has less stretch. If you don’t adjust accordingly, you could rip a hook right through the mouth of a big fish or tear a large hole that allows the hook to fall out.
Secret: After making the first cast of the morning, be sure to “break” your drag free by pulling a few inches of line from the spool. This will ensure the drag system is in proper working order when it is needed. The drag system of a reel can stick after sitting for a few days and that extra tension on the line during a fight might be all that’s needed for your line to break when you are battling a big fish--- Matt Beck
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Also, my new book, Why We Fish, will be out in a few weeks, published by Norlights Press. It’s a collection of essays exploring all of the reasons that we go fishing, from the practical (catch fish, catch lots of fish, catch big fish, etc.) to the philosophical (get back to nature, relax, quality time with friends and family, nostalgia, etc.)
Most of them were written by me, but I’ve also included contributions from others, including Bill Dance. In addition, my friend Ross Gordon at Mystery Tackle Box asked his Facebook followers to reveal why they go fishing, and I’ve included some of the best responses from that.