How to Fix a Fishing Reel – A Comprehensive Guide to Reclaim Fishing Glory


Fishing, an age-old pastime and a source of solace for many, can transform into a frustrating endeavor when your trusty reel falters. Fret not, fellow anglers, for there’s light at the end of this casting conundrum. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dissect the intricacies of fishing reels, equipping you with the knowledge and skills to diagnose and repair common issues. Get ready to breathe new life into your beloved reel and reclaim your fishing glory!

How To Fix Fishing Reels - Headassistance3

Understanding Fishing Reels

A fishing reel, the unsung hero of the angler’s arsenal, is essentially a mechanical winch. Its primary function is to hold and retrieve fishing line efficiently. Reels come in myriad forms, from spin-casting reels popular among beginners to baitcasting reels favored by seasoned pros. Regardless of type, understanding the basic components of a reel is paramount.

Components of a Fishing Reel

  1. Spool: The heart of the reel, where the fishing line is wound.

  2. Rotor or Spool: In spin-casting reels, the rotor spins as you retrieve line, while in baitcasting reels, the spool moves.

  3. Handle: The knob you turn to retrieve or release line.

  4. Drag: A mechanism that applies friction to the spool, preventing line breakage during fights with fish.

  5. Gearbox: The central housing that contains the gears responsible for retrieving line smoothly.

  6. Anti-reverse switch: Prevents the handle from turning backward, eliminating line tangles.

Common Fishing Reel Problems

  1. Line Twist: Occurs when the line twists around itself during retrieval, leading to tangles and reduced line strength.

  2. Reel Binding: Occurs when the gears seize up, making it impossible to retrieve or release line.

  3. Drag Malfunction: Improper drag settings can result in either line breakage or fish escaping due to insufficient resistance.

  4. Spring Tension Loss: Reduced spring tension can affect the anti-reverse function and line retrieval smoothness.

Why does my fishing reel go backwards? How do I fix it? - Quora

Step-by-Step Repair Guide

  1. Ensure Safety: Ensure the reel is unloaded and secure before attempting any repairs.

  2. Identify the Issue: Determine the specific malfunction by observing the symptoms.

  3. Gather Tools: You’ll likely need screwdrivers, pliers, and oil or grease.

  4. Disassembly: Carefully disassemble the reel following the manufacturer’s instructions or online tutorials.

  5. Problem Diagnosis: Inspect the individual components for any visible damage or wear.

  6. Lubrication: Apply oil or grease to gears and other moving parts. Use the appropriate lubricants recommended by the manufacturer.

  7. Spring Adjustment: Adjust the spring tension for the anti-reverse switch and drag mechanism using pliers or a screwdriver.

  8. Gear Replacement: If gears are damaged, they may need to be replaced with new ones. Seek professional assistance if necessary.

  9. Reassembly: Follow the disassembly steps in reverse order to reassemble the reel.

How To Fix A Fishing Reel


Fixing a fishing reel is a rewarding task that can rejuvenate your cherished fishing companion. By understanding the reel’s components, recognizing common problems, and following a step-by-step repair guide, you can restore your reel’s functionality and embark on countless more angling adventures. So, cast away the frustration and embrace the thrill of fishing once again!

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