Tournament Angler And Reel Service Technician
Josh currently works as a reel servicing technician for Shimano Australia, having previous filled a similar role at Daiwa Australia. He knows all major brands of reel intimately and sees a lot of reels destroyed unnecessarily simply because anglers fail don’t know the basics of how to look after a reel.
Josh’s Tips For Preventing Reel Disasters
- Modern reels are tougher and longer lasting than their predecessors, but they’re not bulletproof. With minimal care they can give you long lasting service, but sand and salt water are still the enemy.
- Never place a reel in the sand and always try to protect it from salt water as much as is practical.
- A reel that suffers full immersion in salt water should be soaked in freshwater for a while, then sent for servicing as soon as possible.
- After any fishing trip in saltwater, tighten the drag on your reel fully to prevent water from getting into the drag washers, then either rinse it with a garden hose set to a very fine mist or take it into the shower with you and rinse in warm water. Then put it somewhere to dry in the shade.
- Don’t blast a reel with water, as this can push sand and salt further into the moving parts and do more damage. A gentle rinse and wipe is all that’s required.
- Don’t forget to back off the drag once you’re done, or you will reduce the lifespan of the drag washers.
- Use grease when servicing your reel, not oil. Generally speaking, under Australian conditions the air temperature is enough to thin the oil and it doesn’t lubricate properly. Grease, on the other hand, also thins down enough that it doesn’t impede the reel action. But it remains sticky enough that it stays on the moving parts, where you need it most.
- For kayakers, salt spray is a constant problem, especially on windy days or when doing a beach launch. A plastic sandwich bag placed over the reel will keep the salt off when it’s not in use, minimising exposure to salt to those times when the reel is in use. Follow the above process to clean the all of your reels (even those that stayed in plastic all day) after each trip.
- The need to have your reel professionally serviced depends on the amount of use it gets and how well you look after it. It’s not necessary to do it every season, Josh recommends only sending reels for a service if they’ve been immersed or the bearings are starting to feel rough.
Want to know more about upgrading your reel?
Lots of top anglers like to upgrade their reels with aftermarket drag washers, spool bearings and so on. Want to know what works, what doesn’t and whether it’s worth the expense? Josh gives an extended interview over at Team Doc Lures and covers all of this in detail. Become part of team doc lures today and you can access the full interview.
JC Fishing Services
JC Fishing Services is Josh’s reel service and repair sideline business. He’s able to sort out your needs on all major brands except Shimano. Check him out if you have a reel that’s in need of some professional TLC!