Josh Carpenter

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.

Subscribe To ALF

Apple  |  Stitcher  |  Google  |  Spotify  | iHeartMP3

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!

1 Comment

  1. Xtremo

    In response to Greg’s “9 Lure Fishing Hacks” (episode 366) I posted the following advice for rod & reel wash-down …

    After a low pressure “misting” with fresh water (as per Josh Carpenter’s advice), I then use a spray bottle (set to fine mist) filled with a solution of Salt-X SX-50 outboard engine flush mixed to a ratio of 50ml/litre (1:20), or 5 caps/litre.

    Just give everything a light wetting and let dry as usual. This is particularly handy if the “fresh” water is hard and so contains minerals & salts.

    SX-50 is metal & plastic friendly, does not dissolve lubricants, is 100% benign on nylon, fluoro & braid lines, and does not harm painted or anodised surfaces.

    As a general anti-salt soak for lures, I use a 1:20 solution of SX-50 in a small bucket in which I place all lures after use in salt or brackish water. Before returning to the tackle tray I let them air dry hung from a clothes line / coat hanger, or pinned to a foam pool noodle.

    After prolonged immersion in salt water I’ve been known to dunk a reel for a couple of hours in a bucket containing a 1:20 solution of SX-50 (don’t forget to first lock down the drag). I then drain and wipe dry before removing the spool & handle and thoroughly drying everything in front of a fan heater set to low heat (do NOT let the reel get hot!!).

    At this stage I’ll consider arranging a full service and possibly also new bearings and/or drag washers.

    However if that’s not possible or cost effective I do a quick DIY service on a spinning reel by pulling down and lubricating the drag washers, and also removing the side plate to insect the internals and re-grease. And don’t forget to put a few drops of oil on the roller bearing.

    I tend to leave overhead & baitcast reels to the experts, though I’ll still remove the spool to assist complete drying.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *