How To Clean Green Corrosion Of Fishing Reels? | Explained

Reel Rust

Why Does Green Corrosion Happen In Fishing Reels?

Corrosion is a natural product of oxidation. Rust, Green Oxide, and brown rust are all forms of corrosion. There are other names for these forms such as “Iron oxide”.

In fishing reels, the presence of saltwater or moisture facilitates this process leading to faster corrosion compared to when the reel is kept dry under controlled conditions. Although corrosion leads to the formation of new metal on the surface it destroys the material underneath.

This gradual degradation of metal is why we see green corrosion forming in fishing reels and other areas where there is the presence of moisture and saltwater.

The combination that causes this kind of corrosion also forms under humid conditions. That is why you can easily spot green corrosion on your fishing reel if there has been a period of inactivity.

It is possible to apply protective coatings over the metal surface to act as barriers against corrosion. These coatings are also known as “paints”.

A further cause for this kind of corrosion is that graphite is sometimes mixed with the metal to make fishing reels lighter.

What Do You Need To Clean Green Corrosion Off Fishing Reels?

You will need White vinegar to clean green corrosion off fishing reels.

On the first pass, you should use a toothbrush to scrub at the green corrosion. Soak it in white vinegar for at least an hour so that the acid can eat away at the metallic compounds of the corrosion. Then, brush again with a toothbrush and soak for another two hours.

For the second pass, you will want to use a metal scouring pad to scrub at the green corrosion. Soak for another 2 hours so that it can once again be attacked by the acid in the vinegar. Finally, soak overnight and wipe down with water in the morning. Remember to always wear protective gear when cutting, sanding, or working with a chemical compound.

How To Clean Green Corrosion Of Fishing Reels?

Fishing reels can fall prey to corrosion over time. This is more common if the fishing reel has been exposed to saltwater, but even freshwater can cause problems. The problem with green corrosion is that it often occurs where you cannot see it.

This makes it hard for owners of fishing reels who are using their equipment actively to notice the corrosion until it is too late. This might lead to malfunctions and ultimately a damaged fishing reel.

To avoid this, consider these steps for cleaning green corrosion off of your fishing reels:

-Start by removing the fishing lines from the reel so they don’t become caught in the machinery. Remove all washers and screws with the pliers, and keep them in a safe place.

Gently attach some steel wool to the reel. This will allow you to clean it effectively without harming the fishing line or your hands. A cotton swab might work as well, but steel wool is more abrasive than cotton so you can easily clean any corrosion off of your reel.

Remove all of the grime that is on the surface of the fishing reel’s exterior with your brush, but take care not to touch any parts that are sensitive to pressure or movement. Try using a rag soaked in white vinegar if you need help getting rid of stubborn bits of corrosion.

Once you’ve removed the grime, use a water-displacing lubricant to coat the exterior of your fishing reel. This will prevent corrosion from forming on the surface again.


Use a soft towel to wipe away any excess lubricant so it doesn’t attract dirt or debris while you are using your fishing reel. Finally, reassemble your reel and attach the lines.

Fishing reels can be delicate pieces of equipment with sensitive parts. It is important to take extra care when cleaning green corrosion off of them. Following these steps will allow you to keep your fishing reels in good condition for years to come.

How Often Should You Clean Your Reel?

Do you know how often you should clean your fishing reel? Every time after use? Once a year? Somewhere in between? The frequency of your cleaning will depend on where you fish and the type of reel.

Saltwater fishing requires extra care to keep corrosion at bay, so you’ll want to give your reels an extra scrubbing after a day spent dropping baits into the briny deep.

Reels that are used for bass or other freshwater species may need to be cleaned more often. Some anglers also recommend periodic maintenance for reels that are used in extreme temperature conditions.

A good rule of thumb for normal fishing reels is to clean them after each day of use. Remember, you want your reel to look nice and shiny when it’s being displayed on your wall or desk right? Also, even if you are an infrequent user, the corrosive properties of saltwater are unavoidable unless you rinse your equipment off with fresh water.

How To Clean Your Old Chrome-Plated Reels?

Old chrome fishing reels are often in bad condition because the chrome-plating degraded with time. To restore them, you can use a chrome cleaner.

First, you need to disassemble the reel completely. Put all parts in a plastic bag with the chrome cleaner and let them soak for thirty minutes. Then remove the parts from the solution, rinse them under running water and dry immediately with a clean cloth or paper towels. Reassemble your reel but put it on the fishing line last.

The chrome cleaner will restore your old reel to its original shine while also preventing corrosion in the future.

Please note that using the wrong kind of chemicals, or leaving them in contact for too long, can damage your reels beyond repair. Also, please take extra care not to breathe any fumes when you use the cleaner, as it might irritate the eye and skin.

Last but not least, do not use a chrome-plating solution to clean other metal parts of your fishing gear, as it can corrode these materials.

With this quick guide, you will be able to restore your old chrome-reel in no time.

Can You Use Rubbing Alcohol To Clean Fishing Reels?

No, you cannot use rubbing alcohol to clean fishing reels. It is not a good idea to put any kind of oil on an already oily fishing reel. The oil will attract dirt and debris that can jam your bearings and prevent your reel from working properly.

Usually, you want to completely strip down the reel and start over with fresh lubrication. The first rule of thumb is that you should not use any kind of oil or grease on your fishing reel after it has been used. Also, do not put anything on the line before casting out.

There are some castable lubricants on the market that are good for reels. These kinds of lubricants would be okay to put on before fishing, but it is still best to wipe down your reel after fishing. Don’t use rubbing alcohol on your reels, use the right lubrication.

How Do You Remove Salt From a Fishing Reel?

This is a common question among saltwater fishermen, as it is often difficult to clean off the many small fishing reels on boats and docks. Most people recommend using hot water and soap first, followed by oiling if needed.

For those who do not want to go through all that trouble and still cannot get their reel working properly again, the only alternative solution seems to be throwing it away and buying a new one.

However, there is a simple method that does not require much work and takes no more than five minutes: using vinegar. First, rinse the salt off with hot water and soap as usual. Then take an old cloth or towel (something disposable) to soak up all excess liquid. Put a small amount of vinegar on the cloth, and rub it all over the fishing reel for less than thirty seconds. The result should be a clean, rust-free fishing reel.

What Kind Of Oil Can You Use For Fishing Reels?

Synthetic oils are ideal for use with fishing reel parts because they are resistant to water and other environmental factors. Because of this, think synthetic oil when you are considering fishing reel lubrication don’t go for castor oil or other natural type oils unless you are prepared to put in the effort to maintain it.

If you’re curious about the advantages of synthetic oil over regular oils for fishing reels, consider that synthetic oils are resistant to heat, cold, water, and other environmental factors.

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