Tom’s Top Fly Reel Care Tips

Tom Clinton, is our specialist in-store ‘reel doctor’ and is the first port of call for all customers with reels in need of a little TLC. You can avoid having to see him by following his fly reel care advice here!

  1. Understand what kind of fly reel you have - is it specific to freshwater or saltwater, or is it an all-water reel?
Tibor Fly Reel in need of our Fly Reel Care Service This Tibor was filled with sand and congealed grease...

2. Understand what kind of drag system housing your reel has - is it fully sealed or is it open to moisture ingress?

Tibor Fly Reel ...and it was not looking healthy!

3. Understand what kind of drag system your reel has - is it a dry drag like a Lamson? Is it a cork drag like a Tibor or Abel? Or is it a click and pawl drag like most small trout reels?

Soak your fly reel It was soaked...

4. If your reel has a dry drag (Waterworks Lamson, for example) make sure you DON'T lubricate it - this will have an adverse effect.

Clean your fly reel ...and cleaned

5. If your reel is unsealed and you use it in dirty water, or in saltwater, make sure you rinse it thoroughly between outings - saltwater is corrosive and if left to sit within a reel's structure it can do a lot of damage.

Fully restored fly reel ...and was soon fully restored and working again!

6. Be sure to intermittently remove the spool from the cage of your reel to check if anything looks out of the ordinary - it's not uncommon for things to make their way in without you noticing, and if your reel locks up when you hook a good fish, you'll regret not checking it beforehand.

7. If your reel is an open cork-drag based system, try lubricating it with GT85 bike oil - the Teflon infusion will repel water and dirt whilst lubricating the mechanism at the same time.

Unlike many of our competitors, Farlows offers a completely free, and while you wait, reel clean and overhaul service - you only pay if you require parts or line – so call in to see Tom whenever your reel is looking or feeling a little under the weather and use our fly reel care service.

Tom's Fly Reel Care Service Tom, cleaning and rigging at the in-store workstation.

Ian Welch

A freshwater biologist by training I drifted into angling journalism and am now Farlows Group marketing manager. A hopelessly inadequate fly angler (the team are hoping to put that right.) I have fished all over the world and am now most at home fishing for River Test grayling, River Ebro catfish, Indian mahseer, or battling giant freshwater stingray on the Thai rivers. Away from my rod I do a bit of shooting and a lot of fruit and vegetable growing!