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franklin county times

Winter fixer-uppers

By Staff
Kevin Stone
Franklin County Times
During this time of year weather conditions will often keep us indoors, which provides the perfect opportunity to prepare your fishing reels for spring.
The most popular low-profile reels are based on the Shimano style, and today I'm going to provide some simple cleaning steps for this style of reel. The steps are more informative with illustrations, so refer to your owner's manual as a guide.
1. Mist the outer casing of the reel with water or a mild cleaning solution and wipe away dirt and grease.
2. Remove the side plate opposite the handle and remove the spool. A small piece of tape placed on the line will keep it secure and out of the way.
3. Use a Q-tip with alcohol to remove any excess oil or dirt from the spool shaft and spool lip. This will improve the free spool performance of your reel.
4. Remove any excess oil and dirt from the VBS brake weights and replace the weights if worn.
5. Remove any excess oil or dirt from the brake case.
6. Apply a few drops of oil to the brake weights with a Q-tip.
7. Apply one drop of oil to the spool bearing or bushing.
8. Clean the spool raceway on the frame with a Q-tip and alcohol.
9. Apply three small drops of oil to the worm gear. One drop to the center and one drop to each side.
10. Clean the line guide eyelet with a Q-tip and alcohol. Tighten the screw on the line guide if it is loose.
11. Reassemble the reel and check its performance.
These are the basic cleaning steps that should be performed at least once a year. More detailed cleaning can be done by breaking the reel down further, but I don't recommend it because there are a lot of little pieces and they must be assembled in the proper order.
If you are not comfortable cleaning your own reel, then take it to a local shop such as Gray's Tackle in Sheffield, and they will clean it for you at very little cost.
The weather may be too cold to take the kids fishing, but at least let them watch the fishing shows on Saturday mornings so they will learn tips and techniques they can use when the weather warms up.
Kevin Stone is branch manager and loan officer at Valley State Bank and can be reached at (256) 332-3600.

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