How to FIX a Fishing Reel? [Guide for Various Problems]

spinning reels problems.

Have issues with the performance of your spinning reel?

Oh, don’t worry, we know it can be frustrating occasionally, but fishing reels are susceptible to damage because of their precise moving parts.

While most problems are relatively easy to fix, you can avoid many with routine maintenance.

The best course of action is to prevent problems from arising in the first place through proper maintenance, but if a problem does occur, you must first diagnose it.

In this article, we’ll examine the common issues that spinning reels have with performance and their quick fixes.

 How to Keep a Spinning Reel Line Trouble Free

1) Line Twisting


Fishing line twist is a common issue that frequently occurs as a result of an overfull or under full spool, the use of an outdated line, or a line that deviates from the reels’ specifications.

In this instance, a solution is clear. The correct spooling of a spinning reel is the first step in preventing a line twist in the cast bail.

It’s crucial to get this right because a line twist will happen during the spooling process if you do it incorrectly.

If the problem persists, it’s time to remove that tangled line and adequately replace it. It seems you have been using the same line for a while.

How to fix it:

Allowing the line to untwist is the first thing you can do to prevent line twisting.

Because of the tight and uniform wind, you can use the current to accomplish that if you are on a boat or river using a professional machine.

Release a line slowly, meter by meter, and allow time for it to untangle.

Reel it back in once it can hang straight without twisting.

Ensure you dispersed it evenly and firmly.

If the end of the line accidentally tangles, you can effectively cut it off.

However, if you cannot do it yourself, you can hire someone to do it for you.

The best solution for a twisting line is to remove the old line and replace it with a new line.

2) Slipping braided line

A lot of reels are marked as braid ready. When a braided line is tied directly to a spinning reel that isn’t braid-ready, the line frequently slips because the braid doesn’t adhere to the spool’s smooth surface or no bail wire.

Also, braided lines can slip around the spool if they are not correctly secured to the spool.

It will result in the bail arm rotating around the spool while you turn the handle, but it will retrieve no line because the line has slipped off the spool surface.

These signs indicate that your line has not been mounted correctly.

How to fix it:

On the arbor, there is a rubber part that enables the braid to adhere.

Use a rubber band of the appropriate size to simulate this.

Apply a backing directly to the reel, on the other hand, to act as a grip for the braided line.

Before wrapping the braided line, you can use electrical tape or a few wraps of monofilament line on the base of the spool.

Both choices offer simple backing to avoid line slipping.

3) The spinning reel became stuck

The spinning reel locked-up issue can be simple, complicated, or even disastrous based on the circumstances.

Without sealing technology, saltwater spinning reels most frequently experience this, especially if they have received a lot of salt spray exposure.

Due to salt accumulation on the gears, ball bearings, and other internal components, the spin reels may seize up when exposed to saltwater.

Corrosion, misaligned gears, broken internals, or loose parts that impede rotation are additional causes.

How to fix it:

To inspect the condition of the gears, remove the side plate.

Check the mesh and alignment and adjust as necessary.

If any parts are damaged or rusted, you’ll need to replace them.

If everything checks out, it’s time to completely disassemble the reel, clean the insides, degrease the gears, and then reapply fresh grease and oil to the proper spinning reel components.

It’s usually best to avoid attempting this yourself because it can be challenging to put it back together.

4) The line does not run under the bail arm

The problem of the line not running under the bail arm occurs frequently.

There’s a possibility that when you set up your rod and reel, you neglected to run the line underneath the spinning reel bail arm or a loose line.

Although the bail arm rotates around the spool when you turn the handle, it won’t wind any line around it.

How to fix it:

You can fix this by simply unscrewing the drag knob at the top of the spool, removing the spool from the spinning reel, and threading it again, making sure to go under the bail arm.

5) Bail Spring

The internal bail springs of spinning reels are a significant source of mechanical failure.

The bail springs are probably damaged if the return spring cannot flip the bail open again.

You will notice that the bail will not return to its original position after this occurred, which can be caused by impact or prolonged use.

How to fix it:

Bail spring replacement of a fishing reel is quick and affordable.

a) If the bail arm refuses to open, search for the bail spring after completely removing the bail arm from the rotor.

If the bail spring is broken, you should get a new one, but sometimes it isn’t broken but separates from the bail arm, which is easily fixed by reinserting both ends back into their proper places.

b) If the bail arm doesn’t get close and bent, choose to replace the entire bail arm rather than trying to straighten it out.

You can accomplish this by unscrewing the bail arm, releasing it, and then gently bending it back into shape with a spanner.

6) Handle Falls Off


Reel handles frequently come off because nuts, threaded shafts, or nuts are missing and can break or bend.

How to fix it:

To sort this most common problem, replace the nuts.  Nuts replacement is typically straightforward and can be handled at your neighborhood hardware store, but if it is in the event of worn threads, plumbers’ tape can be used as a temporary fix.

Replace any broken or loosened screws holding the handle if that is the source of the issue.

Some manufacturers sell spare parts, so you can buy a fresh one to replace the damaged one and fix fishing reel handles.

You can check that and possibly purchase the least expensive fitting reel and use it as a spare part because some manufacturers make reels with specific interchangeable parts.

Servicing reel handles is the best way to avoid this problem.

7) Corrosion

If your reel exhibits any symptoms connected to internal parts, check for corrosion because corrosion can attack any inner part of even the best baitcasting reels and lead to various issues, causing an anti-reverse system.

Fishing equipment can take a beating in saltwater especially.

The ground’s splattering dirt adheres to specific components of the reel. If not cleaned up, corrosion can permanently destroy your reel’s parts and machinery.

How to fix it:

Preventing corrosion is the best remedy. Cleaning your reels after each fishing activity is the best way to prevent corrosion.

When you get home, you need water, a clean cloth to clean your reel, and thorough drying.

Reels should never be immersed and should never be stored wet.

Also, give the knobs and pivot points light oiling to help avoid rust and corrosion.

Avoid directly spraying it on to prevent problems caused by its degreasing properties getting inside the reel.

Using specialized reel cleaning products for exterior cleaning and protection is best.

And depending on usage, you should include a deep reel clean after six months.

8) Noise from Spinning Reel

Typically, a noisy spinning reel indicates that the interior needs some attention.

The noise is most likely caused by corrosion on the roller bearing, which you can see if you open the bail arm’s connection to the rotor.

How to fix it:

Lubrication is sometimes the solution, but unfortunately, lubrication rarely makes much difference with this kind of problem.

Therefore, check to see if anything is broken by removing the rotor and side plate so you can easily replace anything damaged because these spare parts are generally inexpensive in tackle shops.

9) Lubrication Problems

Excess lubrication can get your reel complicated and cause too much drag.

Additionally, it might affect how well your reel performs.

Particularly clutch bearings are susceptible to malfunction if the wrong lubricant leaks from another area and gets on the bearings.

How to fix it:

You’ll need to remove the rotor and possibly open the side plate to fix the problem.

The excess lube could be easily removed by gently rubbing it away with an old cloth or going for complete cleaning and reapplying the right amount of lubricant.

10) Wrong Line Size

Simply put, most anglers use the wrong size line for their reel.

It’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Using a line that does not best suit the reel properly can reduce performance, lead to tangles, and interfere with casting.

How to fix it:

Identify the reel’s recommended line category.

It is frequently written on the spool’s side.

If it’s not, research more about your reel model and size.

Remove the old line and insert the proper line class once you have determined the correct line type.

Tools Required to fix Reel

You’ll need a few tools to fix a fishing reel:


Reel disassembly will benefit significantly from the use of pliers.


Utilize a pair of tweezers to remove small pieces that may stick in tiny openings.


Smaller sizes of Phillips and flathead screwdrivers.

Cleaning liquids (Water)

You’ll need tissues, cotton swabs, and soft cloths to clean any dust or dirt particles from the reel components.


Identifying the signs and diagnosing common spinning reel issues is crucial before it worsens.

To prevent most of these issues, you should be well-prepared to perform routine maintenance regularly.

Never forget that most credible spinning manufacturers provide repair services; for a minimal charge, you can fix or reel.