After buying the new spinning reel people tend to think that it is the end of story. That it is going to work just like it did on first day with no user-side effort at all. Unfortunately that is not true at all. Actually they require regular maintenance if you care about getting the most years out of them.
Basic reel maintenance
- Cleaning the open face fishing reel is utmost important, some sand grains could cause more problems than being late with other works like lubricating. It is recommended to wash the body after each fishing trip. Most important is to remove dirt and sand, if these happen to find a way inside reel will over time definitely wear out sooner. It is recommend to take proper care and transport important fishing equipment in cover or bag to avoid mechanical injuries and dirt. Altogether-Failure to keep fishing reel clean may result in expensive repairs.
- Lubricating a new reel is not necessary, usually factories add enough grease to guarantee the normal functioning of it during the first season. Still, it is possible to oil or grease the reel yourself, most of them even come with guide on how to assemble and put parts back together, making it even easier. Reels use specific oils which are usually sold in tackle shop. Shimano`s have special screw for even simpler lubrication.
Aside from that, I think it is generally a smart idea to find a special service shop that would do maintenance checks for time to time. Usual tendency is that cheaper reels have enough oil added to them by factory to last 2-3 years, but more expensive exemplars should go to maintenance every couple of years to ensure that they last.
Expected lifetime of spinning reel
Expected lifetime will absolutely vary in multiple factors. The biggest of them is how often reel is being used. Going to fishing every week vs once a month, it`s obvious which reel is going to wear out sooner. Second point to consider is whether the spinning reel is used for fresh or saltwater fishing?
However, average lifetime of reel is 3-5 years. It looks awfully low, right? It`s that low because between that period new models are starting to appear. Often times owners will get bored with their old reels and they start to look for new one. Some statistics suggest that during the 5 years some kind a accident with reel is likely to happen too. Of course that is not always the case, there are plenty of anglers who have used their fishing reels for 10-15 years.
The best indicator of the lifetime of spinning reel is still, to this day, the price. When investigating the outer look of different open face reels it is often confusing to see similar products that have ten times the price difference. Often the cheaper reel will spin around more easily too, giving false indication of quality. Price difference is actually caused by the fact that more expensive reels work after 3 to 5 years as well as they did in first day, if the regular maintenance has been done correctly. Unfortunately the same does not apply to cheaper reels.