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Reel Parts and Preventative Maintenance

by Ray Schmidt

We get many questions about fly reels, such as what the parts are called, where and when to lubricate, how to get the spool off, etc. Fly reels are generally simple with few parts to cause problems. Here we explain what the parts of the reel are called and how to do simple maintainence. If a drag system fails, we recommend sending the reel back to the manufacturer for service. We will help you if any problems arise in the return process. Most fly reels today that sell for $100 or more carry a limited life time warranty, so factory help is generally available.


Reel Parts and Preventative Maintenance

 This "T" is actually called the reel foot. This is the part that attaches to the fly rod.

This is the reel handle, used to wind fly line in as we retrieve the line.

Opposite the reel handle is the counter balance. This has only one function and that is to balance or stabilize the spool as it is spinning.


Most reels have drag knobs similar to this one. This particular reel has numbers that tell us how much drag or resistance we have at a particular setting. (Good idea.)


This photo shows a clicker device (for sound) and the spool spindle (the stainless steel post.)


This is the housing or cage of a fly reel.


This is the spool of a fly reel. These are removable and spares are available for different fly lines.


  These two screws hold the reel foot on the reel. Sometimes they loosen. If the reel seems loose when mounted on the rod, this is a good place to look to solve that problem.

This is a typical drag control. Clockwise rotation adds more drag.


There are generally three types of drag systems for fly reels: disc, cone, and click and pawl (shown above.)

This photo shows a typical disc drag reel configuration. The spindle is the only area that we need to lubricate from time to time. The spindle is the connector for the reel spool.

 This is a typical roller bearing, generally located inside the reel spool. An occasional dab of lubrication is required here.


Releasing the Spool

This is a push button release for the fly reel spool. Push the button and lift the spool off the reel spindle.


This is a lever release. Slide the lever to the left and lift the spool off the reel spindle.

This is an "o" ring spool release system. To remove the spool push the spool away from the reel frame as shown.