Picture of Fishing Rods

Experienced anglers understand the value of outfitting themselves with proper rods and gear. 

Surprisingly, most of us probably clean our rods far less than we should. It may seem like tedious work, but rod care should be part of your day-to-to fishing routine. 

Now that you know you should put a little more care into your rod, we’ll explain how to clean and keep it performing like new. If you’re going to take the time to clean it, make sure you first know how to do it right. 

How Often Should You Clean a Fishing Rod

If you’re fishing in saltwater, cleaning your rod after each and every outing is best. That’s because salt water can quickly lead to annoying corrosion and rust on all of the rod components. That means you need to pay attention to not only the rod, but also the reel, guides, and handle.

 Freshwater rods require a little bit less attention, but we still recommend cleaning your equipment after each fishing trip. With that being said, you can afford to be a little less diligent in your maintenance. 

What Materials Do You Need to Clean a Fishing Rod? 

The last thing you want to do when attempting to clean your rod is to actually damage it further. This can happen when the wrong tools are used for cleaning as well as storage. At the least, you’ll need some mild soap a clean towel, and warm water. 

See below for a list of recommended materials for fishing rod maintenance:

  • Tweezers 
  • Small Screwdrivers
  • An old toothbrush 
  • Mild and Odorless Soap
  • Clean Rag
  • Reel cleaning/lubrication kit (optional

Once you have all of the necessary materials, cleaning your rod is far from rocket science. You simply want to clean off all of the dirt, salt, and excess grime. In most cases, you won’t have to take apart your rod at all. 

How to Properly Clean Your Fishing Rod

Cleaning your rod is easy. The hardest part is just making sure you do it after each trip. When it comes to cleaning the actual rod blank, all you have to do is wipe it down with a damp clean towel and make sure to dry it off. There’s not much space for salt and dirt to hide on this part of your rod, but make sure you completely remove any excess grime. 

The more tedious part of the process is making sure your reel is taken care of. This is probably the most intricate portion of your equipment and you should treat it as such. This is where you can make use of the old toothbrush and make sure you get loose particles out of any hard-to-reach nooks. We also suggest spraying it with a little bit of fresh water and subsequently wiping it down. 

The last things you need to pay attention to when cleaning your rod are the guides. A solid amount of grime can build up as your line comes in and out throughout your day on the water. Simply use a Q-tip or the same toothbrush to make sure you get rid of any dirt. Lastly, you’ll also want to give your rod handle a quick wipe down. 

Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Your Rod

As previously mentioned, the last thing you want to do when cleaning your rod is created additional damage. Properly maintaining your rod and reel takes minutes and there’s no excuse for keeping it clean after every trip. Plenty of anglers don’t take care of their rods at all and we think that should change. 

Never Cleaning Your Rod

This one goes without saying, but the first mistake you can make is not cleaning your rod in the first place. Cleaning your rod is easy and it can make a huge difference in the overall lifespan of your equipment. 


Waiting to Clean Your Equipment

It’s easy to say “eh, I’ll wait till tomorrow to put my gear away.” We get it. A day on the water is always tiring and waiting just a day to clean your equipment can’t hurt, right? The answer is unfortunately no. If you’re fishing in saltwater, your rod can quickly build up rust and corrosion making it important to clean your equipment as soon as you get home. 


Using Damaging Cleaning Materials

In most cases, you won’t need heavy-duty cleaning materials and some mild odorless soap should be all you really need. That means put away the paper towel and windex. You probably don’t need it. Odds are, most home cleaning materials won’t completely damage your equipment, but it’s not worth taking the risk. 


Not Removing All of the Salt

Always give your rod a couple of extra wipedowns after you think you’re done cleaning. The most important part of maintaining your saltwater equipment is of course ridding all of the salt. Leaving even just a little bit on your rod or reel can lead to corrosion. 

At the end of the day, it’s pretty hard to completely damage your rod during cleaning so our best advice is to simply use your best judgment. 


Improperly Storing Your Rod After Cleaning 

It’s important to always store your rods upright, use cases or sleeves, keep in a dry place, and out of any moderate to high heat. More specifically, after cleaning your rod, make sure it is completely dry before storing away. 


Once you’re outfitted with the perfect rod and reel combo, it’s important to clean and maintain it. Not doing so can lead to a buildup of salt and corrosion, which can greatly decrease the lifespan of your equipment. If you have some more questions about keeping your equipment clean don’t hesitate to reach out to us via the contact page on our site.

Heading out for a saltwater fishing trip and still don’t have all of your gear dialed in? Make sure you have the right equipment for a productive day out on the water. Feel free to browse our wide range of affordably priced rods and salt boxes that come complete with free shipping.

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