What Should You Do With Your Vintage Fishing Reels?

vintage reel

Fishing reels have been here since several decades. The first fishing reel was invented in the year 1820 by George Snyder. Since then, there have been innumerable kinds of fishing reels that were invented like the Fly Casting Reels, Bait Casting Reels, Spinning Reels, etc. All these reels provided varied features, which made them a ‘must-have’ for anglers. So, they started purchasing various fishing reels for their usage.

Anglers usually buy loads of fishing gear to enhance their hobby and among them the most common gear purchased are the fishing reels. Once they find a good reel, they tend to buy several of them to deploy on all their fishing rods. Gradually, they end up collecting more reels than rods! If you too are one of them and are wondering what to do with your vintage fishing reels, then you have reached the right place! Rather than cluttering your garage, here are some amazing ways to make use of your good old reels:

Vintage Fishing Reel

  • Use Them As Spare Parts Or Backup:

Having a consistent fleet of reels in your fishing kit is helpful as you know what to expect when you pick it up to cast. However, when one of them starts to show its age, then it is best to be used as a backup reel. Another alternative is to use it as spare parts whenever required.

  • Use Them For Fishing:

An old fishing reel in good condition will work perfectly well with modern rods. So, if they do not have financial or sentimental values then use them instantly! Believe it or not; the old fishing reel will certainly have a better use on the lake rather than the garage! There are some anglers who prefer using older reels and end up buying vintage reels to enhance their fishing experience.

  • Use Them To Service Your Reels:

Purchasing good quality reels is a costly affair, and you certainly won’t prefer tearing down an expensive reel while servicing! Instead, you can try servicing on an old reel first. This will let you practice and learn the entire process of separating, cleaning, and assembling it back without the fear of ruining an expensive reel. So, learn a new skill by using your old reels, which will save a lot of money and efforts of sending the new reel back to the factory for servicing.

  • Sell Them Off:

There are many anglers who collect vintage or used reels to add in their collection of fishing gears. As you are not one of those collectors, you can sell them through online websites like eBay or Amazon. Among the two websites, eBay is a great place to sell vintage fishing gears. You will be able to find several buyers out there who would happily purchase your used reel for a good price. You can either put up the reel for sale on ‘auction’ format or on ‘buy it now’ format. Whatever method you select, you are certainly going to earn a few dollars on something that was cluttering your garage.

Vintage Fishing Reels

  • Experiment With The Reel:

You can use your old reel to experiment new stuffs on it like Super Tuning. While Super Tuning, you need to change the bearings, polish the shims, and change a few components. All this requires practice and skill, which can be performed on a used reel without any worries. Even if the experiment is not performed well, at least you won’t be spoiling a new reel while performing it!

  • Gift It:

Is there a young family member or friend showing interest in fishing? Then, let his interest turn into a great experience by gifting him the old fishing reel and teaching him how to cast, put line on, etc. You can even take him out for fishing and create some beautiful memories to cherish for a lifetime.

How To Clean Old Fishing Reels?

cleaning fishing reel

Among the aforesaid methods, if you have chosen to make use of your old reel for fishing then you need to clean it well. It is necessary to remove the grease that has hardened for decades before using the reel. However, ensure that you take proper precautions while cleaning it as you may often require using toxic chemicals. While using these chemicals, you should wear proper gloves and work in an open area or a highly-ventilated room. That said; listed below are some tips that you could follow to clean old fishing reels:

  • Begin the cleaning process by completely disassembling the reel. Ensure that you use the right tools for separating each part, as an ill-fitting screwdriver or unpadded pliers can destroy the vintage reel completely.
  • If the screws of the reel are too difficult to open then apply some lubrication to them and leave it for few minutes. Try unscrewing them again, and you might be able to disassemble it.
  • Once all the parts are separated, keep a track of which part fits where, as most of the parts are interchangeable.
  • The next step is to remove the patina on the reel parts by soaking each of them in vinegar. This will help in softening the deposits and make it easier for you to clean.
  • Wash it with fresh water and wipe each part with a cloth until it is absolutely clean.
  • If the reel contains thick deposits of grease and is not getting softened by soaking in vinegar, then you may consider soaking it in mineral spirits. This method should remove most of the grease.
  • Rinse it well with clean water and then wipe each part with a dry cloth.
  • You may even polish the parts before reassembling them. You can make use of fine polish to convert your vintage reel into a shining reel that looks just like new.
  • Apply silicone grease or oil to the screws and moving parts of the reel so that they get well-lubricated and work effortlessly.
  • The final step is to reassemble the reel accurately.

reel with rod

By following the aforesaid method, your vintage fishing reel will be perfectly ‘ready’ to go for fishing. Now that you are aware of the innumerable ways to make use of your old fishing reels, avail them instantly!

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