Angler Catches Shoe


Having problems with your fishing reel performance? You are not alone. I mean, I had one reel that just did not catch fish. I never caught a fish with it. That is what I call a real fishing reel performance problem.

If you hang out at the jetty long enough with the other weekend and sick day fishos, you will hear it all. I’ve heard some amazing fishing reel and rod and tackle performance problems.

That’s another great thing about fishing, there is so much to talk about, especially when you are not catching fish and you have nothing to blame but your equipment. You can generally tell the experience level of an angler by the amount they are willing to talk about fishing. If they won’t or don’t talk at all, they’re probably very experienced.

Anyway, let’s get back to fishing reel performance issues. This list should cover the most common, so whether you are the one having a performance issue or it really is the reel, you can’t avoid the truth after taking a look below.

Actually, most fishing reel performance issues are directly related to the user in some way, and that is, unfortunately, a fact.


If you are getting line twist on a spinning reel, it’s time to take that line off and replace it properly. You have obviously been using the same line for a long time. Even if you spooled a new stock of line by hand, it couldn’t get this bad. Okay, it sounds like you are being a bit tight fisted. Sure the line is still okay, but line is line and line is not everything when it comes to fishing line.

Get rid of it and get yourself a new spool of new line to try something new with. Then do yourself a real favour and use a reel spooling machine for a tight and even line lay. Line twist is caused by loose line, poor lay, all a result of long term use, and someone being a scrooge.


One of the biggest failures on spinning reels is the mechanical failure of the bail springs, which happens when the return spring fails to flip the bail open or the bail slips shut leading to damage to the springs. Over time this gets worse until complete failure. You will know when you did this one because you will hear that huge cracking sound, it’s definitely unique. Before you need to get this inexpensive item replaced, there is one way of avoiding it, stop spinning your reel all the time for no reason and stop flipping the bail for no reason, wait until you are fishing. Easy to fix, and very cheap but you shouldn’t be spinning a reel like it is a sewing machine.


This is one of the most common reasons why fishing reels fail, and the most common reason why they corrode is because they are not looked after properly. All fishing reels should be rinsed in clean tap water, even with a little dish washing liquid, after every use, or at least each day if you are on a longer fishing trip. I don’t recommend soaking for a long time but for a few minutes in a bucket and then giving a good solid rinse, cleaning with a sponge and detergent before finally rinsing off again and letting the reel dry thoroughly will result in a reel that will last a long time.

Once corrosion sets in, the only solution is to trash it and go get yourself a new one, and hopefully, you will look after it.


Well, this one sounds like someone did it too. A reel doesn’t over lubricate itself now, does it? It’s easy to get that warm fuzzy feeling after doing a great job to wash and dry your reel and you’ve got a new pack a Hot Sauce and you are gagging to use it. Well, an over lubricated reel is almost as bad as an under lubricated one. You’ll get too much drag on the line, the reel starts to feel sluggish and you’ll find that your handle is way too hard to turn.

Yep, if you over lubricated, you screwed up your bearings. There isn’t much you can do about fixing them. The best way to fix over lubrication is to not do it in the first place. You only ever need a drop of lubricant on the bearing, yes, a single drop. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.


What else can you add to fishing reel performance problems that are actually fisho performance problems?

Robert M Davies
Robert M Davies

Robert passed the "Obsessed With Fishing Test" with flying colours. Instead of talking, Robert has turned his hand to writing about his experience in fishing all around Australia.