Basic Reel Service
by Lefty AKA Kelley

I am using a Shimano Chronarch CH100A but the procedure is similar for most Shimano baitcasters.

Regular maintenance will keep your reel in top shape. This page covers basic routine maintenance. Saltwater use requires more frequent maintenance.

No tools are required for this procedure. You will need a rag, some good reel oil, some Q-Tip swabs, alcohol, and some Reel Magic or other type of cleaner/protectant. A copy of the exploded parts diagram is also a great help.


1. Loosen the quick takedown thumbscrew and remove the sideplate. Remove the spool from the frame. Some models have a clip holding the spool. A little pressure will free the spool. Spray a rag with some Silicon Spray, ReelX, Reel Magic, or CRC and wipe down the entire reel to remove any dirt, salt, etc.. You can use the Q-Tip swab to access the tight areas.

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2. Apply a small drop of oil to the bearing that's located in the center of the sideplate. I use the applicator tip to control the amount of oil applied.

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3. Saturate a Q-Tip with alcohol and clean the inside of the brake drum. After it dries, run a swab that's been wetted with oil around the drum. A very thin, light coat is all that is required.

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4. Clean and dry the spool shaft. Oil on this shaft will reduce your free-spool capabilities and decrease casting distance.

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5. Place one drop of oil on the spool shaft bearing.

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6. Place one drop of oil on the end of the worm shaft.

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7. Place one drop of oil on the handle shaft.

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8. Place one drop of oil on each end of the levelwind worm gear and one in the center

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9. Remove the cast control cap. Some models have a spring under the cap. Swab the cap out and place one drop of oil on the shim. If the shim is dimpled, flip it over.

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10. Place one drop of oil on the bearing. The bearings are exposed on the Calcuttas and standard Curados. The Chronarchs and Curado SF reels have two nylon seals (pictured) with the spool clip sandwiched between them. These need to be removed to access the bearing.

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11. Place one drop of oil on each of the handle knobs.

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Your reel is now clean, lubed and ready to re-assemble. Performing this simple maintenance regularly will ensure that your reel continues to provide you with good service. Sending the reel off for professional service annually will ensure that worn parts are detected and replaced.