Maybe you have gone out fishing and wondered to yourself if baitcast reels can get wet. Especially being around a lot of water this is a serious question, and what happens if it rains?
Can baitcast reels get wet? You can get a baitcast reel wet and not have to worry about it too much. In most cases, it won’t do too much harm, but when you take it home, you may want to dry your reel so that the water doesn’t stay on it over the long term.
How to Dry Your Baitcast Reel
You might simply leave your fishing rod out in the open and let the wind dry it off. In this way, the moisture doesn’t stay on the reel and cause it to warp. I should emphasize–with freshwater, you don’t have to worry, but you should wash off your baitcast reel on the ocean if it got wet. Saltwater tends to be more corrosive because of the chloride in it.
Especially when it comes to metal, saltwater has a notorious reputation. Because of that, most of the saltwater reels were made with stainless steel to prevent corroding. If you take a freshwater reel out near saltwater, they will get corroded almost right away. Because of that, you want to rinse the reel off right away to clear it of the saltwater.
In most cases, you can just leave your baitcast reel out in the sun to let it dry out. You don’t have to worry too much, however, because reels were made for this. After you have casted your line out into the water, eventually, you will crank a wet line onto your spool. Most people don’t even bother with that much drying because of how they can simply let it sit, and it doesn’t have any impact.
When It Becomes a Problem
Getting a baitcast reel wet won’t make much difference in most cases, but you shouldn’t leave it submerged in water for any reason–obviously. This can force water into the drag system and gearing, and that is when water will become a problem. Simply don’t submerge it. That should be common sense.
That said, your reel faces more danger from other things like getting bumped too hard or losing your whole pole because your four-year-old got too excited at the first time his bobber went under. Most of the time, you wouldn’t give a baitcast reel to a child because this requires some specialization and skill.
Beware of Sand and Dirt
Water won’t damage your baitcast reel, but with that said, if you let dirt or sand get into your reel, it can cause some real problems. The tiny sand particles get caught in the line, and they will make your baitcast reel work less effectively. This can make it feel like you’re struggling more to reel in the fish because it doesn’t spin as well.
Especially with a baitcast reel, which is less open and sand and dirt can get stuck in it for longer than with spincast reels, this can damage the internal components of your reel and make them work less effectively.
Maintain Your Baitcast Reel
Water won’t damage your reel because it was made for this type of thing. With that said, you should rinse off your baitcast reel when you fish on saltwater because the corrosive properties can damage your reel over time. When fishing on freshwater, you still want to keep your reel clean.
You might, for example, use a cloth to wipe your baitcast reel clean of dirt and use water to keep it glistening in the midday sun. When you go to spray lubricant, first spray it on your cloth, then put it on the line. You want to do it in this way because of how some lubricants can cause damage to the baistcast reel if you spray it on directly.
Baitcast Reels More Sensitive
Baitcast reels will be more sensitive than spinning reels because they have more internal components that you have to be aware of. Not to mention, dirt can get trapped inside of a baitcast reel, whereas it is less likely to happen with spincast reels.
Even with baitcast reels being more sensitive, you still don’t have to worry too much about it. Most fishermen report that you can fish in a rain without a problem. In fact, some people like it because it cleans their gear.
You might have a poor-quality baitcast reel that you’d have to worry about, but with any baitcast reel worth its salt, they can handle this.
You sometimes see misguided advice to use WD-40 while out in the rain. Never do this to your baitcast reel. WD-40 is a degreaser, which means that it breaks down the oil and grease.
In fact, I’ve used it to remove grease stains in my clothes before. If you put too much grease on your baitcast reel, this can have a negative effect on how far you can cast.
For anyone overly concerned about the rain, they could get a baggy to put over the reel as an extra measure of protection, but in truth, it’s probably unnecessary. Reels get wet all the time, and as long as they don’t get soaked, they will be fine.
Heavy Rain Does Have the Potential to Cause Damage
Your baitcasting reel could get damaged because of heavy rain. Light to moderate rain usually won’t make a difference, but heavy rain can wash away some of the oil and grease and cause a problem for the inner mechanisms. As the water gets sucked into the gears, it will tighten them and make them less functional.
Again, this is heavy downpours where you have to worry about it. For those cases, you might put a plastic bag over the reel because rain is one of the best times to go out fishing as long as there’s no lightning. The nutrients get washed into the lakes and rivers and the fish feed like crazy.
To sum it up, baitcast reels can handle getting wet. You have some fishermen who might take extra precautionary measures, but in all honesty, unless you have a really expensive reel, it probably isn’t worth it because your baitcast reel will be just fine in the most common of circumstances.
If you’re looking for a baitcast reel with plenty of features, I would recommend the Abu Garcia Pro Max Low Profile Baitcasting Fishing Reel. It uses stainless steel, so it can hold up against water while out fishing. This is one of your higher end choices that comes with an abundance of features, and you have good durability so that it lasts for years.