Is Rain Bad For Fishing Reels?

When it comes to fishing, encountering rain is a common occurrence. However, many anglers wonder whether rain can harm their fishing reels.

For avid anglers, the prospect of fishing in the rain can be both exciting and challenging.

The rain itself is not inherently bad for fishing reels. Modern fishing reels are designed to withstand various weather conditions, including rain.

However, certain precautions and maintenance practices are essential to ensure your reel’s longevity and optimal functionality.

Understanding The Impact Of Rain On Fishing Reels

Rain can have both direct and indirect impacts on fishing reels.

While modern reels are built to withstand various weather conditions, including rain, it is important to understand the potential effects and take appropriate measures to protect your equipment.

Here are some key factors to consider:


Rainwater, especially if it is acidic or contains impurities, can cause corrosion on the metal components of fishing reels.

Corrosion leads to rust, which can compromise the reel’s performance and lifespan.

To prevent corrosion, thoroughly clean and dry your reel after each fishing session, paying close attention to the areas susceptible to moisture accumulation.

Water Damage

Excessive exposure to rain can result in water entering the reel’s internal components. This can damage gears, bearings, and other moving parts, reducing functionality.

Avoid submerging the reel in water, and take precautions to keep it dry.

If the reel gets wet, promptly wipe it down and use compressed air or a dry cloth to remove any moisture from the internal mechanisms.


Rainwater can wash away the lubricants applied to the reel, leaving it vulnerable to friction and wear.

Regularly inspect the reel’s lubrication and reapply a suitable reel oil or grease as needed. This helps maintain smooth operation and protects against moisture-induced corrosion.


Proper storage is crucial to minimize the impact of rain on fishing reels.

When not in use, store your reel in a dry location, preferably in a protective case or bag. Avoid leaving the reel exposed to the elements for prolonged periods.

Tips For Protecting Fishing Reels In Rainy Weather

When fishing in rainy weather, it’s essential to take extra precautions to protect your fishing reels from potential damage. Here are some tips to help you safeguard your reels:

Use Reel Covers

Invest in high-quality reel covers or cases designed to protect against moisture.

These covers are usually water-resistant or waterproof, providing an extra layer of defense for your reels during rainy conditions.

Apply Corrosion Inhibitors

Before heading out to fish in rainy weather, consider applying a corrosion inhibitor or reel oil to the exposed metal parts of your reels.

These products create a protective barrier against moisture and help prevent rust and corrosion.

Keep Reels Dry

Whenever possible, keep your reels dry during rainy periods.

If it starts raining while fishing, use a waterproof umbrella or find shelter to shield your reels from direct exposure to rainfall. Wipe down the reel periodically to remove any water droplets.

Clean And Dry Reels After Use

After fishing in the rain, it’s crucial to thoroughly clean and dry your reels.

Use a soft cloth or towel to remove moisture, paying close attention to all the nooks and crevices. Allow the reels to air dry completely before storing them.

Store Reels Properly

When not in use, store your fishing reels in a dry and controlled environment. Avoid leaving them exposed to high humidity or extreme temperature fluctuations.

Use moisture-absorbing silica gel packets in your reel cases or storage containers to help maintain dry conditions.

Regular Maintenance

Regularly inspect and maintain your reels to ensure they are in optimal condition.

This includes checking for any signs of corrosion, lubricating moving parts, and replacing worn-out or damaged components.

Can Fishing Reels Get Wet?

Yes, fishing reels can get wet without causing significant damage, but it’s important to note that excessive exposure to water can lead to corrosion and decreased performance over time.

Most modern fishing reels are designed to be water-resistant or even waterproof to a certain extent.

However, it’s still advisable to avoid submerging the reel completely or exposing it to prolonged periods of moisture.

After fishing in wet conditions, cleaning and drying the reel thoroughly is recommended to prevent rust and maintain its longevity.

Regular maintenance and proper care will ensure the optimal performance of your fishing reel.

Are Fishing Rods And Reels Designed To Be Waterproof?

Fishing rods and reels are not typically designed to be completely waterproof.

While modern fishing equipment often incorporates water-resistant features, they are not impervious to water.

Fishing reels may have sealed bearings or gaskets to provide protection against water intrusion, but they are not completely waterproof.

Similarly, fishing rods may have components such as corrosion-resistant guides and reel seats. However, they can still be susceptible to water damage if submerged or exposed to excessive moisture for prolonged periods.

Are Fishing Reels Prone To Rusting?

Fishing reels can rust if they are not properly cared for or exposed to moisture for extended periods.

Most fishing reels have metal components, such as gears, bearings, and screws, which are susceptible to rust when exposed to water and moisture.

Rust can negatively impact the performance and longevity of the reel, causing parts to seize or corrode.

To prevent rust, cleaning and drying your fishing reel after each use is important, especially if it has been exposed to saltwater or wet conditions.

Applying a light coat of lubricant or reel oil to the metal parts can also help protect them from rusting.

Regular maintenance and storage in a dry environment will help extend the lifespan of your fishing reel.

Can Saltwater Cause Damage To My Fishing Reel?

Saltwater can cause damage to fishing reels if proper precautions and maintenance are not followed.

Saltwater is corrosive and can accelerate the rusting process of metal components in the reel.

It can also cause deterioration of the reel’s internal parts, such as gears and bearings, leading to decreased performance and potential failure.

To minimize saltwater damage, it’s essential to clean your reel thoroughly with fresh water after each use in saltwater.

Pay attention to all the nooks and crannies, and use a soft brush or cloth to remove any salt or debris.

Lubricating the reel with corrosion-resistant oils or greases specifically designed for saltwater environments is also recommended.

What Is The Recommended Frequency For Cleaning A Fishing Reel?

The recommended frequency for cleaning a fishing reel depends on how frequently you use it and the conditions in which it is used.

However, a general guideline is to clean your fishing reel thoroughly after every fishing trip or at least once a month if you use it regularly.

This is especially important if you fish in saltwater or dirty/muddy environments, as these conditions can lead to faster grime, salt, and debris buildup.

During the cleaning process, disassemble the reel as much as possible and use a soft brush, cloth, or toothbrush to remove dirt, salt, and residue from all the components.

Pay attention to the gears, bearings, spool, and other moving parts.

Rinse with fresh water to remove any remaining debris and let the reel dry completely before reassembling and storing it in a cool, dry place.