Are Fishing Reels Waterproof?

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The last fishing reel you bought broke down much earlier than you anticipated. You were not expecting a fishing reel to corrode and wear away from water. Now, you are unsure about the quality of fishing reels and want to get a waterproof reel. Can you have waterproof fishing reels?

Are fishing reels waterproof? Waterproof fishing reels are resistant to corrosion and last longer. Fishing in different types of water –freshwater and saltwater – determines whether your fishing reel should be waterproof or not. Saltwater damages the fishing reels most; a waterproof coating prevents the salts from eroding it.

There is more about fishing reels and waterproofing. Ahead, I will talk about fishing reels, their design, types, and the difference between freshwater and saltwater reels. Also, why waterproofing is necessary for fishing reels, and what happens when a reel gets wet? I am going to answer all these questions and more, so keep reading!


Below is a list of our favourite fishing gear that you check quickly if in hurry. Scroll down to read the rest of the article.

  1. Best Fishing Reel: Penn Squell Level
  2. Baits For Rainbow Trout: Berkley Power Bait 
  3. Best Indore Fishing Rod: Royale Legend
  4. Best Ultralight Fishing Rod: KastKing Perigee II
  5. Best Spinning Reel Under 100: Daiwa BG Spinning Reel
  6. Best Walleye Trolling Lure:  Original Floater Fishing Lure
  7. Best Pike Lure:  Jerk Bait Fishing Lure from Rapala
  8. Best Fishing Kayak under 1000: Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
  9. Best Fishing Kayak under 300: Sun Dolphin Journey 10
  11. Best Fishing Gloves: BERKLEY FISHING GLOVES
  12. Best Fishing Cooler: AO Coolers Sportsman Vinyl Soft Cooler
  13. Best Portable Fish Finder: Reel Sonar Wireless Bluetooth Smart Sonar
  14. Best Inflatable Fishing Boat: Sea Eagle Green
  15. Best Fluorocarbon Line: KastKing FluoroKote Fishing Line

Detailed Information About Fishing Reels

Fishing reels are an essential gadget to catch fishes in the water. As fishing reels hold the fishing line, an angler releases the line in the water and pulls it back. Numerous materials construct the body of different fishing reels, such as aluminum, stainless steel, brass, graphite, brass, or others.

These materials determine the efficiency, performance, and quality of the fishing reels. Fishing reels come in different styles and designs; their usage varies from saltwater to freshwater. Thus, no two fishing reels would be the same.

Further, I will tell you about common types of fishing reels and the general desig of a fishing reel. Then I will shed light on the fact why waterproofing is important for a fishing reel.

Types Of Fishing Reels

Different types of fishing reels have distinct features. You cannot expect one reel to work at every fishing spot. Choosing the right kind of reel is crucial for a perfect fishing experience.

Let’s get familiar with three typical fishing reels2.

Spincast Reels

Spincast fishing reels are the most simple, easy, and beginner-level reels. It has a straightforward design that operates without any trouble. You just have to press a button to release the fishing line. Once you push the button, the line will peel out of it. To stop it, you have to let go of the button.

This ease of use makes spincast an ideal reel for beginner anglers. You can also adjust the resistance of the line in this reel.

However, the design of spincast does not hold the line effectively, which causes resistance when the line is coming out of the spool. That is why spincast reels do not have an accurate casting and cost you distance while fishing.

Moreover, it has a closed-face design due to which water and waste can accumulate inside, and damage it with time.

Spinning Reels

Spinning fishing reels are a popular choice among anglers. It has an open-face design; a metal bail turns around the fixed spool and locks the fishing line to avoid unspooling.

Further, the design offers high usability and versatility, with the accurate casting of the line. The spool winds the line smoothly and evenly with great line capacity.

However, fishing lines in the spinning reels are more prone to twisting and tangling. You need to put the line carefully and properly to avoid any twists. Also, the spinning reels cannot lift bulky gear. It handles light lure more effectively than heavy ones.

Baitcasting Reels

When it comes to the most advanced fishing reels, no one can arguably beat the baitcasting reels. Its design is in a semi-closed form, while its build is sturdier and offers precision.

Two of the new features are responsible for its great performance: the spool tension knob and the braking system. These two mechanisms make the casting accurate and fast. Due to this, these baitcasting reels can handle heavy lines and can pull harder with lots of power.

However, you will have to adjust the settings and braking system as per the lures’ weight. You need to change the settings with every change in the lure.

Further, Baitcasting reels are more expensive than other types of reels. Also, it is difficult to control the spool of a baitcasting reel. If you do not manage the spool, it will turn fast and make a nest of line.

Design Of The Fishing Reels

The following components make up a fishing reel.


The drag system in the fishing reel controls the dragging capacity of the reel. It is the power that shows the maximum resistance of the drag. You can measure the drag capacity in kilograms; you can also adjust it as per the fish’s weight. This system has to be smooth and robust; otherwise, the fishing line can easily break. It makes the casting, dragging, and retrieving effortless and smooth.

Ball Bearings

Ball bearings are the reason behind the smooth rotation of a reel. The more the number of balls in the fishing reel, the better it will perform. So, for a comfortable fishing experience, ball bearings and their rotation quality are vital.

Quality Of The Material

When it comes to the robustness, the material used in the manufacturing of the reel matters. The quality of the material determines the efficiency and longevity of a fishing reel. A sturdy reel should be able to perform excellently in harsh conditions and require less maintenance.


The spool of the reel manages the casting distances. When the line runs out, a smooth casting with low friction works best. Hence, the spool needs to minimize friction for a long casting line.


Waterproofing: Do Fishing Reels Need Waterproofing?

Fishing reels are the basic device that anglers use for fishing in saltwater or freshwater. So, if reels have to be used in the water, it is almost impossible to prevent the water from reaching them. One way or the other, fishing reels can get wet, and water can accumulate inside them.

As the reels use different materials in their construction, many of those materials are prone to corrosion. Water can corrode the surface of the drag system or ball bearings. This rusting would affect the performance of the fishing reels and decay its parts. Ultimately, the erosion would decompose the reel’s internal body, and it would not function for long.

Hence, water will disintegrate parts of the reel and decrease its performance, efficiency, and longevity.

Therefore, it is crucial to find waterproof fishing reels for quality and efficiency. Most of the reels come with a waterproof coating to make them anti-corrosive. You can get one for yourself to have a long-lasting fishing companion.

Can Fishing Reels Get Wet?

It is quite possible that while fishing, your reel drops in the water and gets wet. The real deal here is: What would happen to a fishing reel if it gets wet?

Few drops of water or even a splash of water does not hurt any fishing reel. A fishing reel can handle some moisture. However, that does not imply that you should keep dropping your reel in the water. You still need to clean and maintain your fishing reel properly.

Further, you have to take care of the reel and clean it after every fishing trip. Remove the side plates, wash it from the inside, and let it dry. This will protect your reel from rusting and increase its life. Moreover, sometimes along with water, sand, and debris collect inside the reel, which is more damaging than the water. So, you need to rinse off the reel to take out all the sand particles.

With proper care and maintenance, your fishing reel will last longer and work adequately. Thus, it is fine if the fishing reel gets wet; you just have to clean it the right way afterward.

Saltwater Vs. Freshwater

A significant point that we should not miss here is the difference between water types. Majorly, you can categorize water bodies as freshwater and saltwater. These water types determine the extent of the damage your reel can face when it gets wet.

Saltwater harms fishing reels more than freshwater. It causes corrosion and decreases the efficiency of a reel over time. That is why most of the saltwater reels are anti-corrosive and made of stainless steel.

In comparison, freshwater does not rust or damage fishing reels much. Freshwater fishing reels work longer in freshwater. However, if you dip them in the saltwater, they will erode and decompose.

Can you Wash Your Fishing Reel?

As said, you should clean your fishing reel after every fishing trip. This will ensure the long lifespan and efficiency of your fishing reel. But, while cleaning and washing your reel, you must take care of a few things. You should not put it under high-pressure water to wash at once. This would do more harm to your reel.

First, you need to get familiar with parts of the fishing reel, its materials, and the best way to clean it. You can take out its parts and scrub them one by one. It is not necessary to immerse the reel in water. You can rinse the reel gently with fresh water and wipe with a dry cloth.

Further, you should wash off the debris, sand, salt, and dirt gathered inside the reel. Put the reel downward while washing it. So, the soil or sand can go down along the rod rather than into the spool or drag system.

You can learn about various ways to clean different types of reels. The critical point is that you must maintain and clean your fishing reel regularly and adequately.

What Is The Best Waterproof Fishing Reel?

I am introducing one of the best waterproof fishing reels to you. So, you need not worry about finding one.

Ecooda Spinning Jigging Fishing Reels are heavy-duty, metallic fishing reels. Explicitly designed for saltwater, it has waterproofing that protects it from corrosion. Heavy-duty and highly strong aluminum alloy makes up its structure and rotor. Also, O Ring sealed waterproof body and saltwater protection adds to its strength.

Moreover, stainless steel gear with ball bearings minimizes the friction. The anti-reverse system is instant and smooth. With the left and right interchangeable handle, it is easy to cast long distances and control the spool. Further, each reel comes with a unique package, which helps in protecting the reel.

Eccoda Spinning fishing reel is robust and high performing, with an incredible drag power. You can use this waterproof fishing reel in saltwater with no worries for corrosion or any other damages.


The construction of fishing reels makes them capable of handling water. They can get wet to some extent and perform well in freshwater. In contrast, saltwater can damage reels more than freshwater. So, waterproof fishing reels would be more useful and practical if you plan to fish in saltwater. Their waterproofing cover will protect them from corrosion and decomposition.

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I am Steve Hudson. I write about Fishing, Climbing, Hiking, Backpacking and Camping here at Living Ambition.

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