Q: What is the correct way to get rid of salt deposits on reels and rods, and how often do I need to do it?
A: Reel manufacturers have told me not to take reels in the shower, wash them down with a freshwater hose or immerse them in a bucket of fresh water. This may drive salt into the interior of the reel, but even worse, it could flush away any grease, impairing the reel’s performance.
Years ago, I learned how to wash all saltwater reels properly. Take an old spray bottle, fill it with warm soapy water, and spray this on your reels. Use a toothbrush to clean around the reel foot and other areas prone to salt collection. Then use another such bottle filled with warm to hot fresh water, spray the reels carefully and then wipe them down with a clean rag.
You can better protect your reels by thoroughly cleaning the outer surface with alcohol and then coating them with auto paste wax. Water will then just bead off the reel.