Best Reel Cleaning Kits Reviewed

You’ve bought all of your materials you need for fishing, and are ready to go out and catch some fish while relaxing out on the water. You get up early, make the trek to where you put the boat into the water, and go out onto the water. You have a decent day of catching some fish, but it really wasn’t about that today. You bring the boat back in with the few fish you caught, and you put all our gear back in the vehicle. You get home, take the fish in to make dinner later tonight, and then you go get your equipment. You pull everything out, and you see that your reel needs to be cleaned.

When you bought all of your fishing items, though, you never accounted for having to clean the reel on your fishing pole. You might think it just takes a towel to clean some of the line, or some WD-40 and a toothbrush, but there is all kinds of gunk which gets in where the reel is, which means you actually need to take the reel off of the pole and clean not only that but the area in and around the reel. You need to purchase an actual reel cleaning kit, and not just use anything that is available that looks like it might work.

Don’t know where to start? Let us help you with this buying guide.

Within this buying guide, we’ll go over what a good reel cleaning kit is, and what components you should look for within each cleaning kit. We’ll then offer you reviews of the top ten reel kits within the marketplace. We’ll then offer you some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to reel cleaning kits.

With all of this in mind, let’s get started!

Our Top 3 Picks

Ardent Cleaning Kit
  • Ardent Cleaning Kit
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Butter Oil & Grease
  • Price: See Here
Hoppe’s Oil
  • Hoppe’s Oil
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • High-Viscosity
  • Price: See Here
Ardent Care Pack
  • Ardent Care Pack
  • 4.2 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Three step process
  • Price: See Here

Reviews

Are you looking for the best reel cleaning kits you can use? Look no more, our guide has a top 10 list of them and all the features and specifications are included in it.

1. Ardent Fishing

1. Ardent Fishing
This fishing kit from Ardent will come with all of the supplies you need to efficiently and effectively clean your reel.
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This includes the Ardent Reel Kleen Degreaser, which is available in a 2 ounce bottle. You’ll also get some Butter Oil and Butter Grease, both of which are in a 1 ounce bottle. The kit also comes with a screwdriver, which actually works as a multi-tool screwdriver so you can do more with it. In addition to all of this, you will receive a cloth that is treated in silicone, so it is easy to use and won’t scratch or mark up your reel or line. To go along with the cloth, you’ll receive some cotton swabs which will help you reach into the hard to reach places with you reel. Lastly, you’ll receive a brush and a case for your kit, so you can ensure you have the proper tools to clean you reel and a convenient place to store it all.
Pros
  • Butter Oil and Grease will work for both fresh water and salt water environments
  • Multi-Tool Screwdriver ensures it will work on your reel and gives you the flexibility to use it for other applications
  • Comes with an Allen wrench, in case your reel needs that instead for easy loosening and tightening
  • Kit comes with all of the items needed to complete your cleaning process
Cons
  • Cloth is silicone coated, meaning it will not last long and will need to replaced soon
  • No corrosion inhibitor is included

2. Hoope’s No. 9

2. Hoope’s No. 9
Rather than providing an entire kit for your reel cleaning needs, Hoope’s offers up their lubricating oil which will make sure that your reel is cleaned thoroughly.
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This particular lubricating oil will never expire, nor will it gum up or harden on your reel, even under the most intense pressure. The oil is refined using a special process, allowing it to be high on the viscosity level. The bottle has a precision tip on it, meaning you can apply just the right amount of the oil to precisely the right location.
Pros
  • High-Viscosity level ensures it is durable and long-lasting
  • Great for not only fishing reels, but other items which need occasional oil or grease
  • Because of the refining process, is great for either fresh water or salt water
  • Comes in a 15 milliliter bottle
Cons
  • No other items available besides the oil
  • There are no corrosion preventing attributes with this oil

3. Ardent Reel

3. Ardent Reel
This fishing reel cleaning pack from Ardent easily breaks down for you the steps you need to take clean your equipment.
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The first step is the Reel Kleen Cleaner, which acts as a degreaser and will help you clean off your reel and the areas around it. The second step consists of using the 1 ounce bottles of butter oil and butter grease, each of which has precise tip on them so you can apply the right amount to the area you need to. Lastly, the third step is the line butter conditioner, which will help ensure the line on your fishing pole and reel doesn’t ever crack or become brittle. These three steps will ensure your reel and pole stay properly greased up so you can enjoy a long-lasting and durable fishing pole.
Pros
  • Three step process ensures you will know exactly when to use each solution
  • The kit comes with two cotton swabs to help you reach into the smaller areas
  • Degreaser and Line butter comes in 2 ounce bottles
  • Butter Oil ensures you can use this for both fresh water and salt water environments
Cons
  • Does not come with a screwdriver, cleaning cloth or case
  • Does not include any corrosion properties

4. Penn Reel Oil

4. Penn Reel Oil
Made specifically for Anglers, this Oil and Lube pack from Penn can be used along a variety of different applications as well.
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There are two bottles which come in this combo pack. The first bottle is your oil bottle, which is .5 ounces, and is comprised of synthetic oil. This oil is refined in a way which will help protect your equipment against rust and corrosion, making it ideal for those who fish in salt water environments. The second bottle is a 1 ounce bottle of grease. This grease provides you with the ability to not crack or wither underweight pressure, and holds up extremely well in water.
Pros
  • This combo pack has an oil and grease component which work well together
  • The Oil is synthetic, meaning it is durable and long-lasting
  • The grease helps strengthen your line and will not dissipate when under water
  • Helps protect your equipment from any type of rust or corrosion
Cons
  • With this kit, you will not receive any screwdrivers, application agents or case

5. Bottle of Ardent

5. Bottle of Ardent
When you are looking to refill your Degreaser within your kit, Ardent has this solution available for you.
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This Reel Cleaner comes in a 16 ounce bottle, and is made from materials where it will not lose its potency over time. This cleaner will also help dissolve any kind of dirt, grime, lime deposits or any other kind of foreign object you have within your reel or between your reel and pole. Not only this, but you can apply this cleaner confidently to your reel, as it contains some corrosion and rust protection, meaning it will allow you reel to be long-lasting and durable. Lastly, you don’t need to have a cloth or cotton swabs if you don’t want, as it is self-drying and will not leave marks along your reel or pole.
Pros
  • 16 ounce bottle ensures you will have a lot for a long-time, and it will not lose potency over time
  • Comes with a spray bottle head, so you can either use that or pour into a bottle of your choice
  • Has rust and corrosion preventative properties to ensure your reel is durable and long-lasting
  • Self-drying means you don’t have to use a cloth or swabs to fully clean area
Cons
    • Although it can dissolve elements, it can only do so if it touches it, which means you may still need to take apart reel for full effectiveness

6. Berkley BAOGK

6. Berkley BAOGK
This combo kit from Berkley gives you two .5 ounce bottles of oil and grease to help ensure you can protect your reel and fishing pole as you need.
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The oil bottle comes with a precision tip, allowing you to only use the amount you need in the area where you need it. The grease comes with a screw on cap, so you can ensure it stays protected while not in use, and allows you to scoop you as much as you need for any cleaning. The properties within both the oil and grease have a corrosion inhibitor, allowing you to feel confident that your reel will not rust or waste away over time.
Pros
  • Bottle of oil has a precision tip allowing you to use as much or as little as you need
  • Grease bottle has a screw on top, allowing you to keep it airtight when not in use
  • Properties of both the oil and grease have corrosion inhibiting properties
  • Can be used to clean reels which are used within fresh water environments
Cons
  • Does not come with a case, cleaning cloth or swabs or a screwdriver
  • Bottles are relatively small in comparison to others in the marketplace

7. Ardent Reel Kleen

7. Ardent Reel Kleen
This kit, which is specifically for those who fish in salt water conditions, is specifically geared towards preventing rust and corrosion for your reel and pole.
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Within this kit, you will receive four bottles of product. This includes a 2 ounce bottle of degreaser and a 2 ounce bottle of corrosion preventer. In addition to this, you will receive 1 ounce bottles of butter oil and butter grease, which also have rust and corrosion prevention properties. Along with all of this, you will see a cleaning brush and clean swabs, which will help ensure you have the correct amount of strength and delicateness needed to fully clean out your reel. Lastly within the case you will receive a multi-purpose screwdriver, which will work with a large variety of different tips.
Pros
  • Comes with 4 different bottles for your cleaning needs
  • Includes solutions which help prevent rust and corrosion
  • Kit comes with a multi-purpose screwdriver and cleaning applications
  • Works great for those who fish within a salt water environment
Cons
  • No cleaning cloth, which is important since solutions are not self-drying
  • Might be overkill for those who fish in fresh water environments

8. Clenzoil Marine

8. Clenzoil Marine
This bottle of Marine and Tackle cleaner comes with a precision tip, allowing you to use as much or as little as you need to clean any specific area.
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You can use this cleaner for any application in and around the reels, as well as any other applications which might have some moving parts. This oil works perfectly within any salt water or fresh water environment, so you can feel confident it will help protect your reel from any hard environment. This bottle is unique in that it offers you both an oil and grease option within one bottle, and this two-in-one solution means you don’t need to have two separate steps to fully clean and protect your reel.
Pros
  • Can be used within both fresh and salt water environments to fully protect your reel from any weather elements
  • Has a precision head on the bottle so you can use only the amount you need
  • Two-in-One solution allows you to save time and energy, as well as having to buy less products to help keep your reel clean and protected
  • Veteran owned company, and part of the proceeds go to helping Paralyzed Veterans of America
Cons
  • Does not include a carrying case, screwdriver, cleaning cloths or swabs
  • 1 ounce bottle will be used very quickly

9. 4 Reel Cleaner

9. 4 Reel Cleaner
Available to you with a push button spray tip, this 8 ounce bottle of Reel Cleaner is made from a solution which will clean, prolong and maintain the life of your reel.
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This solution is a heavy-duty option, and will eliminate certain elements in and around your reel. These include grime, mold, algae, stains and salt and lime buildups which occur in and around your reel. With the spray tip, you can just spray this solution onto your reel without having to take it apart. The solution will help dissolve any foreign elements, while also self-drying.
Pros
  • Despite the heavy-duty properties, the scent of the solution is one that is non-toxic
  • 8 ounce bottle will ensure you have enough solution for a long time period
  • Will help eliminate a lot of foreign elements, including lime, salt, mold, algae and dirt
  • Push down spray tip will make sure the spray goes exactly where you intend, and will allow the solution to seep into areas where it needs to go in order to work properly
Cons
  • Does not come with accessories to help take apart the reel in case you need to in order to reach the fully covered up areas
  • You will still need to take apart the reel occasionally to help ensure it is fully clean

10. South Bend

10. South Bend
Within this cleaning kit from South Bend, you will receive all of the products you need in order to fully clean your fishing reel.
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You will receive packets of oil and grease which can be used to on your reel to ensure they are fully cleaned and lubricated for any future use. Along with this, you’ll receive a cleaning cloth so you can properly both apply the oil and grease as needed, as well as help clean off any excess material. The carrying case is made from a durable plastic, so you can be confident in knowing it will not crack or break over the long-term. The Oil and Grease products within this kit have PTFE in them, which will help prevent your reel from rusting or corroding, and will help reduce any friction which might occur from any foreign materials
Pros
  • Comes with all the necessary cleaning agents to ensure your reel is fully protected
  • Both the oil and grease solutions come with rust and corrosion preventing elements, so it will ensure your reel is durable and long-lasting
  • Tough carrying case which will not break or crack under tough conditions
  • The kit can be used by those who fish in fresh water and salt water weather environments
Cons
  • Does not come with a screwdriver
  • Oil and Grease come in packets, rather than a bottle – you have to use all of it or lose it

What makes a great reel cleaning kit?

When it comes to choosing between varieties of different kits in the marketplace, each of them offers you something different to choose from. There is a need to help narrow down your choices, so you are not overwhelmed by the choices which are available to you. It is important for you to make a checklist of what is important to you so you can figure out which kits fit you from a need and budget standpoint.

When it comes to your checklist, the first item you need to determine is what kind of water you typically fish within. There are different reel cleaning kits for those who fish within fresh water compared to those who fish within saltwater. There are different properties that each kind of water has, and those properties do different kinds of damage to your reel. If you use the wrong type of cleaning agents to clean your reel, you may not protect your equipment like you thought you were. Make sure you pick the right kit based upon the body of water you typically fish within.

The next item you should look at is the type of screwdriver that will come with the kit. Most kits come with either a philips or a flat head, and some come with a head that can be swapped. Most screwdrivers are the same, but the grip is very important to think about there, as the screw will not be easy to get out or to tighten. If you want to go with a hand screwdriver, make sure it looks like it’ll be one that will be comfortable. There has been some movement towards using a powered screwdriver, which will make it much easier to tighten and loosen the screws. You need to make sure that the powered screwdriver has a long enough tip to reach the screws; otherwise, it won’t do you any good. No matter how you go about it, make sure you have the right screwdriver head for the reel you have on your fishing pole.

The next items to think about are the type of cleaners you will need or want for your fishing line and reel cleaner. There are a wide variety of them out in the marketplace, and they each perform something a little different.

Butter Oil – This is an oil that is comprised of dairy product, one that is produced from cows which primarily graze on primarily on groves which have fast growing grasses. Although butter oil is mostly known for its dietary properties, the fats within the oil actually allow you to use it to efficiently clean the reel, while also allowing you to use it as a grease to help reel continue to run turn and operate smoothly.

Butter Grease – Compared to the oil, butter grease is made from the same type of material, but has more fats in it compared to the oil, making it less soluble and will last a little bit longer than the oil will. If you fish often, going with grease compared to oil is a better choice from the standpoint of not having to clean it as often.

Corrosion Inhibitor – This will be a necessity, especially if you fish along saltwater venues. This inhibitor will make sure that as water contacts your reel, that it won’t do any damage to the reel. Your reel more than likely already has some water proof capabilities on it, but as with everything, over time it will wear down and out. By providing an extra inhibitor you can be assured that you will protect your reel for an even longer use and life.

Synthetic Oil – Having oil that is refined in a way where it helps prevent items from corroding and gumming up. Synthetic oil is produced in a manner which helps prolong the life of the items it touches, and a reel is no different. By having this kind of oil, it will mean you will have to grease it less often, allowing the oil to last longer and ensuring your reel will always function as needed.

Lastly, after you have chosen the different oils, greases and inhibitors you want for your reel kit, you then have to think if there are any other accessories you would like. One of the most common items which comes with any kit is a carrying case. This will help ensure you have all of your items needed for your cleaning in one convenient spot. Although it is not necessary, it can be very helpful from an efficiency point of view.

Some kits will come with a cleaning cloth. Normally, it is some sort of microfiber or cotton cloth. These are known for their effectiveness, their flexibility and how easy they are to wash (you should always check the cloth that comes with the kit and see if it can be washed before putting it in the washing machine). You don’t have to use the cloth which comes with the kit, but if you do not currently have a cloth you use, then it’s not a bad idea to take the one they give you so you have an idea of what kind of cloth is used. Eventually, you will need to buy more cloths, as they will be one of the first things that get used entirely. Cloths are one of the easiest things to find at any store, just make sure you purchase one that will be effective for your cleaning project.

Another item which might be included is some sort of cotton swab. These are very helpful to clean the areas in and around the reel which are not easily accessible using your fingers or cloth. These do not have a very long life, so even if your kit comes with the cotton swabs, you will need to purchase more of these and have them ready for when you clean. There may not be a more frustrating aspect than when you need to clean you reel, and realize you don’t have all of the necessary parts to do so.

Overall, when it comes to reel cleaning kits, they may look like they all come with the same things, but in reality there are some very significant differences in the types of oils and greases available, as well as the other accessories available to you. Make sure you have a checklist of these different items, and look for the kits which will best meet your wants and desires.

FAQs

When it comes to choosing which reel cleaning kit is best for you, there are some questions which get asked the most often. Here are some of those questions, along with the answers to them.

Q. Doesn’t one oil or grease work just the same as another?

No, not all oils and greases are the same. There are different types of oils and greases available to you depending upon where you fish, how often you fish and the type of fishing you do. For those who do primarily saltwater fishing, their needs will be different compared to those who do Ice Fishing and compared to those who do Fly Fishing. In addition to this, you might fish in some very clean water or you might fish in some water which is full of seaweed or other algae; make sure you know your conditions, and find the oils and greases which best meet those conditions.

Q. How big of a bottle do I need to start with of each solution?

Most cleaning kits come with bottles that range in size from 1 ounce to 2 ounces. The idea behind the kits is to give you the right amount you need of each solution so they all end up being used in about the same amount of time. You then will have a choice to make – do you buy another kit, or do you buy the bottles separately. You won’t really know the answer to this until you start using the solutions and see which ones you really like the most, and continue to purchase those. Most oils and greases do not expire or go bad, so you can’t really buy too big of a bottle of any one if you purchase them separately. Just remember, the idea behind a kit is to give you the items you need in the right proportion that you need them – it makes it very easy to know how much you need of each solution.

Q. Won’t any type of screwdriver work for taking apart and putting the reel back together?

The short answer to this question is yes, any type of screwdriver will work, as long as you have the right end on the screwdriver (flathead, philips or star). However, there are certain kinds of screwdrivers that will make it easier compared to others. Having a bit that has a magnetic head on it, for example, will make sure that you won’t lose the screw as you take it out, and will make it easier for when you are putting the screw back in. Another item which could help is having a battery powered screwdriver. This will ensure you have the proper amount of torque needed to secure the reel to the fishing pole. If the reel is loose when you reattach it, it could screw up the alignment of the line and cause you more issues than you intended to take care of with your fishing pole.

Conclusion

Although a fishing reel cleaning kit is not one of the first things on your list when you are buying all of your supplies, it is one of the most important accessories you can purchase for your fishing trips. This is because there is no better way to ensure your fishing pole and reel last for a long time than to ensure the reel is fully clean after each and every use. There is always a possibility of some dirt, grime or algae to get stuck between the reel and the fishing pole, which can cause some severe damage if that is not cleaned out. So, make sure you find the right kit which will take care of all of your needs, so you can feel confident each time you go out fishing that your reel will function properly as you need it to.