Check Everything

Started by Gfish, May 06, 2022, 06:12:42 AM

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Periodically I go through my non-shelfie reels that have seen action in the last year or so. I've not been de-lining them unless I see corrosion down there visible somewhere near the top of the line/spool flange area. Bad plan. Just too lazy?
 This is about the 3rd saltwater corrosion spot I've found in about 15 reels. I've been rehabbing them all lately. A heavily used(for me anyway)Revo-Toro Beast, inshore baitcaster. It's about 2/3rds of the way down towards the spool arbor. That's maybe 200 yds. of P.Pro 40lb.line down.
A tiny scratch or whatever in the anodized aluminum spool + a drop of saltwater + who knows how long-a-time period, and bam! Now I godda dig it out and paint it with somethin. Don't look like much because I already scraped most of it off with my fingernail.
Got me wondering if the start of a little tiny bit of corrosion attracts more saltwater and causes the problem to grow...
Fishing tackle is an art form and all fish caught on the right tackle are"Gfish"!


I look forward to what some others have to say.   I always just accepted that some reels would corrode a bit and that the reel would probably be worn out before it became a problem.   My Daiwas always got it on the handles, usually I'd clean it off, put some oil on the offending spots and leave it.   I tried covering the spot with some rust proof paint, did not last for long.

I once had a SHIMANO CORSAIR CS 400  that thing got eaten very badly and it fairly soon in its life had holes in the light alloy body.

I gave it to some underprivileged kid.


Agree with Cornelius.  I hate aluminum corrosion. But the amount of time it takes to keep a frequently used saltwater reel with braid mostly corrosion free is pretty daunting.  100% corrosion free may be impossible.

Regarding paint:  The anodized layer is more corrosion resistant than the aluminum underneath it.  Once the saltwater corrosion  gets a foothold in a scratch or a flaw, it can  spread underneath the anodized layer, before breaking through to the surface again, similar to what happens with painted metal. Normally, damaged aluminum will reform a protective oxide layer when exposed to air, but with no oxygen available under the anodized layer, we just need some moisture and salt from the initial wound to make more corrosion.

I have been more of a fan of cleaning out the corrosion and letting it re-oxidize for a few days.  After that, several applications of carnauba wax if it is inside the spool. Not a big fan of paint.  If paint doesn't adhere and seal the gap completely, you can be worse off than when you started. This is just an educated guess.  I haven't tested waxing vs. painting.

On prevention:  agree about having to unspool, clean and dry exposed line if you want to be the safest. Braided line holds onto salt like crazy. I am a reel soaker (don't judge me  8) ), but even the longest soak isn't going to extract much salt from under the top couple of layers of braid.  The salt gets dissolved in the contacting water easily, but there is simply not enough new water molecules passing by to cary off much of the salt if the line is packed on the spool.

And it is not just scratches.  Anodizing actually creates pores that need to be sealed/closed after dyeing during the anodizing process.  So any flaws in the anodizing are potential corrosion entryways.   I have taken to waxing the spools with a couple layers of carnauba, and it seems to help, but my reel stash makes for a fairly small sample size.

BTW, the quality of anodizing is supposed to make a difference on both corrosion protection and scratch resistance.  But the more pores, the better it will take a dye, so weak anodizing is both cheaper and prettier.  There is the occasional type III anodized reel, but most folks won't shell out more for something in matte gray, brown, or black, especially with  a polished shiny red reel right next to it.  I would guess  that those  ugly gray aluminum spools on some old Jigmasters (Newell?) are probably hard anodized.  There is a newer anodizing process claiming more vibrant colors with something in the neighborhood of type III protection, but not used in any reels yet (I think).

Moisture is part of the corrosion equation.  Those neoprene reel "protectors" (should be called corrosion accelerators) make no sense to me for storage.  Not a very humid environment where I live, so the reels can dry out on a bench in the garage.  They are then stored uncovered in a wood cabinet.  It seems that reels like being nekkid.



Well, upon my introduction to this forum, I very shortly became a devotee of coating my spools with either wax (chapstick) or a light coat of grease, and I have not looked back.  As this thread started I did give a moment of thought to this - I know that reel manufacturers are in it to sell reels - end of story.  Given that any decent saltwater reel is a conglomeration of parts (differing metals) would it be beneficial to toss in a small block of zinc similar to what is done on many boat parts as a "sacrificial anode".  As I gave it thought, I figured:
  • No reel manufacturer would spend extra money to preserve (keep you from buying) a new reel
  • Sacrificial anodes really work best when they are in constant contact with an electrolyte solution (saltwater).  Since I don't think any of us are habitually dunking our reels long term....
Truthfully we all know that thin coating of grease is the way to go.  And yes, once the beginnings of corrosion happen it will take a foothold and grow from there.
And I am way guilty on the neoprene reel corrosion accelerators; but I do recognize the risks and take appropriate precautions.  Buy then again I pretty much live in a desert....- john