A salt encrusted reel is like having a car without any oil in the engine. If you fail to care for the reel on the trip, and more importantly when you return home, and you'll pay the price when you pull it out for the next  trip. This photo will show you what a reel looks like a year later when put away with only a soaking in some brackish water from a cistern well in a tropical Eden. This spool was on a reel that was locked up totally and had to be soaked in hot water, and penetrating oil for three days just to open it up and move the spool. Old, dried salt is like varnish. A little care each day will keep your reel working well for many years.

This salt uncrusted reel was completely unusable. This salt uncrusted reel was completely unusable.

When you return from fishing each day, rinse the reel completely... soak it thoroughly with a hose or in your sink. Then pull off forty or fifty feet of line and wipe it down with a clean rag. Dry the reel completely with a dry, clean rag. Then spray the chassis and spool with a light oil like WD40 and wipe it down again. Then put it into a Zip-lock bag and seal it for the next day's fishing. Do the same when you return home. When you do it at home, pull the entire fly line off and wipe it carefully... some even put a light film of Orvis Line Dressing, Glide, or Armor All on the line... and this time leave a light film of oil on the entire reel. Then put it away in the case. It will look like new and function  perfectly on next year's trip.

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