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You can have the most expensive fishing equipment in the world, but if you don’t take care of it properly, you aren’t going to have much luck.
Besides investing in high-quality gear, the single best thing you can do to improve your fishing success is to invest in maintaining your equipment.
Knowing how to grease a fishing reel is essential – and if you take the time to research the best grease and oil for fishing reels, you’ll be much better off when you get started.
Not only does a well-lubricated reel operate smoothly, but the lubrication offers protection from harsh, corrosive saltwater and tough weather conditions.
Luckily, there are plenty of fishing oil and grease alternatives for you to choose from. Here’s what you need to know.
Best Fishing Reel Lubricants: The Short List
Here are the best choices for fishing reel oil and grease:
Last update on 2023-12-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
What to Look for in Fishing Oil and Grease for Reels
Of course, if you’re looking for good fishing oil and grease for your reel, the most important factor is going to be how well it lubricates your reel!
Grease is a mixture of soap and oil, so you’ll want to search for a soap that allows for the largest amount of oil possible.
Check the bottle, where you’ll see this measurement indicated as “per ml of grease.”
Low Rates of Separation
It’s equally important that your product has a low rate of separation. Once oil and soap begin to separate, the soap can become hard and locked in position.
This is particularly common if you don’t use your reel very often.
It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it can actually cause your reel to corrode more quickly than you might like.
You don’t have to be a saltwater angler for this factor to matter! Water of all kinds can be corrosive to the gears in your reel, but it’s especially damaging if it’s saltwater.
Make sure your reel has corrosion inhibiting properties.
Look for a fishing oil and grease that is water-resistant. After all, it will be quite cumbersome to have to reapply products every time you go fishing.
This factor isn’t as important if you only go fishing during the warmer months of the year.
However, if you like to fish in the cold, you’re going to want a fishing oil and grease that has good thermal stability.
Otherwise, you run the risk of the oil hardening inside your reel. Again, this can cause corrosion of the gears, which can lower the lifespan of your reel.
Ideally, a fishing oil or grease will be easy to apply. It should come with some sort of applicator that makes it easy to reach into tough places.
A good seal is necessary, too, since you won’t want this leaking all over your tackle box.
Oil vs. Grease
When you’re shopping, you might be confused by some of the terminology.
While some of the products I’ll refer to are called “greases,” others are referred to as “oils.” The terms are often used interchangeably, but in reality, the two have different purposes.
Both can be used to lubricate. However, oil is better for use in hard-to-reach areas like on the bail or in the crank handle.
Oil tends to be thinner and can penetrate better into the nooks and crannies of your reel.
Grease, on the other hand, is thick. It will adhere better to the large pieces of your reel, like the internal gears.
Top 10 Best Fishing Grease and Oils for Reels
Here are top fishing grease and oils on the market today
PENN Reel Oil and Lube Angler Pack
If you’re looking for a value for your money, you may want to consider this reel oil and lube angler pack from Penn. Penn is a well-known name when it comes to quality fishing equipment.
This package of fishing reel oil and grease guarantees your success on the water as it will protect your reel against rust and damage.
It ensures excellent lubrication and water stability. It can handle all parts of your reel, including the ball bearings, line rollers, and handle knobs.
Since it comes in a convenience two-pack, the supply will last you quite some time. Plus, the bottles are small so they can be conveniently stashed in your tackle box or gear bag.
- Perfect choice for saltwater reels
- Both an oil and a grease
- Pocket-sized squirt bottles are perfect for dispensing product
- Small quantity of product
Daiwa 64110100 Reel Oiler
The Daiwa Reel Oiler is a convenient reel oil that you’ll love if you’re constantly on the go. This oiler is about the size of a pen and can easily be slipped into your pants or the pocket of your fishing vest.
Since the container is transparent, you’ll be able to see exactly how much oil is left inside. No more “oops!” moments when you realize you ran out of fishing oil or grease at the worst moment possible.
You’ll apply this reel oil with a needle-thin applicator. It gets into tight spots with ease and lets you apply just the right amount of oil. No more over-oiling!
- Has a long and narrow needle applicator for convenient application
- Pen-shaped design is compact and easy to store
- Can be used to lubricate other outdoor gear, like knives and firearms, too
Interflon Fin Super (Aerosol) 300 ML Can
This unique lubricant comes in a one-of-a-kind aerosol can, helping you apply fishing oil and grease in a brand new way.
Not only does this spray offer ten times the lubricating power of other products, but it is also great art repelling dust, dirt, and moisture.
It has two distinct functions – it can protect as a lubricant and as a dielectric coating. It also provides your reel with a beautiful, odorless finish.
Once it dries, the film of this lubricating reel is non-sticky. It will adhere to your reel even in the toughest conditions.
- 10x lubricating power of similar products
- Repels dust, dirt, and moisture
- Dries non-sticky, odorless, and transparent
- Not designed specifically for fishing reels
Yamalube ACC-GREAS-10-CT Marine Multi-Purpose Grease
A synthetic silicon carbide grease, the Yamalube reel oil and grease is the perfect choice. It has some of the best properties when it comes to its lubrication, water stability, and dielectric properties.
This grease can withstand super high temperatures (even those up to 500 degrees!). It can work on both freshwater and saltwater reels and can be used to prevent corrosion as well as a general lubricant.
This reel oil and grease adheres to any surface with ease. It can be used both by applying freehand or by using a pressure gun for maximum convenience, too.
- Can be applied in a variety of ways
- Has corrosion-resistant properties
- Can be used on both freshwater and saltwater reels
- Only sold in small quantities
This unique product is made out of synthetic ingredients that come together to reduce the unnecessary friction that can damage the moving parts of your reel.
It’s a great alternative to petroleum products, which tend to be sticky and somewhat toxic to use. You can use this oil on any surface, whether it’s painted, plastic, or metal.
It produces a super-thin coating that helps lubricate parts and resist corrosion.
It produces a generous protective film and is equipped with a convenient needle applicator made out of stainless steel.
You’ll be able to apply the perfect amount of lubricant every time. Not only that, but this product is backed by a generous 60-day return guarantee.
- Has a needle that makes it easy to apply
- Reduces tension in your reel
- Non-toxic composition
- Squirt bottle can occasionally leak
Penn Precision Reel Grease
Penn Grease is another reel grease that is simple, but highly effective. It has components that make it great at keeping your reel in tip-top shape (and preventing future corrosion, too).
This reel lube has a ton of helpful properties. It is wear-protectant and water stable. It has state-of-the-art technology that improves its thermal resistance and oxidation resistance, too.
It can not only be used to lubricate the reel gears but also the crank gears and other parts of the reel, too. It works well in all conditions, warm or cold, rainy or dry.
- Resistant to water, rust, and dirt
- Safe for use with other products
- Easy to apply
- One pound container may not be convenient to carry
Lucas Oil Product 10690 Fishing Reel Oil
This simple product is remarkably efficient. Housed in a handy one-ounce squirt bottle, you can stash this lubricant in your tackle box, so you’ll have it ready to go at a moment’s notice.
Made with a special blend of oil and additives, it’s designed to efficiently lubricate every last part of your fishing reel – regardless of whether it’s a saltwater or freshwater reel.
It gets in deep to all the moving parts of the reel and has a smooth texture that makes it easy to apply.
Not only that, this lubricant has low viscosity and can get into tight spaces easily. It protects your reel from both corrosion and rust and is made in the United States.
With a precision needle applicator, this product is easy to apply – you won’t have to worry about squirting it all over yourself.
- Comes in a convenient one-ounce bottle
- Has a handy applicator tip
- Can lubricate between tight surfaces and around small high-speed bearings
- Applicator tip can leak
Ardent Reel Care 3 Step Pack for Complete Fishing Reel Maintenance
If the name of this reel oil and grease isn’t enough to entice you, just wait until you hear how well it works.
The Ardent Reel Butter comes in a complete kit. You’ll get everything you need to effectively clean and lubricate your fishing reel.
However, each piece is packaged in a small size so it conveniently fits inside your tackle box.
Not only will you get a reel butter oil and a butter grease, but you’ll also get a reel Kleen cleaner, four synthetic tipped swabs, a brush, and a cleaning cloth.
The brush is perfect for scrubbing the outside of the reel, while the other swabs can get inside the nooks and crannies of your reel’s inner workings.
The Butter will work as a rust and corrosion inhibitor on all parts of your reel, giving it a beautiful shine and helping the reel work to its maximum potential.
- Comes with additional synthetic swabs to help you clean the tight spaces of your reel
- Includes a two-headed screwdriver as a bonus
- Butter grease removes dirt and prevents corrosion
Corrosion-X 90102 Anti-Corrosion and Lubricant
This fishing oil and grease offers some of the best protection against corrosion.
It even meets the U.S. Navy’s standards for corrosion inhibitors, so you can trust that you’ll be investing in a high-quality product when you buy this lubricant.
It also has unique Polar bonding technology that makes it more effective. It provides it with the protection of platinum and gold, helping to prevent the build-up and spread of corrosion. It blocks rust and has dielectric qualities.
What does that mean?
It means you’ll get more bang for your buck when you buy this reel greaser, since it can be used on electronics, too.
And when it comes to fishing, all you need is a light spray of this product to fortify the gears against damage.
It is sold in multiple sizes, including a two, three, four, and five-pack.
- Does not crack, harden, or dry
- Can also be used on electronics
- Prevents spread of corrosion
- Doesn’t work on hard, set-in rust
Abu Garcia Maintenance Kit
Abu Garcia is another top name to know when it comes to high-quality fishing gear – and this maintenance kit is no exception.
When you buy, you’ll get precision grease and lube oil along with a 10/11 mm wrench and a flat/Phillips head screwdriver.
The kit will help you perform any kind of maintenance you could possibly need to do.
Not only that, but it also comes with a soft brush and cloth and a degreaser, all housed in a soft carrying case for protection.
What more could you possibly want?
- Complete maintenance kit for your gear
- Perfect for lubricating and cleaning your reel
- Everything can be stashed in a soft carrying case that is included
- Not as good for saltwater use
Read about the top fishing reels by clicking here.
Alternatives to Reel Grease
While choosing a good quality grease for your reel is your best bet when you’re headed out on the water, there are several alternatives you can choose from, too.
For example, you could use a 3-in-1 oil as an alternative.
A 3-in-1 oil is an oil that works well in a pinch but shouldn’t be relied upon for long term use. It is not entirely synthetic, which means your reel could rust if exposed to saltwater.
It can also jam your reel if you use it continuously over time.
Some people may also wonder if they can use WD40 or similar machine oils on their fishing reels. In short, no.
WD40 is more of a degreaser and a solvent than a lubricant, although many people use it as such.
It’s designed to prevent rust, sure, but it also is meant to get grease off – not to keep things well-oiled.
While it may be okay to use some on the outside of your reel, you shouldn’t use it on the inside under any circumstances. It can cause the parts to wear out.
You also should avoid using Vaseline to lubricate your reel. It has excellent properties as a general lubricant (it’s quite greasy, after all), but it’s not designed to be used with fishing reels.
It can cause the moving parts of your reel to become stiff and difficult to use.
Avoiding all oils with TFE is a good idea, too. TFE can contain microscopic solids that cause your gears to jam.
How to Grease a Fishing Reel
Lubricating and greasing a fishing reel is easier than you might think!
Begin by removing the line spool. Do this by turning your drag knob counter clockwise. It should come loose.
Spot wipe until clean. You can use a cotton swab and some basic rubbing alcohol or reel cleaner to wipe down all these surfaces of your reel.
Then, apply two drops of oil to the components of the reel like the handle and any others that need to be oiled.
You’ll repeat the lubricating and cleaning routine on the reel’s various gears, but you’ll switch to grease instead of oil for these.
When you’re done, put the reel back together. You’re ready to use it once more!
Here’s a helpful video that can give you some pointers.
When Should I Apply Fishing Reel Grease?
Not sure how often you should apply fishing reel grease?
The more the merrier.
In fact, reel maintenance should be something you do on a regular basis, and not just at the end of this season.
You’ll know it’s time to add reel oil and grease when the reel starts acting slower and more sluggish than normal.
To test this, use your finger to flick the reel. See how smoothly it spins. Ideally, it should rotate at least eight times.
If you’re using a casting reel and not a spinning reel, that number should be even higher.
You can get away with less frequent cleanings if you have a freshwater reel, but if you’re using a saltwater reel, you’re going to want to clean your reels and oil them as often as you can.
This is especially true if they were exposed to a lot of spray. For best results, check inside after each fishing trip.
Finally, remember that oil needs to be applied more often than grease since it has a lower viscosity and tends to “walk away” from where it was initially applied.
Is Fishing Oil and Grease Really Necessary?
You can use a variety of types of oils on a fishing reel, including synthetic oils. Synthetic oils are ideal.
They are light and have good lubricating properties, which makes it easy for them to smooth the moving parts of your fishing reel to prevent friction.
Don’t skimp on this necessity, though. While there are some fishing oil and grease alternatives you can use, the best lubricants are well worth the money.
Once you get into a regular maintenance routine with your reel, trust me – you won’t want to go back!