Why Won’t My Fishing Reel Reel In: Troubleshooting Guide To Fix The Issue

a fishing with a fish hanging on it

We’ve all faced that moment. The sun dips below the horizon, the water mirrors tranquility, and you’re all set to finally reel in the monumental catch. Yet, here comes the twist—or lack thereof. Your fishing reel simply won’t budge, leaving you in a fishless frustration. Ready to uncover the mysteries of ‘why won’t my fishing reel reel in’?

Is it staging a mutiny? Has your trusty gear suddenly developed an attitude problem? Or have those pesky gremlins snuck into your tackle box again? Why won’t my fishing reel reel in? YOu begin to scratch your head. No need to panic! Remember, every hurdle only makes us stronger as anglers. So let’s tackle these challenges head-on.

Get ready dear reader as we uncover common causes behind stubborn reels refusing to perform their one job –reeling in- and learn simple DIY maintenance tricks to ensure that the next time you hit the waterways, nothing stands between you and that victorious tug-of-war with underwater giants.

why won't my fishing reel reel in

Identifying Common Fishing Reel Problems

When you’re out on the water, excitement fills the air as you cast your line and wait for that thrilling moment when a fish grabs onto your bait. However, what happens when your fishing reel refuses to reel in?

This frustrating situation can put a damper on any fishing trip. But fear not! With some troubleshooting and simple fixes, you’ll be back to reeling in those catches in no time.

Addressing Mechanical Issues in the Fishing Reel

If your fishing reel isn’t reeling in properly, it could be due to mechanical issues. Start by checking if the drag system is too tight or locked up.

Adjust it accordingly to allow for smooth movement of the line. Additionally, inspect the handle knob and ensure it is secure and not loose which may hinder proper reeling action.

Taking Care of Line Tangles and Snags

An often overlooked issue that can cause problems with reeling is line tangles or snags. Check for any knots or entanglements along the spool or guide rollers.

Gently untangle any obstructions using your fingers or a small tool like a hook remover if necessary.

a man using a fishing reel to catch a fish

Considering the Impact of Dirt, Sand, and Debris on Reeling Functionality

Dirt, sand, and debris can quickly accumulate within different parts of your fishing reel mechanism over time leading to reduced functionality.

Inspect areas such as the bail arm assembly and roller bearings where dirt tends to collect frequently. Remove any visible grime cautiously using a soft brush or compressed air.

Examining for Damages to Gears and Bearings

Another common culprit for a fishing reel that won’t reel in is damaged gears or bearings. Inspect these components closely and look for signs of wear, rust, or misalignment.

If you notice any issues, it may be necessary to replace the damaged parts to restore proper functionality.

The Importance of Regular Lubrication for Smooth Operation

A lack of proper lubrication can cause friction and hinder the smooth operation of your fishing reel.

Apply a small amount of lubricant specifically designed for fishing reels onto gears, bearings, and moving parts regularly. This helps reduce friction and ensures optimal performance.

Observing Proper Handling and Storage Techniques for Long-term Usage

To prevent future issues with your fishing reel’s reeling functionality, it’s crucial to observe proper handling and storage techniques.

Avoid dropping or mishandling your reel as this can lead to internal damage. When not in use, store your reel in a clean and dry place away from extreme temperatures or direct sunlight.


By following these troubleshooting steps and taking care of common issues related to tangles, mechanical problems, dirt accumulation, gear damages, lubrication needs, and proper usage practices, you can quickly get back on track with an efficient fishing reel that effortlessly reels in those prized catches! Happy angling!

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