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Best Reel Cleaning Kits Reviewed & Tested

last updated May 04, 2019

After a great day of fishing, you should always remove your reel and give it a good cleaning to ensure that it will perform at max efficiency the next time you hit the water. Some fisherman choose to neglect cleaning their reel and they are the ones who will pay for it not only as it will not perform next time they go fishing but they will also pay when the reel breaks and they need to buy another. Having a good reel cleaning kit as part of your gear is always a good idea, as reels are not cheap investments and you want to ensure they are clean and working properly every time you go fishing. If you agree and like to keep your reel clean, this list will help you find the best cleaning kit for you and your fishing style.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research

icon
Ardent Reel Kleen
91.3/100 our score
Accessories
94
Materials
93
Ease of Use
89
Value
89
Ardent Reel Kleen
Why is it better?

Comes with 4 different bottles for your cleaning needs

Includes solutions which help prevent rust and corrosion

The kit comes with a multi-purpose screwdriver

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Ardent Reel Kleen
Test Winner: Ardent Reel Kleen
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
15
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1.1k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
12
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
15
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Jordan Coleiro
By Jordan Coleiro:

This list of reel cleaning kits has been put together to show you the best researched and reviewed cleaning kits to help you keep your reel clean and working effectively every time you hit the water. A cleaning kit to keep your eye on is the Ardent Reel Kleen. We love this addition because it is highly-rated, comes with a variety of accessories, and a carrying case.

Sorting Options
Accessories Materials Ease of Use Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.3
Accessories
94 %
Materials
93 %
Ease of Use
89 %
Value
89 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.09.19)
Amazon Link
$19.99
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
Accessories
87 %
Materials
93 %
Ease of Use
93 %
Value
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.09.19)
Amazon Link
$20.88
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.5
Accessories
82 %
Materials
90 %
Ease of Use
95 %
Value
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.09.19)
Amazon Link
$14.99
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.8
Accessories
90 %
Materials
91 %
Ease of Use
90 %
Value
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.09.19)
Amazon Link
$19.99
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.3
Accessories
81 %
Materials
85 %
Ease of Use
93 %
Value
94 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.09.19)
Amazon Link
$7.14
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.3
Accessories
82 %
Materials
88 %
Ease of Use
90 %
Value
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.09.19)
Amazon Link
$9.99
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
Accessories
82 %
Materials
88 %
Ease of Use
92 %
Value
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.09.19)
Amazon Link
$16.99
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.5
Accessories
83 %
Materials
86 %
Ease of Use
91 %
Value
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.09.19)
Amazon Link
$7.67
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.3
Accessories
82 %
Materials
88 %
Ease of Use
89 %
Value
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.09.19)
Amazon Link
$17.50
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.3
Accessories
85 %
Materials
88 %
Ease of Use
88 %
Value
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.09.19)
Amazon Link
$18.54

Top Ten Reel Cleaning Kits

1. Ardent Reel Kleen

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.3
Ardent Reel Kleen
Amazon Link
Accessories
94
Materials
93
Ease of Use
89
Value
89
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$19.99
Pros:

Comes with 4 different bottles for your cleaning needs

Includes solutions which help prevent rust and corrosion

The kit comes with a multi-purpose screwdriver

Cons:

No cleaning cloth, which is important since solutions are not self-drying

This kit, which is specifically for those who fish in salt water conditions, is geared towards preventing rust and corrosion for your reel and pole. 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.

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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.

2. Ardent Reel

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
Ardent Reel
Amazon Link
Accessories
87
Materials
93
Ease of Use
93
Value
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$20.88
Pros:

Three step process ensures you will know exactly when to use each solution

The kit comes with two cotton swabs

Degreaser and Line butter comes in 2-ounce bottles

Cons:

Does not come with a screwdriver, cleaning cloth or case

This fishing reel cleaning pack from Ardent easily breaks down for you the steps you need to take clean your equipment. The first step is the reel 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 a precise tip on them so you can apply the right amount to the area you need to.

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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.

3. Bottle of Ardent

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.5
 Bottle of Ardent
Amazon Link
Accessories
82
Materials
90
Ease of Use
95
Value
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$14.99
Pros:

16-ounce bottle ensures you will have a lot for a long-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

Cons:

Only comes with the spray

When you are looking to refill your Degreaser within your kit, Ardent has this solution available for you. 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.

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You can apply this cleaner confidently to your reel, as it contains some corrosion and rust protection, meaning it will allow your 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.

4. Ardent Fishing

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.8
Ardent Fishing
Amazon Link
Accessories
90
Materials
91
Ease of Use
90
Value
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$19.99
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

Comes with an Allen wrench, in case your reel needs that instead for easy loosening and tightening

Cons:

The cloth is silicone coated, meaning it will not last long and will need to replaced soon

It 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 like a multi-tool screwdriver so you can do more with it.

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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 your reel. Lastly, you’ll receive a brush and a case for your kit, so you can ensure you have the proper tools to clean your reel and a convenient place to store it all.

5. Hoope’s No. 9

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.3
Hoope’s No. 9
Amazon Link
Accessories
81
Materials
85
Ease of Use
93
Value
94
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$7.14
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

Cons:

No other items available besides the oil

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. This particular lubricating oil will never expire, nor will it gum up or harden on your reel, even under the most intense pressure.

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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.

6. Berkley BAOGK

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.3
Berkley BAOGK
Amazon Link
Accessories
82
Materials
88
Ease of Use
90
Value
93
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$9.99
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

  • Properties of both the oil and grease have corrosion inhibiting properties

    Can be used to clean reels which are used within freshwater environments

  • Cons:

    Does not come with a case, cleaning cloth or swabs or a screwdriver

    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. The oil bottle comes with a precision tip, allowing you to only use the amount you need in the area where you need it.

    Read more

    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.

    7. 4 Reel Cleaner

    The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
    88
     4 Reel Cleaner
    Amazon Link
    Accessories
    82
    Materials
    88
    Ease of Use
    92
    Value
    90
    best offer for today
    Amazon Link
    $16.99
    Pros:

    Despite the heavy-duty properties, the scent of the solution is non-toxic

    The 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

    Cons:

    No accessories included

    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. 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.

    Read more

    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.

    8. Penn Reel Oil

    The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
    87.5
    Penn Reel Oil
    Amazon Link
    Accessories
    83
    Materials
    86
    Ease of Use
    91
    Value
    90
    best offer for today
    Amazon Link
    $7.67
    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

    Helps protect your equipment from any type of rust or corrosion

    Cons:

    Just the oil

    Made specifically for Anglers, this oil and Lube pack from Penn can be used along with a variety of different applications as well. 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.

    Read more

    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.

    9. Clenzoil Marine

    The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
    87.3
    Clenzoil Marine
    Amazon Link
    Accessories
    82
    Materials
    88
    Ease of Use
    89
    Value
    90
    best offer for today
    Amazon Link
    $17.50
    Pros:

    Can be used within both fresh and saltwater environments

    Has a precision head on the bottle so you can use only the amount you need

    The two-in-one solution allows you to save time and energy

    Cons:

    Small bottle, so it goes quickly

    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. 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.

    Read more

    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.

    10. South Bend

    The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
    87.3
     South Bend
    Amazon Link
    Accessories
    85
    Materials
    88
    Ease of Use
    88
    Value
    88
    best offer for today
    Amazon Link
    $18.54
    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

    Durable carrying case

    Cons:

    Does not come with a screwdriver

    Within this cleaning kit from South Bend, you will receive all of the products you need in order to fully clean your fishing reel. 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.

    Read more

    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.

    Criteria Used for Evaluation

    Accessories

    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 come 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.

    The next item you should look at is the type of screwdriver that will come with the kit. Most kits come with either a Phillips 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.

    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 clothes, 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 your reel and realize you don’t have all of the necessary parts to do so.

    Materials

    The next items to think about are the type of cleaners you will need or want for your fishing line and reel cleaner. There is 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 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 with sea 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 waterproof 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 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.

    Ease of Use

    Thе cleaning kit you сhоѕе should come wіth еаѕу to fоllоw dіrесtіоnѕ. Thаt іѕ, it ѕhоuld bе a ѕtrаіghtfоrwаrd package thаt gіvеѕ you a gооd іdеа whаt each tооl dоеѕ by just looking аt thеm.

    Imаgіnе being іn thе mіddlе of a busy fіѕhіng day аnd your rееl nееdѕ ѕоmе сlеаnіng? If the kіt уоu’rе eyeing is еаѕу tо uѕе, you’ll do ѕоmе fіеld cleaning in an mаttеr оf ѕесоndѕ аnd bring your reel to life аgаіn!

    Value

    Thе рrісіng fасtоr should аlѕо gо hаnd іn hand wіth the cleaning tооl уоu’rе planning tо buу. Because you don’t want tо wаѕtе уоur саѕh on аn іnfеrіоr сlеаnіng kіt that dоеѕ nоt wоrk as аdvеrtіѕеd, spend ѕоmе tіmе rеѕеаrсhіng on thе соmроnеntѕ thаt соmе wіth thе kit. Lооk fоr thе compatibility оf аll thеѕе items.

    Abоvе аll, еnѕurе thе kіt has the mоѕt efficient cleaning еlеmеntѕ. If it mееtѕ аll your expectations, thеn thе расkаgе іѕ wоrth іnvеѕtіng іn.

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    expert tips icon
    Check your terrain and clean appropriately

    There are different reel cleaning kits for those who fish within freshwater compared to those who fish within water that is salty. 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.

    Other Factors to Consider

    Effectiveness

    A fishing rееl сlеаnіng might соmе wіth all the nесеѕѕаrу сlеаnіng tооlѕ- all соmраtіblе wіth уоur reel. But іf these tools dо nоt dо a gооd jоb, the kit mіght not hеlр muсh. So, аlwауѕ еnѕurе that the kit hаѕ the ѕtrоngеѕt сlеаnіng materials thаt will thоrоughlу clean уоur rееl- eradicating all the ruѕt buіldѕ uр in thе іntеrіоr раrt of it, all thе mоіѕturе, аnd any other sediment рrеѕеnt.

    If уоu lооk at what users are ѕауіng about dіffеrеnt сlеаnіng kits, уоu’ll gеt a gооd idea whаt dіffеrеnt сlеаnіng tооlѕ can dо. Thіѕ way, you’ll be аblе to nаrrоw your сhоісеѕ аnd fосuѕ оn a fеw that you’re sure will gіvе уоu thе bеѕt rеѕultѕ.

    Portability

    Hоw роrtаblе your reel сlеаnіng kіt іѕ mеаnѕ a lоt. Idеаllу, you ѕhоuld go for a ѕmаll, соmрасt сlеаnіng package. This ensures thаt уоu can ԛuісklу pack іt in уоur fіѕhіng backpack аѕ you head tо thе fields (you never knоw when уоu’ll bаdlу nееd tо сlеаn уоur rееl іn thе mіddlе оf the jоb).

    Almost аll thе сlеаnіng tооlѕ оn the market соmе wіth a carry саѕе. Thіѕ nоt only еnѕurеѕ еаѕу transport аnd ѕtоrаgе but аlѕо kеерѕ all your сlеаnіng соmроnеntѕ ѕаfе- ѕо you dоn’t hаvе tо fіgurе out whеrе уоu placed уоur ѕсrеwdrіvеr, fоr thе еntіrе dау.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    q: Doesn’t one oil or grease work just the same as another?

    a:

    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 saline 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?

    a:

    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 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?

    a:

    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, Phillips 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.

    q: Do I really need a reel cleaning kit?

    a:

    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.

    Sources

    1. Fred Doogan , Best Reel Cleaning Kit,