gtlegs

Lighter fluid cleaner

16 posts in this topic

gtlegs    10

I read where you should use lighter fluid to clean your reels. Are you supposed to use a certain kind. I only have charcoal lighter fluid, will this work or should I get a different kind. I also read that the only reason you use the lighter fluid is because it is not a solvent, so could I use something that evaporates away, or something else besides lighter fluid?

Thanks,

Trey

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doomdart    10

I could be wrong, but would assume that the "lighter fluid" that would be recommended for this type use would be the cig lighter refill fuel (zippo). I'm don't have a bottle of each in front of me, so really don't know what the true difference is, but would assume that the zippo fluid is a cleaner fuel, thus better for cleaning small parts, etc. Someone please correct me if this is wrong.

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gtlegs    10

Well I dont know, so I went out and got a bottle of rosonol lighter fluid. I think I read that is what some use so Im gonna try it and see what happens.

-Trey

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gtlegs    10

Yep just used it, man it works great! One of my bearings would not even spin four or five turns, and after the lighter fluid it spins light brand new. My reel is awesome again!!!

-Trey

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Mattman    0

Lighter fluid is fine, but its the main ingredient in lighter fluid that you're after...Naptha...which you can by big cans of for less money at a hardware store...

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Skeeter    121

Doomdart and Mattman are correct. It is cigarette lighter fluid that you want. It is the Naptha that is the main ingrediant. The fluid is to clean bearings only. Lighter fluid is a solvent. It is dissolving the oil off of the bearings. Most fill a pop bottle cap full and soak the bearings in that for about 15 min. YOU MUST REMOVE THE BEARINGS FROM THE REEL. Make sure that you note which side of the bearing is up. You need to put them back in the same way they came out. After they soak, tap them out on a paper towel and let them completely dry. Put the bearings back in and then put a drop or two of oil on them.

Skeeter

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doomdart    10
Put the bearings back in and then put a drop or two of oil on them.

Skeeter, do you recommend BreakFree (a lubricant/cleaner oil used for cleaning firearms) for the lubrication of reels? I would assume it would be better than WD-40 or many other oils.

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2545bill    10

i use laquer thinner on my bearings gets all the old lube off them and the other metal parts also but don't put your side covers in it unless you want to buy new ones eats plastic like a fat man at a free buffet

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Skeeter    121

Ok, lets go thru the whole reason folks started cleaning out bearings. It all started because reel gurus wanted to wring the last little piece of performance out of a reel just like mechanics do out of an engine. Over the past few years, super oils have come out to help increase casting distance. There have also been casting competitions that really got the performance thing going. Try throwing a 1/4 oz. spinnerbait 100 yds. on 10lb. line with one of the old round ABU reels. All of these super oils are super high grade THIN oil. Before these new oils were added to the bearings, the thought was to completely strip and clean them of old thicker lubrication and dirt. Then apply only 1 drop of thin oil to the bearing. You have to oil your bearings and honestly keep up maintenance on your reel if you decide to go this route. Usually you need to apply a drop or two every 3 trips or so. If you do not keep up with it, then the bearings will wear prematurely. Thin oil will really allow bearings to spin up very very fast. But it also wears away much quicker.

When you make a cast and the spool first starts to spin, it is known as the "Moment of Inertia". If you have a heavy spool in your reel then you better have a trained thumb. You are going to need it. Heavy spools that are spinning "hot" are very hard to slow down. It is like trying to stop a runaway train. Once the bait stops, a heavy spool is still spinning hard. This is what causes monster backlashes. Many of the high performance reels from Japan have the lightest spools of all. I have never seen an American reel with a spool weight that even comes close to the light weight of the spool in my Scorpion. These light spools decrease the chance of a bad backlash. They will backlash, but not as often and not as severe. It also takes less weight to get the spool spinning fast. Heavy spools just need more weight to get them going. They will spin hot also. You just really need to have that thumb trained to control them.

I use straight Shimano oil for my Scorpions. These reels perform really well on this oil. ABU makes a good grade of oil also. If you really want to go light, then I would go to the "rocket fuel" oils that are sold through Heartland Tackle.

From all of the literature that I have read, lighter fluid is the accepted cleaner that has been so widely used and accepted with good results. I would just use the lighter fluid. Lacquer thinners etc. leave residues behind. WD40 type cleaners are not lubricants. Oil will not adhere to surfaces with WD40 on them. Personally, I do not soak my bearings in anything. Unless you have dirt in your bearings, have old dried oil on them, or you don't do regular maintenance to your reels, I don't see a reason for it.

Skeeter

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Lure--Prof    11

Skeeter is 100% right on all of this. Soaking bearings is usually only done to remove dried WD-40 goo from them. WD-40 displaces water, makes a decent rust-buster, and is a popular walleye attractant among many Lake Erie charter captains. It has many uses, but bearing lubrication is not one of them. Do not use this stuff on your reels!

Dean

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doomdart    10

Right, haven't tried WD-40 and suspected it was not the right way to go. Have used whitish lithium grease (marketed as "reel lubricant"), but not on bearings. Might give the lighter fluid/naptha a try on some of the non-plastic moving parts.

I was also worried that WD-40 would attack and degrade the fishing line.

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Skeeter    121

Once again.... use the lighter fluid on the bearings only. I have an article in the General section of the site on how to clean a reel. Unless you want to tear the reel down to the last nut and bolt.... those instructions are as good as any.

Skeeter

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