How To Fix A Fishing Reel That Won't Lock

You do not need to be an experienced angler to notice that your fishing reel has a problem. A fishing reel may fail to lock due to issues with the drag system, anti-reverse system, or with broken bail wire and spool. Whatever the case might be, there is always a quick fix to everything. We have discussed each of these problems associated with the reel failing to lock in this article. You will learn how each of these problems affects the locking mechanism of the spool.

You do not necessarily have to hire a professional. We’ll show you a few ways on how to fix a fishing reel that won’t lock.

Reasons For A Reel Not Locking

There are obvious reasons as to why a fishing reel won’t lock properly. The main reason is either the bail or the spool got broken. It won’t also close if there is a problem with the drag/anti-reverse system. The bail works by moving side to side, and if it gets stuck, it could also be due to a tangling line.

Fixing The Issue

An easy fix is all that is needed to get the reel working properly again. The first thing you need to do is to determine the cause of it not locking. It could be any of the issues above, but each requires a different approach when fixing. Below is how you can repair each of the problems that are associated with the reel not locking.

1Fixing Anti-Reverse System

An anti-reverse system is among the problems that you will need to fix. This project requires you to take apart the components and examine the possible issues.

        • Displaced Spring

Take the drag system apart, the spool, and also the frame. Due to its sensitivity, you need to be very careful when fixing the spring inside it. The spring might have gotten displaced, and you can fix this by placing it in the right position with a pen. It should work perfectly after restoring this issue; you can test to check if it’s working correctly.

How To Fix A Fishing Reel That Won't Lock

        • Broken Anti-Reverse System

An anti-reverse system prevents the reel from turning backward when dragging. A broken anti-reverse system will need a replacement. Disassemble all the parts placing aside each component you remove in order of their removal. Please get a new anti-reverse system and reassemble it in the correct order of the reverse you used to remove the broken one.

        • Hammer Piece

In this step, you also need to take apart the spinning reel and disassemble the gears. Locate the hammer piece and the leaching gear. You will need to loosen the anti-reverse hammer piece. Add a little adhesive to the gear teeth to create a coating and to let the bushing gear slide. Allow it to dry for a day for a more secure permanent layer. Test it to ensure the latching gear doe not hold the anti-reversal handle.

2Broken Spool

A fishing reel might fail to lock if there is a problem with a bail wire or if the spool gets broken. To fix the problem, you need basic tools like pliers, screwdrivers, and the parts you wish to replace. Using a screwdriver, loosen the screw that secures the bail. Keep the screws in a safe place as you will need them to when reassembling.

        • Check The Bail Wire And Line Roller

Check for any damages on the bail wire to see if it needs a replacement or fixing. Any problems with the bail wire will cause the reel not to lock properly. Remove the screw securing the line roller to check if the line roller is okay. You can replace it if it is not in good condition. Remember to reassemble all the parts you took apart when fixing the problems.

3Fixing Line Issues

If there is a problem with a fishing line, it will cause the reel to fail to lock. The fishing line can get twisted after a long period of use. Replace it if it’s in bad condition or fixes the line. You can straighten it.

When braided fishing lines tangles, the lock can also not lock. Sometimes it could slip when you are using other types of fishing lines. The best one to use that won’t slip or tangle easily is a monofilament braid.

Another reason that could be the problem is using a fishing reel of the wrong size. The wrong size will not make the reel spool correctly.

4Too Much Lubrication And Dirt

Too much lubrication can make the reels not lock when the bearings have clogged. When dirt builds up, there could also be a possible problem with the paws. If it gets damaged, the gears can get locked. To fix this, maintain regular cleaning and maintenance of replacing if necessary.

5Worn Out Components

When your fishing reel is worn out, you will need to replace it. If left unfixed, it will cause problems with fixing. The parts could wear out as a result of corrosion. It happens if you do not clean it regularly. Water is an agent of rust. If you use the reels on salty water frequently, you will have to deal with corrosion issues.

What you need to do after fishing in salty water is to rinse the reels the moment you get done fishing. Avoid storing it with water as moisture will lead to corrosion. Lubrication is also essential to help prevent any rust.

As we have seen above, there are many reasons why a spinning reel won’t lock. Quite often, we tend to see the possible signs that could be the problem but still ignore fixing them as soon as possible. Fishing reels are an essential part of fishing for most anglers. The simple things we choose to skip are what bring about major damages. When fixing, your go-to places should always be the spool, anti-reverse system, or the bail wire. Once you know where the problem lies, fixing the issue will be quick and easy. You won’t need to pay anyone to do it for you.


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