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Saltwater vs freshwater reels

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
In another one of my threads someone posted about a reel being freshwater only. What is the difference between the two?

Everyone says to wash off your salt water reels with fresh water after use, if you did the same with a freshwater reel after use in the salt would it be the same no?

Most saltwater reels are not dunkable anyway so I don't see the diff?

all thoughts welcome!
post #2 of 7
I started out black bass fishing and mainly freshwater. I owned many good Shimano, Daiwa reels with fair reliability. Then I used those same reels for salt rinsed them after each use yet most did not last that long without need for repairs. Most reels in saltwater use will get saltwater on them and if you surf fish you will get a lot of saltwater and occasionally sand as the conditions change and can get rough. Most saltwater reels will require a minimum of rinsing but most will also require complete tear downs and relubrication often or they will just break.

The few like Van Staal or Zeebaas can just be rinsed with freshwater and only if you have the time to fish almost daily like a retired person would you need to send it in or do the maitenance yourself every year. These two are built to take the salt; most others will need a lot of continual maintenance that you just never need to do in freshwater reels.

In freshwater you could go years without maintenance and most decent reels will still work but that is not the case in saltwater. You might be a little corrent that if you are not owning a VS or Zeebaas or do not do a lot of maintenance like the owners of other reels are willing to do they will break like a freshwater reel. Most say they are saltwater but I've only found the above two to really be able to handle saltwater. I like to fish and do not want to waste time doing maintenance.
post #3 of 7
it is not a good idea to use fresh gear(unless you are after fish less than 15 with the exception of bluefish, tuna, or other top rated gamesters) for salt but it is good to use salt gear for big game fresh.
post #4 of 7
What bluefish said:

I've used freshwater reels for smaller saltwater species for years...just rinse them off and keep them well lubricated. For bigger fish, it's not a good idea though.
post #5 of 7
I used a fresh water reel in saltwater and the gears accualty were fused together from the salt air. The reel did not get dunked in the water.
post #6 of 7
i use freshwater reels in the salt and have not had a problem yet, key word is yet
post #7 of 7
Even reels that are designed for saltwater will eventually be destroyed by saltwater. Unless of course you spend lots of $ on a VS or Zbass. Saltwater is just so brutal and destructive to metal. The average saltwater reel will resist corrosion. It is possible to get about 5 seasons out of some of the better ones. This is about all you can really expect. If you get 5 seasons, consider yourself lucky. However, if you use a freshwater reel, you will be very lucky to even get one season out of it. The metals used in their mechanical components are very low quality, making them very susceptible to corrosion. I have used freshwater reels for salwater fishing. I have always washed them with soap and water after each use, and sprayed them with WD-40. Some of them survived, most of them did not. They soon became very hard to crank, and made a grinding noise. Some freshwater reels are better than others in holding up to saltwater use. I have had some very good luck with some shimano baitcasters. For example, I have a Coriolis that I have used for many years in saltwater and have never had a problem. Most of the Shimano spinning reels I have used in saltwater however, only lasted about one season. Even the Stradic, which many consider to be a saltwater reel, last about 2 or 3 seasons.
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