How to Fix a Spinning Reel That Reels Backward

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Fishing reels are made to cast out line and retrieve via the spool and handle. Many modern fishing reels use anti-reverse clutches or mechanisms that allow the reel to spin both ways. There are times when these devices get jostled, causing it to turn in one way only, such as backward. Repairing this is done by freeing the clutch and allowing it to move freely once again. Start the repair by checking the most obvious fixes first, and if those do not work, go to the clutch or bushing to get it free.

Items you will need

  • Small screwdriver

  • 1/2-inch socket

Step 1

Check the reel's reverse switch to ensure it is not stuck or in the reverse position. Many modern reels have this switch to the side of the reel, usually near the spring bail or thumb button.

Step 2

Unscrew the housing cap. Remove the spool washers and use the 1/2-inch socket to remove the rotor nut.

Step 3

Take off the rotor assembly and find the clutch bearing. Unscrew the series of screws around the rim of the bearing cap.

Step 4

Pull out the clutch assembly, taking care not to move the pinion.

Step 5

Check to see if the roller clutch sleeve is nested in the larger diameter bushing.

Step 6

Realign the clutch bearing into the anti-reverse clutch. If the anti-reverse is broken, replace it with a new one.

Step 7

Put the reel back together going in reverse order of the disassembly.


About the Author

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

Photo Credits

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