MAINTENANCE – Results of 6month experiment with SaltX

Tackle maintenance, especially when I had just gotten home, dog tired from a trip, is the last thing I want to attend to, but actually the most pressing thing I must do if I wanted my reels to work well for a long time.

Then comes SaltX who touted their product to be so good and effective, it can even help to keep corrosion at bay by washing in sea water! Call me cheap if you like, but I am for one a believer that fresh water is the best solvent on earth, and I know that to keep corrosion at bay, all I need is a coating of marine grease and a good rinse in fresh water after exposure to the sea.

But TIME and ENERGY seem to be commodities of short supply as I age, and the energy saving benefits offered by SaltX eventually began to sound attractive to me so I took the step to order in a 1 Gal container of the stuff. What I got was a blue concentrated liquid that I have to dilute at a ratio of 2 – 4oz : 1 Gal of water depending on salt residue.

Then this year, I had the luck to get a Tomman Magic Spin 2000 reel for a magical price of $17, line included! On the first trip out with this reel, the mounting screws began to rust even before I could arrive home! So I figure this reel will be the best candidate for testing the claims of SaltX and its effects on a reel that is prone to corrode. Thus began my experiment on negligently maintaining the Tomman reel. After each trip, I simply rinsed with water, sprayed diluted SaltX on the reel and line, letting it soak in, then rinse off after 10-15minutes. Sometimes, I even forgot to rinse off altogether and I certainly DID NOT unspool the line after use.

After 6 months of such neglect, I hear the bail roller “singing” as I reel in line. Time to take that out and see what is the damage… but as Gomer Pyle would say, Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

No Major Corrosion!
I was expecting a rusted screw refusing to budge, but the screw only had tiny spots of rust on its philips pattern and below its dome, but this is not a stainless screw which is used on the better reels! It doesn’t make sense, it should have rusted! Removing the bail roller, I found no trace of lubrication and so, the chrome on the roller face had been worn down to see its base plating in gold. The race on which the roller sits has also worn out due to lack of lube. But I’m impressed to see no corrosion!

A closeup of the other face of the Bail roller. There’s no corrosion at all! Even on a side that has no contact to the bail spring!

Fireline eventually can wear down chrome
A non freely spinning bail roller had met the harsh acquaintance of Pink Fireline. The result, Fireline had worn a groove into the bail roller.

The spinning bail roller had scoured grooves into this bail arm. But notice no corrosion.

Teflon Marine Grease for lubrication and protection
I’m Impressed by SaltX! Time to grease the bail roller mechanism and refix the lot. Oops, I got the roller in backwards.

Here’s the Bail arm with correctly positioned roller fixed. I’m gonna leave the other things alone and continue with this experiment, until I hear or feel another part break down before I strip that one out to see. This will then go to show how long a reel can last without supplementary lubrication if used purely in a non corrosive environment.

Rusty Steel Washers became Shiny!
I took the drag washers out to service and to see if there was any spool corrosion.

When I first got this reel, the drag was jerky, requiring a great breakaway force before it start to give out line. I found that the top and middle steel washers had rusted and stuck to the felt pad. So I scraped off the rust with a pair of needle nosed forceps, buttered up the washers with Cal’s Universal Reel Grease and reinstalled. Throughout the past 6 months after this simple fix, the drag was buttery smooth with non perceptible breakaway force as long as the line is spooled in tightly (because a loose spool of line will cause the Fireline to bite into the bunch and cause high breakaway force problems).

Now after 6 months, evidence of the rusted washers are still obvious especially on the top felt pad (from left). But all signs of the rust spots had disappeared from the steel washers and there is no evidence of any corrosion whatsoever!

Here’s a closeup of the drag housing in the spool. Absolutely no sign of corrosion, even within the 2 recesses!
I’m beginning to be a believer of SaltX!

Stay tuned, as I’ll update this thread when I replace the line, and when I crack the reel open at the next problem.
I’d like to say here that I do not have any interest in SaltX except being a user of the product and I’m not saying when you use SaltX on your reel and don’t need to do any further maintenance. You are responsible for your own reel’s welfare and maintenance. Much as I like what I see from this simple experiment, I will not trust SaltX to totally keep my other precious reels corrosion free without the regular maintenance I do like rinsing, drying, unspooling line and lubrication after each use.

May you have tight lines and marine grease under your nails always!

God Bless!


Text and Images © Lawrence Lee
All Rights Reserved
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