The "Real" on "Reel's"
Every angler who fishes needs a reel.
A reel does two things: It stores line. How else could you possibly fish with 100 or 200 yards of line if it weren't stored on a reel?
It introduces a new level of skill and enjoyment to the sport by giving the fish the option of taking line off the reel. This means you can fish with lighter line than anglers used in the days when there were no reels and just 20 feet of line attached to the end of the rod. A reel allows for the give and take of line that tests the skill of the angler.
The principle behind casting with a bait-casting reel is simple. The weight of lure pulls on the line, causing the spool to spin as it feeds more line. Backlash is the bane of the baitcaster and it occurs when the spool gets up a head of steam and moves faster than the line can peel off.
Various design advances --like the level wind mechanism that moves back and forth across the spool as it spins, stacking the line evenly, and adjustable drag (resistance) -- have somewhat lessened the frequency of backlash; but still, this is the most demanding reel to learn how to use properly.
Whether or not your reel is designed specifically for saltwater, you need to rinse it after every use out on the ocean. No matter what anyone tells you or what any manufacturer promises, there is no reel currently made that is 100 percent corrosion-proof in all of its parts.
If you rinse your reel in fresh water after every use, your reel will be fine. If you don't you will become a very familiar and free-spending customer at the tackle shop.
Because reels are made with moving parts, they need to be lubricated. Sewing machine oil works well for gears. I like to lubricate spools and spool posts with silicone lubricant, which holds up under a wide temperature range.
Article courtesy of Fishing for Dummies