7 Fixes For Shimano Spinning Reel Anti Reverse Not Working

shimano spinning reel anti reverse not working
shimano spinning reel anti reverse not working

When it comes to spinning reels, Shimano has been dominating the national market for many years.

Even though these spinning reels are not that affordable, there aren’t many brands that can keep up with the exceptional value that these devices bring to your fishing setup.

When you’re talking about some beginner friendly reels, SHimano might not be the right brand to start with. Think of this brand as more of an expert option that caters to the top tier anglers.

So, if you’re trying to move to the next level, switching over to the robust reels offered by Shimano is the right idea. 

So, if you’re not too concerned about the budget, going with Shimano Spinning Reel is your best option. Still, it is not all sunshine and rainbows when you’re sticking out with this system.

There are a ton of other things that you gotta consider from the maintenance to the pressure that you’re putting on it. 

Ignoring these requirements will only complicate the fishing trip for you and you will not get efficiency. With that said, users have recently brought up an issue with Shimano Spinning Reel Anti Reverse Not working.

So, let’s cover a few solutions that can help you maneuver through this problem quickly.

Shimano Spinning Reel Anti Reverse Not Working

  1. Clean Bearing

To keep the anti-reverse feature working perfectly, you will need to rely on the optimal performance of the anti-reverse bearing.

So, if you’re in a situation where the Shimano Spinning reel anti-reverse is not working, then there is a good chance that there is something wrong with the bearing.

In most situations, oil and dirt can impact the functioning of this unit. So, you’ll be able to get around this problem by cleaning the bearing.

You can either rely on the structure diagram of the spinning reel to access the bearing or access the ratchet and spacers behind the spool. 

cleaning cloth

Your main focus should be on perfectly cleaning the bearing and removing excess oil from the setup. After that, just reassemble the spinning reel, and your anti-reverse feature will work without further issues.

  1. Check Lever

In some situations, the spring behind your anti-reverse lever can go bad and create issues with this feature not engaging.

So, if you’re having issues with these features and the bearing is perfectly clean, then there is a good chance that you’re dealing with a defective lever section.

To fix this problem, you will have to remove the lever section and inspect the components beneath.

Depending upon the condition of the spring, it is always a better option to just get yourself a new spring. So, if you try to adjust the position again, there is a good chance that this spring will go bad within a few days. 

This is why you should grab a spring replacement and install it on your unit. Hopefully, the lever will start working perfectly after that.

  1. Fix Latching Gear

Some users have also pointed out that the issue in their Shimano spinning reel was because of the hammer piece getting stuck in the latching gear.

So, if you are sure that the condition of the spring is perfect, you should move towards inspecting the latching gear. This will help you through the issue.

You can either rely on help from an expert or call the company support to get around this problem. Most often than not, the issue with the anti-reverse feature can be traced back to a dirty bearing. 

So, you should always start the inspection with the bearing and work your way towards the latching gear. There is a good chance that you’ll be able to fix the issue after going through these troubleshooting steps.

  1. Reduce The Lubricant

Now a common mistake that most people make is that they will end up using too much grease to try and improve the performance of the anti-reverse mechanism.

Sadly, this will only complicate the situation and you will not be able to gain anything out of the reel.

oil can

So, what you gotta do here is to open up the reel and use a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean up all the grease.

You shouldn’t try to use grease with the more sensitive reels, and switch over to some light oil to help with the smooth flow. 

Otherwise, you will just complicate the situation for yourself and the performance from your system will be subpar to say the least.

So, all that you gotta do is to remove all the gunk and the clogged up grease that is mixed up with dirt to free up this mechanism. 

From there, you can rely on lighter oils to help you with the anti reverse mechanism.

Hopefully, the hassle will be pretty limited and you won’t have to go through any complications when it comes to adjusting the situation with the anti reverse not working on your reel.

  1. Check Metal Cylinder

Sometimes, all that you gotta do is to check the metal cylinder. You have to make sure that there is nothing wrong with the cylinder and it is in the proper place.

You will have to disassemble the reel and get to the anti reverse mechanism to ensure that the metal cylinder is in its proper place.

You won’t have to go through any challenges as long as the hardware is in good shape. Just adjust the positioning of the metal cylinder and get rid of the gunk and corrosion that is collected on the sides.

You might have to use a wire brush to get rid of the gunk if it has stuffed up. 

All that you gotta do is to get rid of this gunk and then assemble everything back.

It might take a hot minute to get through all of these steps, but you’re not left with many options. So, be sure to check up on the metal cylinder if you’re unable to isolate the issue. 

  1. Check For Hardware Damage

The hardware might be equally to blame in case of issues with the Anti-reverse features. If the pressure on the reel is excessive and you have been putting too much pressure on the reel, then it can create issues with the hardware.

This is especially true when you’re not sure about the basic maintenance needs. So, if it has been a while since you last checked the reel for hardware damages, now is a good time to do so.

All that you gotta do is to fix the hardware and you will be sorted out in no time. 

tools repair

If you got a damaged reel out of the box, then you can instead ask the dealer to send you a fresh piece.

There is no point in struggling with the issue on your end alone and you can reach out to the officials or the dealer to help you claim the warranty. 

The good thing about Shimano and its products is that they are covered by a decent warranty policy. You will not have to go through any challenges or worry about any performance inconsistencies as long as the warranty is valid.

  1. Ask Shimano Experts

The last thing that you gotta do is to ask the Shimano experts. You can inform them of these errors and they will be more than happy to take charge of the situation.

You don’t gotta check all of these errors on your own and you can ask the experts to make your life easier. 

The only thing that you will have to do is to explain your end and send a video or two of the problem. It will take a while for the experts to respond to your input, but they will surely help you through the problem. 


Just help them understand the situation better, and they will guide you step by step on how to fix the Shimano reel anti-reverse mechanism.

The Takeaway

The problems with the Anti reverse not working on the Shimano reel will create many problems for you down the road.

You will struggle with a few problems here and there when it comes to fixing the hardware, and the situation will get increasingly annoying. 

The first thing that you gotta do about these problems is to go through a quick servicing cycle. All your focus should be on removing the lodged gunk and making sure that there is nothing stuck in the system.

That will help you avoid more complications down the road. 

Once all the gunk is cleared out and you’re sure that the hardware is in good shape, you can move forward with the lubrication.

Try relying on light oil instead of grease as the thicker consistency doesn’t complement the sensitivity of the anti reverse mechanism. 

Lastly, if there are hardware issues, then the only thing that you can do is to get a new one. You will not be able to fix a damaged reel yourself and will have to rely on a fresh piece. So, be sure to reach out when you’re stuck in these errors. 

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