It is a good idea to keep fishing equipment in good shape even if you do not go regularly. Rods and reels can be expensive depending on the type. Maintenance will lessen the need to buy new and possibly more expensive equipment.
Reels are not all the same, but they should be taken apart and cleaned to help keep them in the best shape. Pay particular attention when taking a reel apart so it can be reassembled correctly. Most manufacturers recommend a particular product for cleaning their reels.
Reels have gears and bearings that need to be oiled to keep them in good working condition. If they are not kept lubricated, these parts can become jammed, and the reel will not work correctly. The parts will have to be replaced if this happens. One example of a company offering fishing reel repair parts is LMR Custom Rods & Tackle.
The rod is another part of fishing equipment that should be inspected after each fishing trip. They can become cracked, so check them regularly to ensure they are in good shape. Small cracks can be repaired. They should be cleaned as well. It will help them to not only look better and last longer, but they will not stick to your hand when in use.
Storing the rods in a rod sleeve can be beneficial. This keeps them from getting tangled. Keep them in a cool, dry place rather than in a vehicle where it can become very hot. It is important to place them where they are straight and not bent. Over time this bend can cause the rod to become permanently bent. Make sure to clean the guides on the rod as well. They can become rusted and cause the line to snag or become damaged.
Do not forget while maintaining the rod and reel that the line will need to be replaced on a regular basis. If you do a lot of fishing, it can become weak from being stretched by the weight of the fish. It can also become brittle over time and break.