Wow this is a hotly debated topic. If you're in the camp that your reels don't get salt in them, now is a good time to stop reading.
For everybody that recognizes their reels get plenty wet with salt water, and you don't want to lose the fish of a lifetime to your drag failing when that Sail Fish is running, read on...At the end is a video of a TV segment with Daiwa Reels.
- Fishing reels are meant to get wet: Don't be afraid to get them wet when you rinse them! The pressure coming out of a hose end sprayer or wash station box is not going to harm anything about a fishing reel.
- Make sure you use a product that DOES NOT emulsify oil: Salts Gone™ does not break down oil. Dawn soap breaks down oil. You don't want to remove any of the lubrication inside of the reel or do anything that would dry out lines or gaskets.
- Do I need to rinse the Salts Gone™ off?: No you don't. And if you're rinsing a black near shore combo than don't worry about it. If you have your finest brass out than you might want to wipe them off (just to prevent any water spots).
- Can I dunk them?: Absolutely! If that's your preferred method and you only are doing one or two than great! If you have a bunch leave them in the rod holders or carrier and it's just quicker to give them a very thorough rinse.