I usually just fish off rocks and the jetty at sebastian inlet so my rod and reel's never get wet unless there's mist/rain/fog. The braided line gets wet and gets salt on my rod guide, but that's probably about it. I just try to baby my rod and reel a lot by washing it and drying it every time.
When rinsing I use a wet rag to loosen the salt and plenty of fresh water. I don't directly spray the reel with the pressurized water, that's when you may be forcing water into the reel along with the salt.
Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner. You are much better served to use a slightly wet cloth to remove the salt followed by dunking the reel in fresh clean water. Using this method you are not forcing water and salt into the reel.
So i shouldn't directly spray it with the hose yet just run a gentle flow of water on to it. This probably would be better done in a sink under a faucet? What about my braided line just rinse that off and dry it with a towel as well?
Take them into the shower with you if you want, just don't submerge the reels.
i have been fishing with my father since i was in a car seat and we have used the same 30 internationals since i can remember and some of the spinning reels are 10 to 15 years old. after every trip when we wash the boat i gentley spray down the rod and reels let them set and start to wash them with soap from the tip of the rod to the bottom all the rollers and reels let them set with soap for a couple min. and then lightly wash off then dry and when we get home use penn rod and reel cleaner. we have never had a problem. thats my two cents.
I use a light pressure water wash of the rod and reel. Use the lightest pressure you can, almost like a mist. I have used pledge on rods but not on reels. I don't want the lemon scent all over my line. Think about how sensitive a fish is to scent in the water, no way "fresh lemon scent" is going to help you get bit.
Years ago, I was told by a reel repair shop "do not spray your reels with water", "just use pledge". Well, I followed his advise for several years, but noticed that the finish came off my reels after about two years and rust started to appear where the rod guides connected to the rod.
So, I changed my cleaning techniques. Now I gently spray all my reels with water and about every ten days to two weeks, I wipe them down with Pledge wipes. The result is that the finish on my reels last longer the no rust where the guides attach to the rod.
New reels are built to tighter specs than they were in the old days and most drags are sealed. So, a little spray with the garden hose works for me. I use the Pledge wipes. One resealable pack last about one year and my reels and rods shine like new.