It's taken me two reels and several sets of rusted out hooks and line nippers to realize saltwater is bad. When I used my reel in Florida I stuck it under the outdoor shower after figuring the warm water would dissolve most of the salt. Usually I'd take the reel apart and soak it in warm water over night but I was being lazy. I hadn't used the reel since until this last weekend on a fishing trip. I went to pull line from the reel and it wouldn't budge. Not a good sign. I then tried to back the reel the opposite direction it jerked and twitched but slowly started to turn. Then I tried to go the other direction again and the reel seized up. This time I couldn't go in either direction. I tried twisting the drag setting and it fell off in my hand. What the hell? I put some serious pressure on the reel and I'd like to think it's because of my strength this happened but I know better. The reel just broke in half. The screw holding the spool on was rusted and just broke in half. Saltwater destroys things at an amazing pace. If you use a reel in saltwater I'd say you have about 1 maybe 2 days tops to rinse that thing out well or it's done. I swear the salt starts killing your reel on the drive home. Hooks aren't safe either. Make sure after using flies in the salt you don't put the fly where it's touching the rest. You could end up rusting the other flies just by association.
The other way salt can be bad is when it comes to what's swimming in the water with you. The NC coast has been crazy lately. 6 shark attacks in the last two months and just this week they found a 11ft alligator coming up on the beach. I'd like to say it's been a abnormally good year for fishing that's why all these predators are around but from the reports I see that's not the case. My honest guess is that we might actually be having a good turtle nesting season. Almost all of my NC friends go to the beach and I haven't seen one in the last few years post a pic of a sea turtle less it nesting. My buddy posted one this week. Even with all the scares it's not keeping people out of the water.