A cover for a reel of welding wire comprises a sleeve having axially opposite ends extending across the outer peripheries of the flanges of the reel and having radially inwardly open circumferentially extending recesses interengaging with the flanges to releasably axially retain the sleeve on the reel and to seal the space between the flanges so as to protect welding wire wound about the hub of the reel between the flanges from exposure to air and moisture. Seals are provided between the recesses and reel flanges for the latter purpose. In accordance with another embodiment, the cover comprises two portions which snap-lock together to completely enclose the reel. The reel and cover are relatively rotatable and in accordance with another aspect of the invention the cover can remain on the reel during use and is provided with an integral or detachable nose which supports the wire during unwinding thereof from the reel.
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