10 Best Trolling Reels In 2023 (Reviews & Buyer’s Guide)

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Best Trolling Reels

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As an avid angler, I know the importance of having a high-quality trolling reel in my arsenal. When landing that trophy catch, a good trolling reel can make all the difference. But with so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one.

That’s why I’ve researched and compiled a list of the 10 best trolling reels in 2023, complete with reviews and a buyer’s guide to help you make an informed decision.

When it comes to trolling reels, there are a lot of factors to consider. You’ll want to think about the size and weight of the reel, as well as the gear ratio and line capacity. You’ll also want to consider the type of fishing you’ll be doing and the species of fish you’ll be targeting.

With so many variables to consider, knowing where to start cannot be easy. I’ve compiled this guide – to help you find the perfect trolling reel for your needs.

So whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting, read on to discover the top 10 trolling reels in 2023.

Our Top 10 Picks

  1. Sougayilang Line Counter Fishing Reel – Best Overall
  2. Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Trolling Reel – Best Trolling Reel For Budget Option
  3. GOMEXUS Trolling Reel for Tuna Sailfish – Best High-Quality Material
  4. Burning Shark Trolling Reel – Best For Retrieval
  5. Okuma Cold Water Line Counter Trolling Reel – Best Trolling Reel for Cold Water
  6. KastKing ReKon Round Baitcasting Fishing Reel – Best for Smoothness
  7. Piscifun Chaos XS Baitcasting Fishing Reel – Best Budget Strength
  8. Penn Squall Lever Drag 2-Speed Trolling Fishing Reel – Best Trolling Reel For Speed
  9. One Bass Fishing Reels Level Wind Trolling Reel – Best Budget Lightness
  10. Gomexus Trolling Reel – Best Durability

The 10 Best Trolling Reels

I’ve been researching the best trolling reels for fishing, and these are the top 10 that have caught my attention.

The Sougayilang Line Counter Fishing Reel and the Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind Trolling Reel offer a line counter feature for more precise and accurate fishing.

The GOMEXUS Trolling Reel for Tuna Sailfish, Swordfish, and the Burning Shark Trolling Reel Saltwater Level Wind Reels have a strong and durable construction that can handle the toughest fish.

1. Sougayilang Line Counter Fishing Reel Conventional Level Wind Trolling Reel

Best Overall

Best Trolling Reels
  • Type: Conventional level wind trolling reel
  • Drag System: Full Carbonite drag system with 20 lbs. of drag output
  • Gear Ratio: 5.1:1
  • Line Capacity: 12/390, 14/320, 20/210 (yards/lbs)
  • Weight: 21.16 oz.

You’ll appreciate the durable construction and easy operation of the Sougayilang Line Counter Fishing Reel, a great option for trolling enthusiasts.

The reel is built on a powerful star drag foundation, featuring heavy-duty brass gears and a full Carbonite drag system with 20 lbs. of drag output.

This makes it capable of handling big fish with ease. The aluminum ratcheting drag star enables precise drag settings, while the anti-reverse roller bearings work well to provide a smooth drag. The reel fits comfortably in hand, and its solid build ensures it will last for years.

One of the standout features of the Sougayilang Line Counter Fishing Reel is the line counter, which allows for quick and accurate retrieval of lure and fish.

This is a great time saver for anglers, as it eliminates the need to guess how much line has been let out. This also helps to ensure that your lure is at the desired depth, which can be important for catching certain types of fish.

The reel is also worthful, providing good value for the price, and is backed by a three-year worry-free service for replacements or repairs.

Pros:

  • Durable construction with heavy-duty brass gears and a full Carbonite drag system
  • Line counter allows for quick and accurate retrieval of lure and fish
  • Easy to operate with a smooth drag and anti-reverse roller bearings
  • Backed by a three-year worry-free service for replacements or repairs
  • Provides good value for the price

Cons:

  • The line counter may need to be reset occasionally for accurate reading
  • No directions or manual included
  • The gears may be a bit sloppy, but overall good quality for the price.
Best Trolling Reels

2. Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind Trolling Reel

Best Trolling Reel For Budget Option

trolling reels
  • Holds 420 yds 20 lb test
  • Two stainless steel ball bearings
  • Stainless steel level wind line guide
  • Lightweight corrosion-resistant frame and side plates
  • Line Counter
  • Handle Material: Stainless Steel
  • Fishing Line Type: Monofilament
  • Bearing Material: Stainless Steel
  • Item Weight: 1 pound
  • Package Weight: 0.6 Kilograms

If you’re looking for a reliable and easy-to-use line counter reel for your next fishing adventure, the Okuma Magda Pro is a great choice. It has a lightweight frame, stainless steel components, and a smooth level wind feature that minimizes tangles and makes reeling in fish smoother.

The line counter allows for precise depth targeting, and the clicker is super loud, making it easier to know when you have a bite.

The two stainless steel ball bearings provide great drag sensitivity, and the handle is made of stainless steel for durability. The reel also holds 420 yards of 20 lb test monofilament line, making it suitable for trolling for salmon.

Overall, the Okuma Magda Pro is a well-made and durable reel that offers great value for its price. While some users may find the handle too short, and the plastic parts may need to be more durable in the long term, the pros of this reel outweigh the cons.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and durable
  • The smooth level wind feature minimizes tangles.
  • Great drag sensitivity
  • Loud clicker
  • Line counter allows for precise targeting of depth
  • Great price compared to other brands

Cons:

  • Plastic parts may be less durable in the long term.
  • The handle may need to be longer for some users.
  • Drag wheels may not be suitable for offshore fishing for larger fish.
Best Trolling Reels

3. GOMEXUS Trolling Reel for Tuna Sailfish Swordfish

Best for High-Quality Material

best line counter reels
  • Material: aluminum, stainless steel
  • Weight: 7.9lb/3.59kg
  • Bearings: 8BB+1RB
  • Max Strike: 132lbs
  • Two-speed gear ratio: 2.5:1/1.3:1
  • Premium Material: 9 shielded stainless steel ball bearings, hardened and tempered stainless steel gears and shaft, anodized finish for durability and saltwater resistance
  • Perfect drag system: HT-100 carbon fiber drags utilizing the best aircraft brake material, max drag 97lbs
  • Warranty: 12-month warranty provided by GOMEXUS
  • Fishing Technique: Trolling
  • Special Feature: Large Drag
  • Fishing Line Type: Braided
  • Bearing Material: Stainless Steel
  • Manufacturer: Fribest

The GOMEXUS Trolling Reel for Tuna Sailfish Swordfish is designed for serious anglers who want the best performance and durability for their big game fishing needs.

It is made from high-quality aluminum and stainless steel materials that are strong and resistant to saltwater corrosion.

The reel features a smooth shift function with one touch, a two-speed shift that easily changes speeds, and a CNC machine-cut aircraft aluminum frame and spool that make for an oversized big game reel capable of handling even the toughest fish.

One of the standout features of the GOMEXUS Trolling Reel is its HT-100 carbon fiber drags, providing excellent stopping power and control for even the largest fish.

The max drag of 97 lbs is impressive, and using the best aircraft brake material ensures that the drag system is reliable and durable. Additionally, the reel has nine shielded steel ball bearings, hardened and tempered stainless steel gears, and a shaft, making it both smooth and strong.

Pros:

  • Smooth shift function with one touch 2-speed shift makes changing speeds easy
  • Excellent stopping power and control with HT-100 carbon fiber drag
  • Durable and resistant to saltwater corrosion with high-quality materials
  • Large line capacity for big game fishing
  • 12-month warranty provided by GOMEXUS

Cons:

  • Relatively heavy at 7.9lb/3.59kg
  • Right-hand orientation only
  • It may be expensive for some anglers.
Best Trolling Reels

4. Burning Shark Trolling Reel Saltwater Level Wind Reels

Best For Retrieval

reels for trolling
  • Brand: Burning Shark
  • Hand orientation: Ambidextrous
  • Color: SHA40
  • Material: Stainless Steel, Aluminum
  • Fishing technique: Trolling
  • Item weight: 1.32 pounds
  • Handle material: Stainless Steel
  • Bearing material: Stainless Steel
  • Package weight: 0.81 kilograms
  • Manufacturer: Burning Shark
  • Customer reviews: 4.2 out of 5 stars with 1,152 ratings

Are you looking for a high-quality deep-sea fishing reel that’s lightweight and corrosion-resistant? Check out the Burning Shark Trolling Reel! This conventional reel features durable stainless steel gears and a comfortable spherical handle, perfect for catching sea bass, grouper, and salmon.

The Burning Shark Trolling Reel has a max drag of 40 lb and a gear ratio of 4.1:1. Weighing in at approximately 23 oz / 640g, its lightweight, corrosion-resistant frame makes it easy to handle. The smooth fishing reel seat and spherical handle ensure a comfortable grip, even during long fishing trips.

Plus, with a noise level that’s small and comfortable cranking, you can focus on catching fish without disturbing the peace. The reel also features a machined aluminum spool, bakelite side plates, and a double-dog ratchet system that prevents the handle from reversing.

If you run into any problems with the product, the customer service team is always available to help. The Burning Shark Trolling Reel is ambidextrous and comes in color SHA40. Its handle and bearing material are both made of stainless steel.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and corrosion-resistant frame
  • Smooth fishing reel seat and spherical handle for comfortable grip
  • Double dog ratchet system prevents the handle from reversing
  • Durable stainless steel gears for catching sea bass, grouper, and salmon
  • The noise level is small and comfortable, cranking

Cons:

  • Some customer reviews mention issues with the anti-reverse and drags accuracy.
  • One customer review mentions an issue with the reel knob separating easily.
  • Warm prompt to contact customer service for any problems with the product.
Best Trolling Reels

5. Okuma Cold Water Line Counter Trolling Reel

Best Trolling Reel for Cold Water

best trolling reels for walleye
  • Lightweight corrosion resistant side-plates and frame
  • The multi-disc carbonite drag system
  • 2BB+1RB stainless steel bearings
  • Self-lubricating gearing system
  • Speed lock pinion gear system
  • Ratcheting star drag for precision
  • 1-year limited warranty

Get on the Okuma Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel, one of the best trolling reels available. This reel is ideal for unisex-adult anglers looking for a lightweight, durable reel with precise drag settings and a self-lubricating gear system.

It is perfect for fishing techniques like trolling and can handle monofilament fishing lines. The reel has a multi-disc Carbonite drag system that is corrosion-resistant and provides a smooth drag performance.

The Okuma Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel also features XL gearing, which includes a drop-down gearbox with a self-lubricating gear system. This feature ensures that the reel runs smoothly and efficiently without any hiccups.

Additionally, the reel has a ratcheting drag star that allows for precise drag settings, making it easy to catch walleye and other fish species.

With its lightweight and composite frame, this reel is perfect for long hours of fishing. Overall, the Okuma Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel is a must-have for any angler looking for a reliable and efficient line counter reel.

Pros:

  • Lightweight corrosion-resistant frame and side plates make it easy to handle and long-lasting.
  • Multi-disc Carbonite drag system ensures a smooth fishing experience
  • Ratcheting drag star allows for precise drag settings, making it easier to catch your desired fish
  • XL gearing with a self-lubricating gear system makes it more efficient and easier to use
  • Great line counter, perfect for those who want to keep track of their line

Cons:

  • A potential issue with the single nut holding the handle and the drag wheel popping off while trolling, so be aware of this.
  • Some users have reported that the click feature is necessary for dead-dropping herring and setting in the rod holder.
Best Trolling Reels

In the next section, look at the KastKing ReKon Round Baitcasting Fishing Reel.

6. KastKing ReKon Round Baitcasting Fishing Reel

Best for Smoothness

Best Trolling Reels
  • Line counter-trolling reel
  • Available in 3 sizes: 10, 20, and 30
  • Compact Design with large line capacity
  • Two handle options: double paddle handle with EVA grips for size 10, single Power Handle with a comfortable round knob for size 20 and 30
  • Hand orientation: right hand
  • Fishing line types: braided, monofilament, fluorocarbon
  • Material: Graphite body, stainless steel, and brass gears, EVA round grip handle
  • Fishing techniques: trolling, jigging, baitcasting, casting, offshore

After exploring the Okuma Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel, I came across another great option for trolling enthusiasts – the KastKing ReKon Round Baitcasting Fishing Reel.

This reel is designed with a line counter for consistent bait placement, making it a great choice for anglers targeting specific depths or distances.

It comes in three sizes, making it a versatile option for targeting various fish species in fresh and saltwater environments.

One of the standout features of the KastKing ReKon is its durable construction. With a graphite body, stainless steel, and brass gears, this reel is built to withstand the wear and tear of long fishing trips and heavy use.

Additionally, the reel is designed for smooth operation, with three double-shielded stainless-steel ball bearings and an instant anti-reverse bearing. The carbon disc drag system provides up to 30 lbs of fish-stopping power, allowing anglers to reel even the toughest fish.

Pros:

  • Accurate mechanical line counter for consistent bait placement
  • Durable construction with graphite body and stainless-steel and brass gears
  • Smooth operation with three double-shielded stainless-steel ball bearings and instant anti-reverse bearing
  • The carbon disc drag system provides up to 30 lbs of fish-stopping power
  • Large line capacity for targeting various species in freshwater and saltwater environments

Cons:

  • Some users experienced issues with receiving the wrong reel but were satisfied with the seller’s resolution
  • It may not be suitable for left-handed anglers as it only comes in a right-hand orientation
  • Some users may find the reel slightly heavier than other options on the market.
Best Trolling Reels

7. Piscifun Chaos XS Baitcasting Fishing Reel

Best Budget Strength

best trolling reel
  • CNC caved, anti-line skip aluminum spool
  • 7075 aircraft-grade aluminum frame reduces weight by 10%
  • Precision-cut brass gears and stainless steel ball bearings
  • Innovative cast technology with centrifugal brake
  • Recessed reel foot for a low profile on rod
  • Oversized nonslip rubber grips, clicker alarm, and easy access thumb-bar
  • Premium carbon fiber drag system with up to 22 pounds of stopping power
  • Premium 6+1 double-shielded stainless steel ball bearings for smooth operation
  • Right-hand orientation
  • Blue color
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Fishing technique: Trolling
  • Handle material: Aluminum
  • Bearing material: Stainless steel
  • Manufacturer: Piscifun
  • Part number: Piscifun-RL175-R
  • Style: 40 Right-Hand Retrieve

If you’re searching for a professional-grade baitcasting reel that boasts a premium carbon fiber drag system with up to 22 pounds of stopping power, the Piscifun Chaos XS Baitcasting Fishing Reel may be an excellent option.

This reel is designed with precision-cut brass gears, stainless steel ball bearings, and innovative cast technology with a centrifugal brake for easy and accurate casting.

The CNC-caved, anti-line skip aluminum spool ensures you can quickly retrieve your line without tangles or knots, while the 7075 aircraft-grade aluminum frame reduces the reel’s weight by 10%.

The Piscifun Chaos XS Baitcasting Fishing Reel also has an oversized nonslip rubber grip, clicker alarm, and easy access thumb bar, making it comfortable and easy to use. It can be used for catfish, musky, bass, and pike, and it comes with a reel case, making it easy to transport and store.

Although some users have reported wobbling and lack of smoothness when reeling in fish, the manufacturer stands behind customer satisfaction and offers a warranty on their product.

Pros:

  • Professional-grade fishing reel
  • Premium carbon fiber drag system with up to 22 pounds of stopping power
  • CNC caved, anti-line skip aluminum spool
  • 7075 aircraft-grade aluminum frame reduces weight by 10%
  • Innovative cast technology with centrifugal brake
  • Oversized nonslip rubber grips, clicker alarm, and easy access thumb-bar
  • Premium 6+1 double-shielded stainless steel ball bearings for smooth operation
  • It comes with a reel case
  • Affordable price compared to other similar reels
  • Left or right-handed reelers can use it.

Cons:

  • Some users have reported wobbling and a lack of smoothness when reeling in fish.
  • Only available in right-hand orientation
  • All users may not prefer the blue color.
Best Trolling Reels

8. Penn Squall Lever Drag 2-Speed Trolling Fishing Reel

Best Trolling Reel For Speed

penn trolling reel
  • Product Name: Penn Squall Lever Drag 2-Speed Trolling Fishing Reel
  • Reel, RH, 3BB plus 1RB, 2.9:1 / 1.5:1 ratio
  • Alum spool, Braid 2485/65 2145/80 1835/100, mono 1550/30 890/50 565/80
  • Reels saltwater lever drag
  • Lightweight yet powerful lever drag fishing reel with graphite frame and side plates ideal for big game saltwater fishing.
  • Quick Shift 2-speed system easily shifts into high or low gear.

Looking for a lightweight and powerful lever drag fishing reel that can handle heavier line weights than recommended without problems? The Penn Squall Lever Drag 2-Speed Trolling Fishing Reel could be your perfect option.

This reel is designed for big-game saltwater fishing and has a graphite frame and side plates, making it both lightweight and durable. The Quick Shift 2-speed system allows you to shift into high or low gear easily, making it easy to reel in even the biggest fish.

The smooth lever system makes it easy to use and provides a comfortable grip, even when reeling in big fish.

If you’re looking for a trolling reel that can handle a lot of lines, the Penn Squall Lever Drag 2-Speed Trolling Fishing Reel is a great option. With a 100# .55mm braid, you can expect to get 750-770 yards, and you can even load two reels with one 2000yd spool and still have leftovers.

However, some users have reported defective reels with slipping second gears, so it’s important to watch for this issue.

Overall, the Penn Squall Lever Drag 2-Speed Trolling Fishing Reel is a great choice for anyone looking for a lightweight, powerful, and reliable trolling reel.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and durable graphite frame and side plates
  • Quick Shift 2-speed system makes it easy to shift into high or low gear
  • The smooth lever system provides a comfortable grip, even when reeling in big fish
  • Can handle heavier line weights than recommended without problems
  • Can handle a lot of lines – up to 750-770 yards with a 100# .55mm braid

Cons:

  • Some users have reported defective reels with slipping second gears, so watching for this issue is important.
Best Trolling Reels

9. One Bass Fishing Reels Level Wind Trolling Reel

Best Budget Lightness

best trolling reels for walleye
  • Brand: One Bass
  • Hand Orientation: Left Hand
  • Color: A-Silver-Gold
  • Material: Stainless Steel, Aluminum, Graphite, Carbon
  • Fishing Technique: Trolling
  • Item Weight: 1.87 Pounds
  • Handle Material: Stainless Steel
  • Fishing Line Type: Monofilament
  • Bearing Material: Stainless Steel
  • Item Package Dimensions: 8.39 x 6.77 x 4.84 inches
  • Package Weight: 0.99 Kilograms
  • Size: ATL40L

You’ll appreciate the One Bass Fishing Reels Level Wind Trolling Reel’s superior carbon fiber drag and multi-disc carbonite drag systems.

It’s a powerful and reliable option for your next big-game saltwater fishing adventure. With an impressive 45 LB / 20KG of smooth drag and a line-out clicker alarm, you can trust that this reel will help you bring in even the toughest catches.

The easy access thumb bar spool release and quick disassembly handle design make it convenient. The ergonomic handle knob ensures a comfortable grip even during long fishing trips.

The One Bass Fishing Reels Level Wind Trolling Reel is made with high-quality stainless steel, aluminum, graphite, and carbon materials.

It features a CNC machine-cut aircraft aluminum frame and spool, 6BB+1RB stainless steel bearings, and a perfect drag system utilizing the best aircraft brake material. Plus, you can feel confident in your investment with a three-year service warranty.

Pros:

  • Superior carbon fiber drag system
  • The multi-disc carbonite drag system
  • Line out clicker alarm
  • Quick disassemble handle design
  • Ergonomic handle knob
  • CNC machine cut aircraft aluminum frame and spool

Cons:

  • Not made of all aluminum, as implied in the pictures
  • The lever to engage the free spool may stick a little
  • Detent for the audible clicker is too close to the gear and takes additional effort to disengage fully
  • Cheaply made compared to Penn or Shimano reels.
Best Trolling Reels

10. Gomexus Trolling Reel Shark Tuna Tournament Reel

Best Durability

best trolling reel
  • Material: aluminum, stainless steel
  • Weight: 1.12 lbs
  • Bearings: 9BB+2RB
  • Max Strike: 70lbs
  • Two-speed gear ratio: 5.0:1/2.0:1
  • Wide Line capacity: braided 480yds / 80lbs

If you’re searching for a powerful and reliable trolling reel for your next saltwater fishing adventure, the Gomexus Trolling Reel Shark Tuna Tournament Reel is an excellent option.

It has an impressive two-speed gear ratio, durable stainless steel and aluminum construction, and an anodized saltwater-resistant finish. This reel is designed to handle the toughest fish, including shark and tuna, with a max strike of 70 lbs and a max drag of 85 lbs.

The nine shielded stainless steel ball bearings provide a smooth retrieve, while the HT-100 carbon fiber drags ensure excellent stopping power.

The CNC machine-cut aircraft aluminum frame and spool are built for strength and durability, making this an oversized big game reel that can handle even the most challenging saltwater conditions.

The Gomexus Trolling Reel also features the best smooth shift function with a one-touch two-speed shift, making it easy to adjust the gear ratio depending on the size and strength of your target fish.

The wide line capacity of 480yds/80lbs allows you to reel in even the biggest catches while all internal components, gears, and shafts are hardened and tempered stainless steel for added strength and longevity.

And with a one-year quality guarantee and free repair services for fishing reels within one year, you can trust that this reel is built to last.

Pros:

  • Durable and saltwater-resistant finish
  • Smooth shift function with a two-speed gear ratio
  • Oversized big game reel with a max drag of 85lbs
  • One-year quality guarantee and free repair services within one year

Cons:

  • The gap between the frame and spool may not accommodate 100 and 80-lb braided lines.
  • Counter sink center Phillies head screws deeper.
Best Trolling Reels

Factors to Consider When Buying a Trolling Fishing Reel

Best Trolling Reels

When buying a trolling fishing reel, several key factors must be considered.

The size and capacity of the reel are important to ensure it can handle the weight of the fish you’re targeting. The drag system should also be considered, as it determines how much resistance the fish will face when pulling on the line.

Additionally, the gear ratio, line counter, materials and construction, brand and reputation, and price all play a role in selecting the best trolling reel for your needs.

See also: Best Saltwater Spinning Reels Under $100

Size and capacity

Let’s talk about the size and capacity of your next trolling reel. Size is an important factor to consider as it determines the amount of line capacity your reel can hold. The larger the size of the reel, the more line it can hold, which is important when fishing for larger fish species.

When choosing a trolling reel, it’s important to consider the size and the species of fish you plan on catching. For instance, a smaller reel with a lower line capacity may be sufficient if you fish for smaller species. However, a larger reel with a higher line capacity will be necessary if you plan to fish for larger species.

Capacity is another important factor to consider when choosing the best trolling reels. The capacity of your reel should match the type of fishing you plan to do. If you plan on trolling for long periods, choose a reel with a higher line capacity.

In addition, if you plan to use a braided line, you’ll need a reel with a larger capacity, as braided lines have a larger diameter than monofilament lines.

Various trolling reels are available in the market, but the best line counter reels have a larger capacity and are suitable for the type of fishing you plan to do.

When considering size and capacity, choosing a reel that fits your needs and is suitable for the type of fishing you plan to do is important.

Let’s discuss the drag system and how it affects your fishing experience.

Drag system

The drag system of your trolling reel is a crucial component that can significantly impact your fishing experience. This system controls the tension on your fishing line, which affects how effectively you can reel in your catch.

When looking for the best trolling reels, it’s important to consider the type of drag system they use. Some of the best options include saltwater trolling reels, offshore trolling reels, and line counter reels for walleye.

Saltwater trolling reels are designed specifically for use in saltwater environments. They typically feature a sealed drag system resistant to corrosion and can handle the heavier weights commonly used in these environments.

Offshore trolling reels are another great option for fishing in deep water. These reels are typically larger than other trolling reels and come with a powerful drag system that can handle the big fish commonly caught in these areas.

Line counter reels for walleye are also worth considering, as they allow you to accurately measure the amount of line you’re putting out, which can be incredibly helpful when fishing in deep water.

When looking for the best trolling reels, it’s important to consider the type of fishing you’ll be doing and choose a reel with a drag system appropriate for your needs.

As you consider the best trolling reels for your needs, another important factor to consider is the gear ratio. This ratio refers to the number of times the spool rotates with each turn of the handle. A higher gear ratio means you can quickly retrieve your line, which can be helpful when fishing in open waters.

A high gear ratio can make reeling in a big catch a breeze when paired with the right drag system. So, when selecting your trolling reel, consider the gear ratio and drag system.

Gear ratio

You’ll want to pay attention to the gear ratio of your trolling reel, as it’s an important factor in determining how quickly you can retrieve your line. The gear ratio is the number of times the spool rotates with each handle turn.

A higher gear ratio means you can retrieve your line faster, which can be helpful when trying to reel in a big catch or reset your line after a missed strike quickly. However, a higher gear ratio also means that you will have less torque, making it more difficult to reel in a fighting fish.

When choosing a trolling reel, it’s important to consider the type of fishing you will be doing and the species of fish you will be targeting. A higher gear ratio may be better for faster-moving fish, such as tuna or wahoo, while a lower gear ratio may be better for slower-moving fish, such as grouper or snapper.

It’s also important to consider the size of the reel and the line capacity, as a larger reel may have a higher gear ratio but may also be heavier and more difficult to handle.

Line counter

Knowing the depth of your lure or bait is crucial if you’re serious about trolling, and a line counter can help you keep track of it.

The best trolling reels in 2023 will have line counters built into them, allowing you to measure the length of line you have out and determine how deep your bait is running. This feature is particularly useful when fishing for species like walleye, which tend to stay close to the bottom.

The best line counter reels will have an accurate and easy-to-read display, allowing you to quickly and easily determine the depth of your bait. Look for a trolling reel with a line counter that is easy to use, with clearly marked increments and a reset button that allows you to set the counter back to zero quickly.

With a good line counter, you can fine-tune your trolling technique and increase your chances of catching fish.

Moving on to materials and construction, the best trolling reels will be built to last and withstand the rigors of trolling in various conditions.

Materials and construction

In this section, I’ll delve into the materials and construction of trolling reels, highlighting their durability and ability to withstand the challenges of trolling in different environments.

Regarding trolling reels, the materials and construction are crucial factors to consider. The best saltwater trolling reels are made from high-quality materials that can withstand the harsh conditions of saltwater fishing.

Penn trolling reels, for example, are known for their sturdy construction using corrosion-resistant materials such as stainless steel and aluminum. Okuma trolling reels, on the other hand, feature a body and rotor made from graphite, which is lightweight and strong.

Another important factor is the gear ratio, which determines how fast the spool turns when you turn the handle. A higher gear ratio means faster retrieval rates, which is important when reeling in larger fish.

Most trolling reels have a gear ratio of around 4:1 to 6:1, but some models have higher ratios. The drag system is also important, determining the pressure you can apply to the fish before the line breaks.

Look for trolling reels with a smooth, powerful drag system that can handle the stress of a big catch. Regarding materials and construction, you want a trolling reel that can handle the conditions you’ll be fishing in and last for many fishing trips.

The right materials and construction can make all the difference in durability and functionality. Next, we’ll examine the importance of brand and reputation in trolling reels.

Brand and reputation

Considering which trolling reel to invest in, it’s important to understand the significance of brand and reputation in the fishing community.

Several brands have established themselves as reliable and reputable regarding trolling reels. The most popular brands include Penn, Okuma, and Daiwa trolling reels. These brands are known for producing high-quality trolling reels that are durable, efficient, and effective at catching fish.

One of the key reasons why brand and reputation are important when choosing a trolling reel is that they can give you an idea of what to expect in terms of performance and durability.

For example, if you opt for a Penn trolling reel, you can be confident that you are investing in a product fishermen have trusted for over 80 years.

Similarly, Okuma trolling reels are known for their innovative features and high-quality construction. On the other hand, Daiwa trolling reels are known for their precision and attention to detail.

By choosing one of these brands, you can be confident that you are getting one of the best conventional fishing reels on the market.

When choosing the best trolling reel, price is another important factor. While it can be tempting to opt for the cheapest option, it’s important to remember that quality often comes at a higher price. That being said, there are still plenty of affordable options that offer excellent value for money.

The next section examines balancing quality and price when choosing a trolling reel.

Price

It’s crucial to consider the price of a trolling reel when selecting the best one for your needs. While affordability is always a factor, balancing price and quality is important.

Some of the best trolling reels on the market come with a higher price tag but offer superior performance and durability.

Penn is one brand offering high-quality trolling reels at a reasonable price point. Their Penn trolling reels are popular among anglers for their excellent drag system, smooth operation, and corrosion-resistant construction.

Okuma is another brand offering affordable yet reliable trolling reels, such as their Okuma trolling reel, designed specifically for saltwater fishing. Additionally, investing in the best line counter reel you can afford is worth it, as this feature can make a significant difference in your trolling success.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common maintenance tips for trolling reels?

When taking care of your trolling reel, a few maintenance tips can help keep it in top condition.

First, regularly clean your reel with a soft cloth and mild soap to remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated. Additionally, lubricate the reel’s moving parts with high-quality oil to prevent rust and corrosion.

It’s also important to store your reel in a dry, cool place to prevent any moisture damage. Lastly, always check your line for wear and tear, and replace it if necessary to avoid any potential issues while on the water.

Remember, taking care of your trolling reel will extend its lifespan and ensure it performs at its best when needed.

How do I know what size trolling reel to choose?

When choosing the right size trolling reel, there are a few factors to consider.

The first is the type of fish you will be targeting. Larger fish require larger reels with a higher line capacity.

The second factor is the type of fishing line you will be using. Different lines have different diameters, so choosing a reel that can accommodate your line of choice is important.

Finally, consider the rod you will be using with the reel. The reel should be balanced with the rod to ensure a comfortable and efficient fishing experience.

Considering these factors, you can choose the right size trolling reel for your needs.

Can trolling reels be used for other types of fishing?

As an avid angler, I’ve often wondered if trolling reels can be used for other types of fishing. The short answer is yes, they can.

Trolling reels are versatile and can be used for various fishing techniques, such as bottom fishing, jigging, and live bait fishing. However, it’s important to note that trolling reels are designed for trolling, which means they’re best suited for trolling applications.

If you plan on using your trolling reel for other types of fishing, make sure you choose the appropriate size and line capacity to match the fishing technique and species you’re targeting.

What is the difference between a trolling reel and a conventional reel?

When it comes to fishing, choosing the right reel is crucial. One of the most common questions is the difference between a trolling reel and a conventional reel.

A trolling reel is designed specifically for trolling – a technique that involves dragging lures or bait behind a moving boat. It typically has a larger spool and a slower gear ratio, which allows for more lines to be retrieved with each turn of the handle.

On the other hand, a conventional reel is a more versatile option that can be used for various fishing techniques. It has a faster gear ratio and a smaller spool, which makes it ideal for casting lures or bait.

Understanding the differences between these two types of reels can help you choose the right one for your specific fishing needs.

Are there any safety precautions I should take when using a trolling reel?

When it comes to using a trolling reel, there are several safety precautions that I always take to ensure that my fishing experience is both enjoyable and safe.

Firstly, I always wear a life jacket when out on the water, regardless of how experienced a swimmer I may be.

Keeping a first aid kit on board is also important, as accidents can happen when handling hooks and lines.

I also ensure never to leave my rod unattended, as it could fall overboard and potentially cause harm to someone nearby.

Lastly, I always pack enough water and snacks for the trip, as dehydration and hunger can cause fatigue and impair judgment.

Safety should always be a top priority when fishing with a trolling reel.

Conclusion

So there you have it, folks – the top 10 trolling reels on the market in 2023. Each reel boasts impressive features and performance, making them a great choice for any angler looking to up their trolling game.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting, investing in a quality trolling reel can make all the difference in your fishing experience. But before you make your final decision, consider the factors that matter most to you – line capacity, drag strength, or overall durability.

With the right knowledge and research, you can find the perfect reel to suit your needs and help you reel in your biggest catch yet. So don’t hesitate – get out there and start trolling with confidence!

Overall, these reels are the cream of the crop in the trolling world. They’ll help you make the most of your time on the water and catch fish like never before.

So if you’re looking for a top-notch trolling reel, look no further than our top 10 picks. Trust us – you will be satisfied with all of these fantastic options.

They’re so good you’ll swear you’ve been transported to an angler’s paradise!

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