Anglers worldwide have been innovating and trying out new ways of fishing throughout the last century. Trolling has been one that has been popular in last couple of decades. And without the best trolling reels you cannot do well as a trolling reel is the main component while you choose to catch big fishes in the ocean waves.
Trolling reels are specially made for catching big fishes and tolerate the extreme weight. With a lot of pulling power and rigidity trolling reels has to survive extreme gear action too. Among so many good trolling reels on the market, finding the best one for you is quite a bit brainstorm. We will be taking a look at seven best of the bests on the market.
Top 7 Best Trolling Reels Reviews
Check out the reviews of the top trolling reels on the market right now in 2019 with our honest opinion.
1. PENN Warfare
On the internet, if you research you can see that PENN Warfare is on the best-selling reels list. Alongside being lightweight it’s a strong and heavy-duty machine. You can find the reels both left and right-handed. The weight has been reduced by using graphite on constructing frame and side plates.
- A machined brass pinion gear
- Corrosion resistant aluminum for smooth action
- Lightweight graphite frame
- Ht-100 carbon fiber drag washer
- Very large and advanced for beginners
2. Okuma Classic Pro XP
In super-compact form factor and minimal design strategy Okuma Classic pro XP is one of the best companions for the speed fishers. Super-fast spool action and sturdy material design make it a great choice for beginners. The professional anglers are also fond of this piece of gear.
- Lightweight and compact construction
- Machined anodized aluminum spool
- Corrosion resistant frame survives the extreme environment
- Comes with a multidisk rubidium drag system
- Not a very good option for professional anglers
3. PENN Squall LevelWind
With a lot of attachments and measurement options to choose from, the PENN Squall LevelWind is one of the versatile ones out there. In the reliable section of the market, these spools rules like champs. Graphite smooth body also provides a silky-smooth fishing experience that every beginner to experienced fisherman wants.
- 4.9:1 gear ration and smooth drag system
- Anodized aluminum spool
- Graphite lightweight frame
- High strength marine-grade bronze alloy
- Weights a bit heavier
4. Okuma Cold Water Reel
Okuma Cold Water is a super tough and industrial quality trolling reel that every fisherman wants to have one in their arsenal. With super industrial quality chassis and the best quality material among the market, Okuma cold water takes the title best of the best choice for the beginners to professional fishermen.
- Industrial built quality
- Specially made for professionals
- Rough and tough Ratcheting star drag system
- One-year warranty
- Not good for beginners
- A bulky one
5. Fin-Nor Sportfisher
If you are looking for a rough and tough one-piece aluminum-built reel then Fin-Nor Sportfisher is the one that you may take a look at. In small form factor body and ergonomic design, this makes a perfect companion in heavy stream. It’s a professional reel with sleek design.
- Heavy-duty carbon fiber drag system
- Ergonomic handle for ease of use
- One-piece tough aluminum frame
- Has low drag ratio
- A bit expensive
6. Shimano Tekota 300 Trolling Reel
A versatile and professional wheel must have the ability to perform well both in freshwater and saltwater like a champ. Shimano Tekota 300 is one of them. With a lot of power options and categorized gear options you can find all kinds of reels that are able to fulfill your needs.
- Works best on both fresh and saltwater
- unique crossbar-forward design for line management
- Specially treated anti-rust bearing
- Expensive choice
- Not good for amateurs
7. PENN Warfare Star Drag
Because of having a lot of parts including side plates and the entire body made of lightweight graphite, PENN Warfare Star Drag is one of the lightweight and heavy-duty reels on the market. Because of having weight less than average, you can rock this piece of gear in water regardless of your experience level.
- Lightweight graphite frame
- Forged and Machined aluminum spool
- Comes with instant anti-reverse bearing
- Does not have a line counter
- Not good for bigger fished
Buying Guide to Find the Best Trolling Reel
So now, if you are trying to figure out how can you choose the best trolling reel for your then worry no more. We will be knowing about the things you need to consider while buying a trolling reel.
Built Material of the Trolling Reel
Make sure the element that the manufacturer has used is of good quality. They have to be water-resistant and they have to be able to take the beating of long-distance travel. There are companies using treated aluminum for backplate and the chassis.
They tend to last longer and do not catch any rust or corrosion. You have to make sure that the material used in the reel is very good quality and get a good one if you are going to use it for more than decades.
Check the Spool Before Buying
A spool is a part where your lines are going to wreath on. It has to be made of very good material that has ability to wrap the braided lines around it.
Most of the reels have spools made of aluminum and they are very good. But check them out if the aluminum is thick enough to handle the pressure.
Weight Consideration for the Reel for Trolling
Good weight always represents good quality. But you always have to prioritize your preferences. If you can handle the good weight, then get the heavy ones then you should be getting the heavier ones.
They are more robust and more heavy-duty. But you must check if the materials are good enough.
How Much Grip and Handling Power You Will Get?
Handle is one of the parts that people overlook and they sometimes face difficulties while fishing. It’s a handlebar. When you are pulling big fishes out of the tides you obviously need more grip and handling power to manage the situation.
Choose the handlebar that you feel comfortable with. You can find wooden handle bar to rubber ones.
Does this Reel Have Corrosion Resistance?
As you will be catching fishes in the water you must be fighting with the fact that the metal components are going to catch rust and corrosion over time.
There are manufacturers who are making reels with corrosion resistant metals that have the ability to get through decades without getting decayed.
Check Out for Proper Bearing System
Bearing is the main mechanism that keeps the lines flowing and the spool smooth as butter. In the market, you will find graphite reinforced dual-drive bearing and self-lubed bearing systems.
They are a bit pricy, but they are worth the price. If you are not in a tight budget, you can consider getting yourself one.
Which Gear Ratio to Pick?
Gear ratio defines how fast you can wind up your lines on the reel. You will see there are reels which have gear ratios like 3.4, 5.1 and 6.1 and so on.
But remember as your gear ratio increases, you will have to apply more strength to pull the lines.
Is this Trolling Reel Versatile?
If you are not a full-time trolling angler than you might be going out on trips and you might be fishing in the lakes during the off season. If you are like that you might need a versatile reel that has ability to perform in both situations.
Check the Brand Value of the Reel
Brand value is a fact that you should be concerned about. Good brands are more likely to be giving warranties and after-sales services.
However, there are some items from relatively newer brands which provides the best trolling reels on the market. You just need to research a bit.
How is a Trolling Reel Different from Other Reels?
Even though trolling reels are designed as same as the conventional baitcasting reels but there are some major differences. They are more rounded profiled allowing more room for the line, but they are not applicable for casting.
These reels are designed for big fishes like trout, walleye musky, salmon as well as saltwater giants like marlin and others.
Trolling reels allows you to give access to deeper water for bigger fishes. The lines are releases with the drag of the waves and they go deeper than casting reels. As on a boat, you don’t have enough room to through the bait. If you have analyzed the market you can see significant price difference between them.
Trolling reels use a strong drag system that is more handy and powerful than conventional reels. This enables you to set the maximum drag along with giving the ability to control the pressure and the level.
And the spool of the reels is more reinforced, and they have the ability to take extreme pressure of braided lines.
You will also find that some of the trolling reels have line counter. It is not common in conventional reels. Line counter helps you to get information about how much line is released in the water.
What is a Trolling Reel?
Trilling is a style of fishing technique that many of the deep saltwater fishers go through. In this technique anglers use special types of reels that has more power and has ability to handle big fishes without breaking any sweat.
Basically, anglers drag the line along with the hook-rigged lures behind a boat to entice the fishes to get them on the hook. Big fishes are the main target in trolling style. Tuna, dolphin fishes, salmon are some of the knowns.
Trolling reels have almost same design aesthetics like the conventional reels. They have simple parts and simple operating techniques, but they cannot be cast.
The spools mostly have a horizontal layout. The rod guides are upward aligned to the rod. But these trolling reels don’t have the casting button to release the lines like casting motion. They tend to have functionality on the leaver to loosen the lines and allows the lures to fall in the water by itself.
Trolling reels also don’t offer magnetic gears. And they have the more robust and heavier duty-built quality to fight big fishes of saltwater. The line counter is also a common feature that trolling reels might have.
How to Use a Trolling Reel?
Using a trolling reel is not as easy as casting. You cannot cast in this style of fishing. First of all, you have to have your bait eight inches from tip of the fishing rod. You will see a spool button. Press it to lower your lines. As you release the line from your boat, the waves or moving boat will drag the line from your position.
If you want to move your bait slightly back and forth you have to grab the handle closer to the reel and move the tip. You can use your thumb to apply breaks to the lines and to have more handling capabilities.
You can monitor your line length by looking at the line counter that has been provided in the trolling reel. As the bait reaches the desired depth stop releasing your line. You must set multiple baits around the boat or in different depth 20 to 150 feet apart.
In that way, your chance of catching more fishes will be increased. There are so many anglers who work in groups you can always take their suggestion or join them to know more about trolling fishing. Online videos tutorials are also an option nowadays.
How to Use a Saltwater Trolling Rod and Reel?
When it comes to saltwater fishing especially bottom fishing, whether you’re fishing in the Pacific the Atlantic or even the warm oceans when you’re down south it really pays off to have a good trolling outfit that has a good boat reel on it in a nice stiff rod.
The particular outfit is part of the repel align the rod is a magnum and it’s only about six feet long, but you will see if you look right down to the tip that it’s really thick, so these rods are rated for line weight from thirty to fifty-pound test.
In the line, you can use a bright one because it’s easier to watch the line when you’re jigging in open water. The reel is also very important like rod and line. Most of the reels on the market are made out of metal and it’s very simple to use.
A very important feature is that it has a counter so especially when you’re fishing for fish that are suspended in the water column or if you’re letting a certain amount of liner when you’re trolling the counter reel is a really big asset.
Major Categories of Fishing Reels
If you look deeper into the market you will find eight major categories of fishing reels. But there are only four types of fishing reels that are popular among anglers. We will be getting elaborate information about them.
These reels are generally used for getting fishes from the deeper ocean where big fishes live. It’s slightly similar to the conventional baitcasting reels. But they are heavy duty and made for the big fishes. These reels are also capable of wrapping heavier lines for heavier fishes.
Spinning reels are the modern approach for the anglers. It has a spinning vertical wheel which has more drag ration than the older ones that you have seen using your father or seniors. It can wrap the lines more quickly and arranges them precisely.
Bait Cast Reels
Baitcasting reels are the most popular one among all types of reels. You have to loosen the spool and throw the bait into the water using your arm’s throw action. Casting these baitcasting reels are not very complicated with proper instruction.
Spin Cast Reels
Most of the beginners may have to go through the spincasting style. They are mostly inexpensive and also very easy to use. They are just the spinning reels with casting capabilities. The con of this type of reels is that it has less capacity for fishing lines.
As far we have seen some of the best trolling reels on the market that has the ability to serve you better than the average ones. They all have different advantages that will impress you with your preferences.
And we have also known more about how to get started and how to choose the best trolling reels for your water trip. You just have to consider your preferences on what part of the reel is important for you.
Which One is the Best?
With comparing all the trolling reels from our top picks we had to make a decision between the quality, performance, and pricing. According to our experts, PENN Warfare is the best trolling reels in our hand. Hope you will make a choice according to your taste and uses.
About me: Hi, I’m Alex N. Ferroni, One of the creators of The Safariors blog and former camping trainer at Tripspot Magazine. I wish some other outdoor, hiking, hunting, fishing and camping enthusiasts have made this blog to share our thought. We are learning a lot through each trip, and we want you to learn that too!