It is all about having and owning the experience streamlined on different fishing gears. Starting with the fishing reels, the best trolling reels are a little different from using, and only the experienced or the professional anglers can cast it.
Given that not many of the anglers know much about the trolling reels, they are relatively and extraordinarily different in the make, which attaches multiple lures within the single line allowing you to get more power covered.
To learn this art of catching your best gaming fish, you get to own the right one. And if you are versed at using this particular reel type, undoubtedly you can afford to use any kind of the trolling reel without needing to learn the specifications and checking the requirements against your personal preferences.
At a Glance
- List of the best trolling reels — Updated picks for 2021!
- 1- Okuma Magda Pro MA-30DX – Best Budget Trolling Reel
- 2- Okuma Cold Water CW-303D – Best Trolling Fishing Reels
- 3- Penn Squall 30VSW Trolling Reel
- 4- Penn SQL50LW Trolling Reel – Best Big Game Trolling Reels
- 5- Penn Warfare WAR30LWLC – Best Trolling Reel For The Money
- 6- Shimano Tekota TEK300LC – Best Saltwater Trolling Reels
- 7- Okuma Classic CLX-300LA Trolling Reel
- 8- Shimano TLD 20IIA – Best Offshore Trolling Reels
- 9- Shakespeare ATS Box Trolling Reel
- 10- Burning Shark STC40 Trolling Reel
- What is the Best Budget Trolling Reel?
- How is a Trolling Reel Different from other Reels?
- How To Choose The Best Value Trolling Reel – Buying Guide
- Advantages of using a Trolling Reel
- How to clean a Trolling Reel?
List of the best trolling reels — Updated picks for 2021!
1- Okuma Magda Pro MA-30DX – Best Budget Trolling Reel
Designed exclusively and specifically for the left-handed anglers, this Okuma Magda Pro MA-30DX queues up in the line of the trolling reels you can avail out of the market.
Coupled with the most-demanding features and starting with the build, it is made using the highest quality of materials keeping its overall weight to the lightest end, ensuring it never lets you face crumbles and itches after handling for hours.
Made the side plate rings and the frame with the ultimate high standard of stainless steel reinforced backed by the anti-corrosion finish that reduces the resistance to the never-imagined level.
Having the rubber-based push button to push the reset as it comes loaded with the mechanical line counter functionality measuring in the feet to outperform many of the trolling reels available in the market.
Comes with a self-lubricating gearing system integrated with the machine cut brass gears along with the powerful dragging system backed by the multi-disc carbonated material lets you ensure you get the premium quality of trolling reel to trust the performance as well as longing its operational life to live for years.
Loaded as well with dual stainless steel-based ball bearings along with the stainless steel-level of winding line guide system and equipped with the corrosion-resistant and graphite-made spool relieved by one year of warranty safeguards you to overlook for the parts as well as getting buried by the stress of maintaining the reel as this reel is itself capable of holding the natural happenings to bear while providing you the best outcome in the water.
Mighty dragging power of more than 20 lbs by lowering the line to over 420 yards is the tested feature to rely upon when hooking the massively powerful fish without facing any hardships to retrieve it out of the water.
- Best 20 lbs of drag power
- LevelWinding line guide
- Known for the reliability
- Temperamental line counter
- Loosens the drag itself
2- Okuma Cold Water CW-303D – Best Trolling Fishing Reels
Another trolling reel from the same brand, the Okuma Cold Water CW303D, lists up at the second in our desired collection of the differential and not-so-common trolling reel.
Made with the exclusively lightweight and anti-corrosion and resistance-free frame with the side plates using the stainless steel, it makes sure it does not get bent and break when using no matter how powerful the fish you get to hook.
Used by the professional anglers all around the world, this Okuma Cold Water CW-303D would never send the users to feel embarrassed when grouped up by the fellow anglers on the same boat and the fishing point inciting them to inquire about what kind of fishing reel is that as it is not an ordinary reel not all of them would have ever seen.
Equipped with the trusted XL gearing with having the drop-down gearbox comes with the whole system that goes with the self-lubricating mechanism not to run dry reducing the chances of friction to keep it fresh despite the more substantial fish putting up the lot of fight causing the line and the reel to turn overheated.
Backed by the potent 20 lb of maximum drag power that enables significantly at the distance of 420 yards without increasing the chance of breaking the line and losing the tension altogether.
Not only that, but the power of the drag system is solely backed by the multi-disc carbonite taking on all the force and jerks without a single problem you would ever face on the water.
Change the settings to your preference by ratcheting the drag star to achieve the brilliant precision in playing and retrieving the way you like.
- XL gearing system
- Comes with one year of warranty
- Slightly expensive
3- Penn Squall 30VSW Trolling Reel
We do NOT let the anglers pick and compromise upon the quality, given that the trolling reel is a bit overpriced.
Crafted for the right-handed folks to do the professional-alike fishing, having three high-performance and heavy-duty ball bearings to over three counts with one reverse main bearing loaded with the gearing system of 4.2:1 or 1.8:1 is pleasant to deal with the medium to substantial catches to drag and retrieve with the method of your preference to sound like a genuine and the pro angler!
They are not just attached with the ordinary ball bearings but are made with the highly-reliable stainless steel material outperforming this saltwater in the performance to the unimaginable levels as it got made the frame with the graphite along with the side plates to make it idealized for the professional fishing out in the saltwater.
Equipped with two levels of speed system that conveniently shifts through the higher and the lower gears with the Quick Shift enabling you to enjoy the fishing like you want with calling off the fight given by the game fishes to streamline the smooth fishing experience.
With having the Dura-Drag system, it comes with snagging down the hesitations no matter what kind of the extreme drag settings you have chosen to live the best fight to get the more massive fishes calmed down.
The durable and the double dog ratchet system stops the handle from going into the reverse so that every meter and the feet achieved do not let the fish go back into the water to decrease retrieval time.
- Dura-Drag system
- Dual dog ratchet system
- Made with graphite
- High in price
4- Penn SQL50LW Trolling Reel – Best Big Game Trolling Reels
Name of the ultimate brand, this Penn SQL50LW, is going to be the choice of many who are after handing the most-robust and the reliable trolling reel to have.
This LevelWind trolling reel is specifically designed for the heavier and bigger game fish under the variety of the saltwater conditions to cast for the successful catches, resulting in no cast goes in vain.
Made with the entirely lightweight graphite material that is durable enough to construct the frame as well as the side plates with the central gearing system built with bronze and the pinion gear with the stainless steel delivering you the best result in the water without inviting the rust and longing the life always to have the successful fishing session.
Drag system made exclusively with HT 100 carbon fiber, which is increasingly smooth, has to hook the great catch and drag to call off the fight giving you the experience that is never tested along with the drag washers of the HT 100 adds vehemently to keep everything crisp and smooth.
Shielded and stainless steel bearing systems to the count of two plus one make the whole operation of retrieval super smooth, making you close in the more significant length in one dial.
Comes with the machined aluminum with the forged power spool is always braid ready that marks the line capacity rings available @ ⅓, ⅔, and at the full capacity to get to know how much of the line has been cast.
- Level wind
- Works in saltwater
- Machined aluminum spool
- Bronze alloy
- Lil bit of high in price
5- Penn Warfare WAR30LWLC – Best Trolling Reel For The Money
Trolling reels are relatively lightweight at the design no matter which one you opt for, and this one from Penn Warfare WAR30LWLC is the actual name of the same design with the same concept and the same standard to make it liable to match with what specified for it.
Crafted for the right-handed anglers, the frame is exclusively built with the graphite material known for its lightweight and the sturdiness to live even longer than you can generally imagine.
Able to withstand all the pressure given by the force the anglers experience as well as dealing with the drag to calm down the catch is made entirely possible as it is made with the forged and the machined aluminum spool which would hardly break or bend despite any of the heavier catch you get on the hook.
And the gearing system that never gets tired as it is crafted with the ultimate sturdy machined brass making the main and the pinion gear outperform in the water avoids getting rusted over time.
Coupled with the instant-based anti-reversal bearing loaded with the HT 100 drag washers never minimizes the chance of ruining the smoothness while dragging to deal with the heavier loads conveniently. And the line capacity rings tell you exactly how much line is left to cast to calm the fish down before going full left in the water.
- Lightweight frame to hold
- Carbon fiber drag system made of HT 100
- Brass gears
- Plastic-based internals
6- Shimano Tekota TEK300LC – Best Saltwater Trolling Reels
Sixth on the list, this Shimano Tekota TEK300LC is the comprehensive solution to calm down your fishing instincts, never needing to make you question this trolling reel type is the newest entry to add into their fishing gears.
Perfected by design to upscale your fishing experience, this particular trolling reel from Shimano is good to work in either water conditions, from saltwater to fresh without needing to face the consequences after the use of converting you from running into the continuous maintenance to change the parts from time to time.
Made into the one-piece frame using the die-cast aluminum, which is highly tolerable and excessively durable in the build, it never lasts just one season—still, countless seasons, performing just like the new one after all these years.
Loaded with the anti-rust bearings that are ten times powerful and immune to the corrosion and anti-resistant than the standard and stainless steel-made bearings increasing the smoothness to play along with the line flow without any stoppage and jiggling.
Having the maximum drag power of up to 18 lbs with the gearing ratio of 4.2:1 is the perfect combination to try your hands with this trolling reel presented by Shimano, justifying the price that may look extremely expensive to many.
And three plus one ball bearings are suitable to cast, drag, and retrieve the catch without facing any issue and just like the pro-style to act like an iconic angler making the onlookers get super excited.
- Designed for salt and freshwater without a single problem
- One-piece frame
- The guaranteed powerful drag system
- An expensive trolling reel
7- Okuma Classic CLX-300LA Trolling Reel
Integrated with the right-handed level wind trolling reel best known for the ultimate dragger to put off the fight called upon by the fishes of every kind — this Okuma Classic CLX-300LA goes well beyond the set expectations.
Apart from being labeled as one of the best cheap trolling reels, this one from Okuma has enough and exceedingly powerful drag power of more than 20 lbs at the distance of 420 yards which does not go for breaking the line when winded up at the full capacity and not giving you a tough time EVER.
Reliable to the best, the spool made of the corrosion plus anti-resistant graphite brings you the peace of mind to get it engaged in the complete fight without perceiving any hurdles and the hassles to conveniently play up the best fishing session of your entire life when it is your first day at the water.
And that adds to enough sturdiness with having the reel foot made with the cumbersome stainless steel that can face and withstand the pressure the reels often have to go through without bending the whole of it.
Having the powered handle constructed of the robust material named aluminum does not flex the handle either by increasing the drag power to live and experience its best.
- Aluminum-based power handle
- Graphite spool
- Reel foot made of stainless steel
- Somewhat tight spool
8- Shimano TLD 20IIA – Best Offshore Trolling Reels
This trolling reel from Shimano TDL 20IIA got quite an impressive design increasing its look with the finish that more to be seeming like a conventional reel out there in this category but the power plus the exquisite design adds the weight to make upon the decision of purchasing it the minute it comes into your eye contact.
Apart from the look, it offers two variants of the speed having the offshore lever dragging fishing reel made exclusively to increase the drag power along with light and the durable construction to have the ever-lasting and best fishing experience every time you cast it in.
It comes with the rare feature of the dual-speed that shifts through the mechanism to choose the higher and the lower gears depending upon the drag power to handle so that not always the higher gears you should be using when getting to hook the lightweight catch.
Loaded with the ball bearings for the anti-reversal features that do not attain any kind of rust when solely used in the salt water and keep the corrosion off the guard extending its operational life to over the years.
Formed the robust frame with the graphite material known to be the world’s lightest but sturdy enough that never lets it flex when dragging along the heavier catch coupled with the ergonomic power handle and the power grip to make everything as smooth as you have nothing on the hook.
The aluminum spool loaded with the loud clicker and the rod clamp does come with the perception hardly any of the anglers should have noticed in their entire fishing life.
- Offshore lever drag
- Ergonomic power handle with power grip
- Priced relatively higher
9- Shakespeare ATS Box Trolling Reel
The box-styled Shakespeare ATS BOX is the one kind of the trolling reel that would never leave you facing embarrassment at any level regardless of how cheap (or better say inexpensive) it is.
Generally, such a price tag takes anyone to believe the thing they would be buying would be remarkably lower in quality, but you will prove wrong this time with Shakespeare ATS box.
Added with only two ball bearings get you to enjoy the smooth operation and changing the gear as conveniently as it should be sounded and perceived besides the frame made of the single and one-piece of the graphite with the side covers or the plates (to be exact) seems to be holding all of the force the reel has to deal along the drag time.
Turn on and off to select and deselect bait clickers depending upon your own set of preferences to get to know if the line has been dragging into the water or retrieving out of it, making the sound to ensure what is happening with the line.
Enjoy the increased corrosion, and the resistance as the pinion gears are made of the exclusive and the trustable stainless steel that does not attract any sort of the rust building up for years.
- Comes with line counter with non-line counter
- Frame made graphite into a one-piece
- Selective bait clicker
- No two-sided handle
10- Burning Shark STC40 Trolling Reel
The unimagined performance is ensured solely through Burning Shark’s STC40 that comes with the remarkable design coupled with the features you can hardly have experienced before.
Attached with the double dog ratchet system, which prevents the handle from getting reversed despite the load put on the hook making the retrieval super smooth.
Little noisy at the operation, especially with the line release lever that emits a bit of noise but works extraordinarily best, making the cranking comfortable along with the frame made of the stainless steel ensuring the lightweight design dealing with the corrosion and resistance to cool down the heat to build up ever.
Making the gears with the stainless steel would not attract any kind of rust even if you do not lube them.
Designed exclusively for the compelling and more substantial catches, the 40 lbs of maximum drag power with the gear ratio of 4.1:1 reacts to every hardship you would face without breaking the line to retrieve the catches swiftly.
And the spherical handle is best at dialing the line, increasing the worth of this superstitious design wanting you to buy it off the minute it falls under your eyes’ radar.
- Machined-aluminum spool
- Unimaginable drag power
- Spherical handle
- Somewhat noisy
What is the Best Budget Trolling Reel?
Have you been confused about which one would prove to be the top rated trolling reel? Well, let us tell you!
The trolling reel should be made up of heavy-duty material and should have a line distributed evenly on the reel. It should be compatible with a wide array of gears so you can easily pair it with your previous fishing gear. The budget friendly trolling reel is simple and easy to use.
You can choose the one that works well in saltwater and freshwater lakes and come at a reasonable price point.
How is a Trolling Reel Different from other Reels?
Trolling is a type of angling in which lines are directed towards hook-rigged lures and are dragged alongside the moving boat to reel the fish in.
Trolling reels come with three features that you will not find in any other reel.
- On/off release lever
- Line braking system
- Line out system
When it comes to finding versatility in fishing reels, trolling reels have the most to offer and it comes very handy when you have a lot of fish to entice and a number of lures to present. This way you will be covering a lot of water in just one go without having to indulge a number of reels in the play when you could just get all the work done by a single reel.
Trolling reels are also very heavy duty. It takes a lot of effort for an individual to drag the lure through this reeling technique.
However, one concern that we do have with this reel is its spool. Most of the trolling reels come with heavy spools. These spools require a lot of energy than lightweight spools that we find in other reels which means these spools are going to be very difficult to control. You will have to apply more force to get the spool spinning and will require even more force once you’re done and have to stop the spool.
How To Choose The Best Value Trolling Reel – Buying Guide
When searching for the best models of trolling reel in the market, you need to be aware of the choice you’re making. When going for a reel, you need to consider various aspects of your purchase such as its construction, the drag quality, the price, the location, and so on.
If you don’t consider the factors, you will never be able to make the right choice. So, we have compiled a detailed list of all the things you need to consider when buying a trolling reel so you don’t regret your purchase at any cost.
Cast aluminum, Graphite, or Machine aluminum?
Obvious, when you’re searching for a product, you cannot possibly neglect what it is made up of which makes the material of a fishing reel an absolute consideration. Although, it isn’t that hard to choose a fishing reel based on its material given all the reels available in the market are made up of the components we have enlisted above. However, what you do need to consider are the flaws and the plus points of these materials.
Let’s say if you’re a beginner then you must be looking for an affordable reel that you don’t end-up breaking due to mishandling. What you need is a full-functioning and durable trolling reel but at an affordable price point. You should go for graphite as they are the most economical fishing reels but they aren’t very durable. Once you get the hang of reeling, then maybe you can invest in something more solid and durable.
For intermediate anglers, we would recommend going for cast aluminum since it is quite durable and easy to handle. This may come off as a bit pricier than graphite but it will work really well for experienced anglers.
As far as the expert fishermen go, we would suggest they choose the machined aluminum. This is by far the most durable and maybe the most expensive material of all. It is best when it comes to quality, durability, and functionality. If you are passionate about fishing and are looking for something that will last for a long time, you should go for a reel made out of machined aluminum.
What type of Environment are you Planning to Fish in?
As far as we have seen, most of the anglers find saltwater to be the only suited environment for trolling but what they don’t know is that trolling will be even more fun in freshwater lakes and rivers. You can have a lot of success trolling in freshwater lakes and searching for tuna, crankbaits, and mahi.
It will be important for you to locate your current and figure out where deep water fish is suspended the most. Choose your fishing reel according to the kind of water you will be taking it in.
Type of Trolling Reel
Levelwind is the most common type of trolling reel found which is extremely helpful in distributing the line evenly on the reel even when you’re reeling it back. According to various users, they do not like level wind trolling reel because it somewhat interferes with the line on a cast but it also saves them from backlash in case something goes wrong.
You can also choose a dual-speed reel that will not only allow you to reel the fish in but it will also help you in fighting it in case it struggles to reel in. The main prospect behind trolling is efficient control which you can have in abundance with dual speed reel.
Weight and Size
Trolling reels are very specific as compared to other reels but you also get variations in sizes and weights with regards to these reels. If you go for a large reel, it will obviously provide you with a better line capacity that comes in really handy when reeling bigger fish in such as tune that has a habit of going for a dive once it gets attached to the hook.
Aluminum and graphite are the most common materials in which you will find a trolling reel. Most of the anglers do not go for graphite since it is lightweight and causes instability when reeling fish in. however, aluminum can be worth considering. This material is pretty durable and far better than graphite.
The Line Capacity
Line capacity is another important factor to consider when going troll fishing since you will need a wider line because you’re trolling is done in deep waters.
When you troll fish, you just let go of the line until it reaches your desired depth. Troll reels are very different from baitcasting reels because they do not cast. So basically, everything about your fishing experience will completely depend on the smoothness and the length of your line. Make sure that your reel is sturdy and solid enough that it can handle it.
When choosing the line capacity, consider what species will you be hunting and at what depth you will possibly find them? This will allow you to make a decision regarding the line and how much longer it should be.
Price and is there a warranty?
When it comes to the budget, you will find trolling reels at a wide range of prices. You can even buy a reel under $100 or splurge over to $500 if you want to. You will have to choose whether you’re looking for a professional-grade reel or something that will fulfill your recreational needs.
Also, see if the trolling reel you’re buying comes with a warranty or not. As we know, most of the trolling reels do have a 2-year limited time warranty so if, during this time it gets damaged, you can always get a replacement. It is better to buy a trolling reel that comes with a warranty to have a safety net for your purchase.
How to use a Trolling Reel efficiently?
Anyone who has done fishing before and is serious about it knows what a serious sport troll fishing is and how adventurous it truly seems. We won’t say it is an ideal sport for beginners but in fact, trolling is meant for far more superior and expert fishermen who truly enjoy an adventurous sport far more than anything else.
Trolling is an art that not every angler has been able to master. It is usually done in oceans that are home to millions of species. Trolling is done by catching fish in deep water and requires patience along with being extremely observant.
So, to help you make the most out of your fishing experience, we have compiled a list of a few tips and techniques that will help you get through it with maximum efficiency.
Get the Right Gear
When choosing your trolling gear, consider the kind of boat you’re going trolling on because that is what the main determinant is. You also need to consider how badly you want to catch your fish and if you’re determined not to come home empty-handed then you must purchase the basic toolset for capturing fish from your local store. This set will include fishing lines, rods, and saltwater reels to get you going.
Some other equipment that can prove to be very helpful include.
- Depth rigs
- Rod holders
- Planer board
This equipment will guarantee that you catch fish and have the best kind of troll fishing experience.
- Create a Plan
No matter what kind of fishing technique you’re planning on using, you don’t go ahead blind eye. Plan your entire endeavor beforehand so that you don’t just catch fish but also enjoy your time on the water. Also, always check for weather forecasts and take lures that will prove to be the most beneficial. Plan your entire route and don’t forget to take an emergency kit along. Be prepared for the journey ahead and leave nothing to chance.
- Make use of the Electronic Gear
Another important thing that you must do is become acquainted with the area where you’re going fishing. You can use a fish finder or your sonar to determine the kind of fish roaming around in the surrounding water and how in-depth they are.
Once you have identified where most of your bait is, on the hunt, you can just get down to work instead of searching for fish and wasting your time. Monitor your sonar continuously to know about any changes in the temperature and locations of fish.
- Determine your Depth
When it comes to getting on the game and using your trolling reel, the very first thing you need to do is determine your depth range. The complete success of your troll fishing completely depends on how deep suspended your bait is.
Once you have attached your lure to the line and placed it at the right location, your chances of success drastically increase. Keep in mind that your lure needs to be very evident because it will go by your fish very speedily. Your chances of success will only double if your fish sees the lure and then plunges for it.
- Never Go all Out
Have you ever heard about starting small? Well, this is exactly what you need to do here. Just because you have a yacht onboard and a number of reels to go with doesn’t mean you have to get the biggest fish in the water.
You can simply start by throwing three lines in the water and place planer boards on either side of them. Start slow and take it up a notch. You will be far more successful if you know what is out there and indulge in the game at the right time.
- Never Stop the Boat
Some beginners make a very common mistake of stopping the boat once they reel their fish in. think about it, if you turn the boat off in order to bring your fish on board, the lines you have thrown in the water are bound to get mixed up.
The full proof plan of using a trolling reel is by keeping the boat going while you catch your fish. No matter what happens, don’t stop the boat and fight your fish. Make an extra effort of keeping your lines straight while you reel the fish in.
- Try Different Techniques
Keep in mind that these species are very clever. If you make use of a single technique over and over again, they will not fall for it.
Change your lures and go for different techniques every time. Do not repeat the same trick more than twice if you don’t want to lose. If you happen to be in an area of water where there are loads of fish but you aren’t getting any, try shifting your location a bit and change the color of your lure.
- Shift your Speed
Another efficient way to catch fish is by shifting your speed. Just like the same lure color, fish will also get the hang of the boating speed you’re at. Shift your lines slightly and change speed. Give them time to process this new information so they get confused and feel this is someone else.
Also, you can do some research on the boat speeds keeping in mind the fish you’re after. This research will help you set the speed accordingly and come out a winner.
Advantages of using a Trolling Reel
There are a number of benefits of using a trolling reel but the most prominent ones have been mentioned below.
- Trolling reels allow you to fish at a wide range of depths.
- It will help you to cover a large water area in just one go.
- A trolling reel also helps you in determining the capture point of a fish from a different angle so you can make your strike and capture fish in a single try.
How to clean a Trolling Reel?
If you want to improve the longevity of your fishing reel then you need to keep it clean at all times. Doesn’t matter if you’re fishing in freshwater or saltwater, maintaining your tool should be an important habit and you shouldn’t at all run from it.
We have enlisted down all the steps you need to follow after using your reel in saltwater every time and maybe a few times after when using it in freshwater.
- Take a small piece of cotton and lightly wet it and submerge it into soap. Now rub it easily on your reel while making sure you don’t go hard on it which might end up as a malfunction for your reel.
- Now, clean it thoroughly and scrub it well on the nannies and crooks. Always be sure that there is no salt left behind on your reel.
- Rinse the scrubbing off with light water. Do not hose it or add water with too much pressure as it might damage the reel internally.
- You can leave it for drying at room temperature completely and thoroughly.
- Make use of a lubricant and scrub the reel completely to keep it running and refraining from getting jammed.
So, this is how you can clean your reel without having to put any extra effort. This process will keep your reel safe and ensure a long lifespan.
And that concludes our extensive research of the best trolling reels right here!
With that being said, make and feel yourself the happiest and the luckiest person to get to avail the high-quality and the performance-rich trolling reels you can hardly find off the market from one single place.
So, become a proud owner of one and inspire the fellow anglers with having the relatively different reel to win your best catches!