Best Trolling Reels (Reviews & Comparison)
A good fishing trip isn’t complete if you’re not using the right trolling reel. If you go deep-sea fishing and manage to get a fish hooked, a good trolling reel is your best hope for holding on to your catch.
The best trolling reel will guarantee that you’ll have a relaxing, long fishing trip. With excellent durability and high quality, you won’t have to worry about constantly supervising or interacting with your fishing rod. You can just sit back and relax until a fish falls into your trap.
So, what we’re going to talk about now is 5 of the best trolling reels that you can get your hands on. What you’ll find here is nothing but the peak of high-end technology available on the market to assist you in the hunt for that trophy fish.
With no further ado, let’s dive into the top 5 best trolling reels that 2020 has to offer.
Comparison table: Top Trolling Fishing Reels
1. Penn Squall Lever Drag 2-Speed Trolling Fishing Reel
For anyone looking for a legendary battle between them and the fish they are hunting, the need for power and heavy-duty drag is of paramount importance. And the Penn Squall Lever Drag 2-Speed Trolling Reel provides you exactly with what you need.
- Reel, RH, 3BB + 1RB, 2.9:1 / 1.5:1 ratio
- Alum spool, Braid 2485/65 2145/80 1835/100, mono 1550/30 890/50 565/80
It’s a fishing reel that was designed and manufactured to bring high performance on the basis of a concept from the world-renowned Penn International brand. The graphite frame on this thing is corrosion-resistant, heavy-duty, and lightweight.
When under the most extreme drag settings, the Dura-Drag system of this fishing reel still eliminates disinclination and snags. You also won’t have any issues with shifting from low gears to high ones with the two-speed system.
From kingfish to sharks and many other creatures of the depths, this trolling reel is your best friend with its dominant performance and smooth operating.
Lightweight graphite was used in the manufacturing of the PENN Squall Lever Drag 2-Speed. This gives it a sturdiness that allows it to last very long in harsh saltwater environments. Under the highest amounts of pressure, it will still provide you with smooth cranking thanks to its stainless steel main and pinion gears.
The reel is protected against corrosion, and the frame flex it offers does not burden the rod. All of that is thanks to the side plates and the graphite frame. You’ll also want to get good drag power without having to forsake any reliability, and the PENN Squall fishing reel’s Dura-Drag system definitely provides that.
You get a steady and seamless reeling experience from the silent double-dog anti-reverse which eliminates back-play in the handle. And with 4 stainless steel ball bearings, you’ll enjoy the reliable performance.
- Spool (Machined Aluminum) + suitable line capacity rings
- Seamless cranking with ball bearings of stainless steel
- Highly adaptable performance with 2 gear speeds
- Heavy-duty power thanks to the Dura-Drag System
- Made out of durable, lightweight graphite
- Penn Squall 50VSW lever drag 2-Speed trolling reel
- The quality reflects the price.
- Some claim false advertising with the braid capacity.
2. Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind Trolling Reel
The excellent features that the Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind Trolling Reel offers represent the exact reason why we would recommend this trolling reel. This is a perfect medium size trolling reel that comes with a spool auto flip feature instead of a manual one.
- Made using the highest quality materials
- Tested for reliability and quality
The Magda Pro line counter series has stainless steel reinforced side-plate rings. It’s both corrosion resistant and quite lightweight. The well-engineered machine cut brass gears; the auto-lubricated gear system and the carbonate drag system make this reel ready for all situations.
Get your measurements in feet with the mechanical line counter feature which also has a push-button reset. And enjoy a fantastic performance with the reel’s multi-disc carbonate drag system.
Besides that, you get a self-lubricating gear system along with a stainless steel level wind line guide system and 2 ball bearings also made out of stainless steel. The one-year manufacturer warranty is just the cherry on top.
- Multi-disc carbonite drag system.
- Measurement in feet with the mechanical line counter feature
- Two ball bearings made out of stainless steel
- Side plate rings made out of stainless steel
- Level wind line guide made out of stainless steel
- Graphite spools, corrosion-resistant.
- Corrosion-resistant, lightweight side plates, and frame
- Counter gets stuck in very cold weather
- The line counter occasionally sticks
3. PENN Squall LevelWind
This is another awesome entry from the PENN brand. We’ve got bronze gears on this reel, a stainless steel pinion that reduces corrosion and a drag stack with 3 carbon fiber drag washers, backed by 2 drag spins.
- Level wind trolling reel for big game fish in a variety of saltwater conditions
- Durable construction with lightweight graphite frame and side plates and bronze main gear and stainless pinion gear
While the reel gets a 15- pound rating, you’re going to get an effortless excellent performance out of the drag. It’s a mid-range reel which can also come in the form of a left-handed version.
The reel comes with 2 anti-reverse structures: an anti-reverse bearing and a backup anti-reverse bog. Besides that, you get fast line recovery thanks to the gear ratio. Large fish like tuna, rock cod, lingcod, and sheepshead are no problem with the PENN Squall LevelWind.
- Easy handle length adjustment thanks to the Versa-Handle system
- Anti-reverse bearing and 2 stainless steel ball bearings
- HT-100 carbon fiber drag system
- Lightweight, durable graphite frame
- Level wind trolling reel
- If sand gets into the reel, it may stop working properly.
4. Okuma Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel
Sit back and relax as you set up your fishing gear with the Okuma Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel. It made out of high-quality titanium and aluminum to ensure its durability. And aluminum ratcheting drag star is combined with the side plates and the corrosion-resistant frame for precise drag settings.
- Made using the highest quality materials
- Tested for reliability and quality
The company came up with self-lubricating technology. It is not an expensive fishing reel, but it’s still superior to several more pricy competitors, and it doesn’t need you to take care of it frequently.
- CVT anti-fogging line counter
- 1-year limited warranty
- Dropdown gearbox that comes with a self-lubricating gear system
- Multi-disc Carbonite drag system
- Speed lock pinion gear system
- 2BB+1RB bearings made out of stainless steel
- Corrosion-resistant, lightweight frame, and side-plates
- The braking mechanism isn’t very smooth.
- The drag adjustment may stop working properly.
5. Shimano TLD 2-Speed Conventional Reel
For a good looking, sturdy reel, go with the Shimano TLD 2 Speed Conventional Reel. It’s got 2 gear ratios, and it’s durable and lightweight, built to withstand saltwater conditions. The corrosion is significantly reduced thanks to the anti-rust bearing, which improves the reel’s overall quality and performance.
- The Shimano TLD20IIA 2-Speed Offshore Lever Drag Fishing Reels are powerful; light and durable
- Each Shimano TLD-IIA reel features Shimano's patented 2-speed shifting mechanism and A-RB anti-rust bearings; along with unique handles to provide comfort and fish-fighting advantages
When looking for the best trolling reels out there, you want to go for the ones that offer 2-speed versatility and have salt-resistant A-RB bearings for great performance when you’re fishing. The Shimano TLD 2 speed conventional reel does that. It is durable, light, and powerful What you also get with a TLD conventional reel are a clicker, ergonomic power handle, aluminum spool, graphite side- plate and frame. Shimano TLD reel is most suitable for saltwater environments. It’s suitable to be used with PowerPro, Mono, and Fluorocarbon Lines.
- Weighs 36.2 Oz
- Salt resistant ARB bearings
- Two-speed versatility with the Leverdrag TLD IIA reels
- Rated for use with Fluorocarbon, Mono and Powerpro lines. Suitable for saltwater fishing
- A clicker, aluminum spool, and an ergonomic power handle
- A graphite side plate and frame
- Confusing image provided by the seller
Best Trolling Reels – Buying Guide
Now that you’ve taken a look at our top picks for the title of the best trolling reel in 2019, it’s time for you to make your final decision by going over our buying guide.
Factors to Consider
You should be aware of all the fine details of the trolling reel that you want to purchase so that you make the best choice. What we’re going to talk about is a few of the most critical points to keep in mind when you’re going to buy the trolling reel.
The first factor to consider when going to buy a trolling reel is the body’s Construction. Trolling reels are typically made up of three things: machined aluminum, graphite, and cast aluminum.
While they are not very strong, graphite wheels are lightweight expensive compared to other kinds of reels. Cast aluminum ones are also very strong and sturdy.
On the other hand, aluminum wheels take strength to a whole new level. They can withstand the tension of sharks, marlin, and big tuna. They are of top quality and very sturdy.
Another feature to discuss is the drag system. The real you want to buy should have a very smooth drag system. it will be of the utmost importance when the fish tries to make a run for its life.
What would provide a smooth control when you’re fighting with a fish is a multi-disc drag. Star drag adjustments are made for convenient use, but drag is essential when you’re in a fight with a big fish. In that case, you want to have the smoothest drag system you can get your hands on.
The level of wind is another thing that you need to keep in mind, especially if you’re going to hunt large saltwater fish like salmon or trout. If you’re sticking with small fish, then you can ignore this feature.
Cleaning and Taking Care of a Trolling Reel
To clean your reel, you have to get a few things by your side first. get a bucket and fill it with hot water. You also have to have a biodegradable cleaning compound like TG’s Rocket Fuel Hi-Speed Reel Oil, Super Lube Grease, Ronsonol Lighter Fluid, Reel X, or Simple Green. After that, follow the instructions.
- Disassemble the reel by taking the side cover off first. Keep everything on a mat so that you don’t lose anything and number the parts according to the order of assembly if you have to.
- Keep the reel in a proper position when disassembling it and use tweezers when dealing with small parts so that you don’t risk losing them.
- Check the spool and make sure the fishing line is either secured or removed before proceeding.
- Use biodegradable products to clean every area of the reel.
- Apply grease to the bottom of the teeth with a small brush or a toothpick.
- Use lighter fluid to clean the bearings and test them afterward to make sure they’re functioning well. After that, use TG’s Rocket Fuel and a toothpick to oil them up.
- Put the parts back together and use Reel Magic to rub the exterior to protect the outer finish and line.
Using a Trolling Reel
Using salt or freshwater trolling reels can be a bit complex. Instead of having to cast the line into the fishing area, using a trolling reel means you’ll have to drag the line from a moving boat.
Here’s how it’s properly done:
- Lower the line to the required depth with an electric or manual line counter
- The boat and the bait have to be from 20 to 150 feet apart
- Keep track of the outcomes
You can use several lures to improve the results you get. If you deploy a number of them, they will create more noise, which will further stimulate fish in the water.
This will allow you to deploy lures of different sizes, occupy various depths, and have lures at different distances from the boat.
Seeing the wide variety of different trolling reel brands on the market, it can be an exhausting task to find the right pick for your fishing gear.
What we presented in this article is agreed upon to be a selection of the best trolling reels that money can buy. We threw a buying guide in there to make the choosing process a bit easier, and we hope that we found it beneficial. Get yours now, and have a fun fishing trip!