Top Best Trolling Reels Reviewed: A Comprehensive Review

Riley Peterson

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Trolling rods for deep sea fishing
Photo by bellomaui.

if you have an interest in deep sea fishing then it is compulsory to have the Best Trolling Reels for catching enormous fish through the harsh conditions of the water.  For new anglers, it is complicated to find a reel that can be useful during those harsh conditions they are facing. We’ve done our research and put together a list of the top best trolling reels as a result. In this comprehensive research, we have covered every aspect—from pulling resistance to durability—to ensure you pick the right.

Introduction to Trolling Reels

Fishing reels specially built for trolling are used to cast a bait or lure behind a moving boat at different speed to attract fish. Using this type of technique, fishermen can cover a lot of area and expose their lures throughout various depths in order to catch fish. If you are targeting freshwater trolling in lakes and rivers to deep fishing then for every step there is a different reel with a different size and combination that can fit different techniques.

Benefits of Using Best Trolling Reels

Versatility in Fishing Techniques

One of the key advantages of trolling reels is learning how useful are reels various angling techniques are. If you want to target different species then these reels give ability to fisherman to modify trolling tactics according to the circumstances.

Ability to Target a Wide Range of Fish Species

Trolling reels can be used to catch a wide range of fish, including ocean gamefish like tuna, marlin, and sailfish as well as freshwater species like salmon, trout, and walleye. Because they have ability to throw baits or lures at different depths and rates, they are effective tools for catching both pelagic and bottom-dwelling species.

Effective Line Management

Trolling requires precise control over several lines that are deployed concurrently, therefore effective line management is essential.Trolling reels have features like line deployment and retrieval that are simple and under control with high-capacity spools, level wind systems, and line counters that result in making these reels popular.

Durability and Reliability

Given the demanding conditions of trolling fishing, trolling reels are capable of withstanding lengthy periods of operation in severe maritime locations. As these reels are made with materials like stainless steel, aluminum, and corrosion-resistant alloys so these reels are long term even under the most demanding circumstances.

Our Top Picks for Best Trolling Reels

Having a trolling rod or a reel is not enough, your trolling reels must have quality features like drag resistance, durability, smoothness, and cost. Based on these criteria, we chose the following reels as the best in their respective categories:

1. Penn Squall II Level Wind Conventional Reel (Best Overall)

Penn Squall II Level Wind Conventional Reel best for trolling

The Penn Squall II-level wind conventional reel is a beast regarding trolling. With a maximum pull weight of 33 pounds, it can handle even the largest fish in the water. The reel’s aluminum anodized spool and protected stainless steel bearings provide outstanding corrosion resistance making it able to use in saltwater.  However, this machine’s drag collar is what makes it unique. A very smooth retrieve is produced by the HT-100 carbon fiber drag collar, which lowers friction as the line exits the spool. The Penn Squall II is the ideal option if you’re searching for a reel that can handle any kind of fish in the most corrosive saltwater circumstances.


  • Powerful drag resistance 
  • lightweight, corrosion free materials
  • smooth retrieval


  • a little bit heavier

2. Shimano Tekota Reel (Best Splurge)

SHIMANO Tekota A 500/600 Conventional Reels best for trolling technique

The Shimano Tekota is best for anglers who have little money to spend on a high-quality trolling reel. It can handle any fish you come across thanks to its maximum draw weight of 24 pounds. The reel’s rust-proof bearings, Core Protect technology, and aluminum housing provide it exceptional durability and resistance to saltwater conditions. This machine is unique in that it is lightweight. Because the Hagane reel’s body is composed of unique aluminum, it weighs less than the majority of other fishing reels available. The Shimano Tekota reel is ideal if weight is a top concern and you’re searching for the best of the best.


  • Powerful drag resistance 
  • durable aluminum body
  • Corrosion protection technology


  • Expensive

3. Burning Shark Level Wind Trolling Reel (Best Budget Strength)

Burning Shark Level Wind Reel

For those on a tight budget, the Burning Shark Level Trolling Reel is an excellent option for a powerful trolling reel. This reel boasts a remarkable maximum pull weight of 38 pounds, all while being reasonably priced.With this reel, even the biggest fish will be easy to handle. Because the reel is composed of materials that are resistant to corrosion, it will last in salty environments. Although this reel is heavier, the Burning Shark is an excellent option if you want to cut costs without sacrificing performance.


  • Powerful drag resistance 
  • affordable price
  • corrosion-resistant materials


  • Expensive
  • A little bit heavier

4. Shakespeare ATS Trolling Reel (Best Budget)

Shakespeare ATS Trolling Reel

The Shakespeare ATS reel is an excellent option for anyone on a small budget. This reel can produce up to 20 pounds of drag, which enables you to capture fish of a decent size, despite its inexpensive cost. The longevity of the reel is guaranteed by the saltwater resistance of the stainless steel sprocket and bearings. Shakespeare ATS is a great option if you’re new to trolling and want a dependable reel without going over budget.


  • Smooth Drag 
  • Affordable price
  • Corrosion resistant material


  • Expensive

5. One Bass Level Wind Trolling Reel (Best Smoothness)

One Bass Level Wind Reel

You need look no farther than the One Bass Level Trolling Reel if smoothness is your primary concern. This reel boasts an amazing 14+1 ball bearing that provides unmatched smoothness. Every spin of the handle will feel like butter to you. Not only is the One Bass reel silent, but it can tackle a broad range of fish with a maximum draw weight of 30 pounds. This reel is still less expensive than the Shimano Tekota, even though it costs a little bit more than the Penn Squall II. The One Bass Reel is the ideal option if you want a smooth retrieve.


  • Powerful drag resistance 
  • Smoothness with incredible 14+1 ball bearing
  • quiet operation feature
  • Corrosion protection technology


  • Lower Duribility

6. Okuma Cold Water Line Counter Trolling Reel (Best Trolling reel)

Okuma Cold Water Line Counter Trolling Reel

If durability is a key requirement, the Okuma Cold Water Coil Coil is the best option. This reel features a reel frame and corrosion-resistant side plates, making it ideal for marine environments. The machine also features stainless steel bearings for enhanced durability. But what distinguishes this reel is the Mechanical Stabilization System (MSS). The MSS links all important components, ensuring that their positions are always aligned. While this reel’s drag system isn’t as powerful as others on our list, its remarkable longevity makes it a solid candidate.


  • Durable frame and plates
  • durable aluminum body
  • stainless steel bearings
  • Mechanical Stabilization System (MSS)


  • Lower drag resistance is also not so strong

Key Features to Consider When Choosing best Trolling Reels

When selecting the best trolling reel for your fishing needs, consider the following key features:

Gear Ratio

The trolling reel’s gear ratio controls the spool’s rotational speed and line retrieval ability. Higher gear ratios such as 6:1, provide faster line recovery, which is perfect for high-speed trolling applications, while lower gear ratios, like 4:1, give extra power for handling big fish or heavy trolling weights.

Line Capacity

Maintaining the strain on the fishing line and avoiding line breakage during hooksets and fish battles require a smooth and trustworthy drag system. Check out trolling reels with strong drag systems that have ability to provide accurate adjustment and reliable performance throughout an extensive drag range.

Drag System

A smooth and trustworthy drag system controls fishing line tension and reduces line breakage during hooksets and fish battles. Pay attention to trolling reels with strong drag systems that provide accurate adjustability and consistent performance over a broad range of drag settings.

Material and Construction

Choose a trolling reel that is built and constructed of high-quality materials like graphite composite, machined aluminum, or stainless steel that can provide the best balance of strength, durability, and mobility. If you’re looking to target saltwater trolling then choose a reel with features like sealed bearings and corrosion-resistant coatings.

Price Range

While purchasing a trolling reel consider the budget and look for possibilities that fit inside of it. Despite high-end trolling reels have more features and have ability to perform better, there are still affordable models that offer great value without compromising necessary functionality.


There is a vast variety of trolling reels available. We selected the top trolling reels based on smoothness, durability, drag resistance, and cost. Our selection covers alternatives at various price points, including the best overall reel, outstanding value, and budget-friendly options. Choose a trolling reel based on your preferences and specific needs to help you land those big fish. Have fun angling!

Best Trolling Reels

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