Top 6 Best Trolling Reels for 2021 | Compared and Rated For Top Performance!

Do you want to be successful in deep-sea fishing? If your answer is yes, then this article is for you. With deep-sea fishing, you will need appropriate fishing gear, and the list cannot be complete without the best trolling reels. These types of reels are very critical in your success as you will be much dependent on it, no matter your skills. 

You need a durable and high quality trolling reel so that you can enjoy a comfortable and extended fishing trip. Nothing will piss you off like having to cut short your expedition because of a failing gear. But, with the right trolling equipment, you will fish like a pro even if it is your first time trying this technique. No much supervision on the rod as the trolling reel will do most things for you. However, you cannot just head out to the shop and buy one as thorough research is needed in order to get the best.

Yes, many choices are out there, but I bet you do not want to waste your money at something that is not going to work. This is the reason why we have prepared this guide, which highlights the best 6 trolling reels that will work well regardless of your fishing conditions. READ THROUGH first, and just with the click of a button, you can order the best fishing gear from Amazon.

Top 6 Trolling Reels for 2021 (Best Picks)

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Trolling Reels

Detailed Review of the Top-Rated Trolling Reels

It will be a big disappointment for you to hook a fish and never reel it in. This can be as a result of choosing a gear without proper review. But with our guidance, you can be sure of landing that big catch without any hiccup. Below we analyze the top-rated trolling reels highlighted in the summary table above to help you make an informed decision.

01. Penn Squall Level Wind 

The most notable feature of Penn Squall Level wind is the durable construction that comes with a 2+1 stainless steel bearing system. This results in smooth and long-term high performance. The reel has a graphite frame and side plates, and primary gear made of bronze all this give you much strength while maintaining its lightweight.  As a result of the carbon drag system, you get powerful drag without compromising in the smoothness of the fishing process. 

The machined and forged aluminum spool is ready to be used with a braided line, which can reel in big catch without any tangle. This is further enhanced by two anti-reverse systems that add enough power for needed when fishing large species. It also comes with a non-engaging level wind system, which helps in getting the linen back to the spool, thus saving energy of having to do it yourself. To sum it up, the non-slip Septon handles will make your work comfortable and relaxed.

Key Features

  • Durable construction with graphite frame and side plates
  • Machined bronze alloy powerful main gear
  • No rotor back play as a result of two stainless ball bearing and prompt anti-reverse bearing 
  • Septon non-slip handle for comfortable fishing
  • Lightweight due to graphite side plates and frame
  • Powerful drag from carbon drag system


  • Brand: Penn
  • Model: SQL550LW
  • Weight: 1.85 pounds

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02. Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind Trolling Reel

Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind uses high-quality material to deliver a reel that has superior performance and is durable.  Every component is non-corrosive for use in saltwater fishing without compromising on its quality. These include two stainless steel ball-bearing, graphite spool, stainless side plate rings, and machined cut brass gears, among other parts. 

This reel can handle any size of fish as a result of a carbonated drag system, long-lasting machine cut brass, and self-lubricating system. All these features ensure the process of reeling in the fish is smooth and successful, no matter the depth of water. No fatigue while using Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind  as the sturdy reel construction comes while still ensuring that the gear is lightweight for all-day fishing.

Key Features

  • Durable construction with non-corrosive components
  • Lightweight 
  • Two stainless steel bearing that prevents rotor back play
  • Holds high line capacity of 420 yards and 20lb test
  • Mechanical line counter function with feet measure
  • Multi-disc carbonated drag system for smooth performance


  • Brand: Okuma
  • Model: MA-30DX
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds

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03. Okuma Cold Water Line Counter Trolling Reel

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Cold Water Linecounter is another reel from Okuma that gives the anglers an opportunity to retrieve the catch from the left and right sides. With sturdy construction, this reel comes with heavy-duty cut brass pinion gears, complete carbonite drug, and double anti-reverse system. Furthermore, all the inner parts are firmly held in place with the Mechanical Stabilizing System (MSS), which ensures you get long-lasting services and proper alignment of shafts and the gears. 

No more guesswork as the drag can be set well with precision as a result of non-corrosive frame and side places couples with aluminum ratcheting drag star. There is also little maintenance as the reel has a self-lubricating system, which ensures it is up and running at all times.  Buy one and enjoy further casting and reduced backlashes. 

Key Features

  • Multi-disc carbonated drug system for smooth operation
  • Lightweight non-corrosive frame and side plates
  • 2BB+1RB stainless steel bearing system
  • Ratcheting drag for accurate casts
  • Gearing system with speed lock pinion 
  • Self-lubricating gears for minimal maintenance


  • Brand: Okuma
  • Model: CW-303D
  • Weight: 1.25 pounds

For more information and current pricing, click the link below.

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

Penn Squall Lever Drag 2-Speed is lightweight with a strong lever drag system made of graphite side plates and frames.  The parts of the reels are non-corrosive, and with the robust construction, it can be used comfortably in saltwater fishing for a monster catch. You can quickly shift into low or high gear using the quick shift 2-speed system, which makes fishing easy and convenient. 

No snugs and hesitation will be encountered as a result of the Dura-drag system, which gives smooth operation. Additionally, the dual dog ratchet system averts handle from reversing, giving you enough power to drag in big fish. Get one today and have a seamless and steady trolling experience. 

Key Features

  • Non-corrosive graphite side plates and plates
  • Powerful and lightweight
  • Quick-shift 2-speed system for shifting between low and high gear effortlessly
  • No snugs and hesitation due to dura-drag system
  • Dual dog ratchet system which averts handle reversal


  • Brand: Penn
  • Model: 1292938
  • Weight: 2 pounds

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05. One Bass Fishing Reels Level Wind Trolling Reel

One Bass fishing reel is an affordable gear that can be paired with heavy-duty rod for trolling and other angling techniques. The handle is oversized so that you can fight the big fish with maximum control without fatigue. The cast-control knob is also oversize for easy adjustment with an easy access thumb bar spool release. You are assured of smooth and durable services due to a multi-Disc carbonite drag system that has been proven to work well with the trolling technique.

Every component is made of corrosion-resistant materials, which includes the stainless steel bearings. This bearing uses 14BB+1RB, which provides a smooth retrieval and can withstand saltwater fishing conditions.  With a 3-year service warranty, you are assured of timely customer support once you get a One Bass Fishing Reels Level Wind Trolling Reel.

Key Features

  • Durable and lightweight aluminum with graphite construction
  • Smooth performance due to non-corrosive 14 stainless ball bearing with one roller bearing
  • Fast spinning aluminum spool for long casts
  • Cast control knob that is oversize for easy adjustment
  • Dartainium drag which is powerful for controlling big fish
  • Non-slip oversized handle for maximum control with less fatigue


  • Brand: One Bass
  • Model: TA-3000
  • Weight: 25oz.
  • Ball bearing: 14+1

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06. Sougayilang Line Counter Trolling Reel 

Sougayilang Line counter Trolling reel presents more power with a carbon fiber drag system. With thumb bar spool release that is easily accessible, line-out clicker alarm, and stylish look, you get everything you need for the next fishing expedition. The dual dog ratchet system, which ensures the handle does not reverse, also guarantees success in fighting big fish. Anglers get to enjoy durable and smooth operation due to quality aspects of every component of the reel.

Every part was made with keen attention to detail. This includes stainless steel gears, machined aluminum spool, spherical grip, smooth seats, and bake light side plates that can withstand saltwater fishing conditions. Get one and enjoy a 3-year service warranty that ensures your fishing never stops at any moment.

Key Features

  • Lightweight non-corrosive side plates and frames
  • An aluminum grip that is ergonomically designed
  • Carbonite drag system for durability and smooth operation
  • Durable stainless steel 6BB+1RB bearing system
  • Dual dog ratchet system that stops handle reversal


  • Brand: Sougayilang
  • Model: D-SHA4000
  • Weight: 1.44 pounds
  • Ball Bearing: 6+1

For more information and current pricing, click the button below.

Factors To Consider When Purchasing Trolling Reels – Buyer’s Guide

In order to make your informed decision, there are certain features that should be focused on. This will be discussed below to help you choose the best trolling reels.


The trolling technique is used to catch big fish in the deep sea. This, therefore, means that the trolling reel should be well built with durable materials for long-lasting services. Usually, graphite, machined aluminum or cast aluminum can be used in constructing the winders. 

While graphite might be cheap and popular among the anglers, it can break down easily, especially if used by beginners. The strongest of all is the machined aluminum, which is known to withstand the fierce fight from monster fish like sharks, marlin, big tuna, and others. However, it comes highly-priced, and if you are not ready to part with a lot of money, then cast aluminum can be a better option. It is relatively cheaper and known to be strong and durable. 


A multi-disc drag is the best drag for this type of reel. They are reliable and offer powerful force needed to pull the big catch without compromising on a smooth operation. However, you might also consider star drag, which can be adjusted accordingly for convenient fishing.

Line Capacity

The reel should have a high line capacity if you are targeting big fish, especially in saltwater, where more strength is needed to pull out the catch. Nevertheless, even those anglers who are fishing in deeper freshwater will require large line capacity to avoid the disadvantages that come with small-spooled reels. If you are catching small fish in shallow depths, then small-spooled reel will do the work just perfectly.


Although some reels do not come with clickers, those with one have an added advantage. The clickers give a noticeable signal when you get a bite from the fish. Ensure that the reel has the clickers will loud and excellent sound that surpasses engine noise and the conversation tone from your colleagues. 

Spool Size

Just like the line capacity, the size of the spool is very crucial.  Before choosing the spool size of your reel, you need to consider the type of line that will be used. This is because the type of stripe used will determine the appropriate size of the spool. Braided line has a smaller diameter, and therefore, even with a small spool, you can wind more significant length around it. The lead core lines have the most prominent thickness, and this means you will need a bigger spool size so that you can get enough of it there. The monofilament line has a diameter that is not small or too big, and therefore, you will require a slightly bigger spool compared to the one used with the braided line. 


Q: What is the difference between the trolling reels and other reels?

Unlike the other reels that can be used in shallow depths, the trolling types are better suited deep waters to fish big species either in freshwater or saltwater. Since they usually hold large line capacity, they also have a rounder design compared to the others. Therefore, they have higher spool line capacity compared to bait casting reels. However, in other aspects, they are similar to baitcasting reels, e.g., both reels are attached above the rods.

Additionally, with trolling reels, you can fish further offshore than the other types. They also have a stronger drag that is necessary for pulling the big catch from the deeper depths. You will find a number of them having counter capabilities that are necessary to help in releasing a set amount of line, especially when fishing in open water. 

The only disadvantage with this type of reels is that it can cost more compared to other classes and has a challenging learning curve.  Nonetheless, when you learn the art, you will have a smooth and successful fishing expedition with a big catch to carry home.

Q: What are the most outstanding features of an excellent trolling reel?

The drag system, line out an alarm, and the release lever is what sets apart the trolling reels.  They should also be able to accommodate different line sizes to avoid having to buy several reels for different water depths. You should also get one that is compatible with a variety of fishing lines o that it can be changed depending on target fish species. The other features to look out for include:

  • Levers for spool release
  • Oversized handles and large feet
  • Bait clicker alarms
  • In-built line counters for some models
  • Level-wind system for specific models

Q: What is the correct way of using a trolling reel?

Generally, trolling reels are challenging to use compared to other types of winders. You will be required to drag the line from a stirring watercraft, unlike in different models where the lines are casts into the water. 

The following steps are essential for the correct use of the reels:

  1. Use either electric or manual line counter to put down your lure into the preferred depth
  2. For great results, the distance between the boat and the bait should be 20 to 150 feet
  3. Finally, you should keep track of your outcome

The various lure can also be used for a better result. When multiple selections of baits are lowered down, they will create more noise that is more stimulating to the fish and hence attract a number of species. With this approach, the fish have different types and sizes of lures that can attract them depending on their preference, and there is comprehensive coverage. 

Q: How can I take care of trolling reels for long-term use?

Ensuring the reels are clean at all times guaranteed long-lasting services as long as you have purchased those with sturdy construction. Before you start the cleaning process, get all the required supplies ready. This includes hot water in a bucket and biodegradable cleaning compounds such as Reel X, Simple Green, Super Lube Grease, TG Rocket Fuel Hi-Speed Reel Oil and Ronsonol Lighter Fluid. 

Once they are ready, follow the instructions highlighted below:

  1. First, you should remove the side cover in order to start disassembling the reel. The parts should be placed on a mat to keep them close, accessible, and to avoid losing any. Ensure you label every part removed to make the reassembling stress-free.
  2. Properly position the reels when disassembling and reassembling, and a pair of tweezers should be used when dealing with small parts such as wire clips and springs so as to avoid misplacing them.
  3. Keep a check on the spool to ensure al the fishing line is out before proceeding with the cleaning process
  4. Apply the recommended biodegradable cleaning compound to the toothbrush and use it to clean all the reel’s parts
  5. Apply the grease to the bottom of the reel’s teeth using a small brush or a toothpick
  6. Using a lighter fluid, clean the bearings, and once done, you should test them to ensure they spin as expected. After that, oil the bearings with the TG Rocket Fuel using a toothpick.
  7. When you complete the above steps, reassemble the reels correctly. Once done, rub the outer part with Reel Magic to give it a glowing finish and protect the line.

Features of the Top 6 Best Trolling Reels

No. Product Name Features Price Info
1. Penn Squall LevelWind Durable construction Carbon fiber drag system Two stainless steel ball-bearing Instant anti-reverse bearing Machined powerful main gear Check Latest Price
2. Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind Trolling Reel Non-corrosive frame and side plates Carbonated drag system Machine cut brass gears which are self-lubricating Lightweight  Check Latest Price
3. Okuma Cold Water Line Counter Trolling Reel   XL gearing Multi-disc carbonite drag system Lightweight Corrosion-resistant frame and side plates Ratcheting drag star Check Latest Price
4. Penn Squall Lever Drag 2-Speed Trolling Fishing Reel Graphite frame and side plates Lightweight yet powerful Saltwater lever drag Dura-drag system Dual dog ratchet system Check Latest Price
5. One Bass Fishing Reels Level Wind Trolling Reel
Carbon fiber drag system Stainless steel bearings handle design  that can be disassembled fast Machine cut aircraft aluminum spool and frame 3-year service warranty Check Latest Price
6. Sougayilang Line Counter Trolling Reel  Carbon fiber drag system Thumb bar spool release that is easily accessible Line-out clicker alarm Dual dog ratchet system Non-corrosive components 3-year service warranty Check Latest Price

Final Word

When it comes to the trolling reels, you need to wisely choose so as to have great results at the end of your fishing expedition.  The difficulty in its use is enough to challenge you, and adding poorly constructed reel can mess everything up. However, with the best trolling reels and proper guidance, you will enjoy the fun and success that the trolling technique brings.

In order to get the perfect gear, make sure you check the construction, line capacity, spool size, clickers, and the drag. We have discussed in detailed how these features are essential, and you will get to choose a reel that fits your needs well. However, with the six products reviewed, you can be sure to get the best experience that the trolling style can offer. Never again will you go home empty-handed after a daylong fishing excursion!

Reference Links

Last update on 2024-04-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API