Trolling reels are great for catching bigger fresh and saltwater fish species quickly. Trolling for fish is mainly done by dragging baited lines behind a moving boat. When you are searching for the perfect trolling reel, look out for the rod’s body construction as well as the dragging system.
Trolling reels are generally made from aluminum or graphite. Reels with an aluminum body are stronger and can be used to catch larger, saltwater fish. Reels made from graphite are lighter and not recommended for catching the big boys. Having a smooth drag is the most important fact when troll fishing so pay special attention to that feature.
1. Gomexus 2-Speed Saltwater Trolling Reel
The Gomexus trolling reel is perfect for those of you who want to catch the ocean’s biggest creatures. With its 50lb max strike range and marine level ball bearings, this affordable trolling reel will make easy work out of tuna, marlins, and even sharks. Gomexus has been crafting top quality reels for more than 10 years so you know this reel will be reliable for long-term use.
2. Penn International VS Trolling Reel
The Penn International reel is made from lightweight, durable aluminum and has a 100% stainless steel gear train. All of its parts are made domestically in the Penn International machining center in Philadelphia. The best thing about this reel is its specialized Dura-Drag system which provides a smooth drag to eliminate pulled hooks and broken lines.
3. Avet 5.3:1 Lever Drag Conventional Reel
Avet’s conventional reels are pure workhorses with a cast control system and rust resistant components. The single speed is lightweight and made to fit most trigger and standard rod seats. All of Avet’s parts are designed and assembled in the US.
4. Shimano TLD 30IIA 2-Speed Trolling Reel
The Shimano trolling reel is great for all day ocean use. The A-RB bearings are made with salt-resistant materials to cut down on rust. The graphite frame and body keep the trolling reel light yet durable. The 2-speed shifter provides versatility and top quality performance.
5. Fin-Nor LTL30II Lethal Trolling Reel
The Fin-Nor trolling reel is all about putting you in control. Its rugged aluminum body and patented MegaLock anti-reverse system allow you to take on anything the ocean can throw at you. This reel also has a simple push-to-use shift mechanism for swift speed changes. The reel’s rust protection ensures you will be battling ocean giants for years to come.
6. Penn SQL50VSW Squall Lever Drag Reel
Penn’s drag reels are for professional anglers as well as weekend warriors. The reel is all graphite with stainless steel gears drilled out to make it even lighter. The rod’s aluminum spool has line capacity rings built in so you can immediately tell how much line you have to work with.
7. Blue Marlin Tournament Edition Reel
The Blue Marlin Tournament Edition reel is a true luxury trolling reel made specifically for offshore fishing tournaments. The anodized finish is extra durable and resistant to saltwater and rust. The 2-speed reel allows you the speed and versatility to respond to a fish’s sudden movements. The reel sports oversized big game handles, a rod clamp, and wrench system that will ensure you finish in first place.
8. Avet 1-Speed Reel
Avet 1-Speed Reels are all-around best sellers. The one piece frame provides the perfect balance of strength, durability, and stability. Made from marine grade aluminum and stainless steel, the reel’s anodized finish is both rust resistant and aesthetically pleasing. The reel gets up to 9lbs of drag at the strike point and 14lbs of drag with a full spool.
9. Penn US Senator Reel
A Peen US Senator Reel has an aluminum frame that ensures the rod will stay in perfect alignment. This rod is extremely strong with large stainless steel gears that will stand up to long weekends on the lake or even commercial use. Penn reels come with their patented HT-100 Versa Drag system that keeps the drag smooth as silk.
10. Shimano Talica TAC8 Conventional Reel
The Shimano Talica is a top of the line 2-speed trolling reel with a super smooth drag system designed to outlast even the strongest big game fish. This reel allows you to quickly switch gears and provides plenty of line capacity. Shimano trolling reels partner perfectly with power braided lines as well as lines made from fluorocarbon.
Whether you want to show off to your buddies, win a tournament, or just try something new, trolling reels are a must for any serious saltwater angler. Make sure you tailor your shopping to the type of fish you want to catch. A built-in drag system specially designed to reduce friction and maintain a smooth drag is a must for trolling reels.
See also: Top 10 Closed Face Spinning Reels