Best Saltwater Trolling Reels

If you’re going deep-sea fishing you need a good trolling reel that can withstand tough saltwater fish. Here we will review the best trolling reels for saltwater fishing.

Best Saltwater Fishing Trolling Reels

  1. Penn SQL50LW Squall LevelWind
  2. Shimano Triton TLD20 Lever Drag Graphite Fishing Reel
  3. Penn 1292938 Squall Lever Drag 2-Speed Trolling Fishing Reel
  4. Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind Trolling Reel, Small
  5. Okuma Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel CW-453D

1. Penn SQL50LW Squall LevelWind

 

Product Features

Brand Name: Penn
Reel Type: Trolling Reel
Gear Ratio: 4.0:1
Bearings: 2+1
Weight: 24.6 Ounces
Max Drag: 20 lbs

Coming in at number one our list is the Penn Squall LevelWind Reel. This trolling reel is built for big saltwater game. It weighs approximately 24.6 ounces and has a max drag of 20lbs. The specs we are covering only refers to the 50lw model, though they do have other models available. The reel features a lightweight graphite frame and side plates which help protect it from corrosion. It has 2 stainless steel bearings and an instant anti-reverse bearing.

Overall this is an excellent level wind trolling reel. It’s budget-friendly, durable, and has a powerful drag. The only drawback is that they don’t have all the models available in left-handed versions. The 50lw model is only a right-handed reel

Pros
  • Budget-friendly price
  • Great star drag system
  • A smooth and fast retrieve
Cons
  • Some models are only available in right-handed versions

 

2. Shimano Triton TLD20 Lever Drag Graphite Fishing Reel

 

Product Features

Brand Name: Shimano
Reel Type: Trolling Reel
Gear Ratio: 3.6:1
Bearings: 4+1
Weight: 23.6 Ounces
Max Drag: 23 lbs

The second spot on our list goes to the Shimano TLD Reel. This reel is made from a graphite body with stainless steel gears. It features a gear ratio of 3.6:1 and a smooth drag with a 23 lb max drag capacity. The 4+1 bearings are designed to be anti-corrosion and rustproof which keeps the reel running smoothly for both saltwater and freshwater fishing. The specs were are referring to here are for the TLD20 model, they also offer a TLD15. The feature that makes this reel stand out the most if the programmable lever drag system. It’s easy to use and ultra-smooth.

Pros
  • Programmable lever drag
  • Smooth and powerful drag system
  • Anti-corrosion design bearings
Cons
  • Not available in left-handed version

 

3. Penn 1292938 Squall Lever Drag 2-Speed Trolling Fishing Reel

 

Product Features

Brand Name: Penn
Reel Type: Trolling Reel
Gear Ratio: 2.9:1 / 1.5:1
Bearings: 3+1
Weight: 55.6 Ounces
Max Drag: 40 lbs

If you’re shopping for a powerful trolling reel for off-shore fishing you need to check out the Penn Squall Lever Drag 2 Speed Trolling Reel. This reel is a powerful lever drag that features a max drag of 40 lbs. It has a quick shift 2-speed system to easily change the reel from high gear to low gear. It also features a ratchet system designed to prevent handle reversing. The reel has 3 + 1 bearings and a gear ratio of 2.9:1 / 1.5:1 ratio. All of the specs were are covering are for the 50vsw model. Overall this is an excellent reel that works well for large fish.

Pros
  • 40lb max drag
  • Easy to use lever drag system
  • Excellent for off-shore fishing, high speed trolling, and bottom fishing
Cons
  • Somewhat expensive compared to other models

 

4. Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind Trolling Reel

 

Product Features

Brand Name: Okuma
Reel Type: Trolling Reel
Gear Ratio: 4.0:1
Bearings: 2
Weight: 17.4 Ounces
Max Drag: 17 lbs

The Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Trolling Reel is our pick for the best cheap trolling reel. This one is significantly cheaper than other options on the list. Thier MA-45DX model features a line counter, 2 stainless steel ball bearings and features a corrosion-resistant frame and plates that make it excellent for saltwater or freshwater fishing. The line counter features a push-button reset which is easy to use and excellent for setting your bait to a certain depth where all the fish are. With the line counter, smooth and powerful drag, this is one of the best reels for the money.

Pros
  • Great price
  • Has a line counter
  • Corrosion-resistant frame and plates
Cons
  • The max drag isn’t as high as other options on the list

 

5. Okuma Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel

 

Product Features

Brand Name: Okuma
Reel Type: Trolling Reel
Gear Ratio: 4.2:1
Bearings: 2+1
Weight: 21.79 Ounces
Max Drag: 20 lbs

The Okuma Coldwater Linecounter Trolling Reel is another great reel that includes an extremely handy line counter. The reel itself features a gear ratio of 4.2:1 and has a powerful multi-disc drag system. The reel is made from a corrosion-resistant frame and side plates and has a large ergonomic grip knob. If you need a reel with a line counter that has more max drag power than the previous model, this is a great option. The only drawback with this one is that it is right-handed only.

Pros
  • Has a line counter
  • Corrosion-resistant frame and side plates
  • Smooth and powerful
Cons
  • Only available in a right-handed version

 

How To Choose a Saltwater Trolling Reel Guide

There are a few different things you want to consider in good saltwater trolling reel

  1. Corrosion Resistant
  2. Bearings
  3. Gear Ratio
  4. Max Drag
  5. Line Counter

Corrosion Resistant

Saltwater can cause more damage to your reel over time because of the salinity. It is important that your reel is designed to be saltwater friendly. Usually, it will have a corrosion-resistant frame and plates which can protect the reel from rust and other damage.

Bearings

Having a higher number of bearings is generally a good thing for a fishing reel, but the quality of the bearings is more important. Quality bearings will keep the reel running smooth and quiet. Having a low number isn’t necessarily a bad thing if the quality is there.

Gear Ratio

The gear ratio represents how fast the reel picks up line. Most trolling reels will have a gear ratio between 2-4. They have more power high gear reels.

Max Drag

For a trolling reel, you will typically need a higher max drag compared to other kinds of fishing. Especially when offshore trolling for big game fish. Typically the larger fish species you are catching, the higher max drag you will need. Max drag is often less important as your fishing technique improves.

Line Counter

You will have to make the choice on whether a line counter is a feature you want to have on your trolling reel. Some reels have line counters which will help you determine the depth to cast your lure at. This can be effective when fishing for walleye, salmon, trout, bass, catfish, and other species that are known to be at a certain depth in a body of water.

Related Posts:

Saltwater Conventional Reels
Saltwater Baitcasting Reels
Saltwater Spinning Reels
Saltwater Fly Fishing Reels
Baitcaster for Light Lures