View Full Version : Requesting advise on Trolling Reels

Floating Office
02-26-2009, 03:25 PM
Hello Fellow Sniffers,

I know there are some real experts trollers out there that target the big slugs in EBRP lakes such as Del Valle. So I would like to ask for some advise.

I've been using spinner reels for trolling (trout) because I already had the set-ups. I've known for some time now that using conventional reels are the best for trolling, however, I didn’t realize how much better they are till I took one of my dad's ooold daiwa baitcasters and through it on a buggy whip type "light action" pole. WOW, what a difference! I felt so much more connected to the fish, drag was smoother and was able to be more in tune with the fight...I've heard it helps with line twist too. The problems with this reel is it doesn’t have a clicker and I had to remove the levelwind cuz it was so ol school it only level wound on the retrieve and not when the line paid out so the line seemed to always be crossed up and rubbing on itself. I also took my leadcore off my shimano corvalus CVL400, but its a bit big and the pole is way to stiff I think…good for leadcore but not for the light line action.

Well now that I have seen the light, I wanted some opinions and advise on which conventional reel I should buy along with poles. I like the abu garcia 5500LC as well as fenwick poles. I know there is a takota 300lc (abit big) as well as a daiwa model. Any recommendations would be appreciated! Thanks!

02-26-2009, 03:36 PM
A lot of people are using the Tica reels these days. I have abu garcias so I will comment on that. *I use the 5500 series level wind with the clickers. *I purchased mine at Fisherman's Friend in Lodi. Russ takes them and adds the clickers to them for you. He also has a nice line of rods to choose from. I would go there and look at his stuff if you want to go in that direction. I have had no problems with my reels and I use them pretty hard all year.

02-26-2009, 03:38 PM
Do you have a price range in mind?
I have an ambassadeur 650-C3 made by Abu Garcia that I paid $65.00 for and have been happy with for trout & Kokanee. I know you can spend well over that for a reel though.

Floating Office
02-26-2009, 03:43 PM
Thanks guys...any models on the "Tica". I think the 6500-C3 is about the same size as the corvalus, holds about 245yds of 14lb. How important do you guys feel a line counter is?

02-26-2009, 03:58 PM
I have never used line counter reels. Its like apples and oranges, some will say yes and some will say no. I troll with down riggers and I've figured out by count about how far back I need to go.

Floating Office
02-26-2009, 04:03 PM
Oh and as far as price...around $100 is preferable. Initially, thats what shied me away from the shimano takota 300cl, it goes for about $150 I think.

02-26-2009, 04:13 PM
I have never used line counter reels. Its like apples and oranges, some will say yes and some will say no. I troll with down riggers and I've figured out by count about how far back I need to go.

Ditto on the line counters. I peeled off some line untill the line guide had made one full pass then measured how much line had come off. I count the passes as I'm letting out then multiply, that's close enough for trolling IMO.

02-26-2009, 04:31 PM
Get the line counter model. Once you use them you will never go back. I use the Abu line counters.

Floating Office
02-26-2009, 04:36 PM
I like your method! I agree with fishguts and you...for the most part, the line counter is really just a tool for repeatability and consistency. Unless your using a digital counter that takes into account the line diameter, amount on the spool etc, its not going to nut on accurate. I think most line counters go by spool rotation not how much line goes out necessarily.

So if you develop a method like JohnBfishing that allow you to replicate the distance thats in the strike zone, then its all good.

I guess the linecounter allows you to multi-task while the letting the line out instead of loosing count while your driving the boat or letting two poles out at the same time.

02-26-2009, 04:50 PM
I think the Tekota 300 is a little too big for trout trolling...That's what I use for stripers.

I have Shimano Calcutta 100B's & they are one sweet reel, a little pricy, but smooooth :)

Floating Office
02-26-2009, 04:50 PM

I'm leaning towards them too, however, I've read some reviews that the abu line counters fail after a few years. Although, those people could be using them in salt/brackish water and not do the proper maintenance or banging them around on the ride home in the back of the truck etc.

By your response, it sounds like yours are going strong still...how old are yours and how often do you use them? Any special treatment/maintenance?

Floating Office
02-26-2009, 04:54 PM
Thanks for the reply Vacaville Bob,

It seems like if I'm not concerned with a line counter, it really opens up the available mfgs/models.

I just did a google image on that model...sweet reel! I also have a Penn 975 I use for bay fishing...but thats way to big, I think it may be about the same size at the tekota 300

02-26-2009, 05:10 PM

I have six of the Abu Garcia line counters I use for trout and kokes and three Takotas I use for stripers/salmon.

I have had only one Abu line counter go out and it was after five years, being used on 20 plus trips per year.

Floating Office
02-26-2009, 05:25 PM

Thats a decent run time given the usage. Was it repairable? Any experience with abu customer service or service dept?

02-26-2009, 05:41 PM
I have never owned a line counter reel and I love my abu 5501C3 (the 1 is cuz I like a lefty reel). My problem with line counters is this. They are calibrated on the spool size + line. If you have more or less line it becomes less accurate. As your line runs out you have a smaller "spool" so the measurement changes. It would seem they would never be quite accurate.
Just my "humble" opinion

02-26-2009, 06:20 PM
*As your line runs out you have a smaller "spool" so the measurement changes. *It would seem they would never be quite accurate.

That's the same for the method I use. I don't think setting back for kokanee say 30-50' there's any change, but setting back 150'-200' or more toplining there probably is. But when I'm doing that the objective is to get way behind the boat, from there it's all relative as to how far back draws a strike.
One of these days I may get a line counter. I can see where they would come in handy especially when fishing alone and trying to manage the boat on a windy day.

02-26-2009, 06:40 PM
My trolling reel is a Diawa Sealine. A buddy of mine has had his for a few years and recommended it to me. I've had mine for about a year and it's been awesome. It has a line counter and was under $100, I actually think I picked it up at Fisherman's Warehouse for $89.


Floating Office
02-26-2009, 07:06 PM
Would most of you sniffers agree on accompanying these smaller conventional reels with a longer, light action, buggy whip type rod? I feel it is the preferred style for downriggers too. This allows you to really tweek them down, ready for when the fish pops the clip.

Any suggestions on length, one piece vs. 2 piece, tried and tested models (middle of the road…around $100 give or take $20)? Any of you fish with fenwick rods?

02-26-2009, 07:06 PM
I have never owned a line counter reel and I love my abu 5501C3 (the 1 is cuz I like a lefty reel). *My problem with line counters is this. *They are calibrated on the spool size + line. *If you have more or less line it becomes less accurate. *As your line runs out you have a smaller "spool" so the measurement changes. *It would seem they would never be quite accurate.
Just my "humble" opinion
You've got a point there Ben, but when you let out line at 100', and bring it in and let it out again you're at the same distance every time, it might be 105, or 95' the point is to let it out the same place where you just caught that fish, not measure exactly how much line is out ;) I have two Shimano 300 LC's, best reel I ever had, well maybe I like my Shimano 500LC just as much ;D

02-26-2009, 07:15 PM
I really wish shimano would have made a micro size line counter but since they haven't, I've got a life time supply of 300 LC's. Now they better not come out with a smaller version or I'll be pissed! ;D

Floating Office
02-26-2009, 07:24 PM
What rod do you guys combo it with?

02-26-2009, 07:34 PM
I troll with two different Reels, a Shimano Calcutta 50B and a
Abu Garcia 4600c, oh and a Abu Garcia C3, I guess that makes
3 but who's counting, anyway, I Love all Three..................... :D

Stones [smiley=rollingstones.gif]Fan

The Reel Deal
02-26-2009, 07:46 PM
TEKOTA 300LC. I used some okumas, daiwa, and cabelas reels. The tekota is hands down the best. i love the click star drag. its comfortable, smoooooth, durable. a little spendy, but well worth it.

I use the 500LC for stripers, and the 300LC for trout. can't go wrong with them.

02-26-2009, 07:54 PM
i just bought a couple of tica ct101 and put them on a vance's rod and they work great on my dr's

02-26-2009, 08:06 PM
I'll say one thing about clickers, I want them to be LOUD! I have one reel that is just a whisper (Wal mart special) and not even my dog hears it going off. A screaming reel is half the fun IMO. 8-)

02-26-2009, 08:19 PM
I thought I'd add one I don't think I've seen on this thread yet. One of the less expensive rod and reel combo's I use is the Pflueger Trion 46 reel on a 7' 9" Lamiglas GC 792 UL rod. No clicker on the reel though. I think this is the best value rod and reel combo I own. Rod was about $120.00 and the reel about $80.00. Check it out.

The Reel Deal
02-26-2009, 08:42 PM
i have been looking at the tica reels, have not had a chance to play with one much. do they have any models with a line counter?

02-26-2009, 09:07 PM
I started fishing with line counters many years ago and swear by them. I am sure the accuracy of a mechanical is off as far as actual footage. But they do keep your lures in the zone, and you can setup different bait fish patterns which may intice fish to bite. I have used okuma,diawa and just bought a abu garcia. The okuma has worked the best for me. All my diawas had a problem with the drags loosening while fighting fish. A little tweaking of the drag spring and that problem was taken care of. So far the garcia has been doing a great job. They all have smooth drags which to me is the most important attribute.

02-26-2009, 09:14 PM
I like the shimano corado with a clip on line counter that isn't dependant on line size or spool diameter for accuracy. then I can remove it if I don't need it.
I like longer rods to get the lines away from the boat, but remember that they need to fit in your vehicle too, so a one piece that feels great in the boat may become a two piece on the ride home. ::)
as far as brands go there are so many good ones it's hard to give a recomendation because we're all different in what we like in a rod. good luck.

Floating Office
02-26-2009, 09:30 PM
a 7' 9" Lamiglas GC 792 UL rod. so many good ones it's hard to give a recomendation because we're all different in what we like in a rod

This is true, every rod has a slightly different feel that may or may not appeal to each fisherman. In general, I'm leaning toward the 7' or more rod length, light action and 2 piece.

What model or spec are on the rod, I would like stop by Fishermans Warehouse and see if they have it.

By the way, for those that live in the SF Bay Area, Fisherman's Warehouse is having a no sales tax sale tomorrow till Saturday.

02-26-2009, 10:13 PM
The specs on the Lamiglas GC 792 UL are 1/16-1/4oz and 1-4lb test. I run 6lb. The UL stands for ultra light. It's a slow tappered rod. I'd call it a light action rod. I got to say I love the rod. But I'm an ultra light guy. You'd NEVER see me using a Garcia 5500 with 14lb test for Trout. Thats what I use to Throw Rattle Traps for Stripers. But that's just me. Good luck. Lets us know what you choose.

I paid about $120.00 for it at the Sportsmans Expo a couple of years ago. Not sure how much they are now.

Floating Office
02-26-2009, 11:13 PM

I'm with you on the light set-ups...I generally run 8lbs test mono line with 6lbs test floro leaders for the heck of it. Thats one of the main reasons for my preference for the 5500lc cuz I believe its the smallest reel offered with a line counter. Thanks for the rod info, I'll check it out if they have on in stock!

Floating Office
02-26-2009, 11:27 PM
In doing research online on the different reels I should consider, I found a few different promo offers by abu garcia such as spend $84.95 and up and get $15 back. I saw this at several sites including the following http://www.charkbait.com/cs/csra.htm. I've never bought anything from this site but I didnt notice all the abu offers...you can just print and mail back to abu with the receipt to get the $$ back. This is a prime example that it pays to search for them. Hope this leaves a little extra in the pocket for a fellow sniffer for a day of fishing!

02-27-2009, 05:58 AM
charkbait is a great company! Abu reel quality, not so much. Buy Shimano and it will last a lifetime! 200 or 201's are great reels.

02-27-2009, 07:16 AM
Fshnhunt, *
What model or spec are on the rod, I would like stop by Fishermans Warehouse and see if they have it. *

Floating Office, FW carries two great, inexpensive rods for trout and kokanee and I have 4 of each. *The Plueger Trion 7' UL and the Shakespeare Agility 7' UL are huge bangs for the buck at $40 - $50 a pop. *They are both 2 piece and very whippy.

02-27-2009, 07:46 AM
To repair the Abu 5500LC reel it was $30 at Fisherman's Warehouse.

I like UL rods for trout trolling. I have Lamis, a Seeker, Vances, a Shimano and theyall work great.

02-27-2009, 08:53 AM
Floating Office-My 2 cents on reels.-I have 3 Okuma Catalina Ct-15D line counter reels.They are a great reel.About 150.00 dollars at Cabela's.A little expensive but a quality reel that I am sure will last a life time.They have a loud clicker and a very smooth operation.I have lots of reels but these are my favorite.They feel good and they look good.As far as line counters go,I would think there accuracy is about plus or minus 10 percent at 100 feet out.I fish DelValle a lot.I have caught a lot of big fish with these reels without any problems.Try em,you will like them.-SD

02-27-2009, 08:59 AM
Floating Office-My 2 cents on rods.I use Shakespear Ul 7 ft Agility.I have four of them.Thats all I use with my Okuma reels at DelValle.-SD

02-27-2009, 03:13 PM
My trout trollers are 6.5' lamiglass 6-10# rods (about 70 or 80 bucks) and corvalus 300's. I love this setup for trout. The reel is round, but small enough to palm, and is pretty smooth. I use a $10 line counter that attaches to the rod. No idea on actual accuracy, but as long as I use the same counter every time, it keeps me in the right place.

Floating Office
02-27-2009, 03:37 PM
Is the Okuma Catalina Ct-15D their smallest line counter reel?

02-27-2009, 07:17 PM
Floating Office=The Okuma 15d is the smallest Okuma with a clicker offered at Cabale's.It is about the same size as a Abu 5300 but is made of aluminum and is very light.The nice thing about Cabale's is try it and if you don't like it send it back.-SD

02-27-2009, 07:25 PM
Shakespeare Agility 7' UL are huge bangs for the buck at $40

SuperDave, I also own two of these Rods, just Love Em'....... :)
Teamed up with a Shimano Calcutta 50B, they ROCK.......

Stones [smiley=rollingstones.gif]Fan

02-28-2009, 04:05 AM
Floating Office, here are my thoughts. I like Vance's spiral wrapped rods and the older Shimano Bantam 100 type reels. My favorite is the TX-Mag. These are 70's-80's vintage reels that I started picking up on ebay a few years ago. I get them for around $30.00 and go through them carefully. I install bearings on the spool shaft ends and put new 'carbon-tex' drag washers in them. I troll 99.9% of the time and these get used almost every weekend. After the water warms up I run my downrigger and these are perfect for that type of fishing. I use the pull system for line counting and almost always, I am out 72 to 75 feet. I mark that spot with a small piece of medical tape and get to the same spot every time. Here is the crazy part. I usr 20# Power Pro line on all of the reels. I like the size (dia) and with the slick drags fishing for trout is a blast. I run my drags light and even the little planters take line while playing them.

Keep it fun and inexpenxive.

02-28-2009, 06:04 AM
I have a pair of Daiwa SG17LCA line counter reels for Stipers and bought a pair of Okuma Magda15 line counter for Trout, however, I used the Okuma for Stripers for a season now and it's held up very well. They sell for about $45, has a loud clicker and is very smooth.
I have since bought a Shimano 300LC which is very nice but is a little large for Trout. IMO the best buy is the Okuma Magda.

03-01-2009, 12:09 PM
I have 4 Okuma line counter reels, two Magda and two Convector. Two of these are mounted on Seeker rodas and two are mounted on Shasta Tackle Angler's Touch rods. I'm a very happy camper.


03-01-2009, 12:33 PM
I have 3 Diawa 17LC's with line counters. They are extremely nice on my ultra lite trolling rods. Recently I got a great deal on a CalcuttaTE GT and I am in love with that thing. The diawa goes for around 50 bucks. Also PFluger Madalist is a good one, i believe they changes the name now. Tight Lines- TK