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Home » Blog » Trolling Reels vs. Baitcasting Reels: Choosing the Right Tool for Fishing

Trolling Reels vs. Baitcasting Reels: Choosing the Right Tool for Fishing

When it comes to fishing reels, two of the most popular options among anglers are trolling reels and baitcasting reels. Both have their own unique features, advantages, and disadvantages. Understanding the differences between these two types of fishing reels can help you make an informed decision based on your fishing style and preferences.

Trolling reel

Trolling reels are primarily designed for offshore and deep sea fishing where trolling techniques are typically used. Boat trolling is when people drive a boat in the sea, throw hook bait into the water and then move forward with the boat, and tow fishing mainly catches middle and pelagic fish and predatory fish; another type of offshore trolling is carried out on sea vessels, and some For the sake of navigation safety, seagoing ships, such as passenger ships, do not allow crew members and passengers to fish while sailing. Some short-distance ships are used for both cargo and passengers and have few guests. The crew members and guests can cast hooks and tow fish on the rear cabin deck, but they are not allowed to fish at the stern. When fishing near the propeller, fishing can only be done on the left and right rear sides. These ships mostly travel in the offshore and high seas. In the waves rolled up by the propeller at the rear of the ship, there are food residues thrown from the ship, as well as killed and stunned fish and shrimps. Some fish and seagulls will follow the ship. In the back, the crew members and a few passengers who take turns to take a rest use the drag fishing method to catch pelagic fish and predatory fish. There are many kinds of fish caught, and sometimes mahi-mahi, sharks and bonito can also be caught.
Fishing gear for boat trolling fishing, such as trolling reels, are designed based on the size of the fish being fished and the swimming speed of the fish. Hairtails, large yellow croakers, etc. that are trolled by Chinese fishing boats are all small migratory fish. The main line used is not too thick and has many sub-lines and hooks. Generally, 10 to 30 hooks are tied to one main line, and more than 10 can be caught at one time. The pendant is a flake pendant, and the hook flips up and down with the waves while the boat is moving, luring fish to take the bait.
Trolling reels play an important role in this fishing method.


Line Capacity: Trolling reels are known for their large line capacity, making them suitable for targeting large and powerful saltwater species. The ability to spool considerable lengths of line is essential for trolling at varying depths.
Line Counter: Many trolling reels are equipped with line counters that allow anglers to accurately measure the amount of line deployed. This feature is extremely valuable for replicating successful trolling patterns and depths.
Versatility: Trolling reels are versatile and can handle a variety of trolling techniques, from drop-shot to planer board trolling. Their sturdy construction and drag system make them suitable for fighting tough fish in open water.
Durability: Trolling reels are designed to withstand the harsh conditions of offshore fishing and are often constructed from corrosion-resistant materials to ensure longevity in saltwater environments.


Learning Curve: Trolling reels can have a steeper learning curve for beginners, especially when it comes to mastering the nuances of trolling technique and effectively controlling the boat.
Size and weight: Trolling reels can be larger and heavier than other types of fishing reels, which may not be suitable for anglers looking for a more compact and lightweight setup.

Baitcasting reel

As you search for the perfect reel, you may notice the many different types of bait reels on the market. Baitcasting reels are popular among freshwater anglers, but they can also be used for saltwater fishing, especially for inshore species. Powerful and precise; the bait rig was developed for a variety of fishing. In order to meet the complex needs, this type of reel sports an equally complex design more suitable for experienced hobbyists and professionals. You can identify a baitcasting reel by the position on the top of the rod and the drag switch next to the reel handle. In addition to its sturdy semi-enclosed design, what makes the baitcasting reel truly unique is its customization options. To get the performance you need, you can modify the reel with the spool tension knob and brake system. These two components provide a greater range of control, allowing you to cast as far as you want while preventing the spool from spinning too fast. Therefore, casting requires expert hands. When casting, press your thumb against the reel. With the right setup, intuition, and timing, you can cast your bait in the direction you want with laser-dot precision. Once the bait lands, press the clip to lock the line in position.


ACCURACY AND CONTROL: The baitcasting reel offers excellent casting accuracy and control, making it ideal for targeting specific structure or casting in tight spaces. This precision is beneficial for offshore saltwater fishing.
Powerful drag systems: Modern baitcasting reels often have powerful drag systems, allowing anglers to handle a wide range of saltwater species. This makes them ideal for offshore trolling or casting for species like redfish and snook.
Versatility: Baitcast reels are versatile and can be used for a variety of fishing techniques, including baitcasting and bottom fishing. They provide flexibility in different fishing scenarios.
Compact Design: Compared to trolling reels, baitcasting reels are generally more compact and lightweight, providing anglers with a comfortable and maneuverable option.


Line Capacity: A baitcasting reel may have limited line capacity compared to a trolling reel, which can be a disadvantage when targeting larger species or trolling in deeper water.
Kickback Issues: Baitcasting reels are prone to kickback, especially for beginners. Learning to manage spools effectively is crucial to avoiding frustrating tangles.
In summary, choosing between a trolling reel and a bait reel depends on your fishing preferences and the specific conditions you will encounter. Trolling reels excel in offshore environments, providing the line capacity and durability needed to battle powerful species. Baitcasting reels, on the other hand, offer precision and versatility, making them a popular choice for offshore saltwater fishing. Ultimately, the right choice depends on your target species, fishing style, and experience level.



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