A line counter reel is essentially a level-wind reel that has been fitted with a line counter, a device that is built to measure exactly how much fishing line has been let out. For trolling purposes, a line counter reel is essential. This function allows anglers to set out lures in pre-determined patterns and depths. We created this guide to help you find the best line counter reels for your needs.
Once an angler finds a productive depth—commonly called an active zone—a line counter allows them to keep that measurement and replicate that success for the remainder of the day. Not only does a line counter reel let you know how much line you have let out, but it also alerts you to how much line is left when reeling in a fish. This is a great tool to help prepare for bringing in trophy fish!
Simply put, a line counter reel is one of the essential tools that each and every angler should have. For trolling purposes, this is especially so. Line counters enable for accurate and precise depths. These reels count how much line is out for you, rather than prompting manual measurement. The beauty of a line counter reel is that it makes trolling much easier, and a much more productive fishing experience overall.
Table of Contents
- 7 Best Line Counter Reels
- 1. Okuma Cold Water Line Counter Trolling Reel
- 2. Daiwa Accudepth Plus-B Line Walleye Special Level Wind Fishing Reel
- 3. Penn Squall levelwind 20LWLC
- 4. Okuma Coldwater 350 Low Profile Linecounter Reel
- 5. Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Line Counter Reel
- 6. Penn General Purpose Line Counter Level Wind Reel
- 7. Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Level Wind Trolling Reel
- Buying Guide for Line Counter Reels
7 Best Line Counter Reels
Finding the best line counter reel can sometimes be a difficult task. With so many available options, taking a close look at the top-rated reels can be a good method for determining what line counter reel is best for you. This review has taken the seven top-rated reels to examine what sets them apart from the competition.
You'll want to pair up your reel with the right rod. Check out the best line counter rods to pair up with your reel.
1. Okuma Cold Water Line Counter Trolling Reel
For those looking for a line counter reel, the Okuma Cold Water model is an incredibly popular choice. The entire Cold Water line is based upon a powerful star drag foundation, supported by heavy duty brass gears and a full Carbonite drag system. With the ability to output 20 lbs. of drag, this particular reel model is incredibly powerful. As an additional benefit, the Aluminum ratcheting drag star enables trolling fishermen to set precise drag settings. The custom line counter includes the most recent technological innovation by Okuma: anti-fogging Clear View Technology.
This ensures that if the counter is ever waterlogged, an access port allows for the water to be completely drained and dried away. The line counter’s reset button is slightly recessed, eliminating the possibility of false resets.
The popularity of the Okuma Cold Water reel is partly due to its lightweight nature and high durability. The side plates and frame are made of corrosion resistant aluminum, protecting the reel from wear and tear due to water and humidity. Not only is this an incredibly efficient line counter reel, but it is also an overall excellent choice for a trolling reel.
2. Daiwa Accudepth Plus-B Line Walleye Special Level Wind Fishing Reel
Daiwa has long been a trusted manufacturer for top-quality reels, and it is no surprise that their Accudepth model would appear on a top-rated list. No matter what fishing line you are using,
The Daiwa Accudepth line counter reel can be depended upon to provide accurate measurements each and every time.The line is measured in feet, allowing for simple and accurate settings for trolling patterns. The Accudepth Plus system allows for repeated access to the strike zone, redefining the ease and accuracy of locating and landing fish.
The lightweight graphite composite frame allows for enhanced durability without making sacrifices on weight. The Teflon-impregnated felt drag creates an overall drag system that is just as smooth as it is efficient.
3. Penn Squall levelwind 20LWLC
The Penn Squall is a very well known conventional trolling reel that is very popular for saltwater trolling. Luckily, the 20LWLC comes with a Line Counter. It is definitely one of the top rated Penn reels. It weighs 1.3 lbs and will hold 315 yards of 20 lb test. While it does have a graphite body, it is very sturdy.
It comes with a level wind that automatically places your line evenly across the spool as you reel in. It retreives line at a 4.9:1 gear ratio. The gears are made from bronzer and stainless steel.
It has 2 stainless steel ball bearing and instant anti-reverse. It's very smoth despite the low bearing count.
One drawback is that the line counter model only comes in right handed retrieve.
It is well paired with the Penn Mariner II medium action rod.
4. Okuma Coldwater 350 Low Profile Linecounter Reel
The Okuma Coldwater 350 Low Profile Line Counter reel is build with a rigid die cast aluminum frame and a line counter that measures in feet. It will hold 150 yards of 20 lb test mono or over 150 yards of 65 lb braided line.
It has a 5.4:1 gear ratio and a smooth drag that maxes out at 25 pounds of drag force. It has 3 stainless steel ball bearings and 1 roller bearing.
It has a low profile design that fits perfectly in the hand. Also, the line counter has an anti-fog coating for fishing those cool humid mornings.
Another benefit of the 350 is that its low profile design makes it easier to cast than a convetional round reel. This allows it to pull double duty as a trolling and casting reel.
5. Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Line Counter Reel
The Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Line Counter model is one of many top-rated reels from Abu Garcia. This line counter reel offers enhanced control and ease of use, fitting neatly into the palm of your hand. The three stainless steel ball bearings provide enough power to ensure that fish can be brought up from the deepest of depths.
Not only does it come with Abu Garcia’s patented Carbon Matrix drag system, but it also comes equipped with a synchronized level wind system. Anglers can be sure that their fishing line will stay tucked into place while trolling for deeper species of fish.
The featured line counter system allows fishermen to see the depth of their line in feet, increasing trolling and downrigging accuracy. With a precise line counter and reliable construction, the Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Line Counter Reel is certainly a worthwhile and valuable option.
6. Penn General Purpose Line Counter Level Wind Reel
Founded in 1932, Penn has been at the forefront of innovation and production of modern reel designs. Penn strives to provide high-quality products through each and every piece of fishing equipment, and the Line Counter Level Wind Reel is certainly no different.
The extreme accuracy of the line counter makes locating the strike zone as efficient and as quick as possible. Additionally, the stainless steel level wind component keeps fishing line in place, eliminating interference from wind and rain.
The lightweight composite side plates ensure that the reel composition is as strong as possible without creating unnecessary strain on wrists and hands due to weight. As an additional benefit, the HT-100 drag washers increase the strength and power of the drag, making for an overall smooth operation of this line counting reel.
7. Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Level Wind Trolling Reel
This left-handed crank line counter from Okuma is composed of a lightweight, corrosion resistant material. The mechanical line counter gives measurements in feet, and it utilizes a rubber push button for resetting. Setting line out to the same measurement is an easy procedure, offering the peace of mind to know that you are getting the same measurement each and every time.
Not only does the Okuma Magda Pro offer an excellent line counter function, but it comes equipped with a carbonite drag system, rugged machine cut brass gears, and a self-lubricating gear system. The stainless steel level wind system ensures that the fishing line stays in place, without being hindered by natural elements.
The Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter is a well-made and reliable reel, not just as a trolling reel, but as a line counter reel as well.
Buying Guide for Line Counter Reels
When looking for the best reel for you, there are a few common characteristics to keep in mind. Although many come with enhanced features, some features will play a larger role in determining the overall value and function of the reel. When looking for a line counter reel, keep these elements in mind:
Size of the reel
The size of the reel will determine how much fishing line can fit onto the spool. This can make a huge difference, depending on what depths you are looking to troll in. If your chosen fish species migrates to a certain depth, ensure that you are purchasing a line counter reel that has enough room to house the right amount of fishing line.
Level wind system
Because most line counter reels are also the best options for trolling reels, you’ll want to make sure that your reel comes with a level wind system. This is the best way to make sure that the fishing line stays secure when trolling, and doesn’t slip out of place from the reel due to wind or movement from the boat.
By and large, most line counters will operate on a measurement of feet. This is the best method for measurement when trolling since line depths usually tend to get relatively deep. Still, it is important to make sure that the line counter reel you purchase can provide the most accurate measurement for you. The best line counter reels will measure in depths of feet, not inches.
No matter what line counter reel you choose to invest in, keep in mind the common characteristics that set these reels apart: an accurate line counting system, the amount of fishing line, and a good level wind system. Looking at popular line counter reels can also help determine what additional features you want out of a reel. There may be other factors to consider, like the amount of ball bearings, and the drag system.
By taking an in-depth look at the top-rated line counter reels that are on the market today, any fisherman will find themselves well-equipped and prepared to find the best reel to suit their individual needs.