5 Top Rated Trolling Rods of Our Choice | Fishing Gear Reviews

5 Top Rated Trolling Rods of Our Choice

By Robert Johnson | Rods

Trolling is an incredibly popular form of fishing. It allows for great distances and depths to be covered throughout the day, and it also creates opportunities to find larger fish species lurking in the deep water. While much attention is paid to trolling reels—such as line counter reels—it is equally important, if not more so, to have a high-quality trolling rod.

Without a good trolling rod, fishermen run the risk of losing efficiency through a variety of ways. A rod that hasn’t been well-made can result in tons of lost fish, whether from broken fishing line, low levels of control and strength, or even breakage of the rod itself. One of the most important pieces of fishing equipment is the rod, particularly when considering trolling rods.

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  • Okuma Classic Pro GLT Downrigger Rod
  • Durable fiberglass blank
  • Stainless steel hooded reel seat
  • Stainless steel double foot guides
  • Improved strength of rod butt
daiwa-goldcast-spincast
  • Shimano Piece Trolling Rod
  • 8 or 9-foot length
  • Medium and medium-heavy power
  • Medium-fast rod action
  • 12” rear grip length
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  • Penn Senator Rod
  • EVA fore grips
  • Machine aluminum reel seat
  • 1-piece glass blank
  • Chrome plated guides
zebco-33-spincast
  • Daiwa Heavy Trolling and Bottom Fishing Rod
  • Rugged, solid fiberglass blank
  • Custom guide wraps and multi-coat epoxy finish
  • Aluminum oxide spinning guides
  • Stainlesshooded reel seat
abu-garcia-abumatic-s-spincast-reel
  • Shimano TDR Heavy Trolling Rod
  • Durable Aeroglass blank construction
  • Fuji reel seat
  • Harder EVA rear grip
  • Medium-fast rod action

Overview of Best Trolling Rods

Finding the best trolling rods is no simple task. The options are nearly endless, and it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what makes a good rod. Luckily, this review strives to highlight the top-rated trolling rods to help anglers find the best rod for them. Each one of these rods has been given high amounts of praise for their overall performance, functionality, and strength. These consistently high ratings make them into some of the best trolling rods to consider purchasing.

1. Okuma Classic Pro GLT Downrigger Rod

Okuma is well-known for offering high quality at affordable prices, and their Classic Pro rod is certainly no different. The blank is constructed of fiberglass, providing a combination of durability and lighter overall weight. Reviews rave about the ability of this trolling rod to withstand heavy pressure and weight.

The Classic rods also feature a combination of aluminum oxide and stainless steel with line guides, foot guides, and the reel seat. These additional features are just as sturdy as they are durable, promising to withstand even the toughest of fights.

The Classic Pro comes from a dependable line of rods, making for a thoroughly worthwhile trolling rod. Designed to fit Okuma’s popular Star Drag and Line Counter reels, the Classic Pro Downrigger rod is the perfect fit for Okuma’s trolling reels.

2. Shimano Piece Trolling Rod

As one of the most trusted names in fishing equipment, Shimano has taken great care to integrate the latest technology in their rods, a focus which certainly shines through in their trolling rods. Anglers who are looking for a tough trolling rod to match their downriggers or line counters will find that the Shimano Piece trolling rod is ideally suited for heavy application. The medium-heavy power offers ideal performance when trolling for larger fish species.

The rod itself is made with durable Aeroglass construction, ensuring that the rod will hold up through even the toughest of fights. The reinforced aluminum oxide guides feature stainless steel frames to keep the fishing line in place and reduce overall friction.

The EVA grip has been reinforced for increased durability, so anglers can keep the trolling rod in a rod holder without worrying about sacrificing the strength of the rod. 

There are four different lengths to choose from, with power ranging between medium and medium-heavy, allowing for increased options for trolling applications.

3. Penn Senator Rod

The Penn Senator rod features a tubular, high-end glass blank construction, promising professional levels of quality and durability. The AFTCO line guides reduce and prevent friction, increasing the distance and fluidity of each and every cast. In conjunction with the tubular glass blank, the tip of the rod is sturdy and solid.

 While the rod action may not be as flexible, the benefit to the Penn Senator is that less flexibility means greater control. This makes the Senator perfect for anglers who are trolling for big, stubborn fish.

Another great feature on the Penn Senator rod is the comfortable EVA grip. Not only does the high-density foam help keep pressure and strain off joints, but it also resists slippage from sprays of water. As an additional benefit, the slick butt of the rod makes retrieving from the holder straightforward and fuss-free.

4. Daiwa Heavy Trolling and Bottom Fishing Rod

Anglers who put a little extra strain on their rods will be happy to know that the rugged, solid fiberglass construction of the Daiwa Heavy Trolling rod is nearly unbreakable. In fact, these rods are so incredibly solid that some reviews describe catching 60-pound flatheads with ease.

 For anglers going after bigger species of fish, this trolling rod is the perfect match.

The rod itself is incredibly stiff, allowing for increased control when bringing in tough fish. While it may not be as flexible as other rods, this also allows for the maximum amount of control. When used alongside a rod holder, the Heavy Trolling and Bottom Fishing rod from Daiwa offers excellent performance and power.

5. Shimano TDR Heavy Trolling Rod

Similar to the Piece trolling rod, the Shimano TDR Heavy Trolling rod is built for optimum performance and control when using trolling applications. The Aeroglass construction enhances overall durability, ensuring that the rod can maintain its rigidity under even the heaviest of pressure and weight. The EVA grip has been completely reformatted for this model, resulting in a harder, reinforced rear grip.

This allows for easy setting in a rod holder, making trolling much easier and eliminating the need for constant supervision. The EVA foregrip has been reformatted as well, resulting in a softer and more forgiving contact with hands and fingers.

Anglers looking for a heavy power rod with medium-fast action will certainly not be disappointed in the powerful performance that the Shimano TDR Heavy Trolling rod has to offer. Not only is it durable, but it is incredibly powerful too, making it one of the best trolling rods to invest in.

Buying Guide for Trolling Rods

Looking for trolling rods will certainly be a much different process than looking for spinning or surf rods. Each form of fishing will bring varying characteristics and elements of the rod in order to enhance performance and durability. When considering trolling rods, there are a few common elements to keep in mind. These elements are:

Line guides

As a result of their particular application, trolling rods have a few variations in line guides, particularly when compared to other fishing rod categories. The guides can either be standard or roller guides. Depending upon the environment you will be in and the type of fish you are trolling for, line guides can play a big part in determining which trolling rod is best for you.

Standard line guides are the most common, and they are suitable for small or medium-sized fish. For larger fish, however, anglers will want to look for roller guides. These guides will create less friction on the fishing line. Decreased pressure on the line will increase your control when bringing in a large fish.

Rod length

While rod length is commonly talked about as influencing casting, length has a slightly different impact when trolling. The greatest benefit to having a longer trolling rod is that it allows for a larger surface area to be covered. By setting one—or even two—long trolling rods off each side of the boat, fishermen are much more likely to run their bait past more fish.

Shorter trolling rods, on the other hand, will be restricted to spaces closer to the side of the boat. If covering the greatest amount of surface area is a key factor in your fishing, make sure to look for long trolling rods.

Conclusion

Trolling is one of the most popular—and perhaps the most relaxing—ways to fish. By allowing trolling rods to rest on the side of a boat, fishermen can cover greater distances and even greater depths. Of course, the best way to ensure that you can catch as many fish as possible is to make sure that your trolling rod is suited for high and heavy performance. Finding the best trolling rod is the best way to make sure that trolling is as efficient and productive as possible.

Finding the best trolling rods often means taking a closer look at the top-rated trolling rods that are currently on the market. By looking at trolling rods that bring in high amounts of praise for durability, strength, and performance, fishermen will be readily able to identify the best trolling rod for their fishing excursions.

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