Best Ice Fishing Reels

13 Fishing Black Betty Inline Ice Reel
1. 13 Fishing Black Betty Inline Ice Reel
Best Overall Ice Fishing Reel
2. Okuma Ceymar Lightweight Spinning Reel
Best Spinning Reel For Ice Fishing
Eagle Claw Inline Ice Reel
3. Eagle Claw Inline Ice Reel
Best Ice Fishing Reel For The Money

Ice fishing is one of the most specialized types of fishing around.

It's so specialized that companies build reels just for ice anglers.This guide will help you find the best ice fishing reel for your needs.

eagle-claw-inline-ice-reel
  • Eagle Claw Inline Ice Reel
  • Nylon body and aluminum spool
  • Smooth Teflon drag
  • Free spool release button
  • Spool tension adjustment
Okuma Ceymar C10
  • Okuma Ceymar C10
  • 8 ball bearings
  • Multi-disc, oiled felt drag system, Max Drag Pressure - 5-lbs
  • Can be switched for right or left-hand retrieval
  • 110 yards of 4lb. Test
fiblink-inline-ice-fishing-reel
  • Fiblink Inline Ice Fishing Reel
  • Free spool release button
  • Aluminum star drag
  • Line clicker
  • Instant anti-reverse system
frabill-straight-line-371-ice-fishing-reel
  • Frabill Straight Line 371 Ice Fishing Reel
  • Lightweight composite construction
  • 5+1 ball bearing system
  • Instant anti-reverse
  • 22-inch line retrieval
13-fishing-black-betty-fishing-reels
  • 13 Fishing Black Betty Fishing Reels
  • CNC machined aluminum construction
  • Carbon drag
  • Instant anti-reverse
  • 2.7:1 gear ratio

Buying Guide for Ice Fishing Reels

There are 3 basic types of ice fishing reels. Each one has pros and cons.

  • Ice Fishing Spinning Reels.
  • Ice Fishing Inline Reels.
  • Baitcasting (Revolving Spool) Reels.

Ice fishing spinning reels are usually just really small spinning reels.

Spinning reels are also known as fixed spool reels because the spool does not rotate. This name is used even though modern spinning reels have oscillating spools.

The upside to using these is that they can be used to ice fishing and ultralight applications.

For example, after ice fishing season is over, the same reel will work for panfish or small trout streams.

Ice fishing inline reels are specially designed for ice fishing. They mounted under the rod and have rotating spools. Since they're mounted under the rod, they're used with spinning rods.

Baitcasting reels are used for ice fishing. But this is not a very common usage. Normally, when you see a baitcasting reel on that ice, it's a reel that's primarily used for other types of fishing. Then, in the winter, it serves double duty as an ice fishing reel.

Which type of ice fishing reel is best for you?The answer to this relies on how serious you are about ice fishing.

Spinning Reel vs. Inline for Ice Fishing

Many anglers choose in line because they want to avoid line twist. Line twist  often happens because of the way spinning reels wrap the line onto the spool.

It's almost inevitable to get at least a small amount of line twist on a spinning reel.

Inline reels on the other hand have revolving spools. This means that the spool rotates as line is fed out. 

Line twist is much less likely to happen with a revolving spool reel.  Keep in mind though, that some baits that spin could add line twists regardless of the type of reel.

Some anglers stick to spinning reels for various reasons. Using the same reel year round can be appealing. They don’t want to bother with having different reels for ice fishing and panfishing for example.

An ultralight spinning reel can easily serve double duty as a trout or panfish reel. Then, in the winter, the reel can be put on an ice fishing rod and be ready to go.

What To Look For In An Ice Fishing Reel

When looking for the right ice fishing reel, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind. We'll help you ask the right questions before you buy.

Reel and rod weight

While there are some exceptions, ice fishing rods are usually shorter and lighter. This means that having a lightweight reel is even more important.

A lightweight rod should be matched up with a lightweight reel. This will help maintain the combos balance. It will also help reduce fatigue.

Installing a reel that is too heavy for the rod can create an imbalanced setup. This could lead to difficulties in detecting strikes.

This is especially true under the ice where strikes can be very subtle. So, keep in mind that rod and reel weight should be complimentary. For most ice fishing rods, a good lightweight ice fishing reel should stay below 5 ounces.

Line retrieval

Since ice fishing doesn't involve casting, you won’t have to worry about backlash as much.

It can still happen if you’re using an inline reel and a heavy lure or sinker. This could cause the spool to over spin and result in a backlash.

Line management is still a concern even with ultralight gear. Use of fluorocarbon or monofilament lines in very cold weather can cause problems. Sometimes mono or fluoro will fly off a spinning reel because of line memory.  This can lead to tangles. Many ice anglers use line conditioners to prevent this. Other will only use braid as their mainline.


Inline reels don't suffer from these problems. The revolving spool helps reduce the chance of a tangle.

Weather resistant components

For ice fishing reels, weather resistance is a key feature.

Most importantly, this applies to the outer composition of the reel, and the gears inside. Reels composed of all metal are typically much more durable.

But, they will also conduct cold temperatures. This makes it difficult to hold the reel throughout frigid winter conditions. It can also lead to rod components locking up.

The internal gears also need some additional consideration when it comes to cold temperatures.

The best ice fishing reels will come with gear lubricant. This lubricant will repel the cold water, ensuring that gears don’t freeze up while on the water.

Another feature found in some ice spinning reels is rotors and spools that repel water as they spin. This can also help prevent the accumulation of ice on your reel.

Target Species

Ice Fishing For Panfish

If you’re going after panfish such as perch and crappie, the lightest reels and lines should work well. This means that an inline reel with 2 lb. test line should be fine.

The light weight of an inline reel will really help make fighting these smaller fish more fun. Also, the ease of handling super light lines will be enhanced by the revolving spool.

The ability to release the spool and drop the line really helps with jigging. Also, line twist will be greatly reduced with an inline reel.

Ice Fishing For Pike

Northern Pike are a different story. These toothy critters can slice right through light line. 

You may want to consider using a thick fluorocarbon leader when targeting pike.

As for the reel, you may want to opt for a spinning reel that can hold a bot more 6 or 8 pound test line.

If you hook up with a 20-30 inch northern, this type of set up will improve your chances of landing it.

Another challenge may be getting the pike up through the ice hole.  Sometimes a heavy fish can place additional stress on the line. When it is brought up through the ice hole, the lower edge of the hole may rub against the line and potentially break it. Once again, a leader may help prevent this.

Ice Fishing For Bass

Mos ice anglers targeting bass will be using a spinning reel. Often times these fish can be much heavier than panfish. You’ll want to go with a spinning reel loaded with 4 to 8 pound test line.

Many of the same techniques will work. For example jigging a lipless crankbait or a spoon should do the trick.

Ice Fishing For Trout

When fishing for trout through the ice, you should be able to use the same rod and reel that you use for bass.

Unless that is you’re going after large lake trout. Many anglers in the great lakes area seek them out in the winter. These fish can easily exceed 20 pounds and will make long runs.

Most anglers looking for large lake trout will spool a spinning reel with 8 to 15 pound test braided line. They will also use a fluoro leader. The heavier line also helps with abrasion resistance.

Line running across the bottom of the ice hole can definitely be a problem for this species.

A spinning reel used in the summer for finesse bass fishing would be fine for this application.Also, sometimes lake trout can be much deeper than normal ice fishing targets. You may be fishing for trout 100 feet below your ice hole.

Ice Fishing For Walleye

For Walleye fishing through the ice, you should be able to use a spinning reel or inline reel. While walleye can get larger, they won’t make the same long runs that a lake trout will.

So for this reason you should be able to use line as light as 4 pound test. You average ultralight spinning reel or inline reel should do fine.

Our Top Picks For Ice Fishing Reels.

1. 13 Fishing Black Betty Inline Ice Reel

This ice fishing reel has gotten nearly perfect reviews for its smooth drag and overall durability.

It comes with a bait alarm to help alert anglers to hits.

Also, the new frame design lets you use either a pistol or pencil grip when using this reel.

With a 2.7:1 gear ratio, the reel will retrieve 18 inches of line per crank.

With the combination of the instant anti-reverse, retrieves are fluid and effective. The lightweight EVA handles provide a comfortable grip, allowing ice anglers greater control over the reel.

The carbon drag system allows for reliable performance.

With solid construction, the 13 Fishing Black Betty model is becoming one of the most talked-about ice fishing reels.

Pros

  • Super Smooth Drag.
  • Lightweight.
  • Great for jigging.

Cons

  • Overruns can happen if you're not careful.
  • Line can become wrapped around tension knob.

2. Okuma Ceymar C10

The okuma ceymar size C-10 is a great choice for ice fishing. Ice fishing forums members across the upper Midwest rave about this reel.

The ceymar is known for having a silky smooth drag at a price that is reasonable.

It will hold 110 yards of 4lb. test mono or 70 yards of 6 lb. test mono. it has a gear ration of 5.0:1, weighs 6 ounces, and a max drag of 5 pounds.

The reel is constructed with a graphite body, a brass pinion gear and a machined  aluminum spool. This is standard for spinning reels and should be more than adequate for ice fishing applications.

The long handle stem is great for anglers wearing thick gloves. The eva foam grip is also large enough for gloved hands to get a good grip on.

Pros

  • Great budget reel.
  • Not just for ice fishing.
  • Handle is long enough for hands wearing large gloves.

Cons

  • Some users report early reel failure.

3. Eagle Claw Inline Ice Reel

The nylon body and spool make the Eagle Claw Inline Ice Reel well suited to withstand bitter winter weather.

Ice anglers will be pleased to experience the free spool release button. It removes the drag and allows the reel to go into a free spool. This makes ice jigging much easier, allowing for a tight lure to be dropped into a fishing hole without causing tangles in the fishing line.

It comes with a left hand retrieve.  But if you need to change it to a right hand retrieve, you can do it with a little bit of work.

Each crank of the handle will reel in 15.75 inches of line.

The spool tension adjustment will help prevent any backlash when using heavier lures.

As an additional benefit, the Eagle Claw Inline Ice Reel comes with a line clicker. This helps ice anglers monitor the amount of line output from the reel.

Users report that it's a solid, reliable reel that has converted many to inline reels.It's one of the most affordable inline ice fishing reels on the market.

Pros

  • Resistant to freezing up.
  • Not just for ice fishing.
  • Excellent spool tension control.

Cons

  • Some users report spool slippage.

4. Fiblink Inline Ice Fishing Reel

With four ball bearings and a gear ratio of 2.7:1, the Fiblink Inline Ice Fishing Reel is an altogether smooth and sturdy ice fishing reel.

At 5.8 ounces, it is light enough to comfortably hold for longer periods of time.

Even though it's light, it's still sturdy enough to withstand wear and tear from changing weather conditions.

Brass gears, and 4 stainless steel ball bearings plus 1 roller bearing help ensure smooth operation.The drag system is easily adjusted, and the free spool function makes ice fishing much easier.

Fishing line can quickly drop down as far as needed, and the line clicker will keep track of each and every inch.

As an additional benefit, the Fiblink Inline Ice Fishing Reel also comes with a one-year warranty. It also includes a soft carrying case to protect the reel when not in use.

Pros

  • Lightweight for all day use.
  • Easy to use with gloves.
  • Smooth drag.

Cons

  • Some users report they got the reel without instructions.

5. Frabill Straight Line 371 Ice Fishing Reel

What really sets the Frabill Straight Line 371 model apart is its lightweight composite construction.

The construction maintains rigidity and increases durability. It also resists conducting cold temperatures. This creates an overall comfortable reel to hold during the winter.

With a 3.7:1 gear ratio, this ice fishing reel offers additional strength and power to bring larger fish through ice holes.

The large construction of the spool allows for maximum balance and a quicker retrieval rate. With each turn of the handle, it brings in 22 inches of fishing line.

As an additional benefit, this reel also comes with an adjustable bait alarm. This will help anglers who are monitoring multiple setups.

Internal sub-zero lubricant ensures that gears will continue to function throughout bitter cold.

Pros

  • Ideal for light jigging action.
  • Spool guard allows palm grip.
  • 5 +1 ball bearings.

Cons

  • Some users report early reel failure.
  • Spool may have some play in it.

Conclusion

Whether sitting on a lake, pond, or creek, ice fishing can be just as much of a social event as fishing during the warmer seasons.

The temperature may be less forgiving during ice fishing season, but that certainly doesn't stop us.

Whether you choose online or spinning reels, make sure you tailor your gear correctly.

The species and locations you're targeting can have an impact on the gear you choose.

Don't forget to check out our other ice fishing reviews. Reechase.com Ice Fishing.

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Best Spincast Reels of 2018 Reviewed – Ultimate Buyers Guide

Best Spincast Reels

 If you're just beginning to learn how to fish, or looking for an easy to use reel, a spincast reel is an ideal option.

I've been using spincast reels since I was a kid. They're great for teaching people how to fish. I created this guide to give you all the information you need to pick out the best spincast reel.

The key feature of spincast reels is that they're easy to use. You simply push a button to release the lure or bait. Thy're so user friendly that many professional guides have them on hand.

 

This kind of reel is a bit of a hybrid between spinning reels and baitcasting reels. Spincast reels are also called closed face reels. This is because they have a cover that fits over the spool.

Best Spincast Reels 

Anglers know that a key to having a successful fishing trip is choosing the best equipment.

In this guide I we'll take a look at some top reels. I'll rate them based on things like quality or materials and durability. We'll also look at some of line capacities, gear ratios and other aspects.

I'll also key you in on what users of these reels are saying to give us an idea of how well made they are.

zebco-omega-zo3pro
  • Zebco Omega ZO3PRO Spincast Fishing Reel
  • 7 bearing system
  • Triple cam, multi-disc drag
  • Ceramic line guide
  • Auto Bait Alert system
daiwa-goldcast-spincast
  • Daiwa Goldcast Spincast Reel
  • Oscillating spool
  • Rugged and durable metal body
  • 4.1:1 gear ratio
  • Rotating Tungsten line pickup
shakespeare-symcx-synergy-micro
  • Shakespeare SYMCX Synergy Micro Spincast Reel
  • Polished stainless steel front and cover
  • Anti-reverse and bait clicker function
  • Titanium line guide
  • Adjustable multi-disc drag system
zebco-33-spincast
  • Zebco 33 Spincast Reel
  • 3.6:1 gear ratio
  • Lightweight graphite frame
  • Comfortable handle and rubber grips
  • Quick-Set anti-reverse function
abu-garcia-abumatic-s-spincast-reel
  • Abu Garcia Abumatic S Spincast Reel
  • QuadCam Pickup system
  • 4.3:1 or 5.2:1 gear ratio
  • Ultra smooth drag system
  • 2 bearing system

1. Zebco Omega ZO3PRO Spincast Fishing Reel

This reel was the first-ever spincast reel to include seven bearings. The Zebco Omega ZO3PRO is one of the most efficient reels available on the market today.

Not only has Zebco created a 7 bearing spincast reel, they invented them. R.D. Hull came up with the idea while watching a butcher pull meat packing string off a spool.

For the Omega ZO3PRO, the seven bearings work alongside the multi-disc drag system. It also uses an aluminum casing to create a sturdy reel that's still lightweight.

 One of its best features lies within its comfortable, ergonomic design. The reel has a great ergonomic design to help reduce casting fatigue. Additionally, it can be set up to fit either a left-hand or a right-hand retrieve.

This model has received tons of praise for its smooth cast and speedy retrieval. It's versatile and durable reel that can be used for a range of species, including crappie, bluegill, bass or catfish.

An impressive feature of the ZO3PRO reel is it's durable construction. Both the covers and the metal gears are constructed from hardened aluminum.

Zebco Omega ZO3PRO Spincast Fishing Reel

The line guide is ceramic. This will reduce line friction and keep the weight down too. The reel is not waterproof. But, the cover and some internal rubber gaskets help keep splashes away from key parts.

The brass worm gear is designed to ensure that the reel runs smoothly. The gear ratio is set to 3.4:1. This is a medium slow ratio, bringing in some very serious cranking power to the table. Of course, as you can expect, the retrieves are a little slower. Nevertheless, this is a great feature for beginners as it would enable them to easily keep the fish on the hook.

Reel Specs:

 

This spincast reel is great for both left and right handed users. It features continuous anti reverse and will retrieve 19 inches of line per turn of the handle. This is also complimented by the lightweight construction. It comes in at 10.6 ounces. This is not bad for a reel meant to hold 10lb. test line.

The cover is made of machined aluminum and the spinner head is anodized for protection.

There is not much to dislike about this particular reel. To top it all up, the price is also affordable. The overall sturdiness and longevity makes it a worthwhile long-term investment. It even comes with a spare line spool and a dual paddle handle.

It will hold 85 yards of 10 lb. test mono. This will make it suitable for most freshwater fishing scenarios. It will work well for panfish and small bass.

You probably wont want to use it for long running species like large steelhead or salmon. I would also recommend you avoid using it in saltwater unlsess you plan on cleaning it thoroughly.

2. Pfleuger President Spincast Reel

The Pfleuger President Spincast reel series features 3 models to choose from including an underspin model.

Plueger has long been known for making reels. They have a quality spinning reel in the president line as well. I have owned several of these. The spincast models are no different in their level of quality.

Let's start with the features that they all share.

All the Pflueger President spincast reels come pre-loaded with fishing line. This is a great add on as it's one less thing to buy.

They also have 5 ball bearings each and are built on an aluminum frame. Aluminum is also used for the cover and handle shaft.

These reels also feature titanium pins, instant anti-reverse and a "soft touch" knob.

Let's take a look at the differences between the three models.

Model 6SCX

The model that you're most likely to need is the model 6SCX.

Pfleuger President Spincast Reel

It comes pre-spooled with 6 lb. test monofilament line. It will hold:

 145 yards of 4 lb test mono, 90 yards of 6 lb. test mono or 70 yards of 8 lb. test mono.

The gear ratio is 3.1:1 and it will retrieve 14.5 inches of line per handle turn. It comes in at 8.6 ounces. It's a great reel for light freshwater fishing for panfish such as crappie or light duty bass fishing.

Model 10SCB

The next model we'll look at is the model 10SCB. This model is a step up in size from the 6SCX. So, if you're looking to handle larger bass, this might be the reel you want to go with.

The 10SCB comes pre-loaded with 10 lb. test mono. It can hold 90 yards of 8 lb. test, 75 yards of 10 lb. test, or 65 yards of 12 lb. test monofilament. It's heavier than the Zebco Omega Pro coming in at 11.2 ounces.

It has a 3.8: 1 gear ratio that retrieves 18.5 inches of line per crank. This is a very respectable set of specs for a reel in this category.

Model 6USCX

Finally, we have the model 6USCX. This reel is different than the others in that it's an underspin reel. Click here to learn about underspin reels.

The 6USCX comes pre-loaded with 6 lb. test. It has a line capacity of: 145 yards of 4 lb. test, 90 yards of 6 lb. test and 70 yads of 8 lb. test.

This makes it fit in the same species category as the 6SCX. This reel would be fine for panfish, light bass fishing and small trout.

The reel has a 3.4: gear ratio. It will retrieve 14.5 inches of line per handle crank.

It comes in a 9 ounces. This is a bit heavy for reels of this size, but it's common for unerspin reels to be a bit heavier.

Overall the president spincast reels get great reviews for build quality. Reviewers especially like the all metal construction. There are a few reviews complaining about the reels breaking after a short use duration.

3. Zebco Bullet Spincast Reel

The Zebco Bullet is a recent addition to the Zebco lineup. It's touted as their fastest ever spincast reel.

Zebco is the originator of spincast reels. With the Bullet model they have added new features that will delight many anglers.

This reel comes with a 5.1:1 gear ratio. This leads to a retrieve of 29.6 inches of line per handle crank. This is the highest of any reel in this category.

Most spincast reels average less than 20 inches of line per crank. So, this is a big step up in line retrieval.

The Bullet also comes with a total of 9 bearings. This is the highest of any reel in this review and should lead to silky smooth operation.

Another great feature is that it comes pre-loaded wit 10 lb. test line and even includes a spare spool.

Additionally, the reel has a forged aluminum, anodized front cover, brass gears and all metal construction.

Zebco Bullet Spincast Reel

As with most spincast reels, the handle can be switched between left and right sides. The handle is also equipped with Grip Em all weather handle knobs.

As for line capacity it will hold 90 yards of 10 lb. test mono. Users have reported that they have loaded it with mono up to 17 lb. test with no problem.

Zebco also states that the reel will hold up to 80 yards of 30 lb. braid.

As for rod pairing recommendations, this rod can be paired with a Quantum QX36 6' Medium Action.

As with most spincast reels, some reviewers report reel failures. These seem to be infrequent. 

4. Zebco 33 Platinum Spincast Reel

The Zebco 33 is perhaps the most popular and well-known spincast reel. Due to their affordability and ease of use, the Zebco 33 model has provided reliable reels for generations of young and old anglers.

This model comes pre-spooled with 100 yards of 10 lb. fishing line, making it easy to simply take it out of the package and put directly into use. The all metal body ensures that the reel will be durable over time without increasing weight.

In fact, at only 9.7 ounces, this reel can comfortably be held for long sessions.

The Zebco 33 also introduces tons of updates, including a new line management system.  This helps improve casting, control, and line retrieval.

The new and improved gear train provides an overall smoother feel and performance. It also includes, better bearing support to enhance each and every retrieve. 


Not only is this reel incredibly affordable, but it is also extremely durable and versatile.  It's a top choice, if you're looking for a reliable spincast reel.

Zebco 33 Spincast Reel

Specs

Starting off with the important specifications, the Zebco 33 only has four ball bearings.

It has a stainless steel brushed cover. This not only helps protect against corrosion, but it looks great too.  The reel is surprisingly stout for its small sizes. It features a brass pinion gear and an anodized metal handle.

The handle is also reversible between the let and right side. This reel also come with instant anti reverse and a 4.1:1 gear ratio.

It will retrieve 22 inches of line per handle turn. This is a pretty long retrieve per turn. Most spincast reels retrieve less than 20 inches per handle turn. It will hold 90 yards of 10 lb. test mono.

The Zebco 33 Spincast Reel is the perfect entry-level reel in terms of both price and experience required. It’s a perfect reel for both advanced fishermen with years of casting behind their backs and for the beginner enthusiasts.

5. Daiwa Goldcast Spincast Reel

Daiwa is known for making high quality reels. The Goldcast is no exception.

This reel features a durable metal body for professional grade durability. It comes with an oscillating spool to help wind fishing line evenly on the spool.

The level-wind feature also helps with casting distance. Without it, your line could dig into itself on the spool. This could greatly reduce casting distance and cause tangles.

The reel has a 4.1:1 retrieve ratio in all models. This means that the spool rotates 4.1 times for every handle turn.

You can attach the handle to the left or right side based on your preference.

The drag is one of the smoothest on a spincast reel. It's made from multiple discs that allow for "micro-fine" adjustments. This will help you set the drag to the perfect setting for the type of fish you're after.

The rotating line pickup is made from tungsten carbide and it turns with the line. This helps reduce wear on the line and roller.

Daiwa Goldcast Review

Specifications:

There are 3 models of the Goldcast available. They all come pre-loaded with fishing line.

The GC80 weighs 9.2 ounces and will hold 75 yards of 8 lb. test mono. This would be adequate for panfish and bass fishing in open water. it will retrieve 18.5 inches of line per handle turn.

The next model up in size is the GC100. It weighs 9.9 ounces and will hold 80 yards of 10 lb. test line. It will retrieve 20. inches of line per handle turn. This reel should work fine for most light bass fishing applications.

Finally we have the GC120. This is the largest goldcast model coming in at 12 ounces in weight. It will retrieve 21.3 inches of line per handle turn. It will hold 100 yards of 12 lb. test mono.

This reel should work for most bass fishing applications. You might not want to use these in saltwater or in heavy cover. I think it would be fine for most light to medium freshwater fishing scenarios.

The majority of reviews are favorable. A few critics have indicated that they had problems with broken parts after using it a short time.

Best Saltwater Spincast Reel - Zebco 808 Saltwater.

Contrary to popular belief, spincast reels can be successfully used in saltwater environments.

The Zebco 808 saltwater is one of the few spincast reels that is designed for saltwater. The comes with a corrosion resistant coating and a stainless steel handle.

This is a larger reel that weighs a bit over a pound. It does come pre-spooled with 20 lb test monofilament and will hold 145 yards of it.

It has a 2.6:1. gear ratio and will crank in 19 inches of line per handle turn. Unfortunately, it only comes with 1 ball bearing.

You'll need to exercise more care maintaining the reel. Make sure to rinse under the cover with freshwater after every use.

Zebco 808 Saltwater

Buying Guide for Spincast Reels

When looking for the best reel for you, there are a few innate qualities that you may want to identify.

Spincast reels have a reputation for being a beginners reel. This means that some advanced anglers have a tendency to look down on them.

However, these reels can be a great resource for anglers that are starting out or have coordination problems.

In this section, we'll cover some general tips on what to look for when selecting a spincast reel.

It goes without saying that spincast reels catch tons of fish throughout the country. And why wouldn’t they? spincast reels are inexpensive in comparison, widely available and, most importantly, they are very easy to use.

Spincasters Solve The Backlash Problem

Interestingly enough, baitcasting reels used to be more common throughout the early 20th century. They were used all over the world. However, they did have one major flaw – backlash.

Early baitcasting reels wold produce horrible backlashes that would require cutting line out to fix. Anglers had to use their thumbs to manage spool speed. If they could not do this expertly, a backlash would result.

This meant that you had to spend time practicing with your baitcasting reel so you could learn to avoid backlash.

So, manufacturers started looking for a solution. It was the 1940s when the spincast reel was invented and it drew beginning anglers in droves.

Of course, spincast reels have come a long way ever since. There is a tremendous abundance options on the market, each one of which competing for the top spot.

Even though competition is generally a good thing for consumers, too many choices can lead to confusion.

That’s why we’ve taken the liberty of providing you with some features you can look for when selecting the spincast reel that's right for you.

Keep reading to find out more about spincast reel construction and how it will affect your fishing.

Different Spincast Reel Types

There are two major types of spincast reels available on the market: push-button and underspin.

The first one would require you to push a thumb button and hold it as your rod is brought back to casting position.

Once you are there, just start your forward cast. As you reach the end of your forward cast, release the pressure on the button. This will cause the line to be released so the lure or bait can fly in the direction of your cast.

Push button spin cast reels are mounted on top of a biatcasting style rod.

Underspin Reels

Another type of reel that falls into the spincast category is the underspin reel.

These are trigger-equipped reels that are are mounted under the rod.

This means that they should be paired with a spinning rod instead of a baitcasting rod.

To cast an unerspin reel, you simply pull the trigger. Then, raise your rod up and back. Finally, as you start the forward cast and get to about 45 degrees in front, release the trigger.

This will release the lure and cast it in your intended direction. Hopefully.

Push-Button Spincast Reels

Push-button reels are usually preferred by advanced fishermen while those of you who want to make a smooth transition from baitcasting to spinning gear or beginners who want to move away from the push-button spincast to a spinning reel, an underspin is the more appropriate and also the affordable option. It’s also the most optimal one to make this transition happen.

Key Specifications

Now, once we’ve taken a look at why spincast reels are so preferred and we are already aware of the two main types to look out for, let’s see what their specifications are. This would allow you to make a confident choice and, what is more important – to conveniently modify your reel as you wish and when it’s needed.

Drag Systems

There are two types drag settings when it comes to spincast reels.

The star drag and the internal wheel drag. The star drag is mounted on the side of the reel on the handle shaft. You can tighten it in the same way you'd tighten a screw.

Turn it clockwise to make it tighter and counter-clockwise to loosen it. A tighter drag makes it harder to pull line away from the spool and vice versa.

The second type of drag setting is the wheel setting found on the top of the spincast reel. These normally have a "-" minus sign on the left and a "+" plus sign on the right.

If you turn the wheel towards the minus side, you;ll loosen the drag. Turn it to the plus side and you'll tighten it.

You'll want to set your drag to match the line weight you're using. This will help you when fighting fish. Over tightening your drag could result in line breakage. So be careful.

Gear Ratios

This is where most of the people tend to struggle. We’ll try breaking it down as much as it’s possible. The ratio is expressed with numbers. A common example is 2.6:1.

The number on the left shows the amount of times the line is wound around your spool. The number of the right displays the number of complete handle turns.

So, in this example, a spincast reel with a gear ratio set to 2.6:1 will end up winding the line around your spool 2.6 times for every turn of your handle.

By that logic – the lower the gear ratio is, the slower your line is going to be retrieved after your cast. Lower gear ratios also mean that your reel will provide you with more cranking power.

It’s worth noting that the range of gear ratios which is actually available in spincast reels is far from being as great as in spinning reels and baitcasting reels. They usually fall within the range of 2.5:1 and 5.5:1. 

Line Capacity

Spincast reels have a fairly smaller line capacity when compared to their spinning and baitcasting counterparts. The majority of reels of this type will hold anywhere between 80 and 120 yards worth of line.

Of course, the exact amount would vary depending on the strength and diameter of the line as well as the size of the reel itself.

A Helpful Tip*: Most spincast reels will come with the line pre-spooled in the reel and included in the price. This is a very convenient option.

But if you get serious about fishing, you might want to replace this line with some quality line. Sometimes the line included with these reels is not the best quality fishing line.

More advanced models come with interchangeable spools which would enable the angler to swiftly switch from one line weight another depending on the changing fishing conditions. 

Bearings

When it comes to the bearings, the rules that apply to other reels apply to these ones as well. Usually, people tend to believe that the more ball bearings you have – the better. That’s not entirely true. It is better to use a smaller amount of bearings which are made out of high-end, shielded or even double-shielded material.

However, it’s also important to note that the greater the number of ball bearings is, the smoother the reel is likely to operate. Spincast models usually have bearings in the range between two and ten.

Reel design

You may have seen spincast reels used in popular childrens fishing started kits. These reels are usually made of plastic.

Of course they're fine for catching small bluegills and for teaching kids about fishing.

Unfortunately, these reels will most likely break fairly quickly. This is because of the plastic components they're made from.

Most high quality spincast reels are made with all metal bodies. And while plastic is used on some internal parts, it's usually a denser form.

Aluminum is a popular metal for reel construction. It's corrosion resistant and lightweight.

But unfortunately, spincast are usually heavier than spinning and baitcasting reels.

This is because spincast reels have a cover for the spool that adds to the toal weight.

Closed-face spincast reels are quickly gaining popularity, as their design is much easier to maneuver, particularly for beginners. This is perhaps the most widespread option for contemporary spincast reels.

These reels are popular choices for children who are just learning how to fish, as they offer fewer complications than other reel types. Unfortunately, the key to using a closed-face design is keeping regular maintenance.

With a closed body, it may be harder to identify whether or not the line is snagging. Also, water can unknowingly become trapped inside the reel. 

Targeted fish species

Although spincast reels are easy to use, they are traditionally not well-suited for catching larger fish. Of course, some models are better equipped for this than others. Buyers may want to ensure that their reel will be able to handle the right amounts of pressure and weight. This will depend on the targeted species that the angler is pursuing.

Fishing environment

These types of reels cannot be cast out quite as far as spinning or baitcasting models. So, determining the fishing environment will often directly follow the targeted fish species. Depending upon where you will be fishing, buyers will want to make sure that the spincast reel has enough distance to get the lure to the fish.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that fishing can be an altogether enjoyable experience. An excellent way to enhance that experience is by using the best equipment.

The great advantage to spincast reels is that they make the sport of fishing accessible to all ages and skill levels.

This helps cultivate a love of fishing early on. Casual anglers can fish without the frustration of managing the complexities of other reel types.

By thoroughly examining the top-rated reels, You will hopefully be able to pick out the right reel for you. With all of the above being said, we truly hope that you find value in what you read.

Keep in mind that anglers throughout the entire world use spincast reels. Many pro guides have them on their boats for use by their clients. They are, by all means, not a measurement for skills or professionalism. While they are easier to use and less complicated than other reels, they are also incredibly effective. This is the main reason for which spincast reels have remain extremely popular.

This will take all the burden out of it and all you’ll have to do is start fishing.

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Best Line Counter Reels

okuma-cold-water-line counter-Reel
1. Okuma Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel
Best Overall Line Counter Reel
2. PENN Squall LevelWind Line Counter Reel
Best Saltwater Line Counter Reel
okuma-magda-pro-line-counter-level-wind-trolling-reel
3. Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind Trolling Reel
Best Line Counter Reel For The Money

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.

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.

1. 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.

Daiwa Accudepth Plus-B Line Walleye Special Level Wind Fishing Reel

2. 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.

3. 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.


4. 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.

Okuma Cold Water Line Counter Trolling 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.

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur Line Counter Reel

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.

Penn General Purpose Line Counter Level Wind 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.

Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Level Wind Trolling Reel

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.

Counting measurement

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.

Conclusion

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.

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5 Best Shimano Spinning Reels for 2018

best shimano spinning reels

Shimano reels have nearly a century of dedicated engineering behind them, and the results have been overwhelmingly positive. In nearly every list of top-rated reels, Shimano reels are featured, and typically more than one model. As a company, the innovative engineering behind Shimano reels focuses on precision, quality, and performance.

For any fisherman, whether professional or otherwise, Shimano reels can help improve fishing performance. Although they began by creating baitcasting reels, Shimano spinning reels have been growing in popularity, due to their superior engineering and performance.

While Shimano has certainly enhanced the mechanics and efficiency behind the spinning reel, there are a few essential characteristics to spinning reels that set them apart from baitcasting reels.

shimano-stradic-hg-fk-spinning-reel
  • Shimano Stradic HG FK Spinning Reel
  • Hagane construction
  • X-Ship gearing
  • 35” line retrieval
  • 20 lb. drag force
shimano-stradic-ci43000-spinning-reel
  • Shimano Stradic CI4+3000 Spinning Reel
  • X-Ship gearing
  • Reinforced carbon material
  • Waterproof drag system
  • 6 S-ARB ball bearings
shimano-stella-stlc3000xgfi-spinning-reel
  • Shimano Stella STLC3000XGFI Spinning Reel
  • 19.8 lbs. maximum drag
  • 36.6” line retrieve
  • S-Direct drive system
  • 13 bearings
shimano-syncopate-2500-fg
  • Shimano Syncopate 2500 FG
  • Propulsion spool lip
  • Graphite frame
  • Quickfire II system
  • Propulsion Line Management system
shimano-sahara-3000-fe
  • Shimano Sahara 3000 FE
  • Graphite frame, side plate, and rotor
  • Cold forged aluminum spool
  • 4 bearing system
  • Slow Oscillation system

Benefits to Spinning Reels

Spinning reels are perhaps the most popular of all fishing reels. For light-weight lures and lines, and for enhanced finesse techniques, spinning reels are quickly becoming the reel of choice for many fishermen. When compared to baitcasting reels, there are some specific characteristics that set spinning reels apart. These characteristics can also be seen as benefits, listed below:

Versatility

Spinning reels can be used for multiple purposes, whether you are bass fishing going after catfish. They can also be used in conjunction with a variety of tackle options, including live bait and artificial lures. While they can sustain heavier bait, they work best with lighter weights.

Widespread use

One of the reasons that spinning reels are so popular is that they are easy to use and can be used for light baits and in high winds.. This includes fishing for fish, like bass, redfish, and crappie in both salt and fresh water.

Ease of use

Spinning reels are typically much easier to use than a baitcasting reel. You don’t have to worry about backlash when using a spinning reel. You can use much lighter baits and lures as well as cast in high winds more easily with a spinning reel.

Baitcasting reels tend to have a learning curve attached: that is, it takes time and patience to learn how to use one properly. Spinning reels, however, don’t need extensive time to perfect form and performance.

Best Shimano Spinning Reels

Over the years, Shimano has produced approximately 100 different reels, influencing and defining the way fishing equipment is manufactured. Shimano reels are globally recognized for their precision, durability, and lightweight construction.

We have compiled a list of the best Shimano spinning reels for 2018. These spinning reels have earned accolades from professionals and amateurs alike. Our review will provide a detailed overview of what makes each model stand out above the competition, and what characteristics make Shimano exceptional spinning reels.

 

1. Shimano Stradic HG FK Spinning Reel

This model introduces a brand new technological concept employed by Shimano, called Hagane. This term refers to the high-quality steel used to manufacture Samurai swords. The Shimano Stradic HG FK model is made entirely out of this high-quality metal component. From the body of the reel to the internal components, this model utilizes the Hagane concept to increase the strength and durability of the reel.

When dealing with the additional pressure of a large fish, the X-Ship gearing performs incredibly well. This gearing configuration provides a smooth transfer of pressure, keeping gears working under high stress levels. The result is a stronger, smoother operation. It also preserves gear function, which promises to contribute towards long-term use.

Fishermen love the smooth drag, an undeniable feature of any Shimano reel. In fact, as one of the newest models, the Shimano Stradic HG FK is also lauded as being one of the best Shimano reels currently available.

Shimano Stradic HG FK Spinning Reel

2. Shimano Stradic CI4+3000 Spinning Reel

The Stradic series are some of the most popular and best Shimano reels available. The CI4+ 3000 is the third model in the series, and it has been praised in multiple reviews as being the best possible value on the market today. With a gear ratio of 6.0:1, it is one of the fasting spinning reels available.

Its large spool allows for increased distance and increased weight drag, with customer reviews reporting being able to catch fish over 25 lbs. with ease. The waterproof drag system and X-Ship gearing ensure that gears stay in alignment and operate smoothly, regardless of weight.

The CI4+ 3000, however, includes an additional element to enhance durability and performance. Cold forged aluminum is added to the drive gear, and hardened brass is added to the pinion gear. These two materials have been proven to last even longer than stainless steel.

Shimano Stradic CI4+3000

Shimano reels are known for smooth operation, and adding these two materials ensures that the Stradic CI4+ 3000 will remain as one of the most affordable and best Shimano reels.

 

3. Shimano Stella STLC3000XGFI Spinning Reel

Shimano’s Stella series has largely been regarded as one of the best Shimano reels. This Stella model includes a MicroModule gear system, which adds little micro-teeth to gears in order to increase power and torque. This results in firmer feel and fewer vibrations, making for a much more efficient and comfortable experience.

The patented S-Direct drive system connects directly to the drive gear, making power transfers much more efficient and reducing overall wear and tear of the most critical gear components. When compared to previous models, the Stella 3000XGFI spinning reel employs advanced engineering technology meant to decrease unnecessary movement and increase overall smoothness and control.

At 7.8 ounces, Shimano manages to increase durability and efficiency without drastically increasing weight, making this model one of the best Shimano spinning reelsm.

Shimano Stella Review

4. Shimano Syncopate 2500 FG

The Shimano Syncopate model is perfect for fishermen who are looking to enhance speed and efficiency. With a combination of the Propulsion Line Management system and a propulsion spool lip, this spinning reel is made specifically to improve speed and distance when casting. The Quickfire II trigger system is easy to use and is much more balanced than other similar brands.

The line management system and spool lip work together to allow for greater distances with less effort, even with natural interference like the wind. Customers love that this spinning reel is smooth, quick, and durable, easily lasting throughout years of fishing.

By combining affordability with enhanced speed and durability, the Shimano Syncopate 2500 FG is one of the best Shimano reels to invest in.

Syncopate 2500 FG Spinning Reel Review

5. Shimano Sahara 3000 FE

This spinning reel is one of the best Shimano reels, due partly to its expert graphite construction. At 7.2 ounces, the Shimano Sahara 3000 FE is one of the most lightweight spinning reels available. This is a substantial benefit for fishermen looking to spend extended time on the water without irritating joint pain. The graphite and cold forged aluminum both increase durability while maintaining a comfortable, lightweight form.

As with all Shimano models, you can expect a consistently smooth experience with the Saharas. ​The waterproof drag system ensures that stray water won’t get in the way of your fishing. Additionally, the Slow Oscillation system works to make sure that casts are as long as possible without getting tangled up.

The Shimano Sahara 3000 FE is both lightweight and incredibly durable, making it one of the top-rated Shimano reels.

Shimano Sahara Review

What do you think of our top 5? Please click the button below to leave a comment.

Buying Guide For the Best Shimano Reels

Although Shimano has a long history of creating top-quality spinning reels, it can be difficult to figure out which spinning reel is best for your needs. The best Shimano reels come with common characteristics that affect performance, durability, and efficiency. When looking for Shimano reels, here are some qualities to look closely at in order to get the best Shimano reels for your needs:

Weight and Durability

Weight is important, as heavier reels can result in joint pain, increasing stress to the wrist and the forearm. For fishermen who like to spend longer periods of time on the water, stress and fatigue can be huge factors in their fishing performance. Lighter reels will decrease joint pain due to heavy or bulky reels.

The reel body should also be durable. Finding a durable reel body without sacrificing lightweight construction is important. While aluminum is stronger, graphite is much lighter. A combination of the two might be your best bet when looking for improved weight and durability.

Gear Ratio

The gear ratio for spinning reels is much different than with baitcasting reels. For spinning reels, the spool itself is fixed and does not revolve. Instead, a bail will wrap the line along the spool as the handle is turned. As a result, the gear ratio describes the number of times the bail wraps along the spool on each turn of the handle.

A low, medium, or high-speed retrieve (gear ratio) depends largely upon what type of fishing you are planning to. For versatility, the best gear ratio might be a middle speed, typically considered as a gear ratio of 5:1. Still, depending on whether torque is necessary or speed is important, the gear ratio of a spinning reel will play a huge factor.

Drag System

The drag system determines the application of pressure onto a hooked fish, and for that reason, having a good drag system is crucial when using spinning reels. Without a smooth, steady drag system, lines can break, and fish can escape.

There are two types of drag systems that a spinning reel might have: front drag and rear drag. Front drag systems typically have enhanced durability and performance when compared to rear drag. The benefit to rear drag systems, however, is that the controls are much easier to access, so they may be easier to manipulate. All the reels in this list use a front drag system..

Conclusion

When looking for a spinning reel, it is hard to deny the inherent value and efficiency that comes with Shimano reels. As one of the top-rated brands in the fishing market, Shimano reels have continued to defy expectation and define the manufacture of high-quality spinning reels.

In looking at top-rated Shimano reels, any fisherman will find themselves well-equipped to enhance their fishing experience through some of the best Shimano reels available on the market.

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Best Braided Fishing Line

Best Braided Fishing Lines
braided-line

Braided fishing line is one of the strongest types of fishing line you can get. In the past, it was braided from cotton, linen, or other natural materials, but modern technology has changed the game, and most braided fishing line is now made from Dacron, Spectra, micro-dyneema, or similar advanced, man-made synthetics.

Braided fishing line remains popular today because it’s extremely strong for its diameter and weight, and great for long casts, and deep-ocean fishing.

Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of braided fishing line. Then we’ll look at best braided fishing lines you can buy.

kast-king-braided-line
  • KastKing SuperPower Braid Fishing Line
  • Molecular polyethylene fiber design
  • Great abrasion resistance
  • Virtually "memoryless"
  • Weights from 6 to 150 lbs
spiderwire-braided-superline
  • Spiderwire Braided Stealth Superline
  • Dyneem PE microfiber design with a polymer surface
  • Reduced friction for better casting
  • 8 strand braided construction for superior strenght
  • Great sensitivity with a low memory
power-pro-spectra-braided-fishing-line
  • Power Pro Spectra Fiber Braided Fishing Line
  • Honeywell Spectra synthetic design
  • Three-end braided construction, 98% stretch-free
  • Very smooth and rounded with a surface treatment
  • Extremely thin, yet durable
spiderwire-ultracast-braid-superline
  • Spiderwire Ultracast Invisi-Braid Superline
  • 8-stranded translucent braided polyurethane design
  • Extremely smooth line for quick casts
  • Available in 8 to 50 lb weights
  • Near invisible in water
rapala-suffix-832-superline
  • Rapala Suffix 832 Advanced Superline Braid
  • Two fiber design - Dyneema fibers around a Gore Performance
  • Great combination of strenght, sensitivity and durability
  • Lightweight and excellent for casting
  • Water-repellent, hydrophobic line

Advantages Of Braided Fishing Line

  • Braided lines are much stronger than fluorocarbon and monofilament lines. Generally a braided line will be 2 to 4 times stronger than the same diameter of mono.
  • The increased strength of braided lines compared to fluorocarbons means that longer lines can be attached to standard reels . You might be only able to attach 200yards of line to a reel using a thicker monofilament. Braided line will be approximately 1/3rd the thickness, allowing you to add up to 600 yards of the same strength braid. This can be very useful in some situations, especially when fishing in deep ocean waters.
  • Braided lines also are generally very far-casting, allowing you to easily reach max distance.
  • Braided fishing lines also don’t stretch as much. This makes them extremely sensitive to bites. It gives you a great linefeel and the ability to make quick adjustments, which is very useful when jerkbaiting or using a topwater setup.
  • Braided fishing lines are also popular for topwater setups because they typically float well, allowing good visibility and making them great for topwater applications.

Disadvantages Of Braided Fishing Line

  • Braided fishing line tends to have a much higher water visibility factor than comparable fluorocarbon or monofilament lines. This can be fixed by using a combination of braided line and a lower-visibility fluorocarbon or monofilament line as your leader. This will require an extra knot between the main line and the leader.
  • Braided fishing line is also a bit harder to handle – knots in particular, while they do provide great hold – can be slippery and tough to tie, meaning you’ll need a bit of fishing experience (and to tie fishing knots for braided line – Uniknot, Palomar, Trilene, Albright, etc) in order to use them effectively.
  • The slipperiness of the knots can be dealt with in various ways. Many veteran anglers who prefer braided lines use small amounts of Superglue or other Cyanoacrylate adhesives to secure their knots.

What Application Is Braided Line Most Suited For?

Braided fishing lines can be used in just about any setup, but as mentioned, they’re very popular for bait casting reels, and they’re especially useful for trolling, where the high line strength and durability, as well as the small diameter allows for long, durable lines that can handle even the largest of prey.

Product Recommendations

1. KastKing SuperPower Braid Fishing Line

This braided fishing line by KastKing was first introduced in 2013. It made a splash by being a top-quality braided fishing line that was priced at only half the cost of competition, and it’s remained a favorite ever since its introduction.

This line is made out of 100% Ultra High Molecular Polyethylene fiber – the same sort of fiber used for space-age applications like bulletproof vests and other durable, tough applications.

And despite its great abrasion resistance, high knot strength, and superb visibility, this line is treated with a proprietary material coat that helps it stay smooth and flexible when casting out through your guides. This helps prevent snags and skips.

KastKing also claims their line is virtually “memoryless” – that is it won’t degrade over time and start to feel more sluggish like some other monofilament lines, and we’d agree. The line remains very sensitive even after using it for quite a long time, and makes handling it super easy, as well as reducing backlash and other negative effects.

It’s available in line weights of 6lbs all the way up to 150lbs, and in 300-1000M reels, so you’ve got plenty of options whether you’re planning on picking up some braided line for your next trip to the lake, or if you’re getting ready to do some serious deep-sea trolling for large, heavy prey.

2. Spiderwire Braided Stealth Superline

This line by Spiderwire is made of a strong, durable, and low-profile high-tech dyneema PE microfiber, and it’s treated with a proprietary fluor polymer surface treatment that aids in casting by reducing friction, and assuring safe and fast travel through your rod’s guides, and the 8-strand braided construction ensures the line strength that you’d expect from a quality braided line.

Spiderwire has created this line specifically for maximum strength at minimum diameter – minimizing the high-profile, high-visibility problems that sometimes crop up with heavier braided lines, and the results are great. In Moss Green, the preferred underwater colorway, this line isn’t quite as “invisible” as a clear monofilament choice would be, but it’s darn close, and given the fact you can use a smaller diameter braided line as compared to a monofilament, it certainly gives them a run for their money.

Conversely, you can get the high-vis yellow line which is great for topwater fishing – it’s easy to see, and given that it’s a braided line, it’s extremely sensitive with a low memory, giving you great bite response, line control, and linefeel.

3. Power Pro Spectra Fiber Braided Fishing Line

This offering by Power Pro is crafted of 100% Honeywell Spectra – a high quality, durable, and strong synthetic that’s top of the line, and it’s made with a unique three-end braided construction that’s very sensitive and is 98% stretch-free.

It’s also built to be very smooth and rounded, unlike some other lines – it’s finished with a surface treatment that rounds it out quite a bit, and allows it to travel through your fishing guides safely and quickly for long casts.

Plenty of power comes in a small package, too – depending on the poundage chosen, this line is 1/5 - 1/4 the diameter of comparable monofilament, so you can really load up your reel if you need to.

Its durability makes it a top choice for saltwater fishing – despite the tough conditions of the saltwater, this line holds up well, losing only a little bit of color, and remaining firm and strong.

Poundage ranges from 8lb-150lb, and you can get a 150-yard reel, or all the way up to a 3000-yard option if you need some serious lineage.

4. Spiderwire Ultracast Invisi-Braid Superline

If you’re looking for a translucent braided filament option, look no further. This braided line from Spiderwire incorporates the same high quality, 8-strand design used in their other products (such as the Braided Stealth Superline above) and combines it with a high-quality, translucent polyurethane material for a line that’s both super strong, and near invisible in the water.

This is a really smooth line, and it’ll travel quickly and efficiently through your guides, with no snags or snarls due to the high quality plastic coating.

Given its high quality and mono-filament like visibility, this is a great line to try if you’re looking to get into braided lines, but are a bit skeptical about its visibility to fish. This line truly combines the best of both worlds in a quality, durable package.

It’s available from 8-50lb – a bit lower than its big brother the Braided Stealth Superline – but given the lightweight construction and low visibility, it’s a more specialized line meant for smaller waters.

5. Rapala Suffix 832 Advanced Superline Braid - 300 yards

Rapala is known by many for the high quality of their lures, but they’ve also expanded into high quality fishing accessories such as this braided fishing line. It’s created from a combination of two different fibers – 7 Dyneema fibers wrap around a Gore Performance Fiber to create a great combination of strength, sensitivity, and durability that makes this line a delight to fish with.

The strength doesn’t come at the cost of performance, either – this lightweight line casts like a dream, and is purpose built for maximum cast distance, low vibration, and a hydrophobic, water-repellent quality that helps it keep its color and protect it from the elements, giving it a long lifespan.

The diameter remains low, as well, easily a third of the size of comparable monofilaments, so you can beef up your line without worrying about your reel being able to handle it.

Smooth, long-casting, and long-lived. What more could you want from a braided line?

Wrap-Up

While braided lines aren’t appropriate for every single application, they’re a great way to beef up your rods and reels, and bring in heavier fish with no need to fear linesnap.

In addition, their sensitivity and non-stretch qualities make them ideal for many different fishing scenarios, such as trolling, topwater fishing, and long-casting bait-and-retrieve applications.

So whether you’re a braided-line lover, or still a skeptic, we recommend you try out one of our recommended products, or explore further on your own to find a great braided line.

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7 Best Baitcasting Reels For 2018 Reviewed

Best Baitcasting Reel

7 Best Baitcasting Reels Compared

This guide will help you find the best baitcasting reel for your fishing style.

We looked at features like weight, line capacity, gear ratio, and drag strength when researching this guide. 

We also searched for reports on build quality and consistency. 

Top 7 Quick Stats

  WeightGear RatioMax Drag
Shimano 200IHG Curado RH 4Shimano Curado IGH7.4 oz.7.1. 6.312lbs.
Piscifun Torrent8.0 oz.7.1:118 lbs.
Shimano Caenan6.5 oz.7.2:111 lbs.
Daiwa TatulaDaiwa Tatula R100XS7.4 oz.6.3, 7.3, 8.113.2 lbs.
abu-garcia-revo-stx-3Abu Garcia Revo STX6.35 oz.8.020 lbs.
KastKing Rover Round 40R11.7 oz.3.611 lbs.
abu-garcia-revo-rocket-low-profile-5Abu Garcia Revo Rocket6.75 oz.9.020 lbs.

While the art of using a baitcasting reel be seem daunting to beginners.  Stick with it.

The advantages of baitcasters can really become evident after you get some practice.

The enhanced control, distance and power is well worth it.

After a few hours of backyard practice, you should be able to get the basics down.

Advantages to Baitcasting Reels


Heavier Lures and Lines

By nature, baitcasting lures are meant to cast heavier lures than spinning reels.  

1/8th ounce lures are about as light as I've ever heard being cast from a baitcaster.

The revolving spool requires a certain amount of weight to get it spinning.

Increased Power

The spool layout and gear design in baitcasting reels also have greater power and torque than spinning reels.The spool lies directly in line alongside the handle and gears.

Spinning reels by contrast have a 90 degree turn from the crank to the rotor.

Braking System

Most baitcasting reels come equipped with a braking system. These are usually centrifugal or magnetic. Some baitcasting reels have both.

Centrifugal braking systems use the spinning of the spool to push brakes against the spool raceway.

Magnetic brakes use small magnets. Some are on the side plate and others are on the spool.

You increase the braking force by turning a dial that moves the magnets on the side plate closer to the spool magnets.

Turn the dial in the opposite direction and the magnets move away from each other. This reduces braking action.

Reduced Line Twist

If you're throwing lures over 1/8 ounce and need heavier line, a baitcaster is most likely your best bet.

Baitcasting Reels - Buyers Guide

Baitcasting reels are also known as baitcasters or revolving spool reels.

There are a few key components in a baitcasting reel which are different from spinning reels.

Often times manufacturers may have additional features that only their reels have.

These can be anything from an oil port to a microchip for backlash control.

Here you'll find the basic types and functions of a baitcasting reel. If you learn the details below, you should be able to make an informed buying decision.

They type of fishing you're going after will also play a large role on your reel selection.

A very popular use for baitcasters is Largemouth Bass fishing.

You could say that the whole low profile baitcasting reel market was created for going after Largemouths.

Keep this in mind if you intend on using a baitcasting reel in saltwater. You'll need to pay close attention to maintenance after every use.

There are baitcasting reels designed for saltwater use. However, cleaning and corrosion prevention are still something you'll need to do.

Low-profile and Round Reels

Baitcasting reels started out a round reels that had no brakes. Back in the day, you have to prevent brake the spool with your thumb.

Round reels are still made today. They now come with advanced braking systems. But using your thumb to slow down or stop a lure is still something you should learn.

With this mind, some of the advantages of round reels are as follows:

  • They can cold more line.
  • They're usually all metal.

 Catfish anglers, salmon and saltwater anglers often opt for round reels. The extra line capacity can help deal with fish that make long runs. The all metal construction can also be a benefit in salty environments.

Low profile reels are a favorite with bass anglers. Here are some of the advantages of low profile reels:

  • Lighter weight.
  • Can be palmed in your hand.
  • Come in many varieties to fit your needs.

Low profile baitcasting reels are extremely popular. They're usually made with graphite composite shells that help keep weight down.

Below, we'll look at some of the features that are common and what you should look for.

Ball Bearings and Gears

The gears in a baitcasting reel are commonly made out of brass. There are also reels with gears made out of duralumin.

Duralumin is a lightweight alloy of aluminium and copper and other elements. The distance between gear teeth can be a factor that impacts how smooth are reel operates.

Shimano has introduced micromudule gears with very short distances between teeth. This leads to a smoother and more powerful feeling retrieve.

When it comes to ball bearings, a larger number of bearings is not necessarily better. The key is that the bearings be of high quality.

You may also want to look for bearings that are sealed and protected against water intrusion.

Spool Tension

The spool tension knob is usually found on the side of the reel where the cranking handle is.

Turned clockwise, it is tightened and places tension on the spool. Turned counter-clockwise, it releases tension on the spool.

So, as you can see, it works kind of like a screw.But why would you want to apply tension to the spool. Well spool tension works with the braking system to prevent backlash.

A backlash happens when the spool spins more quickly than the lure leaving the reel requires.

The result is that the line keeps leaving the spool and piling up. Unfortunately instead of going out with the lure, the line stays in the reel and creates a backlash.

Some reels come with a clicker in the spool tension knob. This helps you get a good feel for how much tension you're putting on.

You want to set your spool tension when you tie a lure on and are getting ready to cast.

Click the spool release bar and let the lure drop. Be careful with a spool that has too little tension on it as it may backlash just from the weight of the lure.

If the lure drops too quickly, you want to add more spool tension by tightening the knob. Do this by turning it clockwise.

If the lure does not drop at all, you have too much spool tension on. You want to release some of it by turning the spool counter-clockwise.

Ideally, you want to have the tension set so that the lure drops slowly to the ground.

Weight

While it may not be all that important if you're fishing for a short while, you may want to think about weight if you're going to fish for long periods of time.

Most low profile baitcasters will range anywhere from 5 to 10 ounces.  There may be some exceptions to this, but that is the general range for most freshwater and light inshore fishing.

Gear Ratio

The gear ratio measures how many times the spool revolves during one turn of the handle.

When you turn the handle on a baitcaster, you're turning a large gear. This large gear meshes with a smaller gear that is inline with the spool shaft.

When you turn the large handle gear once, the smaller shaft gear turns more than once. This ratio is what is known as the gear ratio.

Higher gear ratios mean that more line is retrieved in a shorter amount of time. Lower gear ratios are suitable for reeling bait in slowly, and they will produce more torque.

Conversely, higher gear ratios are all about speed. If you need to reduce slack and bring the line back quickly, you'll want to look for higher gear ratios.

A middle of the road gear ratio would be something like 5.5:1.  That means that the spool turns 5.5 times for every 1 handle turn.

On the low end you'll find reels with ratios in the 3.x to 1 range. On the high end, you'll find ratios as high as 8 to 1.

Brake System

Having an efficient brake system can drastically increase your ability to cast with precision. Brakes are especially useful when casting directly into the wind, as this causes the spool to spin faster than the bait.

The braking system on your reel will be key in preventing backlashes.

Reels usually come with a centrifugal or a magnetic braking system. Some reels come with both.

Centrifugal braking systems work by using the spinning of the spool to apply pressure on the raceway.

This means that as the spool accelerates, small blocks move outward. As they move they apply pressure on the inside of of the reel housing. This creates friction and helps prevent the spool from over spinning.

Anglers normally prefer centrifugal brakes to magnetic.  Many report that that they're more effective at preventing backlash.

However, magnetic brakes have improved and many anglers use them.

Centrifugal brakes are usually adjusted by opening the side plate on the reel. Once opened, there are often times 4 switches that you turn on or off.

You need to ensure that they're activated with the correct symmetry. This means that of you turn on the upper right switch, you should also turn on the lower left switch.

Magnetic brakes work with magnets on the side plate and on the spool.

There is a dial on the side plate that you turn to increase or decrease the magnetic force. This force slows down the spool to prevent backlash.

The dial on the side plate has numbers on it. This helps you remember the correct setting for the lure you're using.

Reels that have both types of brakes are adjusted by combining both techniques mentioned above.

What's A Flippin' Switch

Any enthusiastic bass fisherman is going to relate to this particular feature. They are particularly productive but not all of them are made in the same way.

The main purpose of a Flippin’ Switch on a baitcaster is to conveniently re-engage the reel’s spool.

Some of these devices are designed to be on throughout the entire time once they are actually triggered. However, there are other types which enable you to simply push down the thumb-bar and release the spool conveniently.

Big Game Saltwater Baitcasting Reels

So, you want to be fishing in heavy, saltwater conditions. Maybe you're going after mahi mahi, sailfish or grouper and you want something you can cast long distances with.

There is a distinctive difference between regular baitcasting reels and big game reels.

Big game casting reels are not designed for quick and repeated casting. They are commonly set with specific lures which are used for open water.

They're usually made of metal and can be heavy. These types of casting reels are often used for casting heavy saltwater jigs.

Some companies to make low profile baitcasters designed for saltwater. We will include at least one of these in our review.

Surely, these are far from being the only details to consider. Right-handed reels are usually the preferred and, hence, most common configuration.

1. Shimano 200IHG Curado Baitcast Reel

Shimano started as an iron works company almost a century ago. Today, they produce some of the finest fishing reels around.

The Curado series maintains this standard. With X-Ship gearing which adds ball bearings to both ends of the pinion gear. The result is improved alignment and durability. Gears stay put even under heavy loads. Additionally, friction between the gear and spool shaft is reduced which improves casting distance.

The Curado also uses the SVS infinity braking system. Brake weights use friction against the spool's inner raceway. This helps improve precision when casting lighter lures.

The Curado 200IHG is now available with a hagane body. This is a cold forged, high rigidity metal body.  The improved stiffness and impact resistance greatly reduces body flexing and helps transfer cranking power efficiently.

It holds 180 yds. of 8 lb., 155 yds of 10 lb. or 110yds of 14 lb. test mono.  If you prefer power pro braid, it will hold 190 yds. of 30 lb, 120 yds of 50 lb, and 65 yds or 80 lb braid.

Shimano 200IHG Curado Baitcasting Reel

The HG in the name is for High Gear which means it will retrieve 30 inches of line per crank with it's 7.2 : 1 gear ratio.  It weighs 7.4 oz. and has a max drag force of 12 lbs. If you don't wan the 7.2 gear ration of the Shimano 200IHG Curado you can get the I version which has a 6.3:1 ratio.

Best Baitcaster Under $50

2. Piscifun Torrent

The Piscifun Torrent is a great choice if you're looking for a good baitcasting reel for less than $50. It weighs 8.0 oz.

It has a max drag of 18 lbs and a gear ration of 7.1:1. This high gear ration allows it to bring in 30 inches of line per handle turn.

These are respectable stats, especially for this price point. The reel features a machined, aluminum spool that can hold 120 yards of 10 lb mono or 120 yards of 30 lb braid.

The Torrent features a side plate oil port. This allows you to lubricate the reel without having to disassemble it.

The only drawbacks I see are that it only has a magnetic brake system.

This might not be ideal for beginners unless you are willing to train your thumb to prevent backlashes. It also weighs 8 ounces which is a bit on the heavy side. 

Best Baitcaster Under $100

3. Shimano Caenan

Featuring the VBS braking system that uses centrifugal brakes instead of magnetic.

Centrifugal brakes are considered to be more effective at reducing backlash than magnetic brakes. 

Additionally, HEG technology provides a larger drive gear and pinion gear to increase power.

The Caenan comes with 5 bearings, and an 11 lb drag. 

The 150A model has a gear ration of 6.3:1 and cranks 26 inches of line per handle turn.

It will hold 105 yards of 10 lb. mono and 150 yards of 20 lb. braid.

The 150AHG has a 7.2:1 gear ratio and brings in 30 inches of line per handle turn.

This reel get praised for having a solid build as well as being very smooth

4. Daiwa Tatula Baitcasting Reel TATULA-R100XS

Daiwa’s product features, designs, and materials have helped make it an industry standard since 1966. Their Tatula model has brought in waves of positive baitcasting reel reviews, with professional and amateurs alike raving about the precision and quality of this baitcasting reel. 

With each handle turn bringing in 33.9”, the Daiwa Tatula R100XS is efficient enough for professional and recreational use. The gear ratio of 8.1:1 brings precision and unmistakable quality with each spin of the handle.

The patentented T-Wing system changes the design of the line guide, nearly eliminating friction and obstruction while casting. 

The T-Wings flip up during the cast and flip back in place while reeling in. Though it may take some getting used to, baitcasting reel reviews rave over the T-Wing design.

Daiwa Tatula Baitcasting Reel TATULA R100XS

At 8.1 ounces, the Tatula R100XS is a bit heavier than other models, but its aluminum frame ensures ultimate lasting durability. Additionally, the increased line capacity allows for maximized fish catching ability while out on the water.

For anglers looking for a professional grade baitcasting reel at an affordable price, the Daiwa Tatula R100XS is a perfect choice.

daiwa-tatula-r100xs_2

Daiwa’s R-Type TATULA reel series is designated to meet the performance and durability standards set forth by professional anglers. The R100XS comes with a gear ration of 8.1:1 which is particularly fast in terms of retrievals but, surprisingly, it’s also bringing in serious cranking power. This is due to the comprehensive and high-quality bearing system.


The R100XS model comes with 8 ball bearings, two of which are corrosion resistant, five are regular and one is roller bearing. This allows high-end movement of the reel and a smoother appeal for an extraordinary casting potential. Of course, if you find the 8.1:1 ratio to be faster than you really need, you could always order the all-around 6.3:1 setup.

While the TWS System allows splendid casting capabilities, the overall housing of the reel is what impresses the most. The frame and side plate are made out of rugged yet highly extruded lightweight aluminum which brings durability and comfort. The TWS system is also complimented by the comprehensive Magforce-Z cast control as well as the infinite anti-reverse feature, offering precision and casting distance beyond comprehension.

Up front, you should expect a unique and hybrid levelwind design which combines the proven durability of a standardized levelwind with the high-end casting performance of the T-Wing aperture characteristic for Daiwa’s reels.

The clutch mechanism, alongside the ball bearing system is also corrosion resistant, ensuring longevity and durability. The large swept power handle, measuring a total of 90 mm comes with cutouts in order to reduce the overall weight of the reel without compromising its performance and durability one bit. This is a significant improvement over Daiwa’s previous models which included certain plastic components in order to reduce the weight.

5. Abu Garcia Revo STX Right Hand

With its compact design and innovative materials, this model from Abu Garcia is an incredibly competitive baitcasting reel. At only 6.35 ounces, this model is 29% lighter than its predecessor, making for a baitcasting reel designed for prolonged use and comfort. Its lightweight nature comes from the C6 carbon sideplates, which allow for less weight without lowering durability standards.

As far as the inner workings of a baitcasting reel are concerned, Abu Garcia has employed some impressive technology. The 8.0:1 gear ratio boasts incredible speed, turning 33” in a single turn of the handle.

Abu Garcia uses a D2 gear design system for their baitcasting reels, resulting in superior efficiency and durability. Ten stainless steel ball bearings and one additional roller bearing ensure smooth operation of the baitcasting reel.

Abu Garcia Revo STX Baitcast Reel

The magnetic braking system allows for nearly limitless adjustability to adapt and handle every fishing situation. Baitcasting reel reviews praise this reel’s ability to distribute control and increase precision, both when casting and when retrieving.

Abu Garcia Revo STX boasts a total of 11 ball bearings. Now, the ball bearing system is pretty much the most integral component which defines the smoothness of the movement of the reel. The more bearings there are, the better it runs. 10 of those are made out of high-quality stainless steel while the last one is a roller bearing designated to enhance the operation.

abu-garcia-revo-stx-3

The entire reel is made out of X2-Craftic alloy frame which is going to increase the resistance to corrosion of the unit, ensuring that you’ll be using it for more than just a couple of seasons. The reel is incredibly convenient thanks to the C6 Carbon sideplates which are designated to significantly reduce the overall weight without sacrificing durability, strength and performance.

Furthermore, the reel comes with a Carbon Matrix drag system which will provide you with consistent drag pressure throughout the entire range. However, one of the most notable components is the Infini II spool design. This is going to provide you with tremendously extended castability, regardless of how extreme the load may be.

Abu Garcia is a company which is well-known for its efforts to provide anglers with serious convenience and ultimate comfort. This is reflected in the reel through its compact bent handle and star which are designated to secure an ergonomic design for increased convenience. At the same time, there is a TI coated line guide which is intended to improve the durability of the reel through reducing the friction when casting. It’s a well-rounded baitcaster with all the specifications you may actually need.

6. KastKing Rover Round

The KastKing is one of the most affordable baitcasting reels that manage to provide a high level of value without draining your budget. The stainless steel ball bearings and shaft protect against corrosion, making the KastKing Rover Round suitable for saltwater and freshwater use. Trolling and bottom fishing can easily be accomplished with this round baitcasting fishing reel.

The carbon fiber drag system delivers powerful performance that outmatches all similar baitcasting reels. The non-slip handles help ensure that control and power will remain, even in the most soaked situations.

Baitcasting reel reviews love that the KastKing comes with a bait clicker to help alert fishermen to baits and runs. Another attractive feature is the impressive stopping power that comes with the centrifugal brake system. For an affordable baitcasting reel that doesn’t sacrifice value, the KastKing Rover Round baitcasting reel is a phenomenal option.

KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel

This KastKing Rover Round reel saw a major improvement back in 2016. This particular baitcaster comes with anodized side plates as well as a spool which is made out of reinforced aluminum, brass gear which is tailored to perfection with precision machining, and alloy levelwind. Obviously, the company has put a lot of effort into making the product particularly durable, convenient and yet comfortable enough. The materials do not add up a lot of weight which is something absolutely essential.

kastking-rover-round-reel-1

However, it doesn’t really end with the construction. The carbon fiber drag system ensures splendid drag. You can put up to 9 kg of pressure and you will see that the reel responds splendidly. To compliment the convenience and to reduce the fatigue, there is an oversized EVA grip as well as easy to access thumb bar for the spool release.

We are saving the best for last. One of the most integral characteristic of a baitcasting reel is its ball bearing system. This one comes with 12 ball bearings. 7 of them are regular ball bearings on 40-60 while 5 of them are on 70-90. This will bring smooth operation and an unparalleled appeal.

The reel is great for a range of different techniques which are conveniently used in both salt and fresh water. At the same time, it’s comparatively affordable and it’s a conventional reel that a lot of anglers would love to add to their baitcasting reel collections.

The one thing which you should consider is that these high-quality reels are built to last. They are functional, they come with flawless design, performance and power and all of that is available at a price point far less than what you’d have to pay for any of the branded counterparts.

7. Abu Garcia Revo Rocket Low Profile

For fishermen who want increased speed with increased performance, Abu Garcia has provided the perfect solution. The Revo Rocket is one of the quickest baitcasting reels available, and with a gear ratio of 9.0:1, it isn’t hard to see why. For spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, or crankbaits, the Revo Rocket promises a lightning-fast retrieve.

The Revo Rocket is just as much designed for durability as it is for speed. This baitcasting reel is made with the highest quality components, with metal alloy frame and sideplates to protect against corrosion. A winning combination of the Infini spool design and the Infini brake system ensure that casts are extended, durable, and precise.

Fishermen who want maximum speed and precision in their casts and their retrieves will find that the Abu Garcia Revo Rocket is ideally suited for both.

Abu Garcia Revo Rocket Baitcast Fishing Reels

Starting off, the Abu Garcia Revo Rocket Reel comes with 10-piece bearing system, consisted of 9 HPCR stainless steel bearings and 1 RB, all of which are conveniently featured to provide you with smooth movement of the reel and increased corrosion resistance.

abu-garcia-revo-rocket-4

The patented AMGearing system is going to bring high-end precision machined gears. This is designated to bring unparalleled durability and smoothness to the reel. The gear design is computer-optimized in an attempt to make it as efficient as it is possible. What is more, the gear ratio will provide you with rocket-fast line retrieve, hence the name of the reel.

If you are the kind of fishermen who prefers its reel a little bit more powerful in terms of cranking power, rest assured that the rocket line management system will provide you with flawless control as well as the powerful capabilities you are looking for. Paired with the Rocket Spool Lip Design, you will have additional comfort of the line which comes off your spool.

Another thing which excels in this reel is the Carbon Matrix drag system. Even though it is characteristic for other baitcasting reels in the series, it’s just a fact that it would offer smooth as well as consistent drag pressure throughout the entire range. The C6 Carbon rotor, on the other hand is going to bring some serious reduction to the weight. While you might be worried that this is going to reduce the durability and the strength of the reel, precision machining of the IM-C6 body design proves you wrong.

Top top it all out, there is a compact bent carbon handle which is the perfectly ergonomic finish to a design which is already flawless enough. However, it’s worth noting that the flat EVA knob also plays its part when it comes to comfort and durability.

The overall composition of this baitcasting reel is designated to bring a lot of value to fishermen who use techniques where you need to deliver the bait fast and to pick up a serious amount of slack line when it’s needed.

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Conclusion

Baitcasting reels are an invaluable tool for most anglers.

This is especially true when looking to manage heavier lines and heavier baits. When looking for a baitcasting reel, keep in mind the key characteristics of the best baitcasting reels, listed above.

Modern braking systems are very effective at reducing backlash.If you've been intimidated by baitcasters because you tried an old one many years ago. You should give on of the modern baitcasters a try.Learning how to use your thumb to help supplement the braking systems can seem daunting.

However, there are many videos available to help you learn. Remember though that nothing beats practice.So get a baitcaster and get out there.

Best Pontoon Boats for 2018 Reviewed

Top Pontoon Boats Featured
Top Pontoon Boats Featured

Are you planning to beat the summer heat and catch some fish? If yes, then consider buying a top pontoon boat that is specifically designed to allow you to lounge around and do some fishing. Modern pontoon boats are designed with more space and are more comfortable than their predecessors. They also come in various designs making it very difficult for inexperienced anglers to choose the right kind of pontoon boat. This guide intends to make things easier for you. It reviews the top pontoon you could get on the market today.

Among the features, one should consider when choosing these vessels include the seat, comfort ability, the body type, and the frame. You also need to look at other aspects such as the storage, the design, and many other features that anglers look for in pontoon boats. This is a comprehensive review that includes the most pertinent information to help you make an informed decision when choosing an inflatable pontoon boat.

Top Pontoon Boats for 2018

Product Image

Product Name

Dimensions (Inches)

Weight Capacity (lbs)

Weight (Pounds)

Price

Classic Accessories Colorado XT Inflatable Pontoon Boat With Transport Wheel & Motor Mount 1

Colorado XT Inflatable Pontoon Boat

108 x 18 x 24

400

105

Sea Eagle Green 375fc Inflatable FoldCat Fishing Boat 1

Sea Eagle 375FC (The Fold Cat)

53 x 17 x 11

650

157

Classic Accessories Colorado Inflatable Pontoon Boat With Motor Mount 1

Classic Accessories Colorado Boat

108 x 26 x 56

400

71.5

Sea Eagle 285FPB Frameless Pontoon Boat Deluxe Package 1

Sea Eagle 285fpb Pontoon Boat

20 x 20 x 8

450

42

Classic Accessories Roanoke Inflatable Pontoon Boat 1

The Classic Accessories Roanoke Inflatable Boat

96 x 55 x 29

350

43

Cumberland Inflatable Fishing Float Tube 1

Cumberland Inflatable Fishing Tube

56 x 44 x 19

350

14

Togiak Inflatable Fishing Float Tube 1

Togiak Pontoon Float Tube

54.2 x 47 x 19

300

12.5

Sea Eagle 285 Inflatable Frameless Fishing Pontoon Boat - Pro Package 1

Sea Eagle Frameless Pontoon Boat

20 x 20 x 20

450

30

Skagit Inflatable Pontoon Boat

Skagit Inflatable Pontoon Boat

50 x 26.5 x 96

350

62

Pontoon Boats Review

1. Colorado XT Inflatable Pontoon Boat

The boat is 9 ft. and has a capacity of 400lb. It features a detachable storage bag, 20 pockets, and   two drink holders. The boat has a built-in transport wheel that makes moving quite convenient. It is made of heavy duty material and comes with other notable features such as retention cord, multi-position rod holder, and an adjustable cushioned seat.

Also, the boat comes with a mesh bag that allows the angler to set his anchor on the side of the boat. It is a top quality one-man boat designed to provide the angler with the best water experience. It comes with attractive features that anglers look for in pontoon boats.

TheColorado XT boat can carry a maximum weight of 400 pounds including the motor and the battery. The box dimension is 47.5 inches long, 24.25 inches wide and 15. 75 inches high.  The unit is 9 feet long and comes in a combination of pumpkin and sage colors. The original purchase of this unit gets a 2-year warranty.

Performance on Water

The boat performs superbly well on water, it is smooth and paddling it is relatively smooth because its seating position is raised.

Classic Accessories Colorado XT Inflatable Pontoon Boat With Transport Wheel & Motor Mount 2

The boat comes with bolts, which are fixed on the steel frame and a foot rest that is strategically located to help the angler generate more power when needed. The units paddles are nicely fitted and will rotate back from their position giving the angler more power to paddle it.

Features:

  • It comes with detachable side pockets for storage
  • The side pockets can be removed making it more portable.
  • The rod folder can be configured in several ways.
  • It comes with a transport wheel that makes it easier for one to get to the fishing location
  • It is durable and constructed to last long.
  • PROS

  • The motor is silent since all the vibrations are absorbed in the wire bolting platform and shifted to the inflatable section of the boat.
  • It has many storages that allow you to access anything you may want while fishing easily. The boat comes with two insulating drink holders that are detachable pockets, which allow the angler to customize his options.
  • It comes with a removable basket that can easily be attached to the side.
  • The front side of the boat has a detention cord and comes with carabineer clips.
  • It has a rod holder which can be bolted in three different positions. It makes handling the pontoon boat much easier.
  • The boat comes with a wire storage like bin located behind the seat and which can be used as a battery platform.
  • It provides two options of bolting a rear trolling motor.
  • The boat comes with a transport wheel that helps to move your belongings to dry land locations. Also, the wheel slows down the boat when it is not in use, and this makes your journey secure and safer.
  • The seat and the backrest are heavily padded to guarantee you a safe and comfortable journey.
  •  The construction of the boat features a powder coated heavy steel that adds stability to the boat and makes it easier to control the boat.

    CONS

  • The boat is a little bit expensive.
  • 2. Sea Eagle 375FC (The Fold Cat)

    This is a fold cat boat, which is also one of the top rated pontoon boats that can be used for fishing activities by anyone interested in quality fishing.

    It features a patent pending frame that folds quickly and weighs 75 lbs.  The boat can accommodate two people and has a maximum capacity of 650 lb. The boat consists of 1000 denier hull, which comes with a carrying bag and a foot pump.

    The Fold Cat is well thought out and designed to maximize the anglers experience. It is compatible with a 3 HP gas engine and has a speed of 8 knots. It features built in rod holders and measures 148'' by 54''.

    Performance

    When it comes to performance, the inflatableFold Cat is stable and can be powered by motoring or rowing. It is the most portable inflatable you can get on the market.

    Features:

  • It is designed in such a way that it takes only 5 minutes to assemble the boat.
  • The boat can accommodate two people and can carry a load of up to 650 lbs.
  • It is one of the boats designed for heavy duty use.
  • It is light weight and easy to maneuver
  • The boat's power can be increased by using an electric and gas motor.
  • The speed can withstand tides and headwinds
  • The boat can comfortably carry two adults and has a maximum carrying capacity of 650 lbs.
  • It can move at a maximum speed of 8-10 mph on a gas motor and 4-6 mph on an electric motor.  It comes with a 3-year warranty.
  • PROS

  • The unit can be rolled up and packed into a bag and transported.
  • Installing aluminum slats, seat mounts and rod holders is easy.
  • The pro angler package comes with a bag in which the angler can hold and store all the small components.
  • It comes with seat mounts that allow you to slide the chair in and out.
  • It is maneuverable and can be powered using an electric trolling motor, 3 HP gas or it can be paddled.
  • The boat can traverse through large bodies of water with ease. It flexes well and will cut through the wind waves with ease.
  • It has four-rod holders which allow the angler to carry and use more rods.
  • Sea Eagle Green 375fc Inflatable FoldCat Fishing Boat 2

    If you are looking for a boat that is stable and whose ergonomics makes casting and rowing easy, the Sea Eagle FoldCat is, certainly, one of the options you have.  It is a large water craft when inflated but can be packaged and taken to any of the fishing locations. The FoldCat allows one to attach a sizeable motor to it and can be used in varying fishing grounds.

    This is a brand new FoldCat 375 that gives the anglers a fishing vessel that will make them get on the water and start fishing. It is stable and easy to set up.  It is loaded with features that make it useful to both experienced and novice anglers.

    In constructing the boat, Sea Eagle uses aluminum flooring and a support system, designed to enables the angler to set up and inflate the unit in minutes. The support grid is sturdy and allows one to attach the rod holders, seat and other accessories. The FoldCat375 FC uses a thick and durable inflatable hull that enables the watercraft to keep tracking straight.

    3. Classic Accessories Colorado Boat

    The inflatable boat comes with insulated drink holders and 20 storage pockets. It has a capacity of 400lb and can adequately meet the demand of heavy users.

    The units mount is weather resistant and allows one to have the rod holder set in various positions.

    The boat comes with adjustable seat and foot rest as well padded plastics that add convenience. It also comes with quick combo valves and can easily be assembled even without tools. It comes with bladders that are resistant to heat and cold and comes with a 1-year warranty.

    Features:

  • It has a generous storage capacity and comes with 10 mesh pockets and 12 zippered
  • It features a 2 position mount which makes it ideal for trolling.
  • The angler can set the pulley and cleat on either side to aid in control. 
  • The angler has the freedom of configuring the rod holder in different positions
  • It measures 108" X56" X 30" high when assembled.
  • The unit weighs 71.5 lbs and comes with an anchor system, a battery platform, a two position motor mount a padded seat, a detachable foam fly patch and a footrest.
  • It has an abrasion-resistant PVC bottom and features a steel tube frame coated with steel.
  • PROS

  • It is compact
  • The unit is quite functional
  • The boat has decent storage space
  • It has a good load capacity
  • It is a stable unit which can be padded with ease.
  •  The angler can adjust the seat and the footrest to increase comfort

    CONS

  • It is heavy
  • The oars are heavy
  • The oar lock system has a lot of issues.
  • The storage spaces are not huge.
  • Classic Accessories Colorado Inflatable Pontoon Boat With Motor Mount 5

    Even though this unit is not of high quality compared to other inflatable pontoon boats, it is one of the boats that is convenient and gives the paddler a lot of fun. The inflatable can be used in lakes, calm rivers, ponds and calm ocean bays. The unit is stable and comes with features that make it stand out from the rest. It comes with an anchor system that allows you to fish freely in moving water.

    Notice that Colorado pontoon is one of the cheapest options for anyone looking for an affordable and lowly priced boat. It has strong PVC bottom that is abrasion resistant and is made from tough steel tube frame. It also features heat resistant bladders and good quality valves.  The boat is of good quality and the best for anyone looking for a recreational boat. It is easy to set up and comes with 2 year warranty.

    It can be used to fish in flat water, but one can access remote locations if it is fitted with a trolling motor. Overall, it is a great option for anyone who wants for a convenient and portable cheap fishing vessel.

    4. Sea Eagle 285fpb Pontoon Boat

    The boat is lightweight, portable, built and constructed for rugged use. It can accommodate one person and has a capacity of 450 lbs. It is one of the lightest boats on the market, which weighs 42 lbs.

    When fully inflated, it becomes 9 foot long but can easily fit in a bag when deflated. The boat's hull is made of solid materials that guarantee durability.

    This boat comes with an optional swivel seat that gives the angler a 360-degree swivel capability.  Its floor is made of wood, and this gives the angler a greater casting capability. The boat is versatile and can be used in lakes, rivers, and saltwater.

    This is a frameless pontoon designed and build to meet the angler's needs. It exhibits qualities associated with Sea Eagles brand name. The unit is convenient, top in quality and gives the anglers what they look for in inflatables. It is light to carry yet it exhibits the qualities you need to face and handle whatever that may run under the water.

    Sea Eagle 285FPB Frameless Pontoon Boat Deluxe Package 2

    It has enough space and capacity that makes it ideal for beginners and experienced anglers. The unit can be rowed, paddled or powered using an electric motor. This means that you can take the unit anywhere and use it. It comes with a floor that is stable and which can stand and accommodate a wide range of fishing products. It makes this boat a great asset for anglers.

    Features:

  • It comes with two built in rod holders.
  • It is light and portable.
  • Comes with a 3-year warranty against defects and is NMMA certified.
  • It provides an option to mount a three HP electric motor or gas.
  • Comes with durable carry handles.
  • It has an aluminum footrest.
  • PROS

  • It is convenient and allows for quick set up, and one will be ready to start fishing in minutes.
  • It can be packed in a bag and fitted in the trunk of the car.
  • It inflates pretty fast and allows one to begin fishing almost immediately.
  • The 285fpb has become more popular since it is impressive and is a perfect tool if you are planning to go fishing in areas that cannot be accessed using boats.  Also, it can be used in any water ranging from fresh to salt water. This gives the anglers the freedom to fish anywhere whenever they want.

    5. The Classic Accessories Roanoke Inflatable Boat

    It is built for flexibility and reliability. It is one of the modern pontoon boats that is 8 ft. long, has a capacity of 350lbs and enjoys a class 1 river rating. The boat comes with unique features such as adjustable foot rest, storage and folds down plastic seats.

    It comes with an armrest where you can put items and accessories. It also comes with temperature resistant bladders. With steel frame that is extra durable thanks to the powder coating. The boat is lightweight and is easy to operate.

    The unit is small but has plenty of storage spaces where smaller fishing gears can be stored. It also features a mesh platform where you can store your newly caught fish.

    The unit's bottom is made of a heavy duty PVC which is abrasion resistant and allows the angler to scrap against rough surfaces without the risk of puncturing the bladders. The unit's top is made of a tough nylon and features bladders that are temperature resistant.

    Features:

    The Classic Accessories Roanoke Inflatable Boat
  • It comes with a fold down seat that is convenient and durable.
  • The boat has plenty of storage in the mesh pockets and zippered.
  • It comes with a rear storage unit.
  • It features adjustable footrests.
  • It is high and visible.
  • Constructed from heavy duty materials.
  • It is a heavy duty unit that features PVC bottoms.
  • It is 6 ft. long.
  • The oar locks are steady.
  • PROS

  • They are affordable.
  • Rowing it is easy and is quite maneuverable.
  • It is puncture resistant.
  • Has three storage areas for fishing gears and accessories.
  • CONS

  • It is quite unstable when the wind is strong.
  • The unit tracks poorly.
  • The seats are quite uncomfortable.
  • It features a plastic seat that gets uncomfortable after a few hours of use.
  • The Roanoke Inflatable Boat is cheap and makes a great choice for anyone looking for a portable fishing pontoon. It is lightweight, durable and costs less. The unit features aluminum oars and a powder coated frame. It comes with special features such as stripping apron, storage seat, anadjustable foot rest and armrest pockets with zippers The aluminum oars makes it a highly maneuverable and can easily be transported.

    6. Cumberland Inflatable Fishing Tube

    This boat finds itself on the list of the best pontoon boat because it is durable and has high seat and float tubes that make it visible and ideal for anyone considering warm fishing.

    There is a hydrodynamic unit that can easily be steered, and which comes with adjustable shoulder straps. The unit features a reinforced bottom and a mesh platform that provides plenty of storage. It also comes with a mesh stuff pocket, zip pocket as well as insulated drink holders.

    Features:

  • It is 56"L X 44''W and 19" H.
  • The unit is light weight and weighs 14 lbs.
  • It comes with a quick release apron.
  • It comes with a valve that makes it easy to inflate and deflate the boat.
  • The maximum load capacity is 350 lbs.
  • It comes with an extra high seat that guarantees a warmer and drier fishing experience. The seats improve visibility.
  • It has a hydrodynamic hull shape that improves steering and tracking.
  • It comes with two cargo pockets that are easy to open.
  • It features two drink holders.
  • Cumberland Inflatable Fishing Float Tube 2
  • It features a seat-back mesh pocket and interior zip pockets.
  • It has a rugged PVC bottom.
  • Has a large storage platform.
  • Has an adjustable backpacking shoulder straps.
  • Comes with one year warranty.
  • It features an orange rear visibility panel
  • It comes with a safety flag holder.
  • PROS

  • It is a versatile machine that can be used to access remote ponds.
  • The seat is somewhat comfortable and supportive. This allows the angler to have and enjoy longer stay in the water.
  • It tracks quite high.
  • The angler sits high and has a good elevation that gives him a wider view.
  • The unit tracks quite well.
  • The tube is bigger, light weight and is portable.
  • The unit is constructed from quality material.
  • CONS

  • A little water gets in the seat and may wet the angler.
  • It is one of the inflatable floats that any of the serious anglers would love to own and use. It is comfortable and performs well in water.  Anyone who buys this unit is guaranteed to enjoy the best of his time in the water.

    7. Togiak Pontoon Float Tube

    This tube was designed for individuals looking for a float tube that is suitable to help people relax. It is a good pontoon boat that can be used for fishing. It is lightweight and measures 12 lbs.  Setting this float tube is easy and will take you a few units.

    It features an adjustable back rest seat. The unit comes with a gear and spinning reel pocket and so you have no reason to worry where you will put your fishing gear or drinks.

    It comes with a high seat that provides the much-needed visibility and is built for long term use. The Togiak Pontoon Float Tube is reputed for its adjustable backrest is lightweight and allows for backpacking. This makes it an ideal and a nice float tube for recreation and fishing.

    Features:

  • It has a capacity of 300 lbs.
  • Comes with safety flag pocket.
  • Comes with lash tabs and D-rings where creel bags and gears can be attached.
  • It has an armrest storage that offers additional storage.
  • It is compact and comes with a hydrodynamic hull that ensures stability and gives it excellent tracking and buoyancy.
  • Comes with a stadium seat and an adjustable backrest.
  • It features a unique sculpted design.
  • Comes with a rear mesh storage platform
  • PROS

  • It comes with a safety flag pocket
  • It is maneuverable and will conveniently take you where the fish are.
  • It is lightweight, easier to carry and comes with plenty of compartments for storing fishing gear.
  • The boat is easily propelled and will help you navigate through areas where the big fish hide.
  • It is an ideal product for first timers
  • The design is top notch and is made of quality fabric.
  • It is portable and an excellent boat for hiking.
  • CONS

  • It comes with two foam blocks that make it too bulky.
  • 8. Sea Eagle Frameless Pontoon Boat

    It is also called the Sea Eagle 285 and is thought to be one of the best fishing boats that have been manufactured by Sea Eagle. The unit has a capacity of 450 lbs., is compact and can easily be placed in a bag and transported. It comes with a couple of Scotty rod holder, a floorboard, and a swivel seat.

    It is an ideal boat for fishermen since it has a capacity of 45 lbs. and comes with a three-year warranty. The unit has 3 HP and is made of fortified 1000Denier. It can be assembled within 5 minutes and can suitably be deployed in lakes, rivers or any other bodies of water.

    The unit is 9' long and 4' wide. The Frameless Pontoon Boat has an engine capacity of 3 HP and can manage a speed of 5-7 mph on gas and 3-4 mph on an electrical motor. The unit comes with an inflatable seat, 2-rod holders, a pouch, a clip-on bow and a repair kit.

    This is a frameless pontoon from Sea Eagle designed for fishing purposes. It is a frameless boat that is easy to set and deflate. It is a small boat with no parts to assemble and can easily be transported.  Also, the boat can easily be moved around by placing it in a trunk of your car or an RV.

    Sea Eagle 285 Inflatable Frameless Fishing Pontoon Boat - Pro Package 2

    It can also be transported on an aircraft or a larger watercraft. The boat weighs 42 lbs. and was designed to be used in lakes in ocean bays wilderness, rivers, and remote ponds. It can suitably be deployed in a fishing spot that is not accessible to a large boat. The frameless Pontoon can be powered by being paddled or using a gas or electric motor.

    Features:

  • It is built from quality, durable materials
  • It weighs 30 lbs.
  • Can be powered by a 3 HP engine.
  • It can inflate and deflate quickly.
  • It comes with a 3-year warranty
  •  It comes with a repair and carry bag

    PROS

  • It is lightweight and rugged.
  • The boat is functional comfortable and portable.
  • It is a stable and has an excellent seat and other accessories that allow it to be rowed forward and backward.
  • CONS

  • The boat can only seat one person
  • If you are an angler looking for a boat that stands out from the crowed, the 285 Frameless Pontoon is one of the options you should consider. It is highly stable and guarantees you a stable ride. The boat has a wooden floorboard that gives it the stability an angler requires when in water. It comes with a deck mount and a soft-latching strap.

    9. Skagit Inflatable Pontoon Boat

    It is one of the boats that features a Skagit, which is a rear platform that boosts its capacity. The boat measures 96"L X 50"W X 26.5"H and has a capacity 350 lb. The boat weighs 62 lbs. With footrest and seat mount that could be adjusted to a wide range of length.

    It is one of the most recommended boats for anyone planning to go out to fish. The boat is built with a durable nylon top, has an abrasion proof PVC bottom and a spacious armrest pocket.

    It comes with two drink holders, 10 mesh pockets, and several zipper pockets. The Skagit comes with a ruler and a stripping apron. It comes with a footrest that is fully adjustable and non-slip. It also comes with easy to use inflation and deflation valves.

    Features:

  • It is visible and comes with an armrest with zippered pockets
  • Comes with bladders that are resistant to cold and heat
  • It features an aluminum oars constructed and build for heavy duty use.
  • It features a steel tube with powder coating
  • The boat comes with a rear cargo platform with a heavy duty wire
  • It has enough storage spaces.
  • Its bottom is constructed using a tough PVC bottom and nylon tops and is made of powder coated steel tube frame.
  • Pontoon Boats Features

    There are several critical factors that one should always put in mind when planning to buy a pontoon boat. Thus, it is not right to just focus on the cost and the capacity at the expense of other factors that matter. Even though, the cost and the capacity are the two important factors that one should factor in his plans. 

    Note that at a glance all pontoon boats may look alike. However, they are different and therefore it is necessary that you differentiate between the great pontoons and mediocre ones. This review intends to simplify things for you and has picked on important items that you should consider when you go out to buy a boat. The information will help you learn more about the types available and will help you familiarize yourself with the available models.

    • Float Tube Vs Pontoon Boat

    Even though the terms may be used interchangeably, the two do not refer to the same thing. Typically, the pontoon boats are relatively larger and are more powerful than float tubes.

    • Heavy Duty Pontoon

    These boats can be used in rivers even though it can comfortably be used in lakes. As such, it is recommended that you choose heavy duty boat if you are planning to go fishing in rivers. Notice that float tubes cannot be used to fish in rivers. In fact, this is what brings out the difference between the pontoon boats and float tubes.

    Skagit Inflatable Pontoon Boat 01
    • Fiberglass Pontoon Boats

    These are pontoon boats made of fiberglass materials which make them light weight and durable. Unfortunately, repairing these materials could be costly compared to repairing boats made of other materials.

    • Foam

    It is critical to remember that a lot of pontoon boats are made of foam that gives them a solid fill that is not susceptible to leaking.

    All boats that are filled with foam are cheap, but they are slower and consume a lot of fuel. Also, repairing them may be as difficult as repairing the fiberglass. In most cases, one may require professional assistance.

    • Inflatable
    Cumberland Inflatable Fishing Float Tube 02

    They are the most popular pontoons on the market. They can be inflated and deployed to use. This makes them ideal for many anglers. They can be deflated and carried in the backpack with ease. The boats are available in different sizes and capacity hence they can be deployed in several fishing locations.

    • Aluminum

    These are boats with aluminum which is known for its anti-corrosive properties. The boats do not deteriorate even when exposed to moisture. They are lightweight and easy to fix compared to other types of pontoon boats.

    However, aluminum made boats have their drawbacks. They rust easily if they are submerged in sand and mud. The pontoons cost more and may not be ideal for anglers operating on a tight budget.  However, the boats are widely available are easy to set and have a generous capacity. So if you are an angler and you are planning to use any one of the pontoons discussed above, you have a wide option to choose from.

    • Top Manufacturers

    We have many manufacturers of pontoon models. However, the following are considered the best of all.

    • Classic Accessories

    The manufacturer is reputed for producing quality float tubes and boats. They manufacture different pontoon boats that serve the needs of various customers.

    • Sea Eagle

    This manufacturer is known for producing lightweight fishing boats that are not only stable but which can be deployed and used in different situations.  They manufacture boats that are durable and which can withstand rough terrains including being used in rivers.

    Sea eagle and Classic accessories are portable, lightweight and can suitably be deployed for fishing in the lakes and other locations. They are well-known brands that guarantee you quality products.

    Sea Eagle Green 375fc Inflatable FoldCat Fishing Boat 03

    So what the most important things to consider when choosing a Pontoon boat?

    • Weight

    Selecting a float tube that is lighter is better because it allows you to bring other gears as well. However, you need to ensure that the boat is both light weights and made of durable material.

    In the modern times, it is possible to get quality inflatable pontoon boats which can easily be put in your backpack and transported. Inflatable types are considered the best because they weigh less but can support hundreds of pounds when inflated.

     Also, choosing pontoons made of quality materials that are resistant to abrasion coated metal frames and heavy duty materials is recommended.
    • Capacity

    A boat that can carry a minimum of 300 lbs. or 450 lbs. is recommended. Typically, those that are designed for two people should carry a maximum capacity of 650 lbs. However, it is important to remember that packing your pontoon to the maximum capacity may affect the boat performance. If you repeatedly pack it to the maximum capacity, you will be forcing it to work harder, and this may have long term effect on its motor.

    • Backrest
    Sea Eagle 285 Inflatable Frameless Fishing Pontoon Boat - Pro Package 04

    A pontoon that is well made has an adjustable back rest which allows the angler many hours of fishing without getting fatigued. It ensures that the angler is as comfortable as possible during the many hours they may spend fishing. Also, check out the footrest. It should be adjustable and comfortable.

    • Pockets and Storage

    A good pontoon boat must come with several storage compartments and pockets. It should have both mesh pockets and zippered pockets as well as a rear storage. If you are going to use it for fishing the storage and the pockets come in handy and can help to reduce the items one has to carry in the bag. However, if you are not the type that carries many gears, the additional pockets may be of no use. Just ensure that your pontoon has a fishing rod holder and that it is conveniently set.

     Notice that most manufacturers make a big deal out of the storage and pockets. This implies that the two are important especially in cases where one will be fishing for an extended period.
    • ​Motor Mount

    The fishing pontoon boats should come with a mount that allows the angler to install an electric or a gas motor.  Some research must be done before the right size is arrived at.

    Sea Eagle 285 Inflatable Frameless Fishing Pontoon Boat - Pro Package 05

    Final Wo​rds

    So far, I believe you are better placed to buy a pontoon that is right for you. We have shed light on many types of pontoons and thus, if you are interested in a float tube that you can easily pack and carry around, then you can choose from the following top manufacturers: Cumberland, Classic Accessories, and Roanoke.

    If you are more concerned with durability, or you are looking for anything that accepts a gas motor, then you may have to choose any of the products from Sea Eagle. The products come in a variety of versions and load capacity giving you a variety of options to choose from. The 285FB are preferred because they are adjustable and stable. Picking one from Classic Accessories Cumberland is recommended because the product is well padded, convenient and could offer you the service you may be looking for.

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    Trolling Motor Battery Featured

    Boats need trolling motors to power them around. This implies that with trolling motors, you don't have to paddle the boat around but instead rely on the motor to move the boat around at different speeds. This gives you a good chance to catch lots of fish.

    However, the trolling motor will be of no value if you do not have a trolling motor battery. You need a good trolling motor battery to keep you moving in water for many hours. The battery should be in good condition and capable of powering your motor and other onboard gadgets for many hours.

    Best Trolling Motor Batteries 2017

    Product Image

    Product Name

    Dimensions (Inches)

    Amperage (AH Rating)

    Weight (pounds)

    Price

    Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M 1

    Optima 8016-103 D34 M

    10 x 6.9 x 7.8

    55

    43.5

    VMAXTANKS Vmax857 1

    VMAXTANKS Vmax857

    7.7 x 5 x 6.1

    35

    25

    Mighty Max SLA Battery 1

    Mighty Max SLA Battery

    7.68 x 5.16 x 7.13

    35

    23.15

    Interstate Lead Acid 1

    Interstate Lead Acid

    7.7 x 5.1 x 6.3

    35

    23.1

    Mighty Max 12V 55Ah 1

    Mighty Max 12V 55Ah

    9.02 x 5.43 x 9.13

    55

    38.58

    VMAX MR127 Battery 1

    VMAX MR127 Battery

    12.1 x 6.7 x 8.2

    100

    68
    Gel Cell Battery 1

    Gel Cell Batteries

    7.7 x 5.2 x 7

    32

    21.4

    Gel Cell Scooter Battery 1

    12V 32Ah Gel CellScooter Battery

    7.71 x 5.20 x 7.15

    32

    20.9

    55AH 12V Electric Trolling Motor Battery 1

    55AH 12V Electric Trolling Motor Battery

    9.02 x 5.43 x 9.13

    55

    38.58

    EXP12180 Rechargeable Battery

    EXP12180 Rechargeable Battery

    7.1 x 3 x 6.6

    18

    10

    Choosing a Trolling Motor Battery

    Choosing the best trolling motor battery is mandatory if you want to succeed and enjoy yourself while in water. To help you choose the best, here are types of batteries you should consider:

    1. Optima 8016-103 D34 M

    This is one of the best brands out there. It is popular and is a well-known brand name in the trolling motor battery industry. The 8016-103D34M Blue Top battery is simply the best and is one of the top sellers in the market. It is a dual purpose battery designed for starting and deep cycle. The battery guarantees a strong cranking and a good start. The battery is maintenance free and could be used to power RV and boats even in harsh conditions.

    It comes in a spiral cell design that allows it to provide the much-needed power while ensuring the safety of your family and environment. It has a higher reserve capacity which gives a longer shelf-life. This guarantees that you will have the power when you need it.

    The battery can be used in recreational boats and vehicles with large accessory loads. The Blue Top battery is efficient in delivering power and recharges faster. This means that you will worry less about the battery.

    Features

    • It has up to 3 times more recharges than other marine batteries
    • It is 15 times more vibration resistance
    • It is spill-proof and can be mounted in virtually any position
    • It is maintenance free
    • It gives better service if it is used in RV and boats.
    • It employs the SpiralCell Technology.
    Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M 3

    Note that this battery is made of individual spiral-wound cells with lead plates coating of lead oxide. Essentially, OPTIMA battery is built with over 100 million spiral cells and guarantees exceptional performance. It is for this reason that this battery is recommended for marine applications.

    It is one of the deep cycle battery with high cranking power and can be used in RVs and boats with heavy electrical accessories. Also, the battery features optima color codes, which makes it easier to know how to use it. The battery has a regular Blue Top and is an excellent starting battery.

    It comes with a dark gray case and is different from the other versions that make use of a gay case. The battery can be used for both starting and deep cycling operations. It is a very versatile battery whose popularity has continued to grow among the users. It can be used for both starting and deep cycling operations. This makes it a very versatile battery that could be used not just in trolling motors but also in many camping sites. The battery can suitably be used to power boats and RVs which are known to use lots of electrical accessories. The battery comes with 55Ah rating that helps it to last for long. 

    Note that this battery is durable and long-lasting and is 15 times more resistant than a wet-. The battery can be recharged several times and will serve you three times as long as other cheaper batteries. The number of recharges it can take before it fails is three times that taken by the cheaper batteries.

    The batteries dimensions are 10 x 6 7/8 x7 and are 13/16 inches tall. The battery performs well and has an output is 750 amps making it suitable and ideal as a starting battery. It has the capability of starting the motor even in times of bad weather. Also, the battery offers 870 amps when the temperature is 32 degrees F. and has a reserve capacity of 120 minutes.

    Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M 2

    Optima 8016-103 D34 M battery can discharge 25 amps for 120 minutes when used at 26.7 degrees C. It will do this until the voltage drops to 10.5 volts. Luckily, the battery recharges quickly and needs about 35 minutes to get 90 % charge capacity because of its low internal resistance.

    Note that it is critical that you use its charger if you want to reduce instances of overcharging. The charging instructions must be adhered to, and enough care must be taken if you want the battery to serve you for longer periods.

    PROS

    - The battery can start a motor even when at 0 degrees F.

    - Other than powering the boat, it can be used to power other electrical gadgets.

    - The battery takes lesser time to charge

    - The battery can last as many as a thousand recharging cycles.

    - It is light and can easily be carried by boat.

    - The battery is spill-proof and could be carried at an angle.

    - It is maintenance free

    - The battery does not overcharge if the right charger is used.

    - It comes with a set of instructions to be followed when recharging it.

    - It has a gage which helps to check the battery reserve

    - It is light weight and can be used in small boats.

    CONS

    - You will end up overcharging the battery if the right charger is not used.

    - It is only protected by paper.

    If you are looking for a battery that can run for the whole day, and which performs better than other batteries in the market, then OPTIMA battery is one of the batteries you should consider buying. It is built to serve you for a longer period. The battery lasts longer than the traditional 12-volt battery, and you will certainly be pleased with its performance.

    2. VMAXTANKS Vmax857

    It is a famous brand in its category and is a good example of a good battery compared to other batteries with the same AH rating. The battery comes with a 35 Ah rating and performs better than most of the other batteries in the 35 Ah category.

    The battery is durable and long lasting. It features premium performance and comes with military –grade metal plates. This is a strong battery designed to withstand vibration.

    It is a robust battery designed with a long- lasting outer casing, which is durable and comes with extra ABS plastic. The battery is designed to be used for 18-40 pound thrust trolling motors and could suitably be deployed for deep cycling operations.

    The battery works great for 30 –pound thrust trolling motors and is an ideal battery for small boats. It measures 7.7"x5"x6.1" and is 25 pounds.

    VMAXTANKS Vmax857 2

    It is a good alternative for people looking for something that can power other gadgets including the laptop. Vmax857 Tm AGM can be used at home when your power goes out since it can run both your TV and DVD player. This makes it ideal if you are planning to go camping. The battery does not need any maintenance and could be positioned at any angle.

    Vmax857 Tm AGM battery is tough and could last for a long while. It is small in size, portable and lightweight. The battery comes with a convenient handle, is compact and it can be used to power your boat for many hours.

    PROS

    - It can power small boats for several hours.

    - The battery is lightweight.

    - It is compact.

    - The battery is spill-proof and can be set at any angle.

    - The battery is quite durable.

    - It is maintenance free.

    CONS

    - You must buy VMAX BC1204 12V 3.3Amp charger if you want the battery to give you good service.

    - Its usage at the campsite is limited.

    - The battery is expensive compared to other brands in the same category.

    3. Mighty Max SLA Battery

    This is a 35Ah trolling motor battery that is quite affordable and designed with terrific features you will hardly get from a battery that goes at its price.

    The battery is compact and measures 7.68x 5.26 x7.13 inches. It is a light battery that weighs 23.15 pounds. The Mighty Max 12V 35A is spill-proof and can be used in areas with varying temperatures. It is designed to last longer irrespective of whether it is being used; in high or low temperatures.

    Also, the battery is resistant to shocks and is spill-proof. It can be mounted at any angle and could be used in an indoor or enclosed setting without worrying about leakages. The user of the battery does not need to worry about maintenance. It is maintenance free and is the best option for users looking for a battery that can be used without worrying.

    The battery will give the user 3 hours of service and so there is no need to worry about recharging it.

    It is important to note that the battery is constructed using a state of art technology and comes with a calcium alloy grid that gives it exceptional performance in cyclic applications. It is one of the batteries that can be used in enclosed indoor environment since it is leak proof and is maintenance free. This battery can be used to run consumer electronics such as medical mobility, portable tools, and access control devices.

    Specs

    Mighty Max SLA Battery 2

    It is a 12 Volt battery with an amperage of 35 AH and measures 7.68" X 5.16" X 7.13 ". It weighs 23.15 lbs and comes with 1-year warranty. It is a deep-cycle battery that can be used to power a tent, and so it can suitably be deployed in RVs and boats. The size and capacity are right for anyone planning to spend more hours in the water.

    PROS

    - The battery allows you to spend more than 2 hours on the water and you will still have more than half of its power to use.

    - It is spill-proof and is easy to install.

    - The battery is compact and does not occupy much space.

    - It is light in weight, and this makes it appropriate for small boats.

    - It does not require maintenance.

    - It is one of the most reliable batteries on the market.

    - The battery does not need a special charger.

    CONS

    - The battery is rated 35 Ah and so it may not supply you with the power you need when you go on a fishing escapade. This makes it unsuitable if you are planning a trip that will take a whole week on the water.

    - It takes some time to get it recharged.

    4. Interstate Lead Acid

    The battery is rated 35Ah and can guarantee you several hours of a steady supply of power. If you are going for leisure on the water, it is one of the options you may consider since it performs superbly well. The battery is compact and could be used to power various medical equipment including an electronic wheelchair. The battery measures 7.7 X 5.1 X 6.3 inches and weighs about 23.1 pounds.

    It can be used in boats, has enough power and can provide up to 6 hours of service if used in an inflatable boat. The battery could also be used for other purposes and can power electrical gadgets such as trailers and RVs.

    It is spill-proof and is an AGM battery that could be installed at any angle without worrying of spillage. Also, it is one of the batteries that can be used without a special charger. In fact, this battery can be used on a 12 V battery charger.

    Features

    • It is small in size, and this makes it easier to mount it on a kayak, recreational vehicle or boat.
    • The battery is manufactured using the AGM technology, is safe and does not need maintenance.
    • It weighs about 23 pounds and is easy to mount or transport.
    • The battery has a thick and rugged plastic exterior which is designed to accommodate and tolerate bumps and scratches without damaging it.

    PROS

    - The battery is compact and is ideal for canoes that come with trolling motors and kayaks. Also, the battery can also be used in cramped RVS.

    - The battery is light weight, and this makes it a good option for small boats which cannot carry heavy loads.

    - It is small in size but offers enough battery power to powers your motored kayak for several hours.

    - The battery does not require a special charger.

    - It comes with a thick plastic exterior that protects it. The case makes it more tolerant and cannot be affected by bumps.

    - The battery is affordable compared to other 100Ah batteries and is suitable for people who do not need a large capacity battery.

    CONS

    - The battery cannot serve you for the whole day and cannot be relied on to power many electrical devices when camping.

    - The recharging time is average.

    - It is small in size and light weight. Thus it cannot match the large batteries regarding holding power and keeping you in the waters for many hours.

    - Overcharging the battery can damage its ability to hold on power. Therefore it is necessary that you read through the manual before you charge it to avoid damaging it.

    - The recharging time is average.

    Note that the interstate DCMOO35 is ideal for small trolling motors and delivers superb performance in different environment. It is lightweight and is easy to mount.

    5. Mighty Max 12V 55Ah

    The battery is designed for individuals who plan to spend a lot of time in waters or those who will be powering their boats at high speed. It is a 55Ah AGM battery from the Mighty Max.

    If you are already using a 35 Ah battery, you may need to upgrade to the Mighty Max which is suitable for 30-lb thrust trolling motor. The battery guarantees the user 4 hours of service even when they spend most of the time traveling at full speed.

    It can give you more than 6 hours if you keep the speed down or medium. In most cases, after 6 hours of use, the battery will still have 60% of its power left. However, it is huge and heavy and may not be suitable for smaller boats.

    - It is true that the battery is bigger than a normal 35Ah battery, it is not too big and measures 9.02 X5.43 X 9.13 inches. Also, the battery can be set on its side without worrying about spilling since it is spill-proof. Even though, it is important to note that the battery is not too heavy and so it can be used on kayaks and small boats. It weighs 38.6 pounds and exceeds the 35 Ah battery by 1 pounds. 

    Mighty Max 12V 55Ah 2

    - The battery comes with outstanding features, and it is known for great features such as being maintenance free and is designed to withstand shocks and vibrations. This makes it possible to use the battery in both high and low temperate areas.

    PROS

    - The battery guarantees you more hours on the water, and you are free to move at a faster speed without worrying about draining it.

    - It is smaller than other less powerful batteries, and you are free to set it at an angle so that it can fit in the spaces available.

    - It is not heavy, and so you should not worry much about the load capacity of the boat.

    - The battery is resistant to vibration and shock.

    - The battery will serve you even in extreme temperatures.

    CONS

    - If it is drained, it will take you up to 30 hours to recharge the battery using a trickle charge.

    - The extra weight may be too much for a small kayak.

    6. VMAX MR127 Battery

    The VMAX MR127 comes with outstanding features. It is not designed as a starter battery but will get you going.

    The battery is 100Ah rating and can be relied on to last for a long time on the water. The battery can be used on a 30-lb thrust trolling motor as well as a 40-pound thrust motor.

    This battery can last for 12 hours on the motor if it is set at the lowest speed setting. When it is put on medium speed, it will give you 7 hours of service. At full speed, it will give you service and will only fall short by 2 hours. This is much better compared to the few hours you would get from a smaller battery.

    The battery will give you service even when it is put on a 55-lb thrust motor. It will give you 8½ hours when it is set at the lowest speed. When it is set at medium speed, it will give you 5 hours of service and about an hour or so when it is at a full throttle.

    VMAX MR127 12 enjoys a 100Ah rating which is bigger than a typical battery. Its dimensions are 12.1" X6.7" X8.2". It weighs 68 pounds and thus; if your boat can accommodate two of these batteries, it can allow you to spend more time in the water.

    VMAX MR127 Battery 2

    It is an AGM battery that is non-hazardous, spill-proof and maintenance free. The battery can be recharged using a car alternator, wind turbine, and an alternator.

    The battery cannot be charged using a smaller charger, neither can you use maintainer to charge the battery. Note that the battery's body is made of tough plastic that is designed to fit in a power kit. The kits have metals that protects it from damage.

    Features

    • It is a deep cycle heavy duty maintenance free battery.
    • It comes with electrolyte suspension system that consists of AGM that contains electrolyte with no silica gels and other contaminants.
    • It features plates with unique physical and chemical structure in its plates which are specially treated and have undergone a superior manufacturing process that makes them stronger and gives it high-performance capability.
    • The battery has a long life span and recovers fast even after a deep discharge.

    PROS

    - It allows you to travel for a longer time at high speed.

    - The battery can last for many years.

    - It takes less time to recharge it compared to a standard battery.

    CONS

    - It is bigger heavier and more expensive compared to a standard boat battery.

    - To keep it moving, you may need to put it in a power kit.

    7. Gel Cell Batteries

    The gel cell batteries are often confused with AGM batteries because they share similar traits including being deep cycle, non-spill able and can all be mounted in whichever position you choose. Also, these two types of batteries are low self-discharge batteries and could be used in limited ventilation areas. The batteries can safely be transported and handled.

    The Gel cell is specially designed with a standalone power storage that is attached to the solar system. The batteries have a 20-year life and have a 5000cycles.

    Even though they lack the burst of amps that is found in the AGM batteries. Notice that the Gel cell batteries are more costly but do not offer the same power like AGM of the same size.

    8. 12V 32Ah Gel Cell Scooter Battery

    It is a rechargeable battery that can be mounted in position and could be used as UPS back up battery. The battery is spill proof and can be relied on if you are planning to take a trip to the water. The battery measures 7.71" x5.20" X7.15'' and weighs about 20.90 lbs. It is maintenance free and spill proof.

    Deep Cycle Marine batteries

    They are designed for campers and marine usage. The batteries come in different size and can be used for commercial and recreational activities.

    Depending on the use you want to deploy the battery for, it is recommended that you choose one with sufficient capacity. The Amp hours rating should guide you on the right battery to choose.

    When it comes to choosing the best deep cycle battery, there are two aspects that matter: the rating and the cycle life. The rating is determined by the internal lead components and the technical features that help it deliver reliable power.

    Also, recharge ability is an important factor when choosing deep cycle battery. A battery that can be recharged numerous times guarantees a steady supply of power over a longer period. The recovery performance is also a critical factor that needs to be considered.

    9. 55AH 12V Electric Trolling Motor Battery

    It is one of the best trolling motor battery on the market. It is suitably designed to give the angler great value when fishing. It is a heavy duty battery that comes with connection hardware, lock washers nuts and bolts. This is a rechargeable battery that is maintenance free.

    The battery is spill-proof and has an elevated discharge rate. This is what guarantees the user long service of life. It also comes with a thumbprint that allows the user to fit it in any position. This is a trolling motor battery that can be fitted in any position and allows for long hours of trolling operations.

    PROS

    - It is spill-proof and cannot leak.

    - It doesn't need repairs after using it.

    - It is designed to fit on any boat.

    - Can be used in varying weather conditions including strong current.

    - It can be used even with people with no knowledge about trolling.

    - It is versatile and guarantees exceptional performance.

    10. EXP12180 Rechargeable Battery

    This battery is known for its high power back up. It is a 12-volt battery 18 amp battery that guarantees you 20 hours in the water. This is a sealed lead acid battery that is maintenance free.

    It features Absorbed Glass Mat Technology and can offer you excellent service in a wide range of temperatures. It is a rechargeable battery that gives uninterrupted power supply that allows you to enjoy your stay on waters.

    Features

    • It weighs 15 pounds and comes with battery charger
    • It comes with 2 USB outlet unit and bright LED work light that guarantees you a steady supply of light during after dark fishing.

    PROS

    - It is sealed, and so you need not worry about its positioning.

    - It is maintenance free.

    CONS

    - Overcharging it may lower its performance.

    Things To Consider

    So what are the main factors you should look at when planning to buy a motor battery? Before you spend your hard earned cash on a motor battery, you need to look at the manufacturer (brand), the price, the output voltage and any other aspect that could help you buy the best motor battery for your boat.

    Note that when it comes to selecting trolling motor batteries, the amperage, battery type, your budget and the hour rating are some of the things you must consider. There are three types of batteries to choose from: the deep cycle batteries, the Lead Acid wet cell and the AGM.

    The deep-cycle type discharge a smaller amount of current for a longer period whereas the Lead Wet-Cell & AGM are drained fast and need regular recharging. The lead acid wet cells are common since they are quite affordable. They last for a period of between one and two years and are considered the best for people with a constrained budget. Also, if properly maintained, they can give you service for up to 3 years. However, these batteries require regular maintenance such as topping- off the water and good handling.

    The Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM batteries) are sealed and last longer than any of the above two types of batteries. They have a lifespan of between 3- 4 years and cost more than the standard deep cycle batteries. They are expensive and therefore not suitable for people with tight budgets. However, if you are looking for longevity and performance, they are the best options you should consider. Also, the AGM batteries are 100% maintenance free and have a higher amperage hour rating. If you are planning to use the battery on trolling motors, it is recommended that you buy one with a high amperage hour rating.

    Note that it is important that you charge the battery as soon as possible and you should avoid leaving the battery in a discharged state for a longer period. If you choose to use batteries that require maintenance, it is advisable that you check out the battery fluid levels and ensure that you top- off whenever the water levels fall below certain levels.

    Typically, these levels are predetermined and marked to make it easier for you to tell when the topping should be done. Also, it is important to keep an eye on the terminal connectors for signs of corrosion. Cleaning them regularly is recommended. You may use a paste of baking soda and water to clean the batteries. If the battery is not in use, ensure that it is fully charged and stored in a cool, dry place.

    Trolling Motor Battery Buying Guide

    We have looked at some of the best trolling motor battery; however, it may be difficult to choose one that will give you the required service. However, carrying out online research will make your work easier. Checking the price, the reputation of the battery brand and the reviews posted by the customers may help you. As you read through the reviews, ensure that you check on the following basic features.

    • Wet-Cell

    They are the deep cell marine batteries that are affordable and durable. The batteries can be drained and recharged severally. However, these batteries need to be maintained and should be topped with water regularly. They don't last for long and must be replaced after one or two years.

    trolling motor - cell battery
    • AGM

    Absorbed Glass Mat is made of a glass plate and some substance that looks like gel. You do not need to add distilled water to these batteries because they are enclosed.

    The batteries last longer than the wet-cell and can serve you for 3 to years. They have superior features and are just as expensive as wet-cell batteries.

    • Lithium-ion
    Trolling mortor lithium-ion

    These batteries are commonly used in smart phones, but we have larger types that can be used to power trolling motor. They are durable, and so they are considered the cream of the crop.

    To get the best service from them, they should be maintained at a temperature of under 105 degrees and can last for over one decade. Unfortunately, these batteries are costly.

    Main Features

    Ampere-hour:

    It refers to the amount of ampere the battery draws in an hour. It tells how long the battery will last serving you after it has been charged for instance at a slow speed, a 35Ah battery will serve you for 7 hours while a 100Ah battery may serve you for 20 hours.

    However, it is true that you will not always go at a slow speed at all the time. Also, you may have other gadgets that draw power, and thus, you should consider setting a series of 12 V batteries to give your trolling motor more power. However, the general rule is that the higher the Ah rating, the longer the battery takes serving you on a single charge.

    Lifespan:

    Wet batteries will last for a couple of years while AGM will last twice as long as wet-cell batteries. However, the lithium batteries will last for decades. Notice that even where you buy batteries of the same type, one of them may last longer than the others.

    Check out the customer's review to help you get an idea about how long a particular battery will serve you. Also, remember to check out the warranty as well since longer warranties indicate that the battery has a longer lifespan.

    trolling motor battery 4

    Vibration Resistance & Durability:

    It is possible that fishing boats may travel over choppy waters this may cause jarring vibrations which could trouble your battery. There are plenty of batteries designed to withstand the vibration while others do not. Consider buying batteries that are spill-proof and those that are shock-resistant.

    Size:

    trolling motor battery 3

    Larger batteries are good since they guarantee your boat more power. Unfortunately, they may weigh down smaller boats. As a result, you need a small battery for a small boat. This means that you need to limit the weight to not more than 40 pounds. Some batteries will have group size and dimensions explicitly stated.

    Ease of Use and Convenience:

    Before you install any battery on the boat, it is necessary that you check your reviews to establish how easy it is to use particular batteries. Check whether it can be mounted at any position. Also, check out how soon you need to carry out maintenance or whether the battery is maintenance-free.

    Versatility:

    Some batteries are designed to be used to start the motor while there are those that are designed to be used to onboard power gadgets. A versatile battery is one that can be put to other use other than the boat. Some of the batteries that are used in trolling motors can also be used for RVs. Jet skis, scooters, wheel chairs and alarms.

    trolling motor battery 5

    Verdict:

    Most people think that trolling motor batteries are the same and serve the same purpose. However, this is not the case. Some batteries guarantee you a safe journey to the waters and back while there are those that will make you get stuck in the middle of the lake. Therefore choosing your battery wisely could be helpful. Choosing the right battery will not only motivate you to hit the water but will allow you to enjoy using gadgets that use power while in the waters.

    Buying a motor battery requires some good planning. It also requires some effort so that you buy a trolley battery that can offer you the service you may be looking for. This guide has presented to you the markets top motor batteries that come in different size and weight. The guide is meant to help you buy a battery that fits your boats individual needs. It sheds light on various types of batteries on the market and points out on some of the critical features you should consider before buying your battery.

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    Best Trolling Motors For Kayaks Reviewed – 2017 Ultimate Guide!!

    Trolling motors for kayaks featured
    Trolling motors for kayaks featured

    So, it appears that you are someone who has formed the habit of fishing on a lake to relieve stress. In order for you to perform the aforementioned activity, you will need a kayak that meets your requirements. Fishing from a boat/kayak is a lot more advantageous than doing so from the land.

    Fishing from a boat gives you access to numerous fishing hotspots, allowing you to catch various species of fishes; it is also easier for you to use a wide range of fishing techniques while on a kayak. You can either opt to cast nets, lay fish traps or simply use a rod to catch fishes.

    Best Trolling Motors For Kayaks

    Product Image

    Product Name

    Dimensions (Inches)

    Thrust Level (lbs)

    Weight (pounds)

    Price

    MotorGuide VariMAX 12-Volt Saltwater Hand-Transom Trolling Motor

    MotorGuide VariMAX 12-Volt Saltwater

    48 x 14 x 6

    45

    23

    Outsunny 12V Trolling Motor

    Outsunny 12V Trolling Motor

    10.75 x 4.5 x 5.25

    50

    40

    Endura C2 Trolling Motor

    Endura C2 Trolling Motor

    42.4 x 5.4 x 16.2

    30

    17

    Coleman 12V Electric Trolling Motor

    Coleman 12V Electric Trolling Motor

    6.29 x 32.68 x 12.2

    18

    7.2

    Watersnake FWDR54-54 Shadow Trolling Motor

    Watersnake Shadow Trolling Motor

    16 x 10 x 66

    54

    37

    Goplus New 55lbs Freshwater Transom Trolling Motor

    Goplus Freshwater Transom Trolling Motor

    55

    22

    Minn Kota Traxxis 55 SC Trolling Motor

    Minn Kota TraxxisTrolling Motor

    16.8 x 6.5 x 49

    55

    36

    Haswing Cayman 24v 80lbs Trolling Motor

    Haswing Cayman Trolling Motor

    52 x 21 x 8

    80

    40

    Newport Vessels 55lbs Trolling Motor

    Newport Vessels Trolling Motor

    47 x 21 x 7

    55

    23.2

    Saturn Soft-Shaft Motor

    Saturn Soft-Shaft Motor

    43 x 15 x 7 

    55

    23

    Kayak Trolling Motor Reviews

    We are blessed to live in the contemporary world where we have access to countless facilities. Hence, there isn´t a dearth of trolling motors for kayak available for purchase in the market, with each claiming to be better than the other.

    However, the ones that are worth purchasing are very few and far between. Luckily, we have you covered in this department. Here are some of the best trolling motors for a kayak! These trolling motors stand head and shoulders above their nearest competitors when it comes to features, power, battery life, and speed.

    1. MotorGuide VariMAX 12-Volt Saltwater Hand/Transom Trolling Motor

    As its name suggests, the MotorGuideVariMAX Trolling Motor works like a charm in saltwater. It is largely constructed of extra corrosion-resistant components, making it durable beyond belief. Therefore, even if you don´t use this motor in saltwater, you can be assured that it will stand the test of time.

    The one complaint that users might have is the product´s 36-inch shaft. The throttle on the shaft is placed a lot higher off the deck than what can be considered normal. Hence, it may prove to be an inconvenience for the shorter users. However, people who are of the average height and taller should have no problems maneuvering the motor.

    Users have the luxury of choosing from eight different speed options; out of the eight options, three have been reserved for reverse settings. These speed adjustment options also help conserve battery consumption, in turn, elongating the battery life.

    There are modern adjustments featured on the motor as well; the integration of a BluVis display helps make using the trolling motor a walk in the park. The display screen provides information on the travel speed, direction, and the battery power life.

    2. Outsunny 12V Trolling Motor

    Thanks to the invention of trolling motors, you needn´t spend a fortune on acquiring a motorboat. And, with the Outsunny 12V trolling motor at your disposal, you can rest assured knowing that you will have a fine fishing experience. This motor has been specifically created for those who prefer trawling near the lake. However, that is not to say that the motor doesn´t perform well when out in the open lake.

    Constructed of durable components such as aluminum head, you can bet your bottom dollar that the Outsunny 12V trolling motor will stand the test of time. So, what features does this product boast of?

    Well, users have the luxury of choosing from eight different speed options; out of the eight options, three have been reserved for reverse settings. It also helps that the motor is well capable of providing 50 lbs. of thrust.

    The availability of 10 locking positions makes the activity of adjusting the height as easy as whistling dixie. The makers of the trolling motor have also ensured that the grip on the handle is soft for greater convenience and comfort. Upon the purchase of this motor, you will see that the product boasts of three durable blade propellers. Need we say anymore?

    3. Endura C2 Trolling Motor

    Manufactured by the esteemed brand, Minn Kota, the Endura C2 Trolling Motor is truly worth its weight in gold. It works like a charm in freshwater and can be operated by both the experienced and novice users. Backed by a 12-volt engine, the Endura C2 Trolling Motor is well-capable of delivering 30 lbs. of thrust.

    Therefore, it is ideal for kayaks that measure a maximum of 16 feet. Like any high-quality trolling motor, the Endura C2 Trolling Motor also boasts of eight different speed options; out of the eight options, three have been reserved for reverse settings. It also helps that the motor operates quietly; therefore, it can be safe to state that it doesn´t produce fish-spooking noise.

    Upon the purchase of the motor, you are provided with a two-year guarantee on the composite shaft. Therefore, you can go to sleep soundly at night, knowing that you won´t have to worry about repair costs.

    The makers of the product have also smartly integrated a telescoping handle in the motor ensuring that the users have no maneuvering issues; the outstanding grip in the handle makes steering an easy activity.

    4. Coleman 12V Electric Trolling Motor

    The Coleman 12V motor isn´t exactly the biggest or the most powerful trolling motors in the market. It is only capable of delivering up to 18 lbs. of thrust. Therefore, it isn’t exactly designed for big boats. However, for what it lacks in power, it more than makes up for it in other departments. For instance, it excels in the durability department with its stainless steel construction. Unlike other electric trolling motors in the market, it can be effectively used in both freshwater and saltwater.

    What makes the motor really stand out is the fact that the 12 V battery of the trolling motor can be used with other marine batteries; you will only need battery connector clips to clip the batteries together.

    The makers of the trolling motor have also paid special attention to the two-blade propeller of the motor, ensuring that they are efficient enough to not be obstructed by weeds and grass. The Coleman 12V boasts of 4 different speed controls with two of the speed options reserved for reversing.

    It also greatly benefits from its 18.5-inch aluminum shaft; therefore, whether you are tall or small in stature, you will be able to adjust the height of the shaft to your convenience.

    There are benefits to having a less powerful motor; the Coleman 12V motor is lightweight and portable beyond belief. It also helps that the motor mount has been in-built for easy setup. However, the biggest selling point of the trolling motor is undoubtedly its price; the product is inexpensive yet durable.

    5. Watersnake Shadow Trolling Motor

    If acquiring a mobile trolling motor is high on your list, you should perhaps consider purchasing the Watersnake Shadow FWDR 54lb Trolling motor.

    The biggest selling point of this particular trolling motor is undoubtedly its hands-free maneuvering. With this motor, you won´t have to use your hands to guide the boat with the propeller.

    Instead, you are provided with foot pedals that allow you to steer your way through. Since the speed depends on the applied pressure, the pedals also help control the speed. Hence, you won´t have to go through manuals to operate this trolling motor.

    Upon the purchase of this motor, you will see that the product boasts of three durable blade propellers that are highly capable of powering through obstacles such as weed. Constructed of sturdy alloy and steel, the 12-volt Watersnake Shadow FWDR is well capable of delivering 54 lbs. of thrust. The product also fares well in the safety department; the makers of the trolling motor have smartly ensured that the circuit board is waterproof. It also helps that the safety switch automatically detaches when put away.

    6. Goplus Freshwater Transom Trolling Motor

    If you are looking for a trolling motor that works like a charm in freshwater, you should look no further than the Goplus Freshwater Transom Trolling Motor. The motor boasts of a 12V battery that is well capable of delivering 55 lbs of thrust level. Therefore, it can easily work well on a kayak that measures 16 feet or less.

    The makers of the product have also smartly integrated a 36-inch shaft with adjustable telescoping handle into the motor, ensuring that the users have no maneuvering issues. You won´t have to worry about controlling the motor even in harsh weather conditions.

    The motor is reliable and the users have the luxury of choosing from eight different speed options; out of the eight options, three have been reserved for reverse settings. Featuring 3 propeller blades, you won´t have to worry about powering through obstacles such as underwater weeds. It also helps that the Goplus Freshwater Transom Trolling Motor has 10 points LED light battery indicator that effectively showcases the battery life.

    Not only is the motor environment-friendly, it also produces less noise, preventing the fishes from swimming away. So, what is it about this product that makes it so dependable? Well, often when you venture into the shallow water, your engine can hit a rock.

    With the Goplus Freshwater Transom Trolling Motor, you can easily get out of the situation. All you will have to do is to stop the motor, lift it up, and use a long rod to get past the obstacle. After escaping from the obstruction, you can then proceed to relocate the engine back to its original place and move forth.

    7. Minn Kota TraxxisTrolling Motor

    Before acquiring a particular trolling motor, there are many factors you should pay attention to. The motor you should opt for must be both quiet and dependable. The motor should also be powerful enough to help you move around in difficult, harsh weather conditions.

    If you are looking for a high-quality trolling motor, the MinnKotaTraxxis 55 SC Trolling Motor is a safe bet. The trolling motor excels in the performance department and easily provides 55 lbs. of thrust. Of course, there are numerous speed control options for you to choose from.

    The makers of the trolling motor have also paid special attention to the propeller blades of the motor, ensuring that they are efficient enough to not be obstructed by weeds and grass.

    However, what sets the MinnKotaTraxxis 55 SC Trolling Motor apart from the rest of the motors on the market is undoubtedly its battery life. The motor boasts of a digital, batteryoptimizer that plays an instrumental role in increasing the life of the battery.

    Therefore, with this motor around, you won´t see your worst nightmares coming true as you will be able to get back to the shore in difficult weather conditions without paddling away rigorously. Constructed of high-grade steel, the motor is durable beyond belief. It also helps that the handles can be adjusted up to 45 degrees.

    8. Haswing Cayman Trolling Motor

    If you are looking for a powerful motor, you should look no further than the Haswing Cayman Trolling Motor. While most of the trolling motors available for purchase in the market only boast of 12V battery capable of producing 55 lbs. of thrust, the Haswing Cayman Trolling Motor features a 24V battery that delivers 80 lbs of thrust!

    The trolling motor comes with 10 different speed control settings that can be easily customized and adjusted with a remote control; it also helps that the remote control is completely waterproof.

    With this motor, you won´t have to use your hands to guide the boat with the propeller. Instead, you are provided with foot pedals that allow you to steer your way through.

    One of the biggest selling points of the trolling motor is the fact that it can be operated in both saltwater and freshwater; it is possible to do so because anti-corrosion materials have been used to manufacture the trolling motor. And, despite being powerful, it doesn´t produce much noise.

    Upon the purchase of this motor, you will also see that an indicator that showcases the life of the battery has been integrated into the system for your convenience. Constructed of sturdy steel and durable fiberglass shaft that is 48-inches long, the Haswing Cayman Trolling Motor has been truly made with excellence in mind. Featuring 2 propeller blades, you can easily power through obstacles such as underwater weeds.

    9. Newport Vessels Trolling Motor

    As the name of the product suggests, the Newport Vessels Trolling Motor delivers 55 lbs. of thrust. This motor is especially for those that operate small—those that use smaller boats and kayaks. After all, the shaft of the trolling motor only measures around 30-inches; luckily, the shaft can be adjusted as per preference. 

    Although it isn´t exactly the toughest-looking motor in the market, you shouldn´t let its looks fool you into thinking that it isn’t durable and tough. The motor is reliable and the users have the luxury of choosing from eight different speed options; out of the eight options, three have been reserved for reverse settings.

    The makers of the product have smartly integrated a telescoping handle into the motor; they have also constructed the head with aluminum to ensure durability.

    The product is one of the few electric trolling motors that can hold its own in saltwater. Therefore, it provides the benefits of both the gas trolling motor and electric trolling motor. Upon the purchase of this motor, you will see that the product boasts of three durable blade propellers. What more could you ask for?

    10. Saturn Soft-Shaft Motor

    The Saturn Soft-Shaft Trolling Motor is for enthusiasts that like going about their fishing business quietly. Not only is the motor environment-friendly, it also produces less noise, preventing the fishes from swimming away. The motor is also priced rather cheaply, making it affordable to those who aren´t looking to spend a fortune on a trolling motor.

    It has a power rating of 12 volts that is capable of drawing 50 amps. The product is well capable of delivering 55 lbs. of thrust. Users have the luxury of choosing from eight different speed options; out of the eight options, three have been reserved for reverse settings.

    So, what sets the Saturn Soft-Shaft Motor apart from the competition? Well, it provides a host of features. The depth collar of the trolling motor can be adjusted as per requirements. In addition to that, the angle throttle handle can also be adjusted.

    The motor also boasts of a high-quality composite shaft that is durable and flexible beyond belief. The manufacturers of the trolling motor have also smartly ensured that the handle is extendable for better control. With this motor around, you won´t have to worry about maneuvering your way through the waters.

    Guide To Trolling Motors For Kayaks

    So, the question arises—what exactly is a trolling motor?

    If you are a novice fisher and hate the activity of paddling frequently during your fishing sessions, you will need a trolling motor for your kayak or boat.

    Well, in a nutshell, a trolling motor is simply a unit that is either powered by gas or electricity, that can help propel a boat. It is also used by many as a component to help maintain stealth in the water.

    Why would you need a trolling motor?

    Fishing can be tiring and exhausting. The constant paddling can even discourage and prevent fishing enthusiasts from going on a fishing trip. And, as we mentioned earlier, if you hate the activity of paddling during your fishing sessions, a trolling motor will help you get to places without exerting any force or energy.

    Hence, during your fishing sessions, you won´t need to take a break to rejuvenate your energy levels. Basically, if you want your kayak to move without paddling, you should integrate a trolling motor onto the kayak!

    Trolling Motors For Kayaks 1

    With a trolling motor installed in your kayak, there is no need for you to worry about paddling back to the shore in difficult weather conditions.

    Sometimes, when the weather is quite challenging, the tides and currents can play an atrocious role in preventing you from making it back to dry land; no matter how hard you pedal, if the winds don´t favor you, you can be left out cold in the middle of the lake.

    During such troubling times, you can rely on your trolling motor to get you back safe. The trolling motors that are available for purchase today all have several features. Most of them boast of variable speed controls, allowing you to either travel fast or slow.

    Anglers also swear by the benefits of trolling motors for game fishes. The motors that boast of tremendous auxiliary power allows for proper maneuvering, making it easy for the anglers to cast their bait.

    People opt for trolling motors because they allow them to drive and move forward without the exertion of force. It also helps that most of the trolling motors that are manufactured today do not produce much noise. Therefore, you can rest assured knowing that the trolling motor will not scare your fishes away.

    What are the benefits of using trolling motors?

    There are countless benefits of using trolling motors for your kayak and some of them are:

    - The constant paddling can even discourage and prevent fishing enthusiasts from going on a fishing trip. Therefore, if you hate the activity of paddling during your fishing sessions, a trolling motor will help you get to places without exerting any force or energy. Ok, we understand that you´re not lazy and that you are simply in an energy saving mode. If you need to save your energy levels during your fishing sessions, you will need a trolling motor. Basically, if you want your kayak to move without paddling, you should integrate a trolling motor onto the kayak!

    Trolling Motors For Kayaks 2

    - With a trolling motor installed in your kayak, there is no need for you to worry about paddling back to the shore in difficult weather conditions.  

    Sometimes, when the weather is quite challenging, the tides and currents can play an atrocious role in preventing one from making it back to dry land; no matter how hard you pedal, if the winds don´t favor you, you can be left out cold in the middle of the lake. During such troubling times, you can rely on your trolling motor to get you back safe.

    - Anglers also swear by the benefits of trolling motors for game fishes. The motors that boast of tremendous auxiliary power allows for proper maneuvering, making it easy for the anglers to cast their bait.

    - You will be able to move quicker with a trolling motor in your kayak.

    - In addition to moving quicker, you will also be able to cover more fishing areas, largely improving your chances of catching fishes.

    Now, before acquiring a particular trolling motor, there are many factors you should pay attention to.

    Here are some of the things to be on the lookout for when acquiring a trolling motor:

    1. Gas or Electric trolling motor?

    There are generally two types of motor and they are gas and electric trolling motor. There are enough people on both sides who swear by the advantages of both the gas and electric trolling motors. In the end, leaning towards a particular motor all depends on your needs and requirements.

    • Which motor is safer to use?

    The electric motor takes the cake when we talk about safety. Since the blade in the electric motor revolves at a slower pace, it immediately comes to a halt when it comes across an obstacle or a stumbling block. However, the blades of the gas motor spin so fast that it can literally cut someone into many pieces. Therefore, if there is a man overboard, he might fall victim to the sharp, spinning blades.

    Trolling Motors For Kayaks 3

    In addition to that, there is always an element of danger related to gas motors since they rely on fuel and the storage of gas. It can be argued that some electric engines, too, boast of batteries that are prone to acid problems; however, those batteries can be easily replaced with safer gel batteries.

    • What about the range?

    When it comes to the range, there is a clear winner; it is the gas motor! The operational period of the gas motor is directly related to and dependent on the amount of fuel you fill in the gas tank. In addition to that, you can also carry more fuel on your boat. On the other hand, electric motors boast of batteries that are anything but lightweight; it also doesn´t help that they recharge at a snail´s pace.

    Of course, you can try conserving power by cruising at slower speed, but the benefits it provides is negligible. For instance, even if you cruise slower, you will still end up at the same place where you would have been stranded had you traveled at optimum speed. Only, this time, it will you take you longer.

    • What about the power?

    When we compare the two motors in the power department, the gas motor stands head and shoulders above the electric motor. A gas motor with even the lowest horsepower engine can easily perform better than the average electric motor. If you come across heavy current and wind, you wouldn´t want to be stuck in your boat with an electric motor. You might just have to paddle rigorously to make it back to dry land.

    Trolling Motors For Kayaks 5
    • Cost of the motor

    Let´s get straight to the point—gas engines are simply far more exorbitantly priced than electric engines. For instance, a four-horse gas engine can cost you around a thousand bucks. At the same time, a 36lb thrust electric trolling motor can be yours in as little as three hundred dollars. Make no mistake; the electric trolling motor will boast of a high-quality deep cycle battery as well. Therefore, if you are strapped for cash, opting for the electric trolling motor makes more sense financially.

    • Which one is easier to recharge/refuel?

    We have to side with the gas motor here. Fueling a gas motor is a walk in the park. All that is required of you to do is to put the gas into the tank. And, it isn´t difficult locating a gas station now, is it? Now, on the other hand, as we mentioned earlier, electric motors boast of batteries that are anything but lightweight; it also doesn´t help that they recharge at a snail´s pace. In addition to that, in order to charge the battery, you will also require a specific charger. If time is of the essence, you will scratch your head in frustration if you have an electric motor with you.

    • Which motor is better for long distance voyage?

    There isn´t a clear winner here as there are many factors to be taken into consideration. For instance, if your sole motive is to travel far without the reliance of sails, you will need a gas motor. However, if you plan to sail far and wide, needing the motor to only help you maneuver, you might be better off with an electric motor.

    Trolling Motors For Kayaks 7

    The electric motor can be used for several other purposes too; for instance, it can be used to power the navigation lights. A gas motor, on the other hand, will serve no other purpose than just power your engine. An electric motor is also a lot more flexible than a gas motor. For instance, if you want to extend the battery life of the electric motor, you can easily install solar cells and wind generators in your boat.

    • Which motor is more dependable?

    We are certain every experienced fisher would tell you that the electric motor is much more dependable than a gas motor. Why is that exactly? Well, with an electric motor, you won´t have to deal with problems related to spark plugs, airflow, knobs, and chokes etc. It is fairly easy to diagnose problems in an electric motor too; it will either function or not operate at all—there is no in-between with an electric motor.

    Why else is the electric motor deemed more dependable? Well, often when you venture into the shallow water, your engine can hit a rock. If it is an electric motor you possess, you can easily get out of the situation. All you will have to do is to stop the motor, lift it up, and use a long rod to get past the obstacle. After escaping from the obstruction, you can then proceed to relocate the engine back to its original place and move forth.

    However, with a gas engine, you can bet your bottom dollar that when it hits a rock, you will find that the shear pin of the gas engine has been broken. And, if you are someone who lacks mechanical knowledge, you will find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere.

    Trolling Motors For Kayaks 6
    • Require sail assistance? Which motor works better?

    If you plan to sail far and wide, needing the motor to only help you maneuver, you might be better off with an electric motor. The electric motor can be used for several other purposes too; for instance, it can be used to power the navigation lights. With the gas engine, it is not advisable for you to start and stop it in short intervals. Mechanics state that gas engines must be in operation for a good amount of time before it can be shut down; it must first be heated well.

    Gas engines also produce a lot of noise which can play an atrocious role in ruining your sailing experience. You will need to hear the sounds of the sail when you set them, and the noise produced by the gas engine can prevent you from accomplishing your task. Therefore, it wouldn’t make sense for you to bring a gas engine if your sole motive is to sail. With an electric motor, you can basically start it up and shut it down as many times as you please.

    • Which motor is better suited for salt water?

    Gas motor engines operate far better than electric engines in salt water. The unwanted substances in the gas engines can be easily wiped clean with clean water.

    However, it is a different story when talking about electric trolling motors; only the expensive high-end electric trolling motor models can operate efficiently in salt water. The lower-end models usually come with an alarming tag, ¨Not for use in salt water!¨

    Trolling Motors For Kayaks 8
    • So, coming to the verdict…

    You are putting us in a difficult spot here. However, we are obliged to be diplomatic on this occasion as there is no clear winner. In the end, it all depends on one´s needs and requirements. Electric engines are far quieter than gas engines and they are simply more dependable than gas engines.

    Unfortunately, they lack when we mention the unbeatable lifespan of the gas engine. In addition to that, gas engines are also more powerful. Hence, we can´t really lean towards a particular motor. However, if you have plenty of cash to burn, it is advisable for you to acquire both the gas and electric trolling motor engines.

    2. You must also check your kayak´s loading capacity

    Trolling Motors For Kayaks 4

    You must also take into consideration the size and loading capacity of your boat. For instance, if you kayak weighs around 1,500 pounds, it will need the assistance of a 30-pound thrust motor to move about. Kayaks or boats that are 4,000 pounds heavy will need an 80-pound thrust motor. If you intend to take a long trip with various family members, it is of paramount importance for you to get a motor engine with at least 80 pounds of thrust.

    3. Take into consideration the size of your kayak

    You will need to take into consideration the size of your kayak before acquiring a trolling motor. After all, you wouldn´t want your trolling motor to underperform now, would you? Electric trolling motors are usually available for purchase in three different power ratings. They are available in 12 volts, 24 volts, and 36 volts. A kayak that measures a minimum of 16 feet will require a 12v 55lb motor. A bigger kayak that ranges to at least 19 feet will need the power of a 36-volt motor that is around 100 lbs.

    4. What battery should be ideal for you?

    As we mentioned earlier, electric trolling motors are usually available for purchase in three different power ratings. They are available in 12 volts, 24 volts, and 36 volts. A kayak that measures a minimum of 16 feet will require a 12v 55lb motor. A bigger kayak that ranges to at least 19 feet will need the power of a 36-volt motor that is around 100 lb.

    5. Check the mounting location of the trolling motor

    The trolling motors can be basically placed in two different places. The motors can be either installed on the transom of the bow or boat. Transom mount is generally preferred in kayaks as there isn´t a requirement for the user to stand up and operate it. However, a bow mount for trolling motors is generally reserved for bigger kayaks and boats. A bow mount can also boast of several amenities and features such as auto-pilot and wireless control.

    Trolling Motors For Kayaks 9

    6. Will you be boating in freshwater or saltwater?

    Gas motor engines operate far better than electric engines in salt water. The unwanted substances in the gas engines can be easily wiped clean with clean water. However, it is a different story when talking about electric trolling motors; only the expensive high-end electric trolling motor models can operate efficiently in salt water. The lower-end models usually come with an alarming tag, ¨Not for use in salt water!¨Salt water can be harsh on materials that are not rust-proof.

    Conclusion

    All in all, what we can take from the information provided is the knowledge that there isn´t an obvious choice. In the end, choosing a trolling motor all depends on your needs and requirements. However, when opting for a trolling motor, you must always choose a product that operates quietly and is dependable. Although you might be strapped for cash, it is sometimes more important to spare no expense in acquiring the ideal trolling motor. After all, you get what you pay for and you wouldn´t want to under power your kayak now, would you?

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    Best Kayak Fish Finders in 2017 – We Review The Top 12!!

    Top-rated Kayak Fish Finders
    Top-rated Kayak Fish Finders

    Fishing can be a fun, relaxing hobby if you have the right equipment for catching a few fish. One piece of equipment every fisherman should consider if they fish from a small boat or kayak is a kayak fish finder.

    These devices can help you find where the fish are hiding out so you can haul in a big catch. In this article, we’re going to share a few of our favorites and illustrate what sets them apart.  

    Our Top Kayak Fish Finder

    Each of the fish finders we reviewd in this article is a good tool for any fishing enthusiast to have in his or her tackle box.

    However there can only be one winner and we chose the Lowrance HDS-7 Gen3 Insight as our top pick for the best kayak fish finder.

    • Its dual frequency CHIRP sonar transducer provides 180-degree views of structures in the water and the fish you’re targeting at a depth of up to 750 feet.
    • With a 7” color display, you will be able to easily read the information captured by the transducer, and it allows you to see three applications at once.
    • The GPS feature lets you plot charts on the bodies of water you like to fish, which allows you to mark spots where the type of fish you like to catch are located.
    • Plus, if you’re fishing a large body of water, like one of the Great Lakes, you will be able to find your way back to shore or the dock from which you launched. If you use this device on your next fishing trip, you won't go home empty-handed.

    Best Kayak Fish Finders 2017

    Product Image

    Product Name

    Dimensions (Inches)

    Measures Depth

    Display (Inches)

    Price

    Garmin StrGarmin Striker 4iker 4 Fish Finder 1

    Garmin Striker 4 Fish Finder

    3.6x 5.9 x 1.6

    1,600 ft (freshwater) / 750 ft (saltwater)

    3.5

    Lowrance HDS-7 Gen3 Insight Fish Finder 1

    Lowrance HDS-7 Gen3

    3.3 x 8.48 x 5.76

    3,000 ft

    7

    Humminbird 410210-1 HELIX 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish finder

    Hummingbird Helix 5 CHIRP GPS G2

    1.1 x 7.5 x 4.3

    1500 ft

    5

    Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+

    Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+

    2.6 x 2.6 x 2.6

    260 ft

    2.55

    Venterior Portable Fish Finder VT-FF001

    Venterior Portable Fish Finder VT-FF001

    9.6 x 2.2 x 5.9

    328 ft

    TN/Anti-UV LCD

    HawkEye FT1PXC Fishtrax Fish Finder

    HawkEye FT1PXC FishTrax

    6 x 3 x 2

    330 ft

    HD
    Signstek FF-003 Portable Fish Finder

    Signstek FF-003

    4.7 x 1.2 x 3.2

    240 ft

    2.4

    FishHunter Directional 3D Wireless, Portable Fish Finder 1

    FishHunter Directional 3D Wireless

    1 x 1 x 1

    160 ft

    5

    NorCross HawkEye F33P Fish Finder

    Norcross HawkEye F33P

    15.2 x 7.6 x 5.1

    100 ft

    2.3

    Raymarine Dragonfly 4 Pro 1

    Raymarine Dragonfly 4 Pro

    13.8 x 13.8 x 13.8

    600 ft

    4.3

    Erchang Wired Portable Fish Finder

    Erchang Wired Portable Fish Finder

    10.5 x 6.6 x 2.3

    330 ft

    TN/Anti-UV LCD

    Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Sonar, W-83-200 XDCR

    Lowrance 000-12635-001 Hook-3X Sonar

    3.8 x 1.9 x 6.5

    800 ft

    3.5

    Kayak Fish Finder Reviews

    1. Garmin Striker 4 Fish Finder

    Made by one of the top names in marine technology, the Garmin Striker 4 Fish Finder offers many features anglers will like for locating fish when they are out on the water. There are several models in Garmin’s Striker series, with the Striker 4 being their most basic unit.

    - Dual Transducer - It has a dual-frequency transducer operating at 77 kHz and 200 kHz so that it can produce readings in both shallow and deep water. It has two conical beams of 15° at 200 kHz and of 45° at 77 kHz. The supplied transducer can measure a maximum depth of 800 ft. or 244 m.

    - Transducer Options - A 50kHz transducer can be attached to the controller to allow it to operate at 50/77/200kHz. With the 50kHz transducer, it can also measure at a depth of up to 1,600 ft. for freshwater and 750 ft. for saltwater.

    - Powerful Transmitter – Its transmission power is 200 W RMS or 1,600 W peak-to-peak. RMS, root mean square, is the amount of continuous power the transmitter can put out. Peak to Peak (PTP) power is the amount of power that can be put out at any one time. Both measurements tell you how much power a kayak fish finder has, which translates into how deep it can transmit.

    - CHIRP Technology - The Striker 4 uses CHIRP sonar technology, so the images it produces are clearer, less cluttered and it allows for better-defined targets. When a school of fish is located, it won't appear as just one larger target, but you will able to see the school as several smaller targets.

    Garmin Striker 4 Fish Finder 1

    - High Visibility Color Screen - The unit has a 3.5” HVGA color screen that has a backlight, so it has good visibility under direct sunlight. It also displays two applications at a time. The unit has GPS that allows you to mark up to 5,000 waypoints, so you can mark where you found fish, the dock where you launched from and other points of interest.

    The Garmin fish finder includes a tilt/swivel mount, so it is ready to be installed right out of the box.

    2. Lowrance HDS-7 Gen3 Insight Fish Finder

    Lowrance makes several models of fish finders any angler would be happy to own, including the HDS-7 Gen3 Insight.

    - CHIRP Transducer - This unit uses a CHIRP sonar scanner with an 83/200 kHz transducer so that you can find fish in both shallow water and up to a total of 750 ft. deep. Its CHIRP technology helps to provide great views of surrounding structures in the water, as well as any fish you come across.

    - High Powered Transmitter – It includes the StructureScan feature that provides a picture quality 180-degree views of structures and fish beneath your kayak or boat. The transducer also provides a max power output of 500 W RMS.

    - Color TouchScreen - The unit has a 7" WVGA full-color touchscreen display capable of showing three applications at a time. The screen has a LED backlight to allow the display to be seen clearly on bright, sunny days and darker, cloudy days as well. If you’re looking for the best kayak fish finder, then this Lowrance model could certainly be a contender for any serious enthusiast.

    Lowrance HDS-7 Gen3 Insight Fish Finder 1

    - GPS Chart Plotting – This fishing tool is also equipped with an internal GPS antenna operating at a frequency of 10kHz. It allows you to plot charts so you can return to any hot fishing spots you find. Along with being able to create charts, the HDS-7 Gen3 Insight also has charts for coastal and inland waters in the US, so no matter where you are fishing, you can pull up a chart to view the area.

    - Wireless Connection- If you want to record your charts, there are two MicroSD card slots to download information for later use. With the Go Free feature, it doesn’t need to be connected to download or upload charts as it can be done wirelessly.

    The unit can be set it up on your kayak or small boat quickly as it comes with a flush-mount cutout and a bracket for the device, all you need is a mount to attach it to the vessel.

    3. Hummingbird Helix 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish Finder

    Among the Hummingbird fish finder products is the Helix 5 CHIRP GPS G2. It’s the smallest of the Helix models, which makes it a great option for kayaks.

    - Dual Transducer - It features a dual-beam CHIRP sonar, which comes with a transducer operating at frequencies of 83 kHz, with a low range of 75-95 kHz, and 200 kHz that has a 175-225 kHz high range.

    - Dual Cone Angles - The dual beams provide a sonar coverage of 20-degrees and 80-degrees, which allows for target separations of only 2.5”. The device can operate at a maximum depth of 1,500 ft. and can provide a maximum power output of 4,000 W PTP or 500 W RMS.

    - High Visibility Color Screen - This fish finder has a 5” color WVGA display, with 256 colors. It has a LED backlight, which makes it visible in direct sunlight, cloudy weather and at night. The display can show a wide/narrow cone split screen, and you can either allow the screen to scroll or stop it using the freeze-frame feature.

    - Fast Picture Transmissions - The spilt-screen can be zoomed in on for a better look at your targets, and it provides an instant image update, so you don’t have to wait for the next image to appear on screen. The screen can be adjusted, so it displays large digits to make it easier to read while you're busy navigating your kayak.

    Hummingbird Helix 5 CHIRP GPS G2 Fish Finder 1

    - GPS Tracking - Like many other kayak depth finders, this product comes with GPS and allows for tracking and chart plotting, but mapping is optional. Being able to plot waypoints allows you to note where you best fishing spots are so when you go back to that lake or river, you can easily find them.

    Chart plotting helps you find your way back to your starting point or another waypoint along your route. If you want to download waypoints to locate them the next time you visit a lake or river, the device comes with a Micro SD card slot for saving them.

    4. Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+

    This fish finder looks very different than most others on the market because it doesn’t come with a display. The device is compatible with both OSi (Apple) 8.0 and Android 4.0 smartphones or tablets, so those screens display the information transmitted from the sonar. It also doesn’t require kayak fish finder mounts as the Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+ goes right into the water.

    - Powerful Wi-Fi Connection - It connects to your smartphone or tablet with Wi-Fi, which allows for a better connection than their previous models that used a Bluetooth connection. The Wi-Fi connection lets it operate from up to 330 ft. or 100 m.

    - Battery Powered - The 2.5", 3.5 oz. device is powered by a lithium polymer kayak fish finder battery, which provides six hours of continuous use with a two-hour charge time. It can also a USB port for charging.

    - Dual Beams - The Pro+ has dual beams which transmit on frequencies 90/290 kHz for a maximum depth of 260 ft. or 80 m in freshwater. The connection allows you to get a detailed view of the 15-degree cone and a view of a larger 55-degree cone.

    - Screen Control Features - This small device operates in all types of weather, and it can be used as an ice fishing flasher to allow you to see beneath the ice to examine the water column. It has a Split Screen mode to allow you to get a good view of your target fish. You can also zoom in on what you find for a better view. 

    Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+ 1

    - Creates Bathymetric Maps- The Pro+ not only allows you to download online maps when it’s in Boat Mode, but you can also create your own maps with its bathymetric maps of the bottom of a river or lake. Bathymetry is the study of the “floors” or bottoms of bodies of water and takes measurements of the river, lake or ocean depths.

    The bathymetric mapping feature gives you a detailed map of the bottom of the river or lake you're on, and it can record the contours at the bottom to help reveal good hiding spots for fish. The device relays information quickly, so you won’t miss anything as it produces up to 15 scans per second. With these features, it is easy to argue that the Deeper Smart Sonar Pro+ is possibly the best fish finder for kayak.

    5. Venterior Portable Fish Finder VT-FF001

    If you’re looking for a device that doesn’t require kayak fish finder mounting, then the Venterior Portable Fish Finder is one you should check out. Its small size, 2.2”x 9.6”x 5.9”, will easily fit in your hand or it comes with a neck strap to keep your hands free.

    - Wired Transducer – This portable device has a wired transducer with a 25’ cable to help you find fish whether you’re in a kayak, on a dock or ice fishing. It also comes with a removable float to attach to the transducer to make it easier to locate in the water.

    - Wide Depth Range - The sensor has a beam angle of 45-degrees and helps display the floor of the river or lake you’re on so you can tell if there is grass, rocks or sand. It has a wide depth range, measuring from as shallow as 2.3 ft. to as deep as 328 ft. or 100 m.

    - Battery Powered – This device operates on four AAA batteries, which are not included in the box. It can be used at extremely cold or hot temperatures, from -4°F to 158°F (-20°C to 70°C). It would be great for both ice fishing and taking out on your kayak in the summer. 

    Venterior Portable Fish Finder 1

    - LCD Display – This Venterior fish finder has a black and white LCD screen with green LED backlighting so it can be read under sunlight or at night. The display can tell you where fish are located, but not an individual target’s size. However, at maximum sensitivity, you will be able to tell big fish from small ones on the screen.

    This device is a good choice for kayaks as it works best when the vessel is moving at slow speeds, less than five mph. With its multiple features, the Venterior Portable Fish Finder is considered by many anglers to be one of the best budget kayak fish finders on the market.

    6. HawkEye FT1PXC FishTrax Fish Finder

    Another good choice for a handheld portable fish finder for kayak is the HawkEye FT1PXC FishTrak. Of the three FishTrax fish finders, this model, the 1C, is designed for experienced anglers who want advanced features to help them haul in a good catch.

    - Dual Frequency Beams – The transducer transmits in two frequencies, 83 kHz, and 200 kHz. At 83 kHz, it produces 83,000 sonar pulses per second, while at 200 kHz it produces 200,000 pulses per second to help locate fish in shallow or deep waters. At 83 kHz, it has a cone angle of 60-degrees, and the 200-kHz frequency has a cone angle of 20-degrees.

    - Battery Powered – Although it is powered with four AAA batteries, the device is powerful enough to provide feedback to the transducer containing the type of details anglers need to find their targets.

    It provides instant readings with information of the contours and composition of lake and river beds, the water temperature, and depth readings. It reads depths from 2.5 feet up to 240 ft. in increments of 1/10th of a foot. 

    - High Definition Display – This portable unit has a glare-free HD VirtuView color display. The display provides large number readings of the water depth, water temperature, and battery voltage, so you'll know when it is time to change the batteries. It also displays the level sensitivity, which ranges from 1% to 100%, being used to target fish.

    HawkEye FT1PXC FishTrax Fish Finder 1

    - Three Mode Operation – The unit operates in three modes: fish finder, data, and ice-mode digital flasher. In ice-mode, it operates in real time, and, like most ice fishing flashers, it allows you to get information about what's underneath the ice so you can target suspended fish. It can also provide data from under your kayak, docks and other obstacles.

    Although it is normally a handheld device, it can also be mounted to your kayak with the optional suction cup mount. The casing is waterproof, so you needn’t worry about it getting wet.

    7. Signstek FF-003 Portable Fish Finder

    This Signstek portable fish finder is probably one of the most powerful handheld kayak depth finders on the market. It has a waterproof rating of IPX4, so it won’t stop operating if it gets splashed while you’re busy reeling in the big one.

    - Floatable Transducer – Like many portable fish finders, this Signstek model has a floatable transducer for transmitting and receiving readings.

    The yellow float makes it easier to see in the water, so you don't lose it when you want to move to another spot. Along with water depth, the readings help indicate the location and size of the fish, and the composition of the floor of the body of water you're fishing.

    - Dual Frequency Sonar – The transducer transmits two frequencies of 83 kHz and 200 kHz. It produces depth readings from as shallow as 2 feet up to as deep as 240 ft. It will trigger the depth alarm at 3 to 99 ft. 

    Signstek FF-003 Portable Fish Finder 1

    - Small, Colorful Display – Although the screen measures only 2.4”, the LCD displays in 512 colors and has a resolution of V240xH160. It also has a white LED front light to make reading the screen possible at dawn or dusk. With a 100-level sensitivity adjustment, it provides the readings you need for the fish you’re targeting.

    It is best not to use this device in temperatures less than 0-degrees Fahrenheit, as it really isn’t suitable for ice fishing. It is powered four AAA batteries.

    8. FishHunter Directional 3D Wireless Portable Fishfinder

    When it comes to fish finders, experienced anglers may want more data than just where to locate their next catch. The FishHunter Directional 3D Fishfinder boasts more cutting-edge features than its competitors, as it can connect with your mobile phone or tablet to display and store data. There are several reasons to choose this FishHunter model when looking for a new fish finder, including:

    - 5 Tri-frequency transducers: Five separate transducers working at 381 kHz, 475 kHz, and 675 kHz offer more power and more coverage than other portable fish finders on the market.

    The higher frequencies allow the device to work well in shallow waters commonly frequented by kayakers, while lower frequencies let you see deeper. The FishHunter Directional 3D Fishfinder can show you targets up to 160 ft below the surface and up to 200ft away.

    - Mapping capabilities: You can create your own custom maps of both new and favorite fishing spots to help you improve your success on future trips. Bathymetric mapping lets you track depth and seabed contours, giving you a clear image of the bottom of any lake or body of water, while 3D structure mapping gives you an even more detailed view of your surroundings.

    FishHunter Directional 3D Wireless Portable 1

    - Directional casting: See the optimal angle and depth which you should aim for when fishing in any particular spot relative to the fish finder’s sonar. This feature helps you to land your bait in the best possible location, increasing your odds of a successful catch. 

    - 3D fishing view: You can see a life-like image of what’s on the seabed, including temperature change, contour depth, vegetation, and fish location. This allows you to evaluate the bottom at a glance and improve your catch rate.

    - Smartphone Integration: This fish finder works alongside your mobile device to find, catch, and track fish as you collect valuable data. The built-in wi-fi connection doesn’t need a cell-phone tower to operate and has a range of 150 ft, allowing you to use it in a variety of settings.

    Considering all the features that it offers, the FishHunter Directional 3D Fishfinder is competitively priced. It offers all of the standard features found in the average fish finder along with more technologically advanced functions that let you integrate with your mobile device. The unit is easy to cast from just about anywhere, including your kayak.

    9. Norcross HawkEye F33P

    The Norcross HawkEye F33P is an ideal choice for the angler on a budget. It doesn’t come with all of the bells and whistles of some of the more complex fish finders, but instead, it includes a simple display that’s easy to read at a glance. The device also includes other great features such as:

    - 25-degree sonar beam angle: You can see accurate depths of fish and bottom structures as shallow as 1.5 ft or as deep as up to 100 feet below the surface.

    - User-friendly design: To use the HawkEye F33P, all you have to do is turn the device on and toss the power sensor from your kayak to get readings. A VirtuView LCD Display uses black and white icons to indicate the location of fish, weeds, and underwater architecture

    - Small size: The HawkEye F33P measures just 3 x 6 x 2 inches, allowing you to fit it in the palm of your hand, a tackle box, a fanny pack, or any other convenient location. 

    - Weather-resistant: You can use this fish finder at temperatures as low as zero degrees Fahrenheit without any issues, making it suitable for cold-weather fishing. Its liquid crystal display blocks any glare on sunny days.

    Norcross HawkEye F33P 1

    The simple yet sleek design of this fish finder makes it an ideal choice for beginners, especially considering its low price. A trollable, mountable, and floatable sonar sensor allows you to easily use the HawkEye F33P from the comfort of your kayak, while the portable display includes a neck strap and storage case to keep it safe during your adventur