Trolling Rod and Reel Combo: Master the Art of Trolling!

A trolling rod and reel combo is a specialized fishing setup designed for trolling, a fishing technique where you drag lures or bait behind a moving boat to catch fish.

This method is commonly used to catch species like salmon, trout, walleye, muskellunge, and other predatory fish residing in deeper waters.

A trolling rod and reel combo typically includes the following components:

Trolling Rod: The rod is the primary tool used to handle the fishing line and provide the necessary power and sensitivity to detect strikes and fight fish.

Trolling rods are often longer and more flexible than regular casting or spinning rods.

They usually range from 7 to 10 feet in length, with a medium-heavy to heavy power rating to handle the stress of trolling and to handle larger fish.

Trolling Reel: The reel is mounted on the trolling rod and is responsible for holding and releasing the fishing line.

Trolling reels are usually designed to have a high line capacity to accommodate the larger line needed for trolling.

They may come in conventional (round baitcasting) or level-wind style, both of which have advantages and are suitable for different types of trolling.

Line: Trolling requires a strong and sturdy fishing line, usually a monofilament or braided line, with a higher pound test than other fishing methods.

The line choice depends on the target species and the depth of the fishing location.

Downrigger (optional): Some trolling setups include a downrigger that keeps the lures or baits at a specific depth by lowering them to the desired level.

Downriggers are particularly useful for fishing at varying depths and targeting specific species.

When choosing a trolling rod and reel combo, you must consider the type of fish you plan to catch, the water conditions you’ll be fishing in, and your budget.

Different manufacturers offer various combos designed for specific fishing situations, so it’s best to research and read reviews to find a combo that suits your needs.

Trolling Rod and Reel Combo

Best trolling rod and reel combo

When looking for the Best trolling rod and reel combos, several options cater to different preferences and budgets.

Some popular saltwater trolling combos offer excellent performance for targeting various game fish in saltwater environments.

Here are the top 5 trolling rods and reel combos in 2023:

Penn Squall LevelWind Combo

Penn Squall LevelWind Combo

 PENN Squall II Level Wind combo, now featuring our innovative NEW Fast Gear Access Side Plate, allows anglers to easily grease and clean their reel without any risk of losing parts.

The Squall® II Level Wind remains swift and potent during retrieval while maintaining exceptional casting ability, particularly in the smaller sizes.

Enhanced with PENN Dura-Guides for increased durability, this versatile collection will become your top choice for all your offshore, nearshore, and trolling adventures.

Smooth operation is ensured by the Fast Gear Access Side Plate, which features 3+1 shielded stainless steel ball bearings.

 It boasts HT-100™ Carbon Fiber Drag Washers for reliable and powerful drag performance.

Some models feature a robust One-Piece Tubular Glass Blank with a Solid Tip for added strength, while others come with a Graphite Composite Blank for enhanced sensitivity.

Rest assured, the PENN Dura-Guides ensure smooth line management and casting precision.

We’ve added the PENN Slick Butt for extra comfort during extended fishing sessions for select models.

Additionally, certain models feature comfortable EVA Grips, while others boast Rubber Shrink Tube Handles for a secure hold.

Completing the ensemble, select models come with an Aluminum Gimbal and a Cover for added convenience and support during intense battles with formidable fish.

ModelRod LengthNumber of PiecesReel SizeGear RatioLure RatingLine RatingReel SeatReel Spool Material

Shimano Tekota Trolling Combo

Shimano Tekota Trolling Combo

 Shimano proudly presents the Compre Muskie rod series, designed for musky anglers with a clear purpose: cast longer, fight harder, and achieve more successful catches.

These rods feature an extra-long handle and premium SeaGuide XBG Zirconia guides, enabling anglers to cast larger baits even further while minimizing line tangles effortlessly.

The rods have a Fuji reel seat and AAA Cork handles to enhance casting comfort.

The compression cork butt cap provides superior comfort during intense battles with powerful fish.

Built to last a lifetime of fishing expeditions, the Compre Musky boasts exceptional durability without compromising on weight.

It is crafted using top-quality components, ensuring it can withstand the rigors of numerous encounters with formidable foes.

The combo also includes the 8′ Heavy trolling Model, further expanding its versatility for various fishing techniques.

Continuing the legacy of durability, the Tekota A has been fully redesigned to offer even greater performance. Key improvements include:

  • Coreprotect water resistance.
  • Enhanced corrosion resistance.
  • An easily replaceable anti-fogging lens.
  • A loud clicker.
  • A new ergonomic S-Compact body design.

With these enhancements, the Tekota A is all set to tackle any fishing challenge and deliver a top-notch angling experience.

The Shimano Tekota combo features a Tekota level-wind reel paired with a sturdy trolling rod.

Shimano is well-known for producing high-quality fishing gear; this combo is no exception. It’s favored by many anglers for its precision and smoothness in trolling applications.

The Shimano Tekota Trolling Combo is a right-handed reel with a gear ratio of 6.3:1 and a single handle. It features a star drag system and offers a maximum drag force of 11kg (24.25 lbs). The reel has 4 ball bearings and weighs 410g (14.46oz).

The line capacity for monofilament is 12 lbs / 440 yards. It is saltwater resistant and does not come with a spare spool.

The net weight of the product is 0.41kg. The delivery time is specified as 1-2 working days for Austria (AT) and 2-4 working days for the rest of the European Union (EU). The product comes with a 2-year warranty.

Okuma line counter combo

Okuma line counter combo

The impressive Okuma MAGDA MA 20D reel combined with the Classic Pro 7′ 2-piece Leadcore rod, a trolling combo that offers exceptional performance at an unbeatable price.

This setup is specifically designed for Leadcore trolling but is also versatile enough for Downrigger or Planer board trolling.

It’s the ideal combination for pursuing Walleye, Striper, Northern Pike, Steelhead, Brown Trout, or any other game fish.

The Okuma MA 20D Line counter reel is equipped to handle up to 5 colors of leadcore, and it comes paired with the Classic Pro 2-piece rod, which boasts a medium action and measures 7′ in length.

The rod boasts a sturdy E-Glass blank construction, stainless steel hooded reel seats, and EVA foam grips for a comfortable and secure hold.

For smooth line management, it incorporates double-footed aluminum oxide guides.

The Magda MA 20D bushing reel included in this combo has a 5.1:1 gear ratio, ensuring efficient retrieval.

It offers a line capacity of (240/14, 190/18, 160/20) yds/lbs and is equipped with machine-cut brass gearing and a corrosion-resistant graphite spool.

The power handle adds to the ease of use and control during intense fishing sessions.

With this unbeatable combo, you’ll be fully equipped to tackle Leadcore trolling and various other techniques while targeting a wide range of game fish species.

Get ready for an exceptional angling experience with the Okuma MAGDA MA 20D and Classic Pro Leadcore combo!

Rapala Defiant Downrigger Trolling Combo

Rapala Defiant Downrigger Trolling Combo

The Defiant Combo is a winning duo that delivers exceptional performance without breaking the bank.

This combo is thoughtfully designed to provide you with the essential qualities of durability, sensitivity, and comfort, ensuring an enjoyable fishing experience.

The rod features a robust Tubular E-Glass blank construction and incorporates RCT3 Rapala custom taper actions, enhancing its strength and responsiveness.

The blank through handle construction adds to its overall sturdiness, while the custom locking-ring reel seat ensures a secure fit for your reel.

The Defiant combo boasts a High-Density EVA handle to maximize your comfort during long fishing sessions, providing a comfortable and non-slip grip.

Stainless frame guides with Aluminum Oxide ring ensure smooth line flow and increased casting efficiency, while the Dipsy Diver model features hard chrome guides for added durability.

The Rapala MGS Maximum Guide System is a remarkable feature, contributing to the rod’s superior performance.

Additionally, the combo includes a gimbal butt cap, offering extra support during intense battles with large fish.

On the reel side, the Defiant combo incorporates a convenient line counter that accurately measures feet, making trolling a breeze.

The graphite spool and all-graphite construction make it lightweight yet robust, ensuring you can rely on it for your fishing endeavors.

The reel boasts a dependable drag system, 1 bearing, and a multi-point anti-reverse feature for smooth operation.

Other practical features include an extra-loud bait clicker, an oversized handle knob for easy grip, and a large line capacity, holding up to 10 Color Leadcore, 27lb + Leader, and Backing.

With the Defiant combo, you can tackle various fishing challenges while enjoying the perfect blend of performance, affordability, and reliability.

Shakespeare tidewater trolling 

Shakespeare tidewater trolling 

Shakespeare is renowned for producing tough and durable reels that can handle any fishing adventure, and the Tidewater® series lives up to that exceptional legacy.

Offering great value, the Tidewater conventional combos are designed to deliver top-notch performance and unwavering reliability, whether fishing in saltwater or freshwater environments.

The combo features a 30-size reel with a convenient line counter, ensuring you always know how many lines you have out.

The reel boasts a rugged graphite frame and side covers, a bait clicker, and stainless steel pinion gear, providing excellent corrosion resistance to tackle challenging conditions.

Pairing seamlessly with the reel, the rod is crafted from a robust one-piece tubular glass, ensuring strength and sensitivity.

Comfortable EVA grips offer a secure hold during long fishing sessions, while the sturdy double-bridged guides facilitate smooth line flow and casting efficiency.

This exceptional combo is perfectly suited for trolling and bottom fishing, making it a versatile choice for various angling techniques.

With an impressive rod length of 8’6″ and a medium power rating, it offers the ideal balance of control and responsiveness.

The two-piece design makes transport and storage convenient, and the right-hand reel handle position ensures comfortable operation.

With a gear ratio of 5.1:1, you can expect swift and efficient retrieval, while the aluminum oxide guides and full EVA rod handle provide a top-notch angling experience.

Whether you’re exploring saltwater coasts or freshwater lakes, the Shakespeare Tidewater combo will accompany you on all your fishing endeavors.

Always consider factors such as the type of fish you plan to target, the water conditions, and your budget when selecting the right trolling rod and reel combo with a line counter for your needs.

It’s also a good idea to read reviews and seek advice from experienced anglers to find the most suitable setup for your fishing preferences.

 Trolling rod and reel combo setup

A trolling rod and reel combo setup is a specialized fishing gear designed for the trolling technique, where lures or bait are dragged behind a moving boat to catch fish.

Here are some key components to consider when setting up a walleye trolling combo:

Trolling Rod: Choose a trolling rod that matches the species you plan to target and the trolling conditions you’ll be fishing in.

Trolling rods are typically longer and more flexible than regular fishing rods to handle trolling stress and facilitate long-distance casting.

They are available in various lengths and power ratings, ranging from medium to heavy, depending on the size and strength of the fish you expect to catch.

Trolling Reel: Select a trolling reel that complements your trolling rod and can handle the line capacity and drag needed for the target species.

Trolling reels often come with line counters to help you accurately measure the amount of line let out. Consider the gear ratio, bearing count, and material of the reel for smooth operation and durability.

Line: Use a strong and durable fishing line suitable for trolling, such as monofilament or braided line, with a higher pound test than regular fishing lines.

The line strength should be sufficient to handle the weight and size of the lures or baits you plan to use and the potential size of the fish you want to catch.

Downrigger (optional): If you plan to troll at varying depths, a downrigger can be a valuable addition to your setup. Downriggers allow you to precisely control the depth of your lures or baits by lowering them to the desired level.

Lures and Baits: Select appropriate trolling lures or baits based on your target species and water conditions.

Popular trolling lures include spoons, plugs, and deep-diving crankbaits. Trolling with natural baitfish or cut bait can also be effective.

Line Releases: Line releases are mechanisms used to attach the fishing line to the downrigger or planer board.

They allow the line to be released easily when a fish strikes, signaling that you have a bite.

Ensure all trolling rod and reel combo setup components are compatible and well-matched to create a balanced and efficient trolling system.

Adjust your setup based on the specific fishing conditions and target species to optimize your chances of a successful trolling experience.


A well-chosen trolling rod and reel combo are essential for a successful and enjoyable trolling fishing experience.

Whether you’re targeting freshwater or saltwater species, having the right setup can significantly affect your ability to cover more water, reach desired depths, and effectively hook and land fish.

When choosing a trolling rod and reel combo, take into account the species you’re targeting, the fishing location, water conditions, and the size of lures or baits you intend to use.

Check out the How to Catch a Redfish available on our website.

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