Can You Use Spinning Reels for Trolling?

Last Updated on September 19, 2023

Gone fishin’? If you’re an angler or just starting to dip your toes into the world of fishing, you might wonder, “Can you use spinning reels for trolling?” Well, you’re in the right place! 

This article will explore the ins and outs of trolling, spinning reels, and whether or not they’re a match made in fishing heaven. 

So, please sit back, relax, and let’s reel in some answers!

Understanding the Art of Trolling

What is trolling?

Trolling is a popular fishing technique where a baited fishing line is slowly pulled through the water to attract and catch fish.

Typically done from a moving boat, trolling covers a wide area and targets different depths to find where the fish are biting.

Pros and cons of trolling


  • Covers a larger area, increasing the chances of catching fish
  • Allows you to target different depths and species
  • Can be done with multiple lines, increasing your catch


  • Requires specialized equipment and knowledge
  • It can be less precise than other fishing methods
  • Fuel consumption for the boat

Spinning Reels: A Quick Overview

What are spinning reels?

Spinning reels are a type of fishing reel that features a fixed spool and a rotating bail. They’re user-friendly and versatile, making them popular among both beginners and experienced anglers.

Advantages and disadvantages of spinning reels


  • Easy to use and learn
  • Great for light tackle and line
  • Versatile for various fishing techniques


  • Limited line capacity compared to conventional reels
  • May have difficulty handling heavy lures or large fish
Spinning Reel and rod

Can You Use Spinning Reels for Trolling?

So, back to the burning question: Can you use spinning reels for trolling? The answer is both yes and no. You can use spinning reels for trolling in specific scenarios, such as targeting small to medium-sized fish in shallow to moderate waters. However, alternative reels might be more appropriate for larger fish or deeper waters, ensuring heartwarming fishing memories.

Let’s break it down.

When to use spinning reels for trolling

Spinning reels can be effective for trolling in certain situations:

  • Targeting small to medium-sized fish
  • Using light lures and tackle
  • Fishing in shallow to moderate depths

When not to use spinning reels for trolling

There are times when spinning reels may not be the best choice for trolling:

  • Targeting large fish that require heavy tackle and line
  • Fishing in deep water or strong currents
  • Needing precise depth control

Alternatives to Spinning Reels for Trolling

If you find that spinning reels aren’t suitable for your trolling needs, fear not! There are other options available:

  1. Conventional reels: Offering more line capacity and better control for deep water and heavy tackle
  2. Line counter reels: Providing accurate depth control and ease of use for trolling
  3. Electric reels: Making deep water trolling and retrieval effortless


Can you use spinning reels for trolling saltwater fish?

Yes, you can use spinning reels for trolling saltwater fish. Still, choosing a reel designed for saltwater use is important, and cleaning it thoroughly after each outing is essential.

What size spinning reel should I use for trolling?

What size spinning reel should I use for trolling? The size of the spinning reel will depend on the targeted fish species and the conditions. Generally, a medium to large spinning reel with a high line capacity and a sturdy drag system is recommended for trolling.


As mentioned above, spinning reels can be viable for trolling in specific situations, such as catching small to medium-sized fish in shallow to moderate waters. 

However, you’re aiming for larger fish or fishing in deep waters and strong currents. Other options like conventional, line-counter, or electric reels may be more suitable in that case.

Choosing a spinning reel for trolling will ultimately depend on your needs and personal preferences.

So, go ahead and give it a try! After all, as the saying goes, “There’s nothing quite like a day of fishing.” With the right approach, you’ll be set for a successful fishing adventure that’ll tug at your heartstrings!

Tight lines!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *