Best Line Counter Reels – 2021 Complete Round-up

| Last Updated June 9, 2021

For a lot of people, fishing holds great importance in their life. It isn’t merely a past time but also a bonding opportunity with the elders, or perhaps a tradition that has been passed down to generations and carries emotional value. It is a lot of fun as well. 

Only one type of reel isn’t enough at times. The different kinds of reels give you an advantage in different locations, with different species, etc. All of this, however, depends upon your usage. Considering this, owning a line counter reel could be of great advantage to one, as it makes fishing interesting yet easy. 

Thus, we have the complete round-up of all the best counter reels available on the market. This includes all you need to know about them, how to look for the perfect one, and some incredible options available today. 

To find out more, keep on reading! 

Comparison of the Best Line Counter Reels

  • Suitable for reeling in big fish species
  • Drag system provides powerful and smooth drag
  • Instant anti-reverse bearing eliminates rotor backplay
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  • Good bearing system results in smooth operation
  • Reel is strong and of good quality
  • Small but with impressive drag
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  • Best for the Money
  • Durable and strong frame
  • Made with the highest quality materials
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  • Best Left Handed Line Counter Reel
  • Very reliable, trusted for quality
  • Has a lightweight and corrosion-resistant frame
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  • Best Daiwa Line Counter Reel
  • Smooth and dependable drag washers
  • Durable and easy to use
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  • Best Okuma Trolling Reel With Line Counter
  • Has full carbonite drag system
  • Light but durable design
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What is a Line Counter Reel?

Line counter reels are one of the most famous pieces of fishing equipment out there. They are one of the most versatile and flexible pieces of equipment to have in your kit, so they can certainly come in handy. They are somewhat similar to bait casters, however, they cater more to the trolling needs of fishermen than the latter. 

Line counter reels have incredible depth control and carry a higher line capacity than some of its counterparts. They are particularly designed to deliver efficiency and accuracy while performing the fishing method known as trolling. They can be used for casting as well, which makes them versatile. 

What Does a Line Counter Reel Do?

Line counter reels have earned a reputation for being incredibly accurate and efficient. They are even considered one of the best reels for trolling. Trolling is a very famous method of fishing, which basically involves a single, or at times, multiple lines drawn across the water, which have bait or lures on them.

This effect is achieved through a moving boat or even by slowly winding the line while being in a static position. Depth is a very important factor when it comes to fishing, and the line counter reel gives tremendous depth control and, therefore, is considered to be a must-have by many.

How to Choose a Line Counter Reel

People are often conflicted about how to choose a line counter reel. Well, there are certain factors that are looked out for when one is trying to find the perfect line counter reel. These ensure that the model you opt for is worth spending your money on. Thus, let’s take a look at them in detail, so you have a better understanding of it all:


The overall construction of the product is an incredibly important feature to consider. By the construction, we mean how well built the design is. When opting for a product intended for fishing, it’s important to make sure that it’s corrosion-resistant and well-built enough to withstand some wear and tear. Otherwise, it’ll start showing signs of wear and will end up being useless in a matter of days. 


When buying a product, it is important to look over factors such as the location, species, etc. as these will be a major consideration in deciding the line you choose. It is important to buy the right line, which isn’t too thick or too thin and fits perfectly. 

Drag System and Clickers

The drag system of the product makes a world of difference. It should be of great quality, so it makes the overall operation smooth. Furthermore, it is particularly important when working with big fish. Clickers can also be a great investment. The function of a clicker is to basically make a noise every time the line starts going off the spool.

Review of the Best Line Counter Reels

There are plenty of products available on the market, which makes it truly hard for a person to decide which one to opt for. This is precisely why we have compiled a list of the best line counter reels for you and reviewed them, so you don’t have to go through the struggle of doing extensive research. Let’s take a look at them:

Best Overall:
Penn Squall LevelWind

PENN Fishing SQL20LWLC Squall LevelWind , Black Gold, 315yd/20Lb


  • Features a graphite frame and side panels which allow it to be lightweight
  • Machined aluminum and marine grade bronze construction ensures durability
  • HT-100 carbon fiber drag system enhances smoothness and provides a powerful drag
  • Level wind trolling reel is excellent for saltwater conditions and to capture big game fish
  • 2 stainless steel ball bearings and instant anti-reverse bearing enhances drags and allows smooth casting


  • Some found the line lay to be a bit uneven while spooling
  • Some buyers seemed to have problems with the level wind gear

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are impressed with this product due to many reasons. Firstly, it features a well-built design that is capable of performing incredibly well in saltwater conditions. Furthermore, it has instant anti-reverse and two ball bearings, which make casting smooth and efficient.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This unit caught our attention because of its durable design that has been made out of machined aluminum and marine grade bronze. However, it does offer more than that. The product is capable of performing incredibly well with big fish without being heavy. In fact, it is lightweight and easy to fish with.

Who Will Use This Most

This product is great to be used in saltwater conditions and capture some big game fish. If that sounds like the conditions you fish in, then this product is a great investment. Furthermore, it features 2 ball bearings, which allow it to be incredibly smooth and efficient to work with.

Bottom Line

Overall, this product is of excellent quality and is incredibly well built. There aren’t many units out there that feature such an excellent design and are durable, as well as, functional. It allows smooth casting and is easy and intuitive to use. All of this allows it to be the best overall on our list.

Abu Garcia Amb Baitcast Line Counter Reel

Abu Garcia Ambassadeur LineCounter,MULTI,12-Pound/240-Yard


  • Well-built, durable, and has a solid construction
  • Incredibly easy to clean which allows it to be low maintenance
  • Carbon matrix drag system for consistent and smooth drag pressure
  • Great for bass and predator fishing given its design and construction
  • Two stainless-steel ball bearings and a single roller bearing for smooth operation


  • Some buyers found that the line counter needs improvement

What Recent Buyers Report

This unit seems to be one of the consumer favorite products on the market. The incredible design, paired with the stunning outlook and high functionality of this unit, enable it to be a great product. It is well constructed and a great investment as well, given its performance.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This unit caught our attention with the meticulous design and overall sturdy construction. The solid construction enables it to be incredibly reliable and durable as well. Furthermore, the product is great for freshwater. It features a single roller bearing and two stainless-steel bearings for smooth operation.

Who Will Use This Most

If you are someone who can’t serve the amount of effort or time that some other line counter reels require, then perhaps this product is a great option for you. This unit is incredibly low maintenance. Furthermore, it is extremely well made and durable. It is great for bass and predator fishing.

Bottom Line

All in all, this product is incredibly well-built and has an innovative design. There isn’t much to complain about this unit as the pros it has, largely outweigh the cons. It is incredibly durable and highly reliable. All of this makes the unit worthy of investment. It is surely worth checking out.

Best for the Money:
Penn General Purpose Level Wind

Penn 209LC General Purpose Level Wind, 290yd/20lbs, 209LC


  • Stainless-steel reel stand makes it highly convenient to use
  • Incredibly versatile as it works for a wide number of conditions
  • Made from excellent quality materials, making it incredibly durable and reliable
  • One of the more affordable options out there which makes it highly convenient
  • HT-100 drag system enables it to provide a smooth drag over heavy loads as well


  • Level wind needs improvement

What Recent Buyers Report

This unit has a separate fan base in itself. People find it to be incredibly conventional and traditional in the best way possible. The product is well designed and highly reliable under a wide range of conditions. It works incredibly well for trolling, as well as, casting. The product is, therefore, a consumer favorite unit.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This unit stood out to us for being incredibly durable and reliable. It is well-designed and features a stunning overall look as well. It is, however, more than just looks. The unit is highly functional as it features an impeccable drag system that makes it smooth, as well as, fun to fish with.

Who Will Use This Most

The best part about this unit is its versatility. Most units are either suited for saltwater or for freshwater. However, this product is said to perform well in both conditions. Furthermore, it works well for heavy loads too. Plus, it is one of the most affordable options available, which makes it convenient and accessible to a larger audience.

Bottom Line

Overall, this product is one of the best ones you can get your hands on. It is incredibly well-designed and carries a ton of different features that make the operation smooth and the overall experience incredibly fun. It isn’t too heavy on the pocket either, which makes it an incredible investment.

Best Left-Handed Line Counter Reel:
Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter

Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind Trolling Reel, Small, Black/Silver, MA-30DLX


  • Features 2 ball bearings and a 1-year warranty
  • Lightweight, making the product convenient to use
  • Corrosion-resistant frame with stainless steel side plates make it highly durable
  • Created using the highest quality materials and tested for quality and reliability
  • Equipped with a carbonate drag system and self-lubricating gear system that ensures smooth performance


  • Has too many plastic parts
  • Line counter is slightly off on alignment

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are very happy with this product due to many reasons. This unit performs well under many conditions and is built incredibly sturdy and strong. The overall construction is of great quality, plus the product is highly reliable and easy to work with as well, which makes it very convenient.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This unit caught our attention with its top-notch features and great quality construction. The unit is incredibly well-built and has been tested for quality and reliability. Furthermore, it features 2 ball bearings and a 1-year warranty, which makes its performance smooth and, thus, allows it to be durable as well.

Who Will Use This Most

This product is well suited for those of you looking for a lightweight and easy to work with unit. If up until now, line counter reels have intimidated you and you found them inconvenient, this product will hopefully change the game for you. It fits every budget and is highly functional as well.

Bottom Line

All in all, this product is one of the best ones you can get on the market, especially at this price range. A common observation with reels is that the better quality they are, the more they cost; however, that isn’t the case with this one. It is of great quality and, therefore, proves to be a great investment.

Best Daiwa Line Counter Reel:
Daiwa Accudepth Plus-B

Daiwa Accudepth Plus-B Line Counter Levelwind Fishing Reel (Silver, 27)


  • Stunning overall design with auto engage clutch
  • Teflon impregnated drag system allows the performance to be smooth
  • Lightweight as it has a graphite composite frame which enables it to be convenient to use
  • Overall construction of this unit is sturdy and strong which allows it to be durable and reliable
  • Features measurements in feet for easy and accurate trolling pattern setups, allowing it to be convenient


  • Some problems with the line counter reset button
  • Occasional glitches in performance of the counter

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers found the product to work exceptionally well for them. Most of them were happy with its performance. Some buyers did seem to have occasional glitches with the line counters, but that wasn’t a big deal as it works smoothly and efficiently nevertheless. All of this makes it a consumer favorite product.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This unit caught our attention with its stunning overall look. However, the product is complex and has depth to its functionality. It is impeccable when it comes to operation. The unit provides an efficient and smooth fishing experience which is truly irreplaceable. Furthermore, it is incredibly convenient as well.

Who Will Use This Most

This product works well for many people. It is incredibly efficient and smooth, thus, it turns out to be great for both professionals and novices. The product is incredibly convenient as it is lightweight and easy to handle, thus, it wouldn’t be a problem for beginners either. However, it provides great accuracy and efficiency, which is what appeals to the professionals.

Bottom Line

All in all, the unit is of great quality. It is well-designed and well-equipped with stunning features to make its performance incredible. This unit is perhaps one of the best on the market. It has an exceptional build quality, which is what enables it to be reliable and durable.

Best Okuma Trolling Reel with Line Counter:
Okuma Cold Water Linecounter

Okuma Fishing Tackle Cold Water Linecounter Trolling Reel CW-203D Silver


  • Has a 1-year warranty and carries a self-lubricating gear system
  • Corrosion-resistant frame with side plates make it highly durable
  • Features a lightweight construction that allows it to be convenient
  • Made with high-quality materials and tested for quality and reliability
  • Multi-disc carbonite drag system makes operation smooth and efficient


  • Release lever occasionally sticks
  • Some buyers complained that the product clicks loudly

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers are very impressed with the performance of this product. They find that it works exceptionally well and carries some stunning features which make operation easy and smooth. The product, furthermore, has a stunning design, which is great to look at as well. Thus, this unit is a user favorite.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product features a one-year warranty, which isn’t always the case as not all products are warranted, and at such a great price. The overall construction is solid and carries a ton of features that make its operation smooth and easy. It is constructed with quality materials as well.

Who Will Use This Most

This product is one of the most reasonably priced ones on the market. It offers excellent quality and is, therefore, a great product to invest in if you are on a smaller budget. Furthermore, it is smooth and seamless in operation, which allows it to be a great product for professionals, as well as, beginners.

Bottom Line

Last but certainly not least, this unit is truly a gem. It features a stunning design, which isn’t just great to look at but works incredibly well too. The design is innovative and carries a ton of features that make its operation smooth and seamless. All in all, this product is a great investment.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

There are certain aspects that need to be taken into consideration before making a purchase when it comes to buying the perfect line counter reel. Let’s take a look at them so you can better understand what we are talking about: 


Fishing reels are of many types, and they come in many price ranges. When it comes to line counter reels, they are one of those reels which can cost you a lot of money when compared to some of the other fishing paraphernalia. Thus, it is crucial to have a budget in mind. This allows you to narrow down your options and make a smart choice. 


Line counter reels are specifically used to perform a fishing method known as trolling. This isn’t the only use they have, but they are great for it. Thus, it’s important to know what your usage is; this will help you decide whether or not this product is for you. Furthermore, consider the kind of species you’re planning to catch as this also takes a toll on the product you should buy. 

Durability and Reliability

A very important consideration that needs to be made for most fishing paraphernalia is whether or not they are reliable and durable. This means that the product should work in the conditions you plan on using it in, like freshwater, saltwater, etc. It should be equipped to prevent corrosion. This allows the unit to be reliable and proves to be a good investment in the long run.

How to Use Line Counter Reels for Trolling

If you have been wondering how you should use your line counter reel for trolling, this section will help you learn everything you need to know. So, keep on reading!

A line counter reel allows you to match the depth of your bait to the depth you fish, giving you the opportunity to catch many varieties of fish. They prove to be incredibly helpful and useful when it comes to situations in which depth control is important. They have a multi-colored fishing line, which has a different color for each section of the line spooled. The measurements of this would be different according to the manufacturer, but it is usually ten yards per color. 

This allows you to understand how far away your bait is, depending upon the amount of colored reel you let out. The technology it is equipped with allows you to pinpoint fish, giving you an idea of how deep you should fish. 

Trolling depends upon factors such as trolling speed, line diameter, line let out behind the boat, lure type, etc. Furthermore, there are many trolling charts available to help you understand and take care of all these factors. View those and decide the factors which are relevant to your particular condition. 

Once you understand how deep you need to fish, the rest isn’t as difficult. You can simply use a heavyweight to sink your bait to the desired depth, release the line, and keep an eye on the line counter. Once you reach the appropriate depth, you can engage the lever and start trolling.

Furthermore, the product you choose will depend upon factors such as the kind of fish species you are fishing for, and whether or not there are strong currents. This means that the conditions will vary from species to species, such as trolling for Salmon would require a stronger drag system and corrosion-resistant elements. Whereas, for smaller species, like walleye, the conditions are different. 

Hopefully, this part of the post helped you learn how to use your line control reel properly. However, if you are still confused, then you should watch the video mentioned below to clear the confusion you have!


They are multiple aspects of fishing. The complexity this sport carries is truly what makes it so beautiful. For many, it holds more sentimental value and adds a peaceful element to their otherwise tumultuous life. If you are someone who has been wanting to update their age-old fishing paraphernalia or someone who’s just getting interested in fishing, a must-have reel is the line counter reel. They often play a very important role and are some of the best ones to have in your kit.

There are plenty of line counter reels available on the market, which makes the process of buying one incredibly daunting for people. Considering that, we composed this article to give you all the information needed on the topic. We added some incredible product recommendations as well.

Hopefully, this article was helpful for you in making a decision on which product to opt for. 

People Also Ask

Buying the perfect line counter reel is incredibly important. However, people often seem to have some confusion relating to them. Thus, we decided to pick the most frequently asked questions and give you the answers to them, so you no longer have any confusion. Let’s take a look at them:

Can You Cast a Line Counter Reel?

Yes, you can cast a line counter reel.

How Accurate are Line Counter Reels?

There are multiple factors which govern the rate of accuracy of a line counter reel, such as calibration and environmental circumstances. But when used appropriately, the line counter reels are supposed to be one of the most accurate and efficient reels on the market. They are, therefore, very popular among fishermen. 

How to Calibrate a Line Counter Reel

The process may slightly differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. But generally, the first thing to do is fill up your reel or spool up your reel to full capacity and don’t cut the line. Measure a 100 ft and place a stake on the ground on which you will need to place a rubber band and a clip. Then, take the reel and the spool to the stake and place the clip on the end of the line reel all the way to the top of the stake is touching the zero of your line counter reel. After, you will walk the 100 ft you measured and then look at what the line counter reads. If the number is lower than a hundred, take some line off your reel, and if the line is higher than a hundred, you then put the line on your reel. 

How to Spool Line Counter Reel

Spooling a line counter reel takes into account the kind of line you’ll be using. This would be based upon your usage, the kind of species you plan on catching, etc. Once, you have chosen the line the next step is to spool it. You need to first tie a knot in your line. Then take the line and wrap it around the spool and tie another overhand knot. Make sure that the first knot you tied remains outside of the second knot. Afterwards, set the spool down on a flat surface and flip your bail over. Hold your hand out to the lead guide and apply a bit of pressure to the line. You can then start winding the line and it should keep a nice pressure and slide right through your index finger. Furthermore, make sure that the line goes on tight, so you don't get tangled when casting.

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My name is Jeff and I have been hunting and fishing for over 40 years. I am an avid archery lover, bass fisherman, and all-around outdoorsman. Currently, I'm obsessed with elk hunting but I'm sure I'll move onto a different favorite soon. You gotta love hunting for that reason :) If you have any questions, or just want chat about your latest hunting score or big catch, you can reach me at Read more about Big Game Logic.