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This week's Feature Blog

Low Profile Trolling Reels

By: Mark Romanack

Low profile trolling reels like these Daiwa Lexa 300 models are ideal for trolling situations that don’t require a huge line capacity.

Low profile trolling reels are making a big splash in on the trolling scene. Lightweight, but powerful, these new trolling reels are worth exploring for anyone who spends a lot of time trolling.

In case you haven’t noticed, there is a new kid in town when it comes to trolling reels. The traditional round frame trolling reel isn’t going away, but anglers can now choose from round frame or low profile reels that are built on baitcasting reel frames.

The low profile trolling reels come in a variety of sizes and also line capacity ratings making them suitable for a wide variety of trolling situations. So the question becomes, what makes the low profile reels better than the traditional round frame trolling reels.


Low profile reel frames are made from carbon fiber and polymers making them far lighter than traditional aluminum round frame reels. The lightweight nature of low profile reels makes them not only useful for planer board, downrigger and diving planer trolling, they are far more enjoyable to use for trolling chores that require the angler to hold onto the rod.

Fishing bottom bouncers for walleye, flat line trolling stickbaits for pike, vertical jigging for deep water trout and back bouncing spawn for steelhead are just a few of the fishing situations that favor the use of low profile reels.


Believe it or not, many of the low profile trolling reels on the market feature better drag systems and more drag pressure than conventional trolling reels. The Daiwa Lexa LC 300 weighs in at just 12 ounces, but offers up a whopping 22 pounds of drag pressure! While this reel may be compact in size, it’s not a lightweight when it comes to wearing down powerful fish.

The Lexa 300 LC by Daiwa is typical of low profile reels in that they are lightweight, but packed with power. Not only does the staff of Fishing 411 TV use these reels for walleye trolling, they get a lot of service trolling for spring coho, spring brown trout and a host of other species.


Traditional round frame trolling reels have massive line capacity. For many trolling situations, all that line is unnecessary and expensive when it comes times to load fresh line.

Low profile trolling reels have more modest line capacity ratings, but you can still put enough line on these reels for the majority of trolling applications. For example, the Daiwa Lexa LC 300 holds 240 yards when spooled up with 12 pound test monofilament. Rarely will a troller need more line capacity than 240 yards.


The advent of the low profile trolling reel has caused a lot of serious trollers to rethink their reel selections. The smaller size and weight of these reels make them a dream to use, but there are limitations.

Low profile reels simply don’t have enough line capacity for certain trolling applications such as using lead core line or weighted stainless steel wire and stranded copper line. For these line types and trolling applications, traditional round frame reels are a better option.


The next time you’re at a favorite tackle shop, take a minute and check out the low profile trolling reels. You might just come to the conclusion that sometimes less can be more.


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