The Best Line Counter Reels: 2022 Buying Guide

Kenneth ReavesEdited by: Kenneth Reaves
Michael DarmontReviewed by: Michael Darmont

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best Overall: KastKing ReKon (click to see)
“The Kastking ReKon features enhanced strength and longevity, precise line counting mechanisms, and can be used in both fresh and saltwater. An absolute favorite of anglers who regularly fish.”

Best Budget Reel: Okuma Magda Pro (click to see)
“With a multi-disc, Carbonite drag system, a corrosion-resistant graphite body, and a superior hook set, the Okuma Magda Pro might be for fishers looking for a quality line counter reel that is built to last at an affordable rate.

Most Powerful Reel: Sougayilang (click to see)
“Featuring a class-leading 30-pound drag system, a simple to use free-spool lever, and an easily adjustable star drag knob, the Sougayilang Reel is tough enough to tackle any fight.

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A line counter reel allows you to accurately gauge the depth of your presentation, ensuring that your bait is running in the strike zone.

Premium line counter reels are constructed from high-grade materials, utilize quality ball bearing systems, and can accurately count lines down to the most specific values. They also feature durable drag systems, which are up to handling the most immense of fights.

Choosing the best line counter reels can be tricky, so we tested and reviewed them for you. You can skip the worrying and pick one from our list that best suits your needs.

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6 Best Line Counter Reels Quick View

Top 6 Line Counter Reels

Best Overall

KastKing ReKon Line Counter Trolling Fishing Reel,Round Baitcasting Reels,Size 10,Left Handed

KastKing ReKon

30-pound drag system for superior strength

Double shielded ball bearings for both fresh and saltwater use

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Best Budget Reel

Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind Trolling Reel, Small, Black/Silver, MA-20DX

Okuma Magda Pro

Multi-disc Carbonite drag system for increased fighting power

Corrosion-resistant graphite body and frame for enhanced durability

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Most Powerful reel

Sougayilang Line Counter Trolling Reel Conventional Level Wind Fishing Reel-Thunder LS II 3000R-Right Handed

Sougayilang Reel

Class-leading 30-pound drag system for unparalleled strength

Easy to use free-spool lever for simple line dispersal

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Best High-End

PENN Fishing SQL50LW Squall Level Wind , Black, 320Yd/50Lb

Penn Squall

Versa Handle for a high degree of personal adjustability

LevelWind line guide for even line distribution

Easiest To Use

Okuma MA-30DLXT New Magda Linecounter Reel, Left Hand

Okuma New Magda

Self-lubricating gear system for enhanced durability

LevelWind guide for even and thorough line dispersal

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Smoothest Operation

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

Okuma Cold Water

Mechanical Stabilizing System for enhanced gear mesh

Carbonite drag system for next-level fighting prowess

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Best Line Counter Reels 2022

  1. Best Overall Line Counter: KastKing ReKon
  2. Best Budget Line Counter: Okuma Magda Pro
  3. Most Powerful Line Counter: Sougayilang Reel
  4. Best High End Line Counter: Penn Squall
  5. Easiest To Use Line Counter: Okuma New Magda
  6. Smoothest Operation: Okuma Cold Water

KastKing ReKon

Best Overall Line Counter Reel: More than capable, even under the most demanding of circumstances

KastKing ReKon Line Counter Trolling Fishing Reel,Round Baitcasting Reels,Size 10,Left Handed
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KEY FEATURES

  • 30-pound drag system for superior strength
  • Double shielded ball bearings for both fresh and saltwater use
  • Specialty spool design for superior line capacity

The KastKing ReKon should prove to be the best line counter reel for any angler who regularly fishes at every available opportunity and requires the use of a fishing reel that is durable beyond comparison. It is constructed from premium machined components and features a 30-pound carbon disc drag system for enhanced strength and longevity. The KastKing ReKon also features one of the most precise line counting mechanisms of any reel on the market today.

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The KastKing ReKon is also notable for its ability to be used universally, both in fresh and saltwater. This line counter reel features three stainless steel ball bearings, which are highly resistant to the corrosive nature of saltwater, and use only the most rugged of machined brass internal components. As a result, this best line counter should be up to withstand even the most relentless abuse at the hands of the elements and monstrous fish.

Many anglers will also likely find favor in the KastKing ReKon’s significant line capacity. This best line counter reel utilizes a specialty spool capable of holding over 320 yards of a 25-pound monofilament fishing line. It is compatible with lead core and braided line, further adding to its versatility. This enhanced capacity provides plenty of line for trolling in deep water and fighting hard-running fish.

Okuma Magda Pro

Best Budget Line Counter Reel: A quality reel that fits any budget

Okuma Magda Pro Line Counter Levelwind Trolling Reel, Small, Black/Silver, MA-20DX
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KEY FEATURES

  • Multi-disc Carbonite drag system for increased fighting power
  • Corrosion-resistant graphite body and frame for enhanced durability
  • 16-point anti-reverse system for superior hook sets

If you are in search of a quality line counter reel that is built to last, yet can be purchased at a reasonable price range, then the

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Most anglers will also find favor in the Okuma Magda Pro’s 16-point anti-reverse system, which prevents the unintentional backspooling of line. This has the potential to drastically improve an angler’s strike-to-catch ratio as more reliable hook sets are made possible. As an angler attempts to set the hook, the Okuma Magda Pro’s anti-reverse system allows nearly 100-percent of force to be transferred through their line.

This best line counter also features a heavy-duty Carbonite drag system, which is capable of operating efficiently under even the most significant of loads. This drag system utilizes multiple clutch discs for even line metering and a pronounced strength. This should be a highly appreciated feature by anglers who routinely seek out trophy-sized fish, such as large walleye or musky.

Sougayilang Line Counter Reel

Most Powerful Line Counter Reel: Tough enough to tackle any fight

Sougayilang Line Counter Trolling Reel Conventional Level Wind Fishing Reel-Thunder LS II 3000R-Right Handed
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KEY FEATURES

  • Class-leading 30-pound drag system for unparalleled strength
  • Easy to use free-spool lever for simple line dispersal
  • Pronounced drag adjustment knob for easy on the fly adjustment

If you regularly seek out the most sizable of fish on any given body of water and need the best line counter reel that is up to the task of sustaining endless fight after endless fight, then the Sougayilang should be worthy of your attention. This best line counter features a class-leading 40-pound drag system, operating smoothly, even when under an immense load. The Sougayilang Line Counter also features an anti-reverse roller bearing to prevent the backspooling of the line and promote more efficient hook sets.

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The Sougayilang Trolling Reel features a simple to use free spool lever, which makes it easier than ever to feed out the appropriate length of the line. If a fish is caught at a line length of 100-foot, cast out your line, flip the reel’s free spool lever, and watch the integrated line counter until your line has reached the desired length. This feature eliminates the need to manually pull a line from a reel to place your bait in the strike zone.

Many anglers should also favor the Sougayilang Line Counter’s easily adjustable star drag knob. This knob is fashioned in a star shape and is pronounced enough that an angler can quickly make any necessary adjustments without being forced to divert their attention from the fight at hand.

Penn Squall LevelWind

Best High-End Line Counter Reel: A premium reel for the serious angler

PENN Fishing SQL50LW Squall Level Wind , Black, 320Yd/50Lb
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KEY FEATURES

  • Versa Handle for a high degree of personal adjustability
  • LevelWind line guide for even line distribution
  • HT-100 drag system for ultra-smooth drag operation

The Penn Squall LevelWind should be the perfect line counter reel for any serious angler who is looking to upgrade to the use of a top-tier reel with a host of premium features. It is constructed from lightweight graphite for angler comfort yet uses only the most durable machined internal components, which are constructed of only the best marine-grade bronze alloy. It utilizes an adjustable Versa Handle, allowing anglers to set handle length as desired.

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As its name would suggest, the Penn Squall LevelWind line counter reel also features the company’s specialized LevelWind line guide. This guide moves back and forth as an angler reels, evenly distributing line on the reel’s spool. As a result, line build-up is minimized, and the chance of backlash and line twists is greatly reduced. This feature should be appreciated by any angler who spends a significant amount of time on the water and needs a line counter reel that features a significant degree of reliability.

Many anglers are also likely to find favor in the Penn Squall LevelWind’s HT-100 drag system, which is precisely engineered to provide ultra-smooth operation, no matter the circumstance. This system employs three carbon drag washers, which accurately meter line without slippage under heavy operational loads.

Okuma New Magda Reel

Easiest To Use Line Counter Reel: The perfect option for those who are new to line counter reel use

Okuma MA-30DLXT New Magda Linecounter Reel, Left Hand
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KEY FEATURES

  • Self-lubricating gear system for enhanced durability
  • LevelWind guide for even and thorough line dispersal
  • Robust drag system for enhanced power

If you are new to line counter reel use and are currently in the market for a new reel of high quality and simple to use, then the Okuma New Magda is likely your best option. It is reasonably priced yet rich in features, allowing anglers to delve headlong into the world of line counter use with ease. The Okuma New Magda features a self-lubricating gear system, a robust carbonite drag, and an Automatic trip spool engaging mechanism, which does simple work out of accurately dispersing the line to the desired depth.

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The Okuma New Magda Line Counter Reel also features a LevelWind line guide, which is a unique feature to see included on a reel that is priced so conservatively. The guide reciprocates as the New Magda’s handle is turned, leading to even line dispersal across the reel’s spool. This prevents binding, backlash, and line twists, which provides smoother line dispersal when attempting to reach the desired depth.

Most should also be fond of the Okuma New Magda’s durable machine-cut brass gearing, which provides an effortless degree of gear mesh. This gear system is also self-lubricating, which should enhance the New Magda’s overall longevity. This feature is likely to be appreciated by those who frequently fish, which can put tremendous wear and tear on most reels.

Okuma Cold Water Line Counter Reel

Smoothest Operation Line Counter Reel: Advanced in design for ultra-smooth operation

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

  • Mechanical Stabilizing System for enhanced gear mesh
  • Carbonite drag system for next-level fighting prowess
  • Titanium coated level wind for even line dispersal

The Okuma Cold Water should be the perfect choice for anglers who catch a lot of fish and find themselves retrieving their line on a regular basis. It features precision-machined intervals supported by Okuma’s Mechanical Stabilizing System for tighter than average tolerances. After factoring in its premium ball bearing assembly, the Cold Water should prove one of the smoothest operating line counter reels on the market.

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Many anglers should also find value in the Okuma Cold Water's heavy-duty Carbonite drag system. This system employs multiple drag discs to accurately meter line feed under a wide range of operating conditions and loads. This feature is likely to be appreciated by any angler who seeks out trophy-sized fish that often fight relentlessly and place a significant amount of tension on a reel’s line and spool.

This best line counter also features a specialized spool, which is designed for use with braided or wireline. This line is guided onto the Okuma Cold Water Line Counter’s spool with titanium-coated level wind, engineered for superior toughness and durability. As the line is pulled through the guide of this level wind, it is dispersed evenly onto the reel’s spool, effectively minimizing backlash and line twist.

What to Look for When Buying the Best Line Counter Reels

Manual and Electric Line Counters

A line counter provides an angler with information vital to success, especially when trolling for deepwater species.

Trolling success is often a product of consistency. Many fish species suspend or school at particular depths for periods, with little change in pattern. When this occurs, an angler must locate the depth at which these fish are holding and ensure that their bait or lure is consistently reaching this depth. This is vital, as a deviation of depth as little as 1-2 feet can often be the difference between whether or not fish are caught.

A line counter makes it simple to present your bait or lure at the same depth time and time again. These counters are built into a line counter reel’s housing and report the amount of line that has been extended in feet. After a fish has been caught, an angler can once again extend the same amount of line, which ensures that their bait reaches an identical depth, as long as trolling speeds remain constant.

Construction Material

Line counter reels can be constructed from a wide range of materials, each with its unique characteristics. 

In line counter reels, few construction materials are as popular as graphite. Graphite is known for its lightweight characteristics, making it the perfect choice when keeping angler comfort in mind. The less a reel weighs, the more comfortable it is to use, as hand, arm, and back fatigue is minimized. This keeps you on the water for a more extended period, catching fish as intended.

Graphite is also known for its durability, especially with corrosion resistance. Graphite, by nature, is highly corrosion-resistant. This is of significant value as corrosion of any type can be detrimental to a reel’s ability to operate as intended. Graphite is also stronger than several alternative materials and is more than capable of taking a beating, with little ill effect.

Line Capacity

The greater a line counter reel’s line capacity is, the more efficiently it can be used when trolling for suspended fish.

Line counter reels are used primarily for trolling, which is the practice of pulling a baited line behind a boat at a predetermined depth and distance. The idea of this practice is to cover as much water as possible in search of awaiting fish. To troll successfully, you must have a good line at your disposal to reach your desired depth. A reel that is restrictive in this nature can effectively limit your success to a great degree.

The greater a reel’s capacity, the easier it is to reach a certain depth with your presentation. A reel with a high line capacity gives an angler the freedom to fish as they need to to find the most significant possible degree of success.

Drag

The quality of a reel’s drag system directly dictates the efficiency with which a fish can be fought to the boat.

A reel’s drag is responsible for metering line tension when a fish is on the other end of the line. If this tension grows excessive, line breakage can result, leading to the loss of a fish. However, a properly adjusted drag will allow a slight amount of line to be pulled from a reel before reaching a line’s breakage threshold, thereby allowing an angler to continue their fight.

Most premium drag systems utilize a set of carbon discs to impart the proper degree of friction for accurate line metering. These discs are part of a greater clutch-based system that controls the pressure imparted upon them. When a drag is adjusted, more or less pressure is applied to this series of discs, which manipulates the amount of tension that can be imparted before slippage occurs.

Clickers

Being alert to strikes when they occur is key to making the most out of each opportunity when presented.

To capitalize upon each bite, detecting a strike as quickly as possible is essential. Doing so allows you to quickly and efficiently set the hook, often resulting in a catch. On the other hand, any level of delay can result in a missed fish and wasted opportunity. Line clickers serve as one of the best possible ways of keeping track of bites, especially when fishing multiple poles at one time.

As its name would suggest, clickers alert an angler to strikes by making a “clicking” noise. As the line is pulled from a reel, this audible alert sounds, allowing an angler to react quickly before a fish releases its grasp on the bait. 

Level Wind

A level wind plays a vital role in ensuring that the best line counter reel operates in the most reliable fashion possible.

When fishing, few circumstances aggravate as being forced to contend with tangled or twisted lines. When this occurs, a significant amount of precious time is spent unknotting or cutting free the mess of line that comes as a result. A reel’s level wind minimizes the occurrence of such issues by evenly spreading lines across the face of a reel’s spool.

As a reel’s handle is turned, the level wind reciprocates back and forth across the reel’s face. The line is fed through a guide on the level wind’s extension as this occurs. This back and forth motion allows the line to be applied to a reel’s spool in the evenest manner possible, ensuring no excessive line build-up on any specific area of the reel’s spool.

Questions & Answers

What is a line counter reel?

A line counter reel records and reports the amount of line that has been extended. This value is most often described in feet and can be vital to anglers when trolling in an attempt to catch schooling or suspended fish.

The measurements provided by a line counter reel allow an angler to replicate such a distance time and time again to make sure that any bait or lure used is presented at an optimal depth for success.

Why should I use a line counter reel?

A line counter reel serves as a vital tool in any depth-sensitive situation. Many fish suspend or school at a defined depth during different times of the year. When this occurs, an angler must present their lure or bait at this specified depth or risk coming up empty-handed. 

Line counter reels record the distance of the line extended to replicate this distance repetitively. This allows anglers to quickly and efficiently return their lines to a given depth at which they have received bites.

How do line counter reels work?

Line counter reels use a set ratio to convert a single spool revolution into a distance measurement. This measurement is most often recorded as feet and is displayed on the reel’s digital or analog display.

Each revolution of the line counter reel corresponds to a set distance. With each subsequent revolution of the reel, the recorded distance is increased. The opposite is true when retrieving your line. A set length of the line is subtracted from the displayed total with each crank of the reel’s handle.

How do I calibrate line counter reels?

Calibrating a line counter reel is best done using two stakes. You should place the first stake in the ground and measure off a distance of 100 feet. Upon reaching 100 feet, you should put the second stake in the ground. You will then tie your line off to the first stake and walk toward the second stake at a distance of 100 feet.

Your line counter reel should now read exactly 100 feet on its display. Therefore, if a greater distance is displayed, you should remove the excess line. On the contrary, if less distance is displayed, you should add the line to your reel.

How accurate are line counter reels?

The exact accuracy of the best line counter reel varies from model to model. However, most will be relatively accurate from the factory to within 1-2 feet. However, one must remember that each reel is calibrated at the factory with a specific line diameter, meaning that you might not measure your line of choice as accurately.

This is why it is essential for anglers to calibrate all line counter reels, as doing so will present the highest level of accuracy for each angler’s setup. While calibrating a line counter reel is not difficult, doing so can require a little bit of trial and error.