17 Best Electric Fishing Reels in 2020

Electric fishing reels are commonly used when fishing deeper than 300 feet deep. The most common recreational fishing done with electric reels is for swordfish, tuna, tilefish, barrelfish, queen snapper, halibut, rockfish, and black cod. When daytime swordfishing, it is common to fish at a depth between 1500 and 2000 feet. After hand cranking heavyweights from over 400 feet several times you will realize that it is time to invest in an electric fishing reel.

best-electric-fishing-reel

Fishing with an electric reel is a productive way to consistently catch fish. For this reason, it is a backup plan for many charter fishing operation in case the offshore or reef bite is not going well. Daytime swordfishing has become the most consistent way to catch swordfish, although it still involves a long boat ride and patience.

Using an electric reel is actually quite easy but does require a supply of power. The line is set to depth the same way it would be without and electric reel. The ascent speed needs to be controlled based on the size of the fish being targeted. When the fishing gear is at a specified distance from the tip of the rod most reels will automatically shut off. At this point, the fish or gear is reeled up using the manual crank handle.

Here Are the Best Electric Fishing Reels


1. Daiwa Tanacom 1000 Electric Fishing Reel

daiwa-tanacom-1000-electric-fishing-reel-for-deep-dropping

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Price Around: $550

Models and Specifications
1000:
Drag 48 lbs, weighs 53 oz, retrieves 16.5 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 500/40, braid 880/80.

The Daiwa Tanacom 1000 is probably the most commonly used electric reel. This is because it holds enough line to fish deep and is a reasonable price. The LCD display is in English and can display feet or meters. A Tanacom 1000 English owner manual is available online. It has a levelwind on the reel automatically places the line even on the spool. The reel has a retrieve rate of 426 feet per second and can have a momentary winding power up to 154-pounds.

It comes with a power cord with clips that can connect directly to the battery. The clips can be cut off and wired to any type of plug and socket used on the boat. Marinco makes the most common marine sockets. Extra power cords can be bought with lengths from 5-16 feet.

Key features of the reel include a jigging feature for any depth of water, a large line guide opening, a line counter, and a sealed drag system. The autostop feature has a default setting that will stop the reel at 5 meters. Custom settings allow the rig to be stopped at any pre-set distance from the tip of the rod. Once the reel stops the line can be brought up using the throttle lever or manually turning the reel handle.

The reel has a smooth spool but there is a nub that sticks out of the spool to attach the start of the fishing line. This allows a braided line to be used without slipping on the spool. The video below shows the basic operation of the reel.


2. Daiwa Tanacom 750 Electric Fishing Reel

daiwa-tanacom-750-electric-fishing-reel

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Price Around: $500

Models and Specifications
750:
Drag 48 lbs, weighs 44.4 oz, retrieves 16.5 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 450/30, braid 550/65.

Note: The drag value is the max drag for the reel.

The Daiwa Tanacom 750 is a medium-sized electric reel. The LCD display is in English. An owner’s manual is provided online and a paper manual may or may not come with the reel. Key features of the reel include automatic stop, preset jigging features, sealed electronics, and a sealed drag system. The reel can wind with power up to a maximum of 140 pounds for brief moments.

The reel can be powered off the boats 12-volt battery or a small rechargeable battery. The battery connects directly to the reel and is not place inside the reel. It hangs off the bottom of the reel. This should stay out of the way but a Daiwa BM air cord can be used to then secure the battery to the rod. Most people connect the reel to the boat battery or a large deep cycle marine battery.

Using a braided line this reel can easily fish at in over 1000 feet of water with a 65-pound line. It works well for many types of fish including tilefish, grouper, rockfish, and halibut. This reel is also great for deep dropping and flying kits when fishing for sailfish. The videos below show how to spool up a Daiwa electric fishing reel.


3. Daiwa Tanacom 500 Electric Fishing Reel

daiwa-tanacom-500-compact-small-electric-fishing-reel

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Price Around: $500

Models and Specifications
500:
Drag 33 lbs, weighs 28.2 oz, retrieves 22.3 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 100/14, braid 440/50.

The Daiwa Tanacom 500 is a small electric reel that can be used for stand up fishing. This reel can fish up to about 800 feet of water with a 50-pound fishing line. Key features include an English display, English programing, aluminum frame, power cord, and variable speed control.  Here is the English owner’s manual.

Anglers are often looking for small electric fishing reels. For people with arthritis or struggle reeling for extended durations but love fishing, this is a great option. When fishing in deep water reeling up heavy-weights to change baits can be exhausting and take the fun out of fishing. This reel is considered light tackle for electric reels and it works well for tilefish, grouper, black cod, and halibut. The 750 is more powerful and will likely last longer but this is a good reel for people that want or need light fishing gear.


4. Shimano Tiagra 20 Hooker Electric Kite Reel

Shimano-Tiagra-20-hooker-electric-reel

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Price Around: $1729

Models and Specifications
16:
Drag 36 lbs, weighs 50 oz, retrieves 18-41 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 690/20, braid 525/80.

This Hooker Electric Shimano Tiagra 20 can be used as an electric kite reel or an electric fishing reel. The motor is powerful and can retrieve at speeds of 1000 feet per minute and pull with 40 pounds for force. This retrieval speed is twice as fast as larger reels and is designed with the intention of bringing kites back to the boat quickly. Its drag should be set properly or the motor could pull hard enough to break the fishing line or kite. The reel itself weighs 50 ounces and the motor attachment is additional weight.

This reel can easily fish up to 1000 feet using an 80-pound line. When fishing for large fish that might pull considerable drag using a larger reel would be a good idea. The reel is small enough for stand up fishing when using a belt or harness. It works well to catch tilefish, grouper, rockfish, and halibut when deep dropping. When surface trolling it works well to catch sailfish, wahoo, tuna, and mahi-mahi.

The hooker motor is a 1 horsepower 12 volt DC motor. It is made with and an aluminum frame and has a 10-foot marine-grade power cord. The Shimano Tiagra is a top-quality conventional fishing reel that has been integrated with the hooker motor. Both the reel and motor come with this setup. The reel functions as a standard two-speed reel with and manual crank handle and electrical power can be applied as desired.


5. Shimano Tiagra 30 Hooker Electric Fishing Reel

Shimano-Tiagra-30-hooker-electric-reel

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Price Around: $2074

Models and Specifications
30:
Drag 48 lbs, weighs 52.5 oz, retrieves 18-41 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 700/30, braid 770/80.

The Shimano Tiagra 30 Hooker Electric reel workes for deep drop fishing and kite fishing. This setup takes a Tiagra 30 reel and adds a non-detachable Hooker Electric motor. The manual crank handle still works as normal. Electrical power can turn the spool at variable speeds by turning the black knob on the side of the reel.

The motor can retrieve 1,000 feet of line per minute at 40 pounds of drag. It is a 12 volt 1 horsepower motor that is built into the aluminum frame. The motor itself weight 52.5 ounces and the motor attachment is additional weight.

Shimano Tigra reels are top-quality reels. These are made with an aluminum body, cold-forged aluminum frame, 4 A-RB corrosion-resistant stainless steel bearings, and a twin pawl anti-reverse system. This reel can be used to catch fish over 1500 feet deep with an 80-pound braided line.


6. Shimano Tiagra 50 Hooker Electric Reel

Shimano-Tiagra-50-hooker-electric-reel

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Price Around: $2948

Models and Specifications
50:
Drag 44 lbs, weighs 86.3 oz, retrieves 15-37 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 550/80, braid 1575/80.

The Shimano Tiagra 50 Hooker Electric is a reel indeed for trolling or deep drop fishing. This setup uses the Tiagra 50 reel and adds a non-detachable Hooker Electric motor. The reel speed can be adjusted with the knob on the side of the reel or with a two-speed RF remote control with options for half and full speed. It has a wireless range of up to 100 feet. The reel itself weighs 83.4 ounces which is around 5 pounds. It has a total system weight of around 11 pounds. A retrieval rate of 500 feet per minute can be achieved with 50 pounds of drag using the 2 horsepower motor. It can catch fish at depths greater than 3,000 feet when using an 80-pound braided line.

The two-speed conventional reel can function as a non-powered reel but the motor can not be detached. The size 50 and 80 do have options that allow the motor to be quickly detached if desired. Key reel features include A-RB stainless steel ball bearings, ratcheting lever drag, and a drag curve intended for strong fishing lines being used.


7. Shimano Tiagra 80 Hooker Electric Reel with Autostop

Shimano-Tiagra-hooker-electric-reel-with-display-and-autostop

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Price Around: $4898

Models and Specifications
80:
Drag 44 lbs, weighs 115.2 oz, retrieves 19-37 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 950/80, braid 2445/100.

The Shimano Tiagra 80 Hooker Electric reel with autostop version is the latest and greatest electric fishing reel. Autostop versions for the Tiagra 50 and 130 are available as well. Hooker Electric also makes the autostop version for the Penn International 50, 80, and 130. This Tiagra 80 is the most popular size of Hooker Electric reels sold. The reel alone weighs 115.2 ounces and the motor attachment is additional weight.

There are three standout features of the autostop version. First is the display that allows the reel to automatically stop at a set distance from the rod tip. Second is the levelwind feature. It is very rare to have a levelwind feature on a reel this large because under high force they can bend. This levelwind is heavy duty and can handle the high loads of big game fishing. Finally, the reel can be connected to Bluetooth to control to RPM speed from an iPhone or iPad.

This reel is commonly used for daytime swordfishing. It can also be used to deep drop for tilefish, grouper, snapper, etc. It is a bit large for this purpose but if you have the reel for swordfish you mind as well use it for other purposes as well. For marlin and tuna fishing, this is also a great reel whether it is pulling a large dredge or sending out live baits.

Shimano Tiagra 80 Hooker Electric Reel

Shimano-Tiagra-80-hooker-electric-reel-with-detachable-motor

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Price Around: $3999

This Shimano Tiagra 80 with a detachable motor has the same specifications as the autostop version. The difference is the reel does not have the autostop features or level-wind. However, the reel does have a quick disconnect detachable drive. Key features of the reel include an all-aluminum body, A-RB bearings, and a high line capacity spool. It is powered with a 2 hp 12/24 volt DC motor, The retrieve speed is up to 500 feet per minute. This reel can fish at depths over 5,000 feet when using a 100-pound braided fishing line.

The video below shows the quick detachment method. First, place the manual reel into high gear. Then use the quick attachment pins to secure the drive unit to the reel. Turning the variable speed knob applies power to the reel. The wireless remote can also turn the reel on. Pulling the two quick-release pins allows the drive unit to be taken off. Placing the manual reel in low low gear allows the reel to be turned manually. Taking off the power unit can be useful as the fish gets closer to the boat which is when it is common to have to change positions within the boat.


8. Elec-Tra-Mate Series Electric Reels

elec-tra-mate-series-electric-reels

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Price Around: $740

Models and Specifications
115L2:
Drag 24 lbs, weighs 57 oz, retrieves 28 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 625/60, braid 1700/80.

116L: Drag 30 lbs, weighs 89 oz, retrieves 29 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 1100/80, braid 4100/80.

117L: Drag 24 lbs, weighs 136 oz, retrieves 29 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 1600/80, braid 7000/80.

The Elec-Tra-Mate 940 XP can be used with the Penn Senator 115L2, 116L, and 117L. This listing is for the drive unit only and the reel has to be purchased separately. The motor is powered with 12 volts DC and has a 10-foot power cord included. These Penn Senator reels hold lots of fishing line and are capable of fishing at great depths! Power is turned on and off using a 3-way toggle switch.

The video below shows anglers fishing for swordfish with a similar Elec-Tra-Mate 920 reel. For Big Game fishing, there are now better options on the market. This is intended to show the basic reel operation.


9. Daiwa 3000 Power-Assist Deep Drop Reel

daiwa-marine-power-assist-deep-drop-electric-fishing-reel

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Price Around: $3265

Models and Specifications
16:
Drag 88 lbs, weighs 196 oz, retrieves 24.8 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 800/60, braid 1500/100.

The Daiwa 3000 electric is a big reel that is capable of catching the largest fish. It is made with an aluminum body, aluminum spool, stainless steel gears, 14 ball bearings, and stainless steel line guides. There is a more powerful 24-volt version of this reel.

Features of the reel include a levelwind, digital readout of depth, customizable autostop depth, a manual crank option, and a power cord. The reel has sealed electronics and can be washed. In the video below the Daiwa 3000 is used to cath queen snapper while deep dropping.


10. Banax Kaigen 1000 Electric Fishing Reel

banax-kaigen-electric-fishing-reel

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Price Around: $650

Models and Specifications
1000:
Drag 40 lbs, weighs 57.5 oz, retrieves 525 ft/min.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 40/490, braid 875/80.

This Banaz Kaigen 1000 is an electric reel similar to the Daiwa Tanacom 1000. The Banax company has been making reels in South Korea since 1973 and in China since 1997. It can retrieve 525 feet of line per minute with a max winding force of 77 pounds. The reel display and instructions are in English.

Features of the reel include a digital display, large throttle knob for speed control, and a manual power hand. The reel is made with a diecast aluminum frame, double anodized aluminum spool, 6 carbon drag washers, and a soft EVA handle knob. The electronics allow for the reel to automatically stop and jig within specific depths. There is also a level wind to automatically keep the line even on the spool.


11. Banax Kaigen 150 Small Electric Fishing Reel

banax-kaigen-150-small-electric-fishing-reel

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Price Around: $400

Models and Specifications
150:
Drag 26 lbs, weighs 15.5 oz, retrieves 492 ft/min.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 150/15, braid 150/50.

The Banax Kaigen 150 is a small lightweight electric reel. It comes with a power cord that connects to a 12-volt battery with alligator clips. The reel has a levelwind to automatically keep the line even on the spool. There is an autostop feature that can be set to different depths. The manual handle does not turn when electric power is being applied. However, it can be turned manually.

This a nice small reel that can easily be fished standing up.  It is commonly used for jigging and bottom fishing. When you want to check the bait you can do so quickly and with little work. After hooking a fish you can reel it in by hand or have the reel do most of the work. These are great reels for people with limited strength that love to fish.

Note: This reel may come with a non-English manual and a non-English display. The numbers are normal and the basic functions of the reel can likely be figured out.


12. Shimano Force Master 400 Electric Fishing Reel

shimano-force-master-400-electric-fishing-reel

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Price Around: $547

Models and Specifications
400:
Drag 11 lbs, weighs 13.5 oz, retrieves 21 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 150/15, braid 150/50.

The Shimano ForceMaster 400 is a small electric reel than can be used for stand up fishing. It can retrieve 600 feet per minute with a maximum force of 103 pounds.

Key features include the Muteki motor, e-Exciting drag noise, single thumb operation, a super free spool, and S-ARB corrosion resistant ball bearings. The reel has two retrieve modes. First, the Raku mode keeps a constant load on the reel. Second is the speed mode which keeps a constant retrieval speed regardless of the load.  It can fish around 200 feet of water with a 50-pound test line. This is a nice small reel that would work well to catch snapper, grouper, fluke, rockfish, and halibut.

Note: This reel is a Japanese import and comes with a non-English manual and a non-English display. The numbers are normal and the basic function of the reel can likely be figured out. The video below provides more information about the Force Master 400.


13. Shimano Force Master 9000 Electric Fishing Reel

shimano-force-master-9000-electric-fishing-reel

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Price Around: $760

Models and Specifications
9000:
Drag 55 lbs, weighs 54 oz, retrieves 35 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 1030/30, braid 1030/80.

The Shimano Forcemaster 9000 is a medium-size electric fishing reel. It holds over 300 feet of 80-pound line and can fish at great depths. Features include 5+1 S A-RB corrosion-resistant ball bearings, cross carbon drag, find dot LCD display, and a Hagane all-metal body.

The heat-free system II helps keep the reel cool to maintain the reel performance all day.  This makes a good reel for trolling, deep dropping, or flying kites. It has a large throttle lever for easy speed adjustments. This reel has similar specifications to the Daiwa Tanacom 1000, and Banax Kaigen 1000 which have English displays. For this reason, I would recommend these reels over the Shimano Forcemaster 9000. If you can read Japanese or they make an English display in the future this would be a great reel.

Note: This reel is a Japan import and comes with a non-English manual and a non-English display. The numbers are normal and the basic function of the reel can likely be figured out.


14. Shimano Plemio 3000 Big Game Electric Reel

shimano-plemio-3000-big-game-electric-fishing-reel

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Price Around: $305

Models and Specifications
3000:
Drag 22 lbs, weighs 22.4 oz, retrieves 25 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 328/30, braid 328/80.

The Shimano Plemio 3000 is a small electric fishing reel. It can retrieve line at 575 feet per minute. Weighing only 22.4 ounces this reel can be used for stand up jigging and bottom fishing.

It uses the Raku line retrieve mode which keeps the line at a constant tension. There are also a super slow retrieve mode and an automatic retrieve mode. It has a levelwind to keep place the line evenly on the spool without having to manually work it back and forth.

Note: This reel has an English display but does not come with an English owner’s manual. Since there is only a one-button interface most anglers should be able to figure out how it works without a manual.


15. Daiwa 500 MJ Seaborg Electric Reel

daiwa-seaborg-500mj

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Price Around: $1110

Models and Specifications
500:
Drag 51 lbs, weighs 34.6 oz, retrieves 22.2 in/turn.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 330/20, braid 330/65.

The Daiwa 500 Seaborg is a small electric fishing reel. It has a Magmax motor that has a magnet that quickly applies torque and power to the reel spool. The Automatic Drag System ADS is a star drag that consists of five carbon fiber washers. This reel can be operated with one hand using the Jog power lever. The reel can be washed. There are also larger versions of this reel called the Seaborg 800 and Seaborg 1200.

Features include 21+1 MAG sealed ball bearings, a brake dial to adjust the decent rate of fishing rigs, an aluminum body, an aluminum spool, autostop mode, jigging functions, and auto speed winding. A power cord is included. The display can switch between Japanise and English.  An English owner’s manual can be found here.


16. Daiwa 500 Leobritz Reel

daiwa-500-leobritz-reel

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Price Around: $422

Models and Specifications
500:
Drag 33 lbs, weighs 28 oz, retrieves 459 ft/min.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 400/30, braid 546/65.

The Daiwa Leobritz S500J is a small electric reel. It can retrieve line at a rate of 459 feet per minute with a max winding force of 143 pounds. The display is in English an the owner’s manual can be found here.

Functions of the reel include auto-stop,  custom pickup speeds, inverse line counter, humming timer, custom jigging ranges, constant speed line retrieval, Fukase mode, and the Fakase Hit alarm which sounds an alarm if there is a bite. There are various beeps and alarms that can be turned on or off depending on preference. It has 7+1 ball bearings and the ADS carbon fiber drag system. This reel is similar to the Daiwa Tanacom 500 but holds more fishing line.


17. Daiwa 500 Lille Leo Britz or Blitz

daiwa-lille-leo-blitz-s500

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Price Around: $370

Models and Specifications
500:
Drag 15 lbs, weighs 28 oz, retrieves 558 ft/min.
Line-capacity yd/lb: Mono 300/20, braid 328/60.

The Daiwa Lille Leo Britz S500 is a small electric fishing reel. It can retrieve line at 558 feet per minute with a maximum hoisting force of 33 pounds. The small size of this reel makes it popular with people with impairments that might make using a manual reel difficult. Features of the reel include an aluminum spool, power assist, depth memory, automatic stop, and line counter. A power cord with alligator clips come included with the reel.

Note: I could not find an English Manual for this reel. The display is in English and if you no how to operate the reel this is a decent option. Personally I would go with the Daiwa Tanacom 500 with similar specifications and an English user manual.


Electric Reel Fishing Equipment

Daiwa Tanacom Dendoh Deep Drop Rod

daiwa-Tanacom-Dendoh-deep-drop-rod-for-electric-reel

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Price Around: $200

Models and Specifications

5 Feet 6 Inch: Power heavy. Action fast.
Line Weight: 60-150 pounds.

6 Feet 6 Inch: Power Med heavy. Action fast.
Line Weight: 40-1000 pounds.

6 Feet 6 Inch: Power heavy. Action fast.
Line Weight: 60-150 pounds.

The Daiwa Tanacom Dendoh comes in three size configurations. This is a great rod for the Daiwa Tanacom 500-1000 series reels. It is also a good rod for many of the other reels on this list. A heavy-duty bent butt fishing rod is what is almost always used for larger electric fishing reels.

The rod is constructed with unidirectional fiberglass with inner and outer layers of fiberglass which makes a strong blank. It also features a comfortable Powerlift foregrip and anodized aluminum back section. The Alps Aluminum reel seat securely connects the reel to the rod. It has an Alps swivel top tip guide that has dual-axis rotation to help the line stay in the center of the stainless steel roller. The other Seaguides are made of aluminum oxide.

Power Pro Braided Fishing Line

power-pro-depth-hunter-braided-fishing-line-metered

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The type of line used on an electric reel can be monofilament or a braided fishing line. What type of line and pound test depends on the type of fishing. I would say most people use an 80-100 pound braided line of electric reels. This allows for all types of fishing and really deep fishing.

Personally, I think Power Pro Depth-Hunter metered line is the best line for deep dropping but most braided lines will get the job done. Other quality brands include Sufix, Spiderwire, and J-braid. Color options for the Power Pro line include green, high visibility yellow, vermillion red, white, and multicolor. White braid is probably the least visible color for fish to see underwater, while yellow is probably the easiest braid color for people to see above the water. The color of the line is not a huge deal as fluorocarbon leaders are typically used near the lures. Pick your favorite color and it will work to catch fish.

Related Article: 17 Best Braided Fishing Lines

Deep Drop Lead Weight

deep-drop-weights

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Most anglers deep drop with a stick of lead weight or ball of lead weight that weighs between 1 pound and 8 pounds depending on the depth of water and strength of the current. For Swordfishing where it is common to fish 1800 feet down weights between 8 and 12 pounds are typically used. These weights can get lost which can be expensive with lead costing over $4 per pound.

Some anglers make concrete weights when swordfishing to save money but these have a larger diameter and higher drag in the water. Another alternative that I think will actually be better but have not tried yet is to use steel downrigger balls. These have a low drag profile and are made of steel for a reduced cost.

The size of weight really depends on the type of bottom fishing. Fishing the reef in 100 feet of water typically only one or two ounces of weight is needed. When halibut fishing in 350 feet of water a 1-2 pound weight works well. Three pounds is sometimes used in a really strong current but this is significantly harder to reel up to check baits when using non-electric reels. When deep dropping for tilefish and snowy grouper in 400-800 feet of water in Florida a 4-6 pound stick weight is typically used.

Deep Drop Fishing Rigs

deep-drop-fishing-rigs

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Deep drop rigs are similar to chicken rigs and allow multiple baits to be set on a single line. The end game tackle deep drop rigs have five circle hooks with glow sleeves. These rigs have a 400 pound mainline and 200-pound monofilament connecting to the hooks. Crimps are used to connect the 225 pound rated swivels.

The 10/0-11/0 hooks are relatively small and can be used to can catch snapper, small tilefish, rockfish, and cod. Increasing in size the 11/0-13/0 can be used to catch large tilefish, rosefish, and barrelfish. Finally, the size 14/0-15/0 is used for wreckfish and snowy grouper. The most common bait to use deep dropping is squid. Most types of fish like bonito, ballyhoo, mullet, or barracuda will work. When bottom fishing a good fish finder can be very helpful. It can mark fish, bottom structure, and even determine the bottom’s density. Some fish like the flat soft bottoms and others like hard rocky bottoms.


Electric Fishing Reel Companies

Daiwa Electric Reels

Daiwa has the largest number of electric reel versions. These reels range in size from small stand up reels like the Tanacom 500 to the large Marine Power 3000. The most recent versions of Daiwa electric reels include the Tanacom 500, Tanacom 750, Tanacom 1000, Seaborg 500, Seaborg 800, Seaborg 1200, Marine Power 12V, and Marine Power 24V. Older versions of Daiwa electric reels include the Leobritz 200, Leobritz 500 Tanacom Bull 750, and Tanacom Bull 1000. These are popular reels for recreational and charter fishermen.

Many Daiwa reels are Japanese imports. Older reels tend to actually have Japanese displays. These reels gained popularity and English displays are now made for most versions of Daiwa reels. English owner’s manuals can be found online for most of the reels.

Shimano Electric Reels

Shimano has several stand-alone electric reel versions. These are the Forcemaster 400, Forcemaster 6000, Forcemaster 9000, BeastMaster A 9000, Beastmaster 9000, and the Shimano Plemio 3000.

The Beastmaster reels have Japanese displays and manuals so they are not very useful to most people in the USA. Even the Forcemaster reels come with Japanese displays but some people still buy them because of their size and performance. If you are just using the basic retrieve function the reels are pretty simple to operate. The Shimano Plemio 3000 does have an English display but does not have an English owner’s manual that I know about.

The best electric reels on the market are the Shimano Tiagra 50, 80, and 130 class reels with a hooker electric motor and autostop. These reels use the conventional Shimano Tiagra but are then retrofit with a 1 horsepower or 2 horsepower electric motor. There is even an option for dual 2 horsepower motors on the 130 class reels. The high-end autostop version has an electronic display, autostop features, and a levelwind to automatically keep the line even on the spool during the retrieve.

Lindgren-Pitman Electric Reels

Lindgren-Pitman has three electric reel versions. These are the Lindgren-Pitman LPS 1200, Pitman LPSV 1200, and the Pitman LPS 2400. The 1200 version is 12 volts and the 2400 version is 24 volts. These reels are commonly used for commercial fishing and can hold 2500 yards of 80-pound braided line.

These reels have about 60 pounds of max drag and can pull about 110 pounds. In the past, these have also been popular for daytime swordfishing but the Hooker Electric 80 class reels seem to be more popular now with charter fishing operations. Likey became the hooker electric reels have a manual crank handle. These Lindgren-Pitman electric reels are top quality but are also quite expensive between $5,000 and 6,500 dollars.

Elec-Tra-Mate Electric Reels

Elec-Tra-Mate makes a variety of electric fishing reels. They have stand-alone commercial-style reels called the Brute 2000 and the Tuna Brute III. These are boom and pully style reels similar to a downrigger.

The 1380-GH electric reel has and large 12-volt or 24-volt motor that can be mounted on a Shimano Tiagra 8oWA, Shimano Tiagra 130, Penn International 80, or Penn International 130.

Elec-Tra-Mate also makes motor mounts like the 940 XP that can hold Penn Senator fishing reels. The 452-PTH is an electric reel that works with the Penn Spinfisher V 4500 spinning reel. This is designed to help people with physical challenges to be able to fish. It has two versions one that can be activated with a push-button and the other is activated with a toggle switch.

Another interesting Electric reel is the 570T and 830-T Turn-A-Mate Drive. This has reel crankies that fit onto most large Shimano Tiagra and Penn Internationa reels. The motorized reel is a large electric motor placed under a large handle. This is placed on the handle of a conventional fishing reel. The reel crankie fits over the handle knob and turns the entire handle. Most anglers do not use this when fighting fish but it is a great way to retrieve gear when checking baits. This is commonly used for deep dropping and swordfishing. There are also reel adapters sold to work with a cordless drill.

Hooker Electric Reels

Hooker Electric reels are becoming the most popular top quality reel on the market. The Shimano Tiagra 20 and 30 are designed for kite fishing and can retrieve 1000 feet of line per minute with a 1 horsepower motor. Versions of the Shimano Tiagra 50 and 80 are made with quick detachable motors. This is nice because the motor can be taken off to quickly move the reel around the boat.

The Hooker Electric autostop reels have a digital display to allow the reel to stop at a specified depth. This makes it so the angler can focus on other tasks while the reel is bringing up the gear from deep depths. These reels also have a levelwind so the line is evenly placed on the spool without having to guide it back and forth with your hand. The autostop version is available on the Shimano Tiagra 50, Shimano Tiagra 80, Shimano Tiagra 130, Penn International 30, Penn International 50, Penn International80, and Penn International 130.

The Bandit Reel is a commercial fishing reel made by Hooker Electric. It has a 4 horsepower brushless electric motor with variable speed control. This reel can fish depths over 15,000 feet even when using a monofilament fishing line.

Kristal Fishing Electric Reels

Kristal Fishing reels are large electric reels that are most commonly used as deep drop reels. Reel models include the XL 621, XL 651, and XL 655. These also come in versions with a manual override. This allows the reel to be retrieved with a manual crank handle. Prices for the reel range for around $1,550 to $3,360. These reels are most similar to the Lindgren-Pitman reels but the manual handle option is a nice additional feature if using the reel in a sportfishing setting.

Fish Winch Electric Reels

Fish Winch is a company that makes mounts with motors than can fit a large number of conventional reels and even spinning reels. The Fish Winch 2.0 has 12 different bracket mounts that fit over 225 different models of Penn, Shimano, Daiwa, and Avet reels. It is powered with a 12-volt motor and retrieves line between 314 and 532 feet per minute depending on which reel it is used with. The Fish Winch 2.0 is priced at a reasonable 350 dollars. When installing the motor onto the reel the handle is removed. This is the major drawback of this style of electric reel. Many sportfishing angles want to be able to turn the handle when actually fighting the fish.

The Fish Winch commercial has a larger more powerful motor than the 2.0 version. It has reel drives and mounting brackets that can fit 99 different models of reels from 50 class reels all the way to 130 class reels.

Electric spinning reel options include the Fish Winch 2500 and Fish Winch 4000. The 2500 version fits on the Shimano Syncopate SC2500FG. There are 80 and 90 models that have retrieve speeds of 3.3 and 4.1 feet per second. The 4000 version fits on the Shimano Syncopate SC4000FG. There are 80 and 95 models that have retrieve speeds of 3.7 and 4.5 feet per second.

Deep Drop Commercial Electric Reels

ProFisher is a large commercial style electric fishing reel. Deep Drop commercial also makes the fishing reel pro which is a pully style electric reel similar to the Hooker Electric bandit. The company also makes arm and pully mount reels to pull traps. The Belitronic BJ5000 Jigging Machine is a commercial electric reel that gets mounted on an arm and pully stand. These have been used for many years in the commercial fishing industry to catch large bottom fish.


Frequently asked Questions

Can you use a monofilament line on an electric reel? 

Monofilament line can be used if there is a dacron or brand as a backing line. This is because the reel can get hot and melt a monofilament line. Most people spool electric reels with 100 percent braided line. This allows for a high capacity of the highest strength line to be added for fishing really deep. If the low visibility and stretch characteristics of a monofilament line are desired, a monofilament line can be placed over the dacron backing line.

Another reason adding dacron or braided line as a backing material is that it lasts longer. The backing can be left for several seasons while the monofilament line is typically changed every year.

What is the best electric fishing reel? 

The best electric reel depends on what type of fish is being targeted and the depth that fish are being targeted. For large deep drop fishing reels, the Hooker Electric with autostop are considered the best reels by many anglers. These use Penn International or Shimano Tiagra reels that are in the 50, 180, or 130 class. The motors are 1 horsepower, 2 horsepower, or 4 horsepower. These reels still have the functionality of non-electric reels with a manual crank handle. However, the handle only turns the reel in low gear. These reels can be used to catch tuna, marlin, wahoo, and most commonly swordfish.

For recreational fishermen that tend to have a smaller operating budget, the Daiwa Tanacom 1000 is a good reel. It is capable of deep dropping over 1500 feet using an 80-pound braided line. If a small reel for stand up fishing is desired the Banax Kaigen 150 and Daiwa’s Tanacom 500 are quality lightweight electric reels.

Are their electric spinning reels? 

Yes, there are in fact electric spinning reels. These reels include the Elec-Tra-Mate 940 XP, Fish Winch 2500, and Fish Winch 4000. The 940 XP is integrated with the Penn Spinfisher V 4500. A Shimano Syncopate SC2500FG and SC4000FG are used with the Fish Winch models.

These are modified spinning reels and the handle on the reel is removed and replaced with the electric motor. This means that you can not use both electric power and a manual turn handle. These reels are not intended to be used by the average angler. However, if it is difficult to use a manual spinning reel an electric spinning reel is a great way to fish.

How do you use an electric fishing reel?

Most electric fishing reels are conventional reels that are not used for casting. To send down a fishing rig it is done the same way as a manual reel. The bail is set to free spool or a low drag setting and the fishing rig is brought to the intended depth. When a fish bites or the line needs to be brought up a button on the reel is pushed or a lever is flipped. This applied power to the spool and the line should start to ascend. The drag on the reel is set and the spool can still turn in reverse based on the force exerted on the line. Some reels have a levelwind and place the line evenly on the spool automatically. Other reels require the angler to guide the line back and forth.

A properly programmed electric reel that has a levelwind will bring a fish from the bottom all the way to a pre-programmed stop depth with the autostop function. When fishing for large fish many anglers like to manually reel in the fish and only use the electric reel to bring up heavyweights when checking baits. Most electric reels have variable speeds that can be adjusted with a knob or lever. More advanced features on an electric reel will actually jig baits between certain depths.

Electric reels need a power source. Most reels are wired to the boat’s primary battery supply. There are smaller rechargeable batteries that can connect directly to some reels. Using an electric reel is actually quite easy once it is setup. Properly wiring the boat and spooling the reel requires some upfront work. However, having an electric really is really nice to have when fishing in deep water.

Do commercial fishermen use electric fishing reels?

Yes, some commercial fisherman uses electric reels. Mostly for bottom fishing though. It is more common for commercial fishermen to set long lines and skates that are brought up using hydraulic reels. Examples of electric fishing reels that are used for commercial fishing are Lindgren-Pitman, Elec-Tra-Mate Tuna Brute III, Hooker Electric Bandit, and Drop Drop Commercial’s Belitronic BJ5000 Jigging Machine.

Are their rechargeable batteries for electric fishing reels?  

There are small Lithium-Ion batteries for some electric fishing reels like the Daiwa Tanacom 750. The battery can be threaded directly into the power cord outlet. Most people that use an electric reel have larger deep-cycle marine batteries. These can be the ones for the boat engine or a separate battery. Since most electric reels can also be used with a manual crank handle when the fish comes near the boat the reel can be turned off and unplugged to allow more freedom to move about the boat.

How expensive are electric fishing reels?

Electric fishing reels range in price from around $300 to around $8,750. This is because there are many different size electric reels with different features based on the angler’s need and budget. The most expensive reel is the Lindgren-Pitman SV-2400 which is mostly used for commercial fishing.

For recreation fishermen, the most expensive reels are bought by anglers who fish for swordfish, large tuna, or marlin. A popular high-quality reel is the Hooker Electric with Penn or Shimano 30-130 class reels that range in price from about $3,600 – $6,000. The Daiwa Tanancom reels are good reels for anglers that want to spend around $600 for the reel. There are additional expenses when buying an electric reel such as a large rod, and lots of fishing line.

Which companies make electric fishing reels? 

The companies that make electric fishing reels include Daiwa, Shimano, Hooker Electric, Elec-Tra-Mate, Lindgren-Pitman, Kristal Fishing, Fish Winch, Deep Drop Commercial, Miya Epoch, and Dolphin Electreel Whisenhunt. Reels from Avet and Penn are often integrated with motors and mounts to work as electric reels. Electric reels come in all sizes from small spinning reels all the way up to 130 class conventional reels.

What is the best electric halibut reel?

The best electric reel for halibut is the Tanacom 1000. This reel is large enough to easily bring up three pounds weights. When a fish actually bites the halibut can be reeled in manually or under electric power. If the goal is lightweight stand up fishing the Tanacom 500 and 750 would also be good options.

Banax Kaigen and Shimano also make similar-sized reels that are good for halibut fishing. Personally though when halibut fishing in under 400 feet of water I like to use manual reels. Especially when running charters. It makes the angler have to work for the catch. There are times where an angler has mobility issues and having an electric reel on the bout would be helpful.

What is the best electric reel for kite fishing?

The best electric reels for kite fishing are the Shimano Tiagra 20 and Daiwa Tanacom 1000. This Hooker Electric reel has a retrieval speed of 1000 feet per minute and can pull with 40 pounds of force. It is a great reel for kite fishing. The only issue is the reel does not have an autostop. Most of the time the anger is watching the reel but it is nice to have the autostop as fishing frequently has distractions that require attention in more than one place. The Tanacom 1000 has a line retrieve rate of 426 feet per second.

What is the smallest Electric Fishing Reel?

The smallest electric fishing reel is the Fish Winch 2500 which weights 6.2 ounces including the lithium battery. This is a small spinning reel. The smallest and lightest conventional electric reel is the Shimano ForceMaster 400 which weighs 13.5 ounces. A close third is the Banax Kaigen 150 that weighs 15.5 ounces. The most popular small reel is the Tanacom 500 which weighs 28.2 but is capable of fishing for large fish in deeper water.


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