what is line counter reel and how it works

What is line counter reel and how it works?

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Hello, fellow angler! If you’re here, it means you’re not just any ordinary fisherman. You’re an enthusiast, an expert, someone who understands that the difference between a good day of fishing and a great one often comes down to the gear you use. And when it comes to precision and control, there’s one piece of equipment that stands out from the rest – the line counter reel.

Line counter reels are the unsung heroes of the fishing world. They might not get as much attention as the latest lures or high-tech sonar systems, but ask any seasoned angler, and they’ll tell you that a good line counter reel is worth its weight in gold. Why, you ask? Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to explore in this comprehensive guide.

In the following sections, we’ll dive deep into the world of line counter reels. We’ll explore what they are, how they work, and most importantly, how they can give you an edge over your fellow anglers. We’ll also share some expert tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your line counter reel. So, whether you’re trolling for walleye, jigging for crappie, or bottom bouncing for catfish, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to do it like a pro.

So, buckle up and get ready for a deep dive into the fascinating world of line counter reels. By the end of this guide, you’ll not only understand why these reels are a must-have for any serious angler, but you’ll also know how to use them to their full potential. Let’s get started!


What is a Line Counter Reel?

A line counter reel is a specialized type of fishing reel equipped with a built-in line counter mechanism. This unique feature measures the amount of fishing line that has been cast out, providing you with an accurate reading of the depth at which your bait or lure is positioned. This precision tool is particularly beneficial when you’re trolling or targeting fish species that inhabit specific depths.

How Does a Line Counter Reel Work?

The operation of a line counter reel is quite straightforward. As you cast your line and it unspools from the reel, the line passes over a sensor or a wheel connected to a counter mechanism. This mechanism counts the number of rotations made by the spool, and this count is then converted into a distance measurement, typically displayed in feet or meters on the reel’s counter display.


Types Of Line Counter Reels And Differences:

There are two main types of line counter reels: mechanical and digital. Mechanical line counter reels use a series of gears and springs to count the rotations of the spool, while digital line counter reels use an electronic sensor. Regardless of the type, the counter is usually resettable, allowing you to zero it out after each cast.


Both mechanical and digital line counter reels provide a level of accuracy that can enhance your fishing experience. However, digital line counter reels are often considered more accurate than their mechanical counterparts. This is because digital counters can provide a precise digital readout, whereas mechanical counters rely on a dial that may be harder to read precisely.


When it comes to durability, mechanical line counter reels often have the upper hand. They are typically built to withstand harsh fishing conditions and are less likely to be affected by water and weather elements. Digital line counter reels, while also durable, contain electronic components that may be more susceptible to damage from water and extreme temperatures.


Exploring the Versatile Uses of Line Counter Reels:


Trolling is a fishing technique where you drag your bait or lure behind a moving boat. The speed of the boat and the amount of line you let out determine the depth at which your bait swims. A line counter reel is an invaluable tool for trolling because it allows you to accurately control the depth of your bait, ensuring it stays in the strike zone. This is particularly useful when targeting species like walleye or salmon that inhabit specific depths.

Bottom Bouncing

Bottom bouncing is a technique used to target fish species that feed close to the bottom. It involves bouncing a weighted lure or bait off the bottom of the water body as you retrieve your line. A line counter reel can enhance your bottom bouncing technique by allowing you to keep your bait at the optimal depth, just above the bottom, where fish are likely to be feeding.


Jigging involves moving your bait vertically in the water by lifting and lowering your rod. This technique is often used to target species like crappie and perch. A line counter reel can improve your jigging technique by allowing you to return your bait to the exact depth at which you had a bite or caught a fish.

Deep Sea Fishing

When fishing in deep sea conditions, it’s crucial to know how deep your bait is. Certain species of fish inhabit specific depths, and a line counter reel can help you target these depths accurately. This is particularly useful when targeting species like tuna or marlin.

Ice Fishing

Ice fishing requires precision and control, as fish are often found at specific depths under the ice. A line counter reel can enhance your ice fishing experience by allowing you to accurately target these depths, increasing your chances of a successful catch.


Benefits of Line Counter Reels:

Precision and Consistency

The primary advantage of using a line counter reel is the level of precision and consistency it offers. By providing an accurate measure of the amount of line you’ve cast, you can target specific depths with pinpoint accuracy. If you catch a fish at a certain depth, you can easily replicate the conditions of the catch by casting out the same amount of line, increasing your chances of repeated success.

Control and Versatility

With a line counter reel, you gain greater control over your fishing technique. Whether you’re trolling, bottom bouncing, or drift fishing, a line counter reel allows you to present your bait or lure at the optimal depth. This versatility makes line counter reels a valuable tool for a variety of fishing scenarios.


Line counter reels can significantly increase your efficiency on the water. Instead of guessing or estimating the amount of line you’ve cast, you can know with certainty. This allows you to spend less time adjusting your line and more time focusing on the actual fishing.


Faq Of line counter reel:


How do line counter reels work?

Line counter reels work by measuring the amount of fishing line that has been let out from the reel. This is done through a mechanical or digital counter that is built into the reel. When you cast your line and start reeling it in, the counter measures the distance that the line travels.

Are line counter reels accurate?

Line counter reels are generally accurate, but their precision can vary based on several factors. These include the thickness of the fishing line, the speed at which the line is reeled in, and the specific design of the reel. It’s also important to note that over time, the accuracy of a line counter reel may decrease due to wear and tear.

How do you measure a line on a reel?

To measure a line on a reel, you can use the built-in line counter if your reel has one. If not, you can measure it manually by counting the number of times you turn the handle to reel in the line. One full turn of the handle usually corresponds to a specific length of line, which can be found in the reel’s specifications.

Do you need a line counter reel for trolling?

While not absolutely necessary, a line counter reel can be very useful for trolling. It allows you to accurately measure how much line you have let out, which can help you control the depth of your lure and increase your chances of catching fish.

How do I calibrate my line counter reels?

Calibration of line counter reels can be done by comparing the reel’s count to a known distance. For example, you can mark a length of line at a certain distance (say, 100 feet), let it out, and see what the reel’s counter reads. If the counter doesn’t match the known distance, you can adjust it according to the reel’s instructions.

What are inline reels used for?

Inline reels, also known as straight-line reels or inline ice fishing reels, are typically used for ice fishing. They are designed to reduce line twist and provide a direct connection to the lure, allowing for increased sensitivity to bites.



In the world of fishing, a line counter reel is a game-changer. It offers a level of precision, control, and efficiency that traditional reels simply can’t match. Whether you’re an experienced angler or just starting out, understanding how a line counter reel works and the benefits it provides can greatly enhance your fishing experience. So, the next time you head out on the water, consider adding a line counter reel to your arsenal. You might just find it to be your new favorite piece of gear.

You may also like our another reels article-

Best Line Counter Reels

Best Flipping Reels

Types Of Fishing Reels

Best Anti Backlash Baitcast Reel

Best Spinning Reel With Bait Clicker

Leave a Comment

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

Scroll to Top