Can I Use a Spinning Reel with a Downrigger? ( A Quick Answer)

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If you’re an avid angler, you’ve probably considered using a downrigger at some point. Downriggers are a great way to fish deeper waters and target specific fish.

 But can you use a spinning reel with a downrigger? The answer is yes! You can absolutely use a spinning reel with a downrigger. In fact, many anglers prefer spinning reels for downrigger fishing because they’re easier to use and less likely to get tangled.

How fast can you troll with a downrigger?

The speed at which you can troll with a downrigger varies depending on the type of fish you’re targeting. For example, if you’re targeting walleye, you’ll want to troll at a slower speed so you don’t scare them off.

On the other hand, if you’re targeting salmon, you can troll a bit faster since they’re used to chasing bait. Generally speaking, you can troll anywhere from 1-2 mph with a downrigger.

What are the benefits of using a downrigger? 

There are plenty of benefits to using a downrigger, but the biggest one is that it allows you to fish deeper waters. This is especially beneficial if you’re fishing in a lake or reservoir that’s been stocked with fish. Another benefit of using a downrigger is that it helps you target specific fish.

For example, if you’re trying to catch trout, you can set your downrigger to fish at the depth that trout are known to swim. This increases your chances of landing a trout since you’re fishing in their strike zone. Overall, using a downrigger can help you catch more and bigger fish. So if you’re serious about fishing, it’s definitely worth considering.

What are the drawbacks of using a downrigger? 

The biggest drawback of using a downrigger is the cost. They can be fairly expensive, especially if you’re looking for a high-quality model. Another drawback is that they can be a bit tricky to use, especially if you’re new to downrigger fishing. It can take some time to get the hang of setting the depth and controlling the speed. Lastly, downriggers can be cumbersome and difficult to transport. They’re not exactly the most portable fishing gear.

Despite the drawbacks, downriggers are still a popular choice among serious anglers. If you’re willing to invest the time and money, they can be a great addition to your fishing arsenal.

What is the best spinning reel for a downrigger Rod?

The best spinning reel for downrigger depends on a number of factors, including the type of downrigger rod you are using and your personal preferences. However, some of the best spinning reels for downrigger rods include the Daiwa Exceler, the Shimano Stella, and the Penn International.

How to set up spinning reel for downrigger 

If you’re new to downrigger fishing, the process of setting up your spinning reel can seem a bit daunting. But don’t worry, it’s actually quite simple. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide: 

  • Start by attaching your downrigger to the boat. Most downriggers come with a base that can be mounted to the boat. 
  • Once the downrigger is mounted, thread your line through the downrigger clip. 
  • Next, tie your lure or bait to the end of the line. 
  • Finally, crank the handle on the downrigger to lower your line into the water. And that’s it! You’re now ready to start downrigger fishing.

Here are a few tips for using a spinning reel with a downrigger: –

  • Use a high-quality reel that can handle the weight of the downrigger. 
  • Make sure your line is strong enough to handle the weight of the downrigger. 
  • Use a leader that’s long enough to reach the bottom of the water column. –
  • Be careful not to overload your reel with too much line. 

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to use a spinning reel with a downrigger like a pro!


There is no definitive answer to this question – it depends on the model of spinning reel and downrigger, and on the angler’s personal preferences. Some anglers swear by using a spinning reel with a downrigger, while others find it to be more trouble than it’s worth. Ultimately, it is up to the individual angler to decide whether or not to use a spinning reel with a downrigger.

Related Resources

  • Can you use a spinning reel for trolling?
  • Can you jig with a spinning rod?
  • Can you use a downrigger rod for casting?

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