What is a Trolling Fishing rod?

If fishing is your thing, you’ve undoubtedly heard of a “trolling fishing rod.” However, what is it specifically, and how is it different from other fishing rods? We’ll delve deeply into the world of trolling fishing rods in this extensive guide, covering their characteristics, composition, benefits, and more.


A trolling rod, which is used for a specific type of fishing called trolling, typically consists of two primary elements:

Rod: The first element is the fishing rod itself. Trolling rods are designed to be sturdy and durable since trolling often involves targeting larger fish species.

These rods are typically longer and heavier than standard fishing rods to handle the stress of trolling, which consists of dragging lures or bait behind a moving boat. Trolling rods come in various lengths and power ratings to accommodate different fishing conditions and target species.

Reel: The second element is the fishing reel. Trolling reels are specialized for this type of fishing and are usually larger and built to withstand the challenges of trolling, such as the need for a robust drag system to handle the fighting force of larger fish.

Trolling reels are often designed for use with heavier fishing lines and are equipped with features like line counters to help anglers control the depth of their baits.


Anglers who want to use trolling fishing techniques have two different options: traditional and stand-up trolling rods.

Conventional trolling rods have a length of six to ten feet and are made to be comfortable. They are commonly used in larger boats with fighting chairs so that fishermen can sit during the struggle.

They are flexible and absorb impact when a fish attacks. Stand-up trolling rods, on the other hand, are shorter and more rigid; they are usually 5 to 7 feet long.

These rods provide more force and leverage while standing throughout the fight, appealing to individuals looking for a physically demanding encounter.

On smaller boats, where fisherman can better manage their catch and use their entire body, they are preferred. The choice between the two depends on an angler’s preferences, the style of fishing they enjoy, and the vessel they use.

What Can You Catch With Trolling Fishing Rods?

Trolling fishing rods are incredibly useful equipment for fishermen because they allow them to target a variety of fish species in freshwater and saltwater settings.

Anglers can catch a variety of game species with trolling rods, such as walleye, muskie, marlin, tuna, sailfish, and salmon.

By dragging lures or baited lines behind a moving boat, fishermen can cover a lot of water and deliver their offers at various depths using the trolling approach.

Because of this, trolling is a useful method for capturing predatory fish, which are frequently found in wider or deeper seas.

Trolling is a popular approach for both recreational and sportfishing, with the precise species you can catch varying depending on the area and type of lures or baits employed.

Why Trolling Rods Are Better Than Other Rods for Trolling

Trolling rods are specially designed and better suited for the trolling fishing technique compared to other types of rods for several reasons:

  • Strength and Durability: Trolling rods are built to handle the stresses of trolling, which involves dragging lures or bait behind a moving boat. They are sturdier and more robust, making them better equipped to withstand the strain of larger and more powerful fish.
  • Length and Action: Trolling rods are typically longer and have the right action to create a natural swimming motion for lures and maintain tension on the line. This is crucial for enticing fish to strike and ensuring a successful hookup.
  • Line Guides and Reel Seats: Trolling rods are equipped with specialized line guides and reel seats designed to handle the heavier lines and larger reels commonly used in trolling. This ensures smoother casting and reeling.
  • Line Counter: Many trolling rods have line counters built into the rotation, which allows anglers to precisely control the depth at which their lures or baits are presented, a crucial factor in trolling success.
  • Trolling Specific Features: Trolling rods often come with additional features like roller guides that reduce line friction, helping with long runs and large fish, as well as integrated gimbal butts for attaching to a fighting chair or belt.
  • Trolling Efficiency: The design of trolling rods, combined with the trolling technique, allows anglers to cover a wide area of water, making them more efficient at locating and enticing fish to strike.

pros and cons of trolling fishing

Trolling fishing, a method where fishing lines with baited hooks are drawn through the water, is popular among anglers for its efficiency in catching various fish species.

Like any fishing technique, trolling fishing has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, which are outlined below:

Pros of Trolling Fishing

  1. Wide Catch Range: Trolling allows anglers to cover a large area, increasing the chances of catching a diverse range of fish species.
  2. Active Approach: It is an active form of fishing that keeps anglers engaged and attentive, making it an exciting and dynamic fishing method.
  3. Depth Control: Trolling enables fishermen to control the depth of their bait and lures, making it easier to target specific fish species at different depths.
  4. Speed Variation: Adjusting the boat’s speed can help simulate different prey behaviors, making it more likely to attract various fish.
  5. Efficient for Large Water Bodies: Trolling is effective in large bodies of water, such as oceans or expansive lakes, where fish may be scattered across a wide area.

Cons of Trolling Fishing

  1. Equipment Cost: Trolling fishing requires specialized equipment, including rods, reels, and downriggers, which can be expensive for beginners or those on a budget.
  2. Fuel Consumption: Trolling often involves running a boat at low speeds for extended periods, leading to increased fuel consumption and higher operational costs.
  3. Environmental Impact: The continuous movement of the boat can disturb the natural habitat and ecosystems of the water body, potentially disrupting the marine environment.
  4. Skill and Expertise: Trolling fishing demands a certain level of skill and expertise to effectively navigate the water, adjust equipment, and interpret fish behavior, which may be challenging for beginners.
  5. Time-Consuming: Trolling can be time-consuming, requiring patience and persistence to locate and catch fish, especially when targeting specific species.

Anglers need to consider these factors when choosing the appropriate fishing method, as each technique has advantages and limitations depending on the fishing environment and the angler’s skill level.

Can I use more than one trolling fishing rod at a time?

Yes, you can use more than one trolling fishing rod at a time. Using multiple rods can be a very effective way to catch fish, mainly when trolling for gamefish like salmon or tuna. Using multiple rods allows you to cover a wider water area and experiment with different baits and lures to see what the fish are biting on.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when trolling with multiple rods:

  • Make sure you have enough rod holders. You will need a one-rod holder for each rod you want to use.
  • Use rods that are appropriate for the type of fish you are targeting. For example, you would use a heavier rod for salmon than for trout.
  • Use baits and lures appropriate for the time of year and the water conditions. For example, you would use bright colors, flashy lures in clear water, and more muted colors and natural-looking lures in muddy water.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and ensure you will not interfere with other boats or anglers.

Here are some additional tips for trolling with multiple rods:

  • Use a downrigger or planer board to keep your lures at the correct depth.
  • Vary your speed and direction to see what works best.
  • Be patient and don’t give up. Finding the fish may take some time, but it will be worth it when you do.

With some practice, you can master trolling with multiple rods and catch more fish.


To sum up, a trolling fishing rod is a specialized instrument made specifically for the demands of trolling. Need more guidance, read the above guidance on What is Trolling Fishing rod. By using the proper tools and tactics, you can have a fulfilling and thrilling fishing experience.

Frequently asked question

What is the difference between jigging and trolling rods?

Jigging rods are designed for vertical fishing, offering flexibility and sensitivity for up-and-down motions, while trolling rods are for horizontal fishing from a moving boat, built sturdier to resist lateral forces. The difference lies in their purpose and design to suit these distinct fishing techniques.

What kind of rod do you use for trolling?

A trolling rod is what you should use for trolling. These rods are made especially to handle the rigors of trolling, including the lateral stresses produced by a boat in motion and the requirement for big reels and heavy lines.

Regardless of the trolling application—small freshwater fish or larger oceanic fish—trolley rods are available in a range of lengths and power ratings.

Do I need a special rod for trolling?

Yes, it would help if you used a specialized trolling rod for trolling. Trolling rods are designed with the necessary features to handle the unique demands of trolling, including length, strength, and components like line counters.

While other types of fishing rods have their purposes, using a trolling rod will maximize your effectiveness when engaging in trolling fishing.

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