Power Assist Reels

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Power Assist Fishing Reels
Catching heavyweights with electric reels

SOE Some types of saltwater fishing can put quite a strain on your back, shoulders, arms, and indeed, your entire body. A power assist fishing reel can alleviate much of the pain and fatigue associated with deep drop fishing, dredge trolling, or kite fishing.

These reels are battery-powered, running off your boat's power system or a dedicated 12V battery, and their job is simply to do the heavy lifting for you—at least, the reeling part. While you still have to hold and work the rod once it comes out of the rod holder, an electric reel eliminates the lengthy cranking-under-pressure that’s needed to bring in long lines and heavy fish.

Deep drop fishing

Deep drop fishing with electric reels is extremely popular for anglers targeting grouper, tilefish, snapper, sea bass, swordfish, and many other species that live and feed hundreds or thousands of feet below the surface. That’s a lot of cranking!

To reach those depths, your line will need to be heavily weighted. In fact, your drop rig could include a sinker weighing 1, 5, 10, or more pounds, depending on how deep you’re fishing, the amount of current present, and wind drift. Now add a heavy fish, and you’ve got your work cut out for you!

Kite fishing

Electric reels are especially useful for offshore kite fishing, a common way to fish for sailfish and other shallow-feeding fish such as mahi mahi and tuna. Running multiple lines in rough seas, with a constant need to adjust to wind, current, and bait position, requires trollers to retrieve and reset their lines quickly. An electric reel can retrieve hundreds of feet of line much faster than you can!

Bass Pro Shops is a great place to look for an electric or power assist reel. You’ll find several styles of Shimano ForceMaster and BeastMaster electric reels, as well as Daiwa Tanacom, Seaborg, and Dendoh reels. Sizes vary, depending on the applications; the larger, more powerful reels are designed for trolling dredges for swordfish in extremely deep water. Variations include Hooker Electric Motors built onto Shimano’s popular Tiagra conventional reels, which allow you to engage and disengage the power-assist function as desired during the fight.