How to Calibrate Line-Counter Fishing Reels

Line counters are inherently inaccurate. Here's how to get your walleye bait in the zone.

How to Calibrate Line-Counter Fishing Reels

The more accurate your line-counting reel is, the more walleye trollers you’ll catch. (Shutterstoick image)

Most anglersthink a line-counter reel is the most accurate way of monitoring trolling lead lengths. Actually, line counters are inherently inaccurate; they’re factory calibrated with only one line diameter and type. Anglers using different line diameters will see false data.

Luckily, any line counter can be calibrated to any line type/diameter. Measure off and mark a known reference distance. Most use 100 feet as it represents the mid-range in common trolling leads. Two small stakes set exactly 100 feet apart works well.

Once a measured distance of 100 feet is marked off, load your line-counter reel with the chosen line type/diameter. Fill the reel to capacity, but do not cut the line from the filler spool.

Related: Deep Thinking for Fall Walleyes


Attach the line to one stake (planer board line releases work nicely) then zero out the line counter and walk until the rod tip is just touching the second stake. If the reel’s digital counter reads less than 100, it has too much line loaded and line must be removed from the reel. If the counter indicates a number greater than 100, then the reel doesn’t have enough line and more line must be added.


This is why the line isn’t cut from the filler spool until calibration is done. Achieve calibration by adding or removing line from the reel until the line counter says 100 feet when exactly 100 feet of line has been let off the reel. This process takes a few minutes per reel and ensures all reels in a trolling setup are speaking the same language.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

BPT Points Champ Edwin Evers Talks New Berkley Baits

BPT Points Champ Edwin Evers Talks New Berkley Baits

After making the switch to Berkley products heading into the inaugural BPT season, Edwin Evers tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead why Berkley baits played such a key role in his recent angling success.

Simms

Simms' Solarflex Ultra Cool Armor Hoody

John Frazier of Simms Fishing Products helps OSG's Lynn Burkhead understand the new features of the new Simms' Solarflex Ultra Cool Armor sun protection hoody.

MLF Pro Tips: Go-To Baits for the Spawn

MLF Pro Tips: Go-To Baits for the Spawn

Major League Fishing pros talk about the first lure they choose when targeting spawning bass.

Berkley

Berkley's New Terminal Tackle

OSG's Lynn Burkhead and Chad LaChance, host of World Fishing Network's Fishful Thinker television show, talk about Berkley's new innovative terminal tackle being introduced at ICAST 2019.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Experts agree record channel cat caught in 1949 was actually a blue catfish. Records

Upon Further Review: 70-Year-Old Catfish Record Voided

G&F Online Staff - May 22, 2019

Experts agree record channel cat caught in 1949 was actually a blue catfish.

While wildly popular amongst anglers around the world, the IGFA World Record book shows the biggest pike come from Europe. Records

Top 10 Biggest Pike World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - August 19, 2015

While wildly popular amongst anglers around the world, the IGFA World Record book shows the...

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies. Panfish

Find and Fish Bluegill Beds Efficiently

Terry Madewell - May 22, 2019

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies.

Here are the 10 most common reel performance problems and how to fix them. Reels

10 Most Common Reel Performance Problems

Anietra Hamper

Here are the 10 most common reel performance problems and how to fix them.

See More Trending Articles

More Fishing How-To

Throw reaction baits, then switch to finesse setups for smallie success. Bass

The 1-2 Punch for Smallmouth Bass

Glenn Walker - June 26, 2019

Throw reaction baits, then switch to finesse setups for smallie success.

Learn to tackle new lakes like MLF pros. Bass

How to Find Bass on Strange Water

Gary Lewis - July 01, 2019

Learn to tackle new lakes like MLF pros.

When walleyes hold deeper than many popular crankbaits can reach, it's time to adapt with snap weights and precise depth control. Walleye

Deep Thinking for Fall Walleyes

Mark Romanack - September 24, 2019

When walleyes hold deeper than many popular crankbaits can reach, it's time to adapt with snap...

Line counters are inherently inaccurate. Here's how to get your walleye bait in the zone. Fishing How-To

How to Calibrate Line-Counter Fishing Reels

Mark Romanack

Line counters are inherently inaccurate. Here's how to get your walleye bait in the zone.

See More Fishing How-To

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.