What Kokanee Trolling Reels To Choose


Kokanee is also known as red fish. They eat Zooplankton which causes the redness of their flesh. Zooplankton are very small light sensitive aquatic animals and will only move up in the water column during low light periods. As the day gets brighter, zooplankton will go deeper and the Kokanee will follow.

Kokanee can live between 4 to 7 years and like salmon they die off after the spawn. Kokanee go into streams and lake shores to spawn from August to December. During the spawn, the fish will transform in appearance from nickel silver color to green and red which is similar to Sockeye Salmon. Kokanee salmon males and females look different. The male has long jaws, large teeth and hooked snout.

Fishing For Kokanee

Fishing for kokanee is a challenge. Tolling is an effective way to present lures to the fish and encourage the bite. A medium action rod with a good quality reel is needed. Make sure the reel has a line counter, deep spool and drag system to keep the fish hooked through the initial bite and then the fight.

Water Temperature and Preferred Depths

The water temperature is very important for Kokanee. They prefer to stay in the mid depths of the open water which has a temperature below 54˚F within the water column and not over 55 degrees for it will be harmful for them and can even be lethal. That is why most of the anglers find the right water temperature to catch kokanee.

When the autumn approaches, the mature kokanee are ready to spawn. They will move into shallower waters.  It is best not to target kokanee during this time because these fish have a high mortality rate when caught.

Trolling for Kokanee

The effective way to target this kokanee is by trolling. Trolling allows you to cover a large amount of water. Your electronics and devices will also help you discover a group of kokanee with correct trolling depths and water temperatures

It is important for anglers to know the trolling speeds when fishing for Kokanee. The most effective speed is from 1mph to 1.5mph. The slower you are trolling the best results. Kokanee are also food for bigger fish like Rainbow Trout, Burbot Due and Lake Trout.

Kokanee are curious about their environment. They are aggressive and attracted to certain vibrations and colors. The Kokanee are attracted to objects that do not exist naturally as long as they are not threatened by it.

Kokanee have three primary characteristics. The first two are the inner lines and a lateral line on each side of the fish. The last one is a long air bladder, which is longer than any other fish in freshwater. The three characteristics are used to detect sounds. They can locate prey and distinguish where the sound is coming from. The air bladder is used for long distance sounds while the inner ear and lateral lines are used for short distance sounds.

When trolling for Kokanee always be prepared. Don’t ever forget your safety needs and equipment when fishing.

Trolling Reels

Kokanee salmon are a challenging fish to catch and gather the right equipment will make this easier. You can start with smaller reels and lines as they don’t grow to huge sizes, but if you are looking to cross over to sea and freshwater trolling we have included some reels that can be used for both.

  1. Daiwa Sealine Sg-3B Line Counter Reel


The Daiwa Lexa Line Counter Reels has comfortable handling and carries a high line capacity and overbuilt drag system.  This trolling reel is all about handling a heavy fish. It balances nicely on any trolling rod. It is made of sturdy aluminum frame and gear side plate for extra strength. Great for Freshwater targeting trout and salmon as well as kokanee.


  • Low-profile construction but sleek and tight
  • Comfortable handling and high line capacity
  • Freshwater and Saltwater tough
  • Lightweight
  • Mechanical line counter reads in feet
  • Excellent and smooth 7-bearing system
  • Dual Anti-Reverse
  • Maximum drag up to 22 lbs.
  • Ultimate Tournament Carbon Drag

2. Okuma Cold Water Low Profile Line Counter


This trolling reel is good for salmon and walleye fishes. This Okuma Cold Water trolling reel brings together the three core features. First it has a compact ergonomic body while housing a 350 size spool. Second, it has a powerful drag system that has a maximum drag output of 25 pounds. Lastly, the third one is the precision line-counter for trolling presentations. The Cold Water 350 Low Profile Line Counter can do the casting, trolling, jiggling, and back-bouncing and float fishing.


  •  Stiff die cast aluminum frame and handle side plate
  • Multi-disc and carbonite drag system
  • Quick set anti-reverse roller bearing
  • Mechanical line counter function measures in feet
  • Oversized machine cut CL drive and pinion gears
  • Stainless steel ball bearings
  • 5.4:1 gear ratio
  • Automatic trip, spool engaging mechanism
  • Clear View Technology
  • 1 year limited warranty

3. Abu Garcia Black Max BMAX3L Reel


This Abu Garcia Black Max BMAX3L trolling reel has a class-leading performance for it has a compact and lightweight design. It incorporates to new styling, value and reliability that most of the anglers waited so much time to see this series of Black Max. It has a tough performance and the compact bent handle provides more ergonomic feel during the activity.


  •  4 stainless steel ball bearings
  • 1 roller bearing provides smooth operation
  • Drag system is smooth
  • The machined aluminum spool provides strength without adding some weight
  • The brake system has a consistent brake pressure throughout the cast
  • One piece graphite frame
  • Graphite side plates
  • Tough Performance

4.Shimano Calcutta B Series Reel


The redesigned Shimano Calcutta D Series trolling reel is here now! It has a classic round reel with a low profile reel but is the fastest for today’s fishing styles. Its strong ultra-light forged aluminum frames and side plates ensure smooth power and solid rigidity. This reel is one of the Kokanee trolling reel killers because it works perfect without down riggers.

It has the Shimano price attached to it though!


  • Cold- forged Aluminum frame, sideplates and spool
  • Anti- Rust bearings
  • Variable brake system
  • Super Stopper
  • 3 Bolt quick take down
  • Septon handle grips
  • Can be used in saltwater
  • Metal Series
  • Easy access sideplate
  • Dartainium Drag
  • Use with Mono, Fluorocarbon and PowerPro lines

Don’t forget once you have caught them they are excellent table fish. The red meat is perfect looking and tasting! Enjoy your season!

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