Electric Fishing Reels(Amps & Volts) | Explained

One of the best ways to find out how much electricity your electric fishing reel uses is by looking at the owner’s manual. Electric fishing reels vary in power consumption from differing manufactures and models. Most of the time, the power consumption is typically on an average of 10-30 amps on full load.

Electric fishing reels use electricity to bring in, hold and release fish when they run. The average hobby fisherman would need only a small amount to successfully land their catch and there is no need for anything but ordinary household current to do this.

The amount of power that it uses will depend on several factors such as, how big or small your fishing line is, what type of line you are using for casting purposes and if you’re using live bait or artificial bait.

Here are some of the common categories;

  1. 1 – 5 Watts: Basic ultra-light to light action, low drag (0 – 10 lb test line) 12V (9A), 120 V (10 A), or 240 V (5 A) are usually are powered by standard household current. These reels are designed to run for an average day or two on a single battery charge.
  2. 5 – 50 Watts: Moderate action, medium drag (10 – 30 lb test line) 12 V (15 A), 120 V (20 A) or 240 V (10 A). Most will have either a selector switch or dial that will let you choose between low power (6V, 3A) and high power (12 V, 5 A).
  3. 50 – 80 Watts: Heavy action, heavy drag (30 – 50 lb test line) 12 V (25 A), 120 V (30Aor 240 V (15 A). Some of these reels have a selector switch or dial that will let you choose between low power (6V, 4 A) and high power (12 V, 8 A).
  4. 80 – 120 Watts: Big game fight 12 V (35 A), 120 V (40Aor 240 V (20 A). Some of these reels have a selector switch or dial that will let you choose between low power (6V, 5 A) and high power (12 V, 10 A).
  5. 120 – 200 Watts: Big time! 12 V (60A), 120 V (70A) or 240 V (35 A). These reels have a selector switch or dial that will let you choose between low power (6V, 10 A) and high power (12 V, 17 A).
  6. 200 – 400 Watts: Heavy load 12 V (100A), 120 V (120Aor 240 V (60 A). These reels have a selector switch or dial that will let you choose between low power (6V, 20 A) and high power (12 V, 35 A).
  7. 400 – 1000 Watts: Solar panels! Usually requires a separate solar panel connected to a deep cycle marine or RV battery. Some have a selector switch or dial that will let you choose between low power (6V, 50 A) and high power (12 V, 125 A).

Do You Need a Battery to Power Your Electric Fishing Reel?

Yes, you sure need a battery to power your electric fishing reel. When using electric fishing, your electricity needs will be quite high, and using batteries is the best method.

The battery will keep the device running for as long as it is plugged in, even if there is no source of electricity nearby. This makes batteries a great option for small fishing reels, which don’t need much electricity to run and can quickly drain other forms of power.

People who might need a battery to power their electric fishing reel are those who fish with smaller-sized reels that do not require much electricity. If you use your fishing reel for several hours without a way to plug it into an outlet, you will most likely need a battery.

If not, you can simply allow the fishing reel’s internal motor to remain unpowered and free-spinning (to avoid rust and corrosion damage), but make sure that you dry your fishing reel completely before storing it away.

How to Choose the Right Battery Size for Your Electric Fishing Reel?

A battery is an essential part of every electric fishing reel. A good battery should not only provide enough power for your reel but also be lightweight and compact. It’s useless to have great-looking reels with stylish components if it still feels like dragging a cinder-block through the water.

The first thing you need to consider when choosing the right battery size is what type of fishing you will be doing and how many hours you will be out on the water. If your average trip lasts 5-6 hours, then a good choice would be an SLA (sealed lead acid) or Lithium Ion Rechargeable electric fishing reel battery.

These types of batteries are designed to not only hold a charge for long periods but also handle the rigors of being used in fresh or saltwater. If your fishing trip is less than 4 hours, then you can usually get by with an SLA battery since it will not need to be recharged during the day.

If you plan on spending 10-12 hours or more out on the water per trip, then you should seriously consider an AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) battery. Although there are many brands to choose from when it comes to AGM batteries; Optima, Odyssey, and XS Power are all great choices.

When choosing your new electric fishing reel battery you should always remember to size your battery for the longest possible time you will be fishing. You also want to choose a deep cycle battery, NOT just a car or starting/marine battery. Don’t make the mistake of buying just any battery, you want to get the right one for your reel.

How Do I Set up An Electric Reel?

The process of setting up an electric reel isn’t too hard, but the process of doing so depends on the type and size of the electric reel.

With a larger electric reel this process can be done in as little as five minutes or less and smaller reels may take around 10-20 minutes to set up depending on their style and build.

First, you’ll need to open and prepare an electric reel and then continue with the process of setting it up.

Electric reels may be battery operated or manually powered, which changes the setup slightly depending on your preference and requirements.

Once you’ve opened the package you should find a couple of things. The electric reel itself, power cords if needed, and remote control.

Plug the power cord into its place on an electric reel and, if necessary, plug the other end into a power source. If your electric reel is battery operated then you’re done! For reels that require manual powering there’s more to do. Rewind any excess wire by turning the spool manually or with the help of the electric reel’s handle.

Make sure the spool is seated in its place on top of the electric reel well enough to not fly off when you turn it on. Then situate your fishing line by attaching a snap-lock swivel or similar connector to one end and placing the other end through the hooks that you’ll use.

Snap-on the connector end of your fishing line to the swivel or similar hook on your electric reel and then attach your desired lures before you start reeling in.

Keep wire, lures, and lines away from the edge of an electric reel’s wire spool so it doesn’t catch when you turn on your electric reel. You may start reeling in your catch fish at this point.

How Many Amps Does a Dual-Motor Fishing Reel Draw?

It draws a maximum of 60amps under full load.

What Gauge Wire Is Needed to Power the Electric Fishing Reel?

The distance from the reel to the plug requires a 10-gauge wire that is twelve feet long. If there is a need for a longer wire, it should be at least an 8-gauge wire with a length of fifteen feet. A 6-gauge wire will require thirty extra feet as well.

What About Volts and Ampere?

An electric reel is plugged into a power source using its specifications, which are measured in volts and ampere. Volts measure the amount of potential energy that’s being transferred through an electric reel while amps indicate how much electricity is being used. These terms can be confusing at first but they’re very important when it comes to setting up an electric reel!

When you set up an electric reel you’ll be plugging it into a power source, but the electricity won’t come on right away. This is because amps are measured differently depending on what country you’re in.

Typically 220-240 volts, which is twice as powerful as 110-120 volts, will be used for newer reels that can power larger lures. 110-120 volts can be used for more compact electric reels that are powered by batteries.

Do I Need a Circuit Breaker While Using an Electric Fishing Reel?

Yes, you do. A circuit breaker can be used to prevent fires or power surges if you don’t want to use a battery-powered reel.

Circuit breakers come in two styles; 30 and 60 amps. A 30 amp breaker is recommended for most electric reels, but it’s important to check the ampere of your electric reel before setting it up. A 60 amp breaker can be used instead of a 30, but it’s recommended to use the correct ampere rating.


Electric reels can be used on boats, and other non-motorized vehicles to give anglers more control over what they’re catching. They’re also easier to use than manual reels with the bonus of not having to deal with tangled fishing lines. Electric reels can be used in fresh and saltwater and require little maintenance after they’ve been set up, but it’s important to set them up properly so they don’t become a hazard. With the information provided in this discussion, one can invest in an electric reel without any fear because they are well informed on it.