Which Battery for an Electric Fishing Reel?


Updated on November 23, 2022 by
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The best battery for an electric fishing reel is a 12V Deep Cycle Marine Battery with more than 70 amp hours. This should be kept separate from other uses, so you don’t deplete the battery too quickly.

When I first was looking at purchasing an electric reel the most confusing part was the power source. Some people talked about hooking it into their boat’s power supply, while others came with a portable power source. I have written this guide to help you understand how an electric fishing reel is powered and what is the best battery.

What is an Electric Fishing Reel?

Electric fishing reels are one of the more modern advancements in angling technology. They are simply an electric motor attached to a conventional reel with an external power source, normally in the form of a 12-volt battery. They have grown in popularity as they make it much easier to deep-drop baits onto reefs over 300 yards deep as well as helping physically disabled anglers to experience the joy of fishing.

I recommend electric fishing reels extensively. If you have never used one, give it a go – they offer some great advantages for all offshore anglers.

Shimano beastmaster electric reel in front of packaging during unboxing
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Types of Batteries for Electric Fishing Reel

You can use many different types of batteries on your electric reel, but the most common is a deep-cycle marine battery.

The vast majority of electric reels are limited to 12 volts, although some (such as a few models of the Shimano Beastmaster) can go up to 24 volts. Check the manual of your reel before trying to hook it up to a more powerful battery. This can either damage the reel’s electric motor or it will alarm and fault.

My recommendation is the Renogy Deep Cycle which is 12 volts, has 100 amp hours, is effectively maintenance-free, and good value for money:

Some manufacturers, such as Daiwa, produce their own portable power packs that you can attach to your hip. These are small and lightweight and offer around 20 amp hours. If you have a smaller electric reel like a Daiwa Seaborg 300J that has a max draw of 20 amps this will last for an hour at full crank, or 6 hours of general fishing.

An example of this is BatPower’s 15 amp hour battery pack. It only weighs 15 ounces and is compatible with most (but not all) Shimano and Daiwa electric reels:

How Long will an Electric Fishing Reel Battery Last?

I recommend using a deep-cycle marine battery because of the higher amp hours. An electric reel can draw up to 30 amps when cranking. You can see from the table below that a deep-cycle marine battery will last significantly longer than other common type of battery. Remember, this is when the reel is cranking – you will likely only be cranking it for 10 minutes every hour on the water. So 2.5 hours of cranking time is enough for a full day of fishing and then some.

Type of BatteryVoltsAmp HoursDuration at 30 Amps
Motorcycle Battery12V7 Amp Hours14 minutes
Portable Power Pack12V20 Amp Hours40 minutes
Car Battery12V24 Amp Hours48 minutes
Deep Cycle Marine Battery12V75 Amp Hours2.5 hours

I recommend keeping your reel battery separate from your trolling motor battery. It doesn’t matter if you run out of battery for your reel because you can always retrieve it manually, but if you run out of battery for your motor, you may need to row a long way home.

Amps and Volts

Electric reels can draw up to 30 amps, draining smaller batteries very quickly. If you are using a small motorcycle battery, this can drain it in a matter of minutes. A standard car battery may last several hours, but a deep-cycle marine battery will last all day.

The key metrics to look for are the Amp Hours of your battery and the amp draw of your fishing reel. These figures should be available from your retailer or in the manual provided. If you are working on the electrics yourself, make sure the cables and plugs you select have an appropriate amp limit greater than the reel’s max draw.

The table below shows the amp draw of the most popular electric fishing reels on the market at the moment:

Electric ReelMax Amp Draw
Shimano Beastmaster 9000A35 amps
Shimano Forcemaster 9000A30 amps
Shimano Plays 400010 amps
Banax Kaigen 100025 amps
Daiwa Seaborg 300J20 amps
Daiwa Tanacom 100030 amps
Shimano forcemaster electric reel on packaging

To calculate how long your battery will last, divide your batteries amp hours by the amp draw of your reel. For example, if your battery has 50 amp hours, and your reel draws 25 amps of current, then the battery will last for 2 hours. Of course, this is at full crank, which will probably last 12 hours on the water. Also, the reel won’t draw max amps all of the time – if you are retrieve any empty hook then it might be as low as 1/3 of the max when fighting a large fish.

This video from Daiwa gives an overview of electric reel batteries and a few common troubleshooting methods:

Conclusion

There are a wide range of batteries that will function attached to an electric reel, but the most commonly used by anglers is a 12V deep-cycle marine battery with more than 70 amp hours. This will power your reel for the entire day, regardless of how many fish you land, without any worry about running out of juice. You can select cheaper and smaller options, such as dedicated power packs, but you will also have some doubt about when it will run out of charge.

Last update on 2022-11-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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Russ Egan

Russ is an avid fisherman. He has fished all over the world for more than two decades, primarily for saltwater game fish but also for local trophy fish. Russ writes reviews for all of his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. His favorite reel is a Shimano Curado Baitcaster. His dream is to catch a Black Marlin.