If you’ve ever tried pulling in a crab pot without using a pulley then you know how physically demanding it can be. Even for casual, recreational crabbers a manual crab line hauler is an inexpensive and ideal way to easily retrieve your crab pots without throwing out your back or scratching up the side of your boat. That’s why we went ahead and reviewed some of the best selling manual line haulers on the market and came up with four perfect options that you can order today!
- Scotty Trap-Ease Line Hauler is the best value for your money.
- Best for Larger Boats – Discovery Bay Marine Gear Heavy Duty Crab Line Hauler
- Best for Small Boats, Kayaks & Jon Boats – Scotty Trap-Ease Line Hauler
- Best for Rail Mounting – Folbe Rail Mount Line Hauler Pulley
- Best for Compact Transport & Storage – Folbe Removable Line Hauler Pulley with Auto-Locking Side Mount
Our Top Overall Pick
- Scotty Trap-Ease Line Hauler is our top, all-around pick based on value, utility and durability.
|Scotty Trap-Ease Line Hauler||Check Price|
|Discovery Bay Marine Gear Heavy Duty Crab Line Hauler||Check Price|
|Folbe Rail Mount Line Hauler Pulley||Check Price|
|Folbe Removable Line Hauler Pulley with Auto-Locking Side Mount||Check Price|
Top 4 Best Line Haulers for Crab Pots
1. Scotty Trap-Ease Line Hauler – Best for Small Boats, Kayaks & Jon Boats
- Line Size: Up to 1/2″
- Extended arm for reaching over gunnel.
- Adjustable arm angle.
- Mountable in Scotty rod holders.
- Price: Check Price
The Scotty Trap-Ease Line Hauler is, like all Scotty products, extremely well built and makes pulling in your crab pots a breeze. Mountable in any Scotty rod holding mount, this hauler comes with a large roller with a pivoting head that dramatically reduces the stress of retrieving pots. You can also use any crab line with a diameter of up to 1/2 inch.
The extended arm allows you to easily collect your traps without damaging your gunnel. You can even mount the arm on a kayak or jon boat and reel in your catch without any problems!
- Comes with an adjustable lockable arm.
- Can be mounted easily in any Scotty rod holding mount.
- Reinforced nylon ensures long lasting durability.
- The arm may be a bit too short to reach over the side of some larger boats.
2. Discovery Bay Marine Gear Heavy Duty Crab Line Hauler – Best for Larger Boats
- Size: 76″ tall, 34″ reach.
- Maximum lift of 200 lbs.
- Schedule 80 aluminum construction.
- Folbe 8″ pulley block.
- Comes with UHMW mounting brackets.
- Price: Check Price
If you’re looking for a premium, high quality aluminum crab line hauler then look no further than the Discovery Bay Marine Gear puller. Designed from high quality schedule 80 aluminum, this hauler breaks down into two pieces for easy transport and storage. Stretching over 6 feet up and nearly 3 feet over the side of your boat, this hauler will have no trouble pulling in a crab pot that weighs up to 200 pounds.
Large boat owners will definitely want to invest in this hauler as it will significantly save the side of your boat from any unwanted scratches or damages while retrieving your pots. You can even upgrade to an electric crab pot puller upgrade and still use the same mounting system!
That being said, the price tag on this line hauler is by far the biggest drawback. For smaller boats it can be difficult to justify such an expensive price which is why we only recommend this hauler for larger boats where mitigating damage to the gunnel is very important. Keep in mind, though, that you’re paying for quality here – the schedule 80 aluminum and 200lb max weight means you can easily add an electric puller to this without replacing the whole thing.
- Built from schedule 80 aluminum.
- Very long reach.
- Can lift a maximum of 200 pounds.
- Very expensive.
- Cannot be mounted in a rod holder.
- Too large to be used on small boats, kayaks and dinghys.
3. Folbe Rail Mount Line Hauler Pulley – Best for Rail Mounting
- Line Size: Up to 1/2″
- Mountable on rails from 3/4″ to 1 1/4″.
- Extremely compact design.
- Price: Check Price
This line hauler pulley is a bit different from the other ones on this list as it’s both significantly smaller than the alternatives and can be mounted on a boat rail. This is, generally speaking, a bit of a niche choice but if you’re specifically in the market for a hauler that can mount directly onto your railing then this is the choice for you.
The pulley itself will work like a charm, but keep in mind it won’t reach over the side of your boat so you may end up knocking the trap or pot against the side of your boat while retrieving it. For smaller boats this probably won’t be that big of a deal, but it’s something to consider before making a purchase.
- The smallest line hauler on the market.
- Mounts directly to your boat rail.
- Doesn’t reach over the side of your boat so the trap may bang up against the gunnel.
4. Folbe Removable Line Hauler Pulley with Auto-Locking Side Mount – Best for Compact Transport & Storage
- Line Size: Up to 1/2″
- Mountable in fishing rod holders.
- Lockable side mount.
- Extremely compact for easy installation and storage.
- Price: Check Price
Another Folbe line hauler – this one is just like the rail mountable one only it mounts directly onto a fishing rod holder. It doesn’t offer much in terms of lift or reach, but if you need a line hauler that you can quickly install, remove and store without any fuss then this is the choice for you.
Unfortunately the same problems that plague the rail mountable version also apply to this hauler – while retrieving the pot you’ll likely end up bumping the side of your boat which may cause scratches/damages. For smaller boats or kayaks this shouldn’t be much of an issue but for larger vessels you’d be better off with one of the other options on this list.
- Very compact and easy to install.
- Can be mounted in a fishing rod holder.
- Like the rail mountable version, it may cause the pot to bump into the gunnel during the retrieval process.
While you really can’t go wrong with any of the 4 line haulers on this list, we recommend the Scotty Trap-Ease Line Hauler as the best overall based on it’s value and utility.
If, however, you’re looking specifically for a line hauler made specifically for larger boats then you should probably go with the Discovery Bay Marine Gear Heavy Duty Crab Line Hauler. And for small boats, kayaks & jon boats then we’d recommend the Scotty Trap-Ease Line Hauler as it’s hands down the best option.
If you still haven’t made up your mind as to which line hauler you want then you should probably determine which aspects are the most important to your needs. To that end we have briefly summarized the key differences to hopefully make your purchase a bit easier.
The first thing to consider when choosing a manual line hauler is where you’d like it to be mounted. The most common places are in fishing rod holders or directly onto the boat railing. The reason these are the most common is because, since you’re doing the pulling by hand, you’re unlikely to be pulling pots that are excessively heavy (200+ pounds). For smaller pots and weights you can easily get away with mounting them in these locations but if you plan on pulling in heavier commercial pots by hand then you’ll definitely need to pick line hauler that is connected directly to your boat.
Remember the whole point of the line hauler is to make it easier to retrieve your pots which means the pulley itself is pretty critical to the whole process. Interestingly, the size of the pulley itself isn’t that important – but it’s physical durability is. The harsh coastal conditions can be pretty tough on most types of metal so you’ll want to be sure the pulley itself can survive the rigors of the ocean.
Depending on where you plan on crabbing from, the reach of your line hauler can make quite a difference. If you plan on crabbing from a small boat, jon boat or kayak then you can make do with a small arm but if your boat is larger then you’ll definitely want to invest in a larger arm. Pulling up crab pots can cause them to bump into the side of your boat during the retrieval process which can cause unwanted scratches and damages which add up significantly over time.
How compact the line hauler is can be pretty important if you know you’ll need to be transporting and storing it after use. There are several very small pullers on the market that can easily be stored and transported.
Generally speaking the maximum weight is less important for manual line haulers since you’re doing all the hauling yourself. For electric crab pot pullers it’s extremely important but if you’re doing it by hand then it’s unlikely you’ll be pulling in pots that weigh 100-200 pounds. Still, if you know you will be using heavier pots you should make sure the hauler is rated to withstand that kind of strain.
Be sure to check whether or not the manufacturer offers a warranty on the item you intend to purchase. While Amazon should cover broken or defective items upon delivery, it’s up to the manufacturer as to whether they will provide a replacement after it’s been used. Compare different line hauler sellers to see if any of them will offer replacements in the event it breaks from normal use.
Even if everything works properly, you may discover you’ve ordered the wrong line hauler for your needs which may require a return. Be sure to check with the vendor before purchasing to see if they will allow a return and if so, under what circumstances.
Shipping is easily one of the most annoying costs associated with making online purchases. Be sure to compare the shipping costs to your location prior to making a purchase so you don’t end up spending more than you bargained for.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which line hauler is the cheapest?
If you’re shopping for the lowest priced line hauler you can find then we recommend the Scotty Trap-Ease Line Hauler. Of all the line haulers we’ve reviewed, none of the others can beat it’s price.
What is a line hauler?
A line hauler is a simple device that attaches to the side of your boat that is intended to help you pull in your crab, lobster or prawn trap. They vary wildly in terms of size, mountability and maximum weight and some can even be electric to prevent any manual input whatsoever.
How do you use a crab line hauler?
Simply remove the crab line from your float and attach it to the hauler and begin pulling. There’s a great video that demonstrates the entire process from beginning to end:
Do I need a line hauler?
Not necessarily, though if you plan on crabbing frequently then you’re definitely going to want to save yourself from the physical strain of constantly pulling in the pots without any assistance. The pulleys make the whole process simple and they’re cheap enough to appeal to even the most casual recreational crabber.
Can you attach a line hauler onto a kayak or jon boat?
Yes! You’ll just want to make sure to pick up one of the smaller line haulers that are mountable directly into a fishing rod holder and you should be good to go.