Carp Fishing Buying Guide, Part 2 – Carp Reels

This entry was posted on

Carp Fishing Buying Guide, Part 2 – Carp Reels

Read other parts of this guide: Part 1 – Carp Fishing Rods Part 2 – Carp Fishing Reels Part 3 – Carp FIshing Mainlines Part 4 – Carp Fishing Bite Alarms Part 5 – Carp Fishing Indicators

Due to the popularity and positive feedback received from our last Carp Fishing buying guide we thought it was about time we wrote and published an up to date, new version, so here goes…

Carp Fishing Buying Guides – Carp Reels

Now if you have chosen your rod you will obviously need a reel to match, now choosing a reel is equally as important, a well balanced rod and reel set up is important to see the carp angler fishing effectively. Now all the carp fishing reels are split up in to 2 different types, you have the Freespool Reel and the Big Pit Reel some times these features are coupled together to form a big pit freespool reel. The freespool is a very popular feature as it allows line to pull from the spool freely when a carp strikes, only disengaging when the angler turns the reel handle, this means that rods can be left in the rest safely whilst waiting for a bite, with no chance of the rod being pulled in! The freespool feature can often be set to different tensions, as if you’re fishing near snags you will want the tension set higher than if fishing open water.

The big pit reels, aren’t so much of a feature, but more of a name given to reels with large line capacities. These type of reels are often bigger in size and feature large spools designed for distance casting, on some high end reels, you will find a big pit reels with a freespool facilities.

With advances in modern technology the quality of reels has improved dramatically over the past 10 to 15 years and now you can get some excellent kit without breaking the bank, with reels in the £30-£60 price bracket perfect for the job.

If you are looking for a free spool reel in this price range then we would recommend the Shimano ST RB Baitrunner in the 10000 model (10000 has a slightly larger spool than the 6000), this reel is one of the all time best sellers and comes from a tackle company that produced the first freespool reel all those years ago. The Shimano Baitrunner ST RB 10000 is packed with far more advanced features than you'd reasonably expect to find on a Baitrunner at this price point. Line lay is good thanks to the Varispeed oscillation which involves an oval and a square gear, computer engineered to interact perfectly. Incorporating a gutsy 4.6:1 retrieve, double handle and the equivalent of 5 ball bearings, if your'e looking for a quality entry-level free spool reel, look no further!


Shimnao Baitrunner ST RB Carp Reel

Shimano-Baitrunner-ST-RB-Reel - Ratio: 4.6:1 - Freespool: Yes - Big Pit: No - Ball Bearings: 1+1 - Handle Type: Double - Drag: Rear - Spare Spool: No - Weight: 550g & 555g - Sizes: 6000 & 10000

Buy The Shimano Baitrunner ST RB Blog-Buy-Now1


If you are fishing larger waters and perhaps need to cast greater distances then there are also some great entry level big pit reels on the market. Models worth a mention include the Wychwood Riot Big Pit Reel which is one of our best selling big pit reels of all time. Built around the machine cut aluminium spool, the body and rotor are moulded from high-strength, yet incredibly lightweight graphite to keep the overall weight of the reel down to a minimum. Thanks to the unique design of the spool and the superb line-lay, line flies off almost silently when casting as the line leaves the spool in tighter loops than on larger reels, improving line flow through rods. Packed with 5+1 ball bearings and supplied with 2 spools the Wychwood Riot offers unrivalled value for money.


Wychwood Riot Big Pit Carp Reel

Wychwood-Riot-Carp-Reel - Ratio: 4.6:1 - Freespool: No - Big Pit: Yes - Ball Bearings: 5+1 - Handle Type: Single - Drag: Front - Spare Spool: 1 - Weight: 554g & 555g - Sizes: 65 & 75

Buy The Wychwood Riot Big Pit Blog-Buy-Now1


Other reels in this class worth a mention include another from the Wychwood stable; the Solace Big Pit QD, which features a whopping 10 stainless steel bearings, anti twist line roller, patented design ACS clip system, high performance front quick drag , 4.8:1 retrieve ratio, plus 2 Aluminium spools.

As well as Wychwood, Daiwa are another brand which is strong in this area, with there excellent Crosscast range, consisting of the S, X and BR well worth a mention. The BR in particular, is rather unique as this actually offers the angler a big pit reel with a freespool facility.

If you’ve used any of the reels above and perhaps want to take that next step up then you would be looking to spend around £100-£150, in this price range there are some great reels from all the leading manufacturers. Recommending a freespool reel in this price range see’s us again, look no further than the Shimano stable and there Shimano Baitrunner XT RB, which is an upgraded version of the previous and best-selling Baitrunner RA.

Featuring a 4.6:1 gear ratio, hybrid aluminium body for strength & durability, 2-speed oscillation for smoother & further casting, 4 shielded stainless steel ball bearings and Aero Wrap II, plus a spare spool, this reel certainly packs a lot of punch for its money.


Shimnao Baitrunner XT RB Carp Reel

Shimano-Baitrunner-XT-RB - Ratio: 4.6:1 - Freespool: Yes - Big Pit: No - Ball Bearings: 4 SSBB - Handle Type: Double - Drag: Rear - Spare Spool: 1 - Weight: 610g - Sizes: 6000, 8000 & 10000

Buy The Shimano Baitrunner XT RB Blog-Buy-Now1


For big pit reels in this price range we would recommend the excellent new Windcast range of reels from Daiwa. Available in 3 different models, the Windcast S, Z and X they have been designed for distance casting and look sure to be a hit amongst carp fisherman and other anglers alike. All models utilize the same spool taper and deliver high speed line release, they also feature an enhanced travelling line guard. All three choices also come fitted with the High Impact HIP clip, a built in cushion on the pin ensures forgiving but secure line location, letting you cast on the button every time. Other top features such as AirBail, DIGIGEAR and CastLock come as standard ensuring that every Windcast will blow you away with its performance.

Other suppliers worth a mention in this area include Fox, with there superb FX11 and 12000S models, and Sonik Sports with there new Tournos range.

If you want to merge the two; Baitrunner and Big Pit, then look no further than the Shimano Big Baitrunner XT-A LC, even though it’s slightly higher in price, its well worth stretching the budget if you can.

The original Big Baitrunner LC had an unsurpassed reputation as the definitive Big Pit reel. In fact it started the trend for big reels over 15 years ago. Its replacement, the sleek, modern, XT-A LC, enhances the reputation further. Packed full of features including Dyna-Balance, Super Stopper II, Power Roller and Varispeed to name a few, as well as being stuffed with five S-ARB ball bearings, with a ratio of 4.6:1 and weighing in at only 790g it really is a gem in the crown, of the Carp fishing reel world.


Shimano Big Baitrunner XT-A LC Reel

Shimano-Big-Baitrunner-XT-A-LC - Ratio: 4.6:1 & 5.3:1 - Freespool: Yes - Big Pit: Yes - Ball Bearings: 5x S-ARB + 1 - Handle Type: Single - Drag: Front - Weight: 615g & 790g - Spare Spool: No - Sizes: Medium & Big

Buy The Shimano Big Baitrunner Blog-Buy-Now1


Now if you’re a Carp angler who takes there fishing very seriously and who targets some of the biggest carp in the land from some of the most demanding waters you may require the best reels on the market. This award we would give to the Daiwa Basia range of reels, with there lofty price tag being justified with there unrivaled looks, performance and engineering. It’s not difficult to see why this range is one of the most desirable on the market, and why it’s used by so many big names in the world of carp fishing. The Basia range comprises of three different reels, each unique with there own specification…

First of all you have the Basia Tournament QD, this is ultimate long distance casting machine. With an ultra light magnesium alloy body, machined alloy handle with wooden knob and Ultra long 45mm anodized spool. Packed with features like the superb 'Quick Drag' which offers the perfect cross over from front drag to free spool without the need for conversions. Stainless steel AirBail, Vented rotor arms, Custom designed line clip, Infinite anti reverse, Rapid drag engagement, immaculate line lay and 7 ball bearings, put this reel in the ‘executive class’.


Daiwa Tournament Basia QD

Daiwa-Basia-QD - Ratio: 4.1:1 - Freespool: No - Big Pit: Yes - Ball Bearings: 7 - Handle Type: Single - Drag: Front - Weight: 504g - Spare Spool: No - Sizes: 45

Buy The Daiwa Tournament Basia QD Blog-Buy-Now1


Now we introduce the Basia Tournament QDs slightly more evil brother, the Basia Tournament QDX! This BASIA has just got a whole lot meaner and a whole lot blacker. It employs all the same benefits of the magnesium alloy body and rotor but now with a sleek matt black finish throughout. The 45mm spool has been double anodized in dark gunmetal and the ‘tailgate’ features a toned down finish called twilight. Even the wooden handle has been upgraded to a soft grip urethane knob! Tagged as the BASIA QDX who said choosing a reel wasn’t black and white?


Daiwa Tournament Basia QDX

Daiwa-Basia-QDX-Reel - Ratio: 4.1:1 - Freespool: No - Big Pit: Yes - Ball Bearings: 7 - Handle Type: Single - Drag: Front - Weight: 504g - Spare Spool: No - Sizes: 45

Buy The Daiwa Tournament Basia QDX Blog-Buy-Now1


Finally the last model in the range is the brilliant BASIAIR… Just when the angling world thought big reels for big carp couldn't get any lighter the Daiwa development team in Japan pushed the boundaries of design and materials to come up with this beauty. Nearly 2oz’s lighter than both the other Basia’s mentioned above, this reel Combines ‘AirMetal’ magnesium alloy and ultra light Zaion these materials take the BASIAIR to another level. A level that is surely cloud nine!

Maintaining the 45mm spool profile of its namesake the BASIAR produces supreme casting and the retrieve of 4.1:1 still bringing home a shade under 90cm with one turn. Featuring QD drag engagement, 8 ball bearings including 5 CRBB’s, High impact line clip, Machine cut ‘wishbone’ aluminium handle, Stainless steel AirBail and Vented rotor arms. Described by some as ‘pure architecture’ the distinct shapes and design carry a futuristic sculpture and really signal ‘the future of reels has begun’.


Daiwa Tournament BASIAIR

Daiwa-BASIAIR - Ratio: 4.1:1 - Freespool: No - Big Pit: Yes - Ball Bearings: 8+5 - Handle Type: Single - Drag: Front - Weight: 450g - Spare Spool: No - Sizes: 45

Buy The Daiwa Tournament BASIAIR Blog-Buy-Now1


If you wanted to look at high-end Carp reels from different manufacturers (perhaps the Daiwa’s don’t quite do it for you) then another supplier definitely worth a mention is Shimano. With there history in the Bicycle trade, they have some of the lightest, strongest and most desirable materials at there disposal and utilize this in some of there top end reels. The best of which is the Shimano Aero Technium, which is infact available in four different models, topped by the truly amazing Aero Technium MGS (Magnesium).

Note: Want to go even further with your Carp Reels? Then why not check out Daiwa’s excellent DCR where you can custom build you own Daiwa Basia Carp Reels! Check out all the details here…

To top