If you’re looking for a top-quality reel for all your carp fishing needs then you need to look no further than the Shimano Ultegra XTD reel. As one of the most hotly anticipated releases of 2016, the Shimano Ultegra 14000 XTD and the 5500 XTD are some of the latest in the bestselling Ultegra range.
These reels from Shimano features a multitude of modifications that set it head and shoulders above existing Ultegra reels. Developed with the modern carp angler in mind, this reel is widely considered the best carp reel ever made – and at a staggeringly low price (especially when you consider all the technology at play in this reel) it is no wonder that the Shimano Ultegra XTD has worked up such a storm.
The first thing you’ll notice about this reel is its classy carpy finish. Matt black throughout, this is an ultra-minimalistic reel that will look great on any modern carp rod setup. The decision to create a completely matt reel came as a result of Shimano asking its anglers what they looked for in top-end tackle and the team responded to each of the suggestions accordingly.
There is also an improved line guard on the Ultegra XTD. Not only does this line guard perform a practical role, preventing the line from getting caught behind the spool, but the new design ensures that it looks great too. The line guard actually tapers into the reel itself and this is an incredibly sexy looking reel. In fact, Shimano consultant Iain Macmillan even boldly claimed that this reel was a crime to fish with, it was so good looking, and instead should be sat upon a bar and bought a drink!
The next thing to note about the Shimano Ultegra XTD is its faultless line lay. In fact, this reel boasts the neatest line lay of any existing Shimano product. This is because Shimano has managed to slow down its famously slow oscillation even further: Shimano’s magnesium (MAG) reels have an oscillation rate of 100 coils per turn, whereas the Ultegra XTD only has 50. The slow oscillation theory follows that the slower the line spools up the more precisely it will lay and, in turn, the easier the line will leave the spool on the cast. This is ideal for the distance casting carp angler, as it ensures that you can enjoy flawless distance casts time after time.
Another feature of the reel which has been designed with distance casting in mind is its parallel body. Most reels have a spool that faces slightly upwards towards the butt ring. The Shimano Ultegra XTD has been redesigned with a spool that runs perfectly parallel with the rod blank. This stops any line slap on big casts, further aiding the line’s transmission from the spool, along the rod, and towards your target. The reel is supplied with numerous washers, too. This allows you to adjust the way your line goes onto the spool and tailor it to your needs, for example, whether you prefer the line perfectly flat or a tapered line lay.
As you will have come to expect from a top-quality Shimano reel the Ultegra XTD is fitted with tonnes of the brand’s top-end technology. This includes the impressive X-Ship. X-Ship is Shimano’s gear housing and it prides itself on its rock-solid construction. This ensures that zero movements happens within the body of the reel, so you’re not wasting energy on unnecessary lateral motions that put stress on the vital internal reel components. This helps to give you greater control when you’re fighting a big fish and all the power you put into your reel handle is transferred into the retrieval.
The Instant Drag is another hyper-control feature that allows you to modify your drag settings in one turn of the dial. You can go from spooling line to rock-solid drag in an instant, which is perfect when you’re targeting large specimen fish. The Shimano Ultegra XTD comes with a spare spool, as well as a small and large line reducer, as standard – having you save money on fishing line, as well as time on the bank.
The Shimano Ultegra XTD is available in two sizes; 14000 and 5500 so you can choose the perfect reel for your needs.