Best Big Pit Reels (2018 Edition)

Big Pit Reel Reviews

A Guide to Big Pit Carp Reels

We investigate the best big pit reels on the market!

‘Big Pits’ are used in carp fishing for two reasons – holding plenty of line and having the capability of casting extreme distances.

Of course there are other things to consider when choosing a big pit reel.

Wychwood Riot Review

How far will you be actually casting?

There is no need to spool up 500yds of 15lb mono if you’re only going to cast 100 yds max!

Your budget vs how many reels do you need?

Decide if your setup is primarily a 1,2 or a 3-rod setup (us anglers do prefer matching reels!)

Weight and Feel

Go to your local tackle shop and ask for a demo so you can get a good feel of the weight.

Big pit reels can be expensive – quite often a few hundred pounds for a decent setup, and you shouldn’t forget the need for spare spools which can also be costly

Why Use Big Pit Reels for Carp Fishing?

As we mentioned, its the capability of loading up a lot of line so you’re able to hit extreme distances.

This is particualrly useful for big lakes such as those over in France!

Big pits are also seen as industrious – they are robust, hard working and very capable of pulling in fish hooked far out.

These days, they are packed full of features and they look amazing!

The option of switching from free spool to drag quickly is a useful features, as is the crank power which is how much line is retrieved per turn of the handle (gear ratio represents this!)

How To Spool a Big Pit Reel

The initial part of filling them can be very time-consuming, but there are devices to make spooling easier such as the Berkley Portable Line Spooling Station (see below)

Line Spooling Station

Watch The Video

Big Pit Reel Reviews

Join us as we countdown our big pit reel recommendations from big brands such as Wychwood, Nash and Shimano.

We’ve selected reels of varying prices to suit your budget, and those that have some great features, styles and sizes.

So sit back and enjoy!

Wychwood Riot Review

The Wychwood Riot ‘Big Pits’ are proper workhorses, which is one of the reasons we’ve included them in our best big pit reels list!

In fact, they are one of the most successful Wychwood reels to date.

The modern black matte finish, wooden handle and packed full of technology makes them of the leaders in this market.

Wychwood Riot Review

Credentials include fantastic casting power, smooth line retrieval (the 5 ball bearings really feel silky) and huge cranking power (due to the oversized main shaft)  – all required traits of big pit reel construction.

Whether opting to use mono or braid, the anti-twist roller minimises any line damage and together with a robust ACS line clip and multi-disc drag all add up to a powerful reel that just isn’t going to buckle under constant casting, handle turning or fall down when chucking big weights such as PVA bags and heavy leads.

A tough, industrious reel that Wychwood upgrade regularly to improve what is already a big pit classic.

There are two sizes available; 65S and 75S, with both models supplied with a spare matt black tapered spool


5+1 Bearing
Over-sized main shaft ensures huge cranking power
Micro-pitch, multi disk drag
Anti-twist line roller
True matt black finish
Spare aluminium tapered spool
ACS line clip
Available in 2 sizes: 65S and 75S

Nash BP-4 Review

A perfect companion to the Nash Scope Sawn-off Rods, these little beauties are ideal for floater fishing, feeders and commercial angling.

Nash BP-4 Reel Review

A rugged big pit reel that is also at home when fishing for other species such as bream or tench.

The luxurious, matt black finish and aluminium shinegives them a futuristic appearance, but its under the bonnet were Nash have packed in the features!

The oversized line roller reduces line twist (common when casting long distances) with the line guard reinforcing a tangle free reel.

Even when launching heavy end tackle, the fast drag system allows you to retrieve quicker than ever before, whilst line lay is exceptional due to the level-wind system.

Finished off with a one-touch (and ergonomic) handle – Nash have truly delivered a fantastic big pit reel that also works in other angling areas if required.


Matte Black Finish
Aluminium long cast spool
Fast drag
One touch folding handle
Dual Spot On line clips for precision casting
Stainless Steel Ball Bearings
Line guard spool system
Level Wind line lay
Oversized line roller reduces line twist
CNC machined ergonomic handle with isotope slot
Gear ratio 5.1:1

Spool capacity (mm/yards)
0.28 /216

Daiwa Black Widow Big Pit Review

The Daiwa ‘Black Widow’ Big Pit Reel makes our best big pit reels list for a few reasons!

Firstly, it looks good (always a plus!) and boasts incredible power and performance and importantly, great value for money.

Daiwa Black Widow Big Pit Review

Packed full of Daiwa’s popular features, it was designed to offer anglers the perfect balance when fitted to the Black Widow Carp Rod.

One of the most intriguing features that stands out above all other big pit reels is the geared down retrieve.

This means that you can retrieve a massive amount of line easily. In fact, for each turn, its capable of reeling in a whopping 85cm of mainline!

As far as capacity goes (big pit reels can demand a lot of line), these hold an incredible 530m of 0.35mm line. Obviously this is far more than ever required, but for those with bait boats, this offers a great opportunity to explore far distances without any problems.

The spool is classic Daiwa – constructed from aluminium, with the rotor and reel body from graphite which is very durable and robust.

Did we mention it’s also lightweight?

Available in three sizes, these are extraordinary big pit reels that will take a hammering and perform very well under pressure.


Aluminium spool
Graphite Body
Graphite Rotor
Infinite Anti-Reverse
85cm crank
Gear Ratio: 4:1:1

Daiwa Windcast QDA Review

With a smooth feel, premium looks and increased strength – the Daiwa Windcast QDA is all a big pit reel should be.

At its very core, the unbelievable accuracy of its gear meshing (thanks to Digigear II technology) really puts this reel head and shoulders above most.

Daiwa Windcast QDA Review

Backed up by Air Rotor and Bail technology, which offer a robust inner-strength when casting and retrieving alike.

It does in fact boast huge cranking power of 106cm per turn – that’s a massive retrieval rate!

Other features of the Windcast QDA are the inclusion of a high impact line clip which really grips your line when the clip is hit on the cast.

On top of that is the exclusive ‘QD Drag’, which offers the angler complete control of the freespool function and fish playing in one action.

Finally, a spare ‘full-spec’ spool is included – not a plastic moulded spare that can often be thrown in with other reels – but is rarely used due to the poor construction.

There are actually three models on offer here:

The 5000QDA, 5500QDA and a Spod/Marker reel to back-up this fantastic range of true big pit reels.

These Daiwa Windcast QDA reels are quite expensive, but they are built to last, and perform smoothly when hitting those big distances!


5000QDA    Gear Ratio: 4.9:1 Line Capacity: 360m-14lbs
5500QDA    Gear ratio: 4.9:1 Line Capacity: 400m-17lbs
Spod/Marker    Gear Ratio: 5.5:1   Line Capacity: 360m-14lbs

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