Shimano Baitrunner Reel Reviews - Which Baitrunner is Best?

Shimano Baitrunner Reel Reviews – Which Baitrunner is the Best?

Best Shimano Baitrunners

Baitrunners are synonomous with the Shimano carp brand, and some say this style of reel revolutionised carp fishing.

Respected, and known to many carp anglers as the go-to reel, they are a hassle-free solution known for featuring the latest technology.

This includes line management systems, gear control mechanisms and ultra-smooth cranking at every turn of the handle.

Why Choose a Baitrunner?

The biggest benefit of a Baitrunner is the ability to have a quick-engage method that allows the fish take line from the spool when hooked but still remain under tension. 

This is accomplished presence of a lever, which is located to the rear, that can be activated to engage the reel into a free-spool mode. This mode means line will be taken freely from your spool under tension, which you can adjust to suit your fishing conditions.

Once hooked, the fish is able to freely run with your line without pulling the rod from your rod pod if you happen to be away from your rods.

The lever then enables you to very quickly disengage this free-spool mode so you can play the fish using the standard drag. Simply tighten or loosen as you wish during the action!

Overall, the baitrunner’s main strength is the efficiency of being able to set a separate amount of resistance for baits in the water VS. playing a fish without constantly adjusting the settings.

One final point before I jump into some of the best Shimano Baitrunner Reels: it’s worth understanding how they label their reels to avoid confusion when purchasing.

Differently to other brands, a baitrunner labelled “RB” means this would be a rear drag reel, and “FB” means front drag.

Let’s jump into the best baitrunner reels you can buy today…

SHimano Baitrunner Reviews

Shimano Baitrunner DL Reels

Shimano Baitrunner DL Reels
Shimano Baitrunner DL 10000RB

A hugely popular baitrunner to the Shimano family, the DL is available both as a rear or front drag option.

Packed full of technology, as you’d expect from Shimano, they also stunning to look at in a sexy gun metal grey finish.

The rear drag models (RB) is available in both the 6000 and 10000 sizes, whilst the front drag reels (FB) can be bought in sizes 2500 and 4000 (ideal for predatory fish).

This gives plenty of options for anglers fishing a variety of waters for instance.

For carp fishermen, the 6000RB is perfect for smaller carp lakes or rivers, whilst the larger 10000RB is more suited to casting heavier lines, especially at range.

Each reel features a classic Shimano AR-C spool, whilst the Varispeed oscillation gives you perfect line lay every time.

It goes without saying that you should know how good the baitrunner facility is, so switching between freespool and ‘fight’ mode can be done seamlessly in seconds.

When you’re lucky enough to have your rig picked up, then the Super Stopper II system will ensure you land your catch every single time.

Another useful bit of technology packed into these baitrunner reels is the Dyna-balance which eliminates wobbling, with the ball bearings really ensuring a smooth feel throughout winding.

Shimano Baitrunner DL reels are truly workhorses.

There not only incredibly reliable, but built to last a lifetime!

A great reel to include in our Shimano Baitrunner Reel Reviews!

Reel Features

3 Stainless Steel Ball Bearings
AR-C Line Management System
Cold Forged Aluminium Spool
Spare Spool
Dyna-Balance System
Super Stopper II System
Power Roller
Free Spool System
Powerful and Smooth
Precise Rear Drag or Front Drag


Size 6000

Gear ratio – 4.8:1
Line capacity – 200yds/15lb (240m/0.35mm)

Size 10000

Gear ratio – 4.8:1
Line capacity – 315yds/15lb (350m/0.35mm)

Shimano Baitrunner DL Video

Shimano Baitrunner ST Reels

Shimano Baitrunner Reel Reviews - Which Baitrunner is the Best? 1
Shimano Baitrunner ST 10000 RB

Available in two sizes; 6000 and 10000, these are one of Shimano’s biggest selling reels!

Including (of course) the famous baitrunner technology, there is a lot more under the hood. Its very simple to use, which means novice or experienced anglers will have no problem at all with using them.

Made from XT7 carbon (Shimano’s go-to reel material) means the housing is very strong and robust, no matter how much effort the anglers puts in, while also protecting all the internal mechanisms from the usual wear and tear and of course, the weather.

Both models include a lightweight spool which provides a nice balance no matter what carp rod you choose to pair them with.

In fact, the spool itself contains a ‘lip’ which has proven to prevent wind knots when casting, especially when using a braided mainline.

This also helps with accuracy and minimises line twisting.

Shimano Baitrunner ST Review
Cosmetically, these look stunning!

Next up is the 6000 Baitrunner ST RB.

This model is ideal for medium sized carp (10 to 20lb) and other species such as pike and zander.

The 10000 model which is the larger size, gives you that extra bit of power for casting further and makes handling bigger fish that little bit easier for you.

Finally, these reels look very sleek with a coating of matt black, are very reliable and industrious, and will last you many years of carp angling.

A quality reel indeed!

Reel Features

Shielded Stainless Steel Bearings
XT-7 Frame
Double Handle
Cap Bail
Super Stopper II
Power Roller
Diecast Gear


Size 6000:

Weight: 550g
Ball Bearings: 1
Roller Bearings: 1
Line Capacity (lb/yds): 10-300
Gear Ratio: 4.6:1

Size 10000:

Weight: 555g
Ball Bearings: 1
Roller Bearings: 1
Line Capacity (lb/yds): 10-545
Gear Ratio: 4.6:1

Shimano Baitrunner ST Video

Shimano Baitrunner X-Aero Reels

Shimano Baitrunner Reel Reviews - Which Baitrunner is the Best? 2
Shimano Baitrunner X Aero 10000RA

X-Aero Review

A reel that can be described as a cross between the traditional baitrunner reel and a big pit reel.

Nevertheless, it certainly is worthy of inclusion into our best Shimano Baitrunner Reel Review Guide!

Utilising Aero technology, this reel is one long range anglers will fall in love!

Compact, robust and hardworking, its ideal for medium to large sized waters where casting at range is required to reach distant banks or underwater features.

This spool is larger than you would expect, but this is because when winding in, the retrieval rate is a mammoth 99cm!

As a result, with reels that do have a larger diameter spool, this can cause anglers many problems.

Therefore, Shimano have produced Aero Wrap II tech, which is a kind of line management system, which ensures great line lay and minimises any these problems.

Shimano Baitrunner Reel Reviews - Which Baitrunner is the Best? 3
The result of a baitrunner and a big pit reel....

Reel Features

Available in sizes 6000, 8000 and 10000 (the 8000 and 10000 have single handle)
6 shielded A-RB (8 in 6000) plus roller bearing
Ratio of 4.6: 1
Aero Wrap II and 2 speed oscillation
The 10000 recovers 99cm each turn of the handle
ARC Spools
Spare spool
Wider spool than traditional bait runner range
Deeper spool for more line capacity

Single Handle Reel?

Shimano has responded to requests for a powerful single handle.

Therefore, the options available now include both the 8000 and the 10000 sizes which are both fitted with a single handle.

The 6000 model does, however, retain the dual handle format.

This gives you a great choice to suit your fishing preferences or style.

Next up, and a great invention,  is the line friendly clip which is available on all models.

This allows you to gauge the maximum amount of useable line possible.

X-Aero RA reels really are a great idea for those that have fallen for the baitrunner style, but want to experience this fantastic feature on a big pit reel.

A fantastic addition to Shimano’s (still) growing reputation for producing quality and reliable carp reels for all styles of angling.

Shimano X-Aero Baitrunner Video

Protecting your reels

When not in use, protecting your reels (and cleaning them) can make them last much longer.

Therefore, the neoprene reel covers really help with this, and they’re simple to attach and remove when setting up for instance.

Small Baitrunner Reels

Sometimes, you may want to opt for a smaller baitrunner reel, perhaps combined with a stalking rod such as the Nash Dwarf or the Wychwood Extricator.

There are a few samples (not Shimano) of small batirunner reels below.

Okuma XP Carbonite Baitfeeder Reel

A great value baitrunner reel that comes pre-spooled with a 15lb camo mono straight out of the box.

Could be a great spare reel, or for fitting to a lighter rod.

Reel Features

Baitfeeder quick release graphite spool
Graphite spool
With green line
1BB bearing drive system
Precision Elliptical Gearing System
Spare spool
Machined cut brass pinion gear
RESII: Computer balanced Rotor System
Even flow roller
Hydro Block water tight drag seal

Daiwa Black Widow BR

The Daiwa Black Widow BR is modelled from the hugely popular Emcast BR.

It does have reduced specifications, but nonetheless, this is a great little back-up reel!

Reel Features

Outstanding casting abilities
Free spool facility
Top of the range facilities super tough gearing, air bale, twist buster, slow speed oscillation and infinite anti reverse
4 ball bearings – deliver super smooth performance
Deigned to last for years

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Last update on 2023-12-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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