Shimano Baitrunner Reel Reviews (Best Carp Reels?)

Shimano Baitrunner Reel Reviews (Best Carp Reels?)

Best Baitrunner Reels

Shimano baitrunner reels are highly regarded in carp angling.

They are synonomous with the Shimano brand.

The ‘baitrunner’ technology has revolutionised carp angling as we know it today.

You’ll  enjoy years of hassle-free carp fishing, whilst each reel is packed full of technology including line management systems, gear control mechanisms and smooth cranking.

Before we jump in, Shimano do have an unfamiliar reel model system.

Some models are labelled ‘RB’ which means this is a rear drag reel, whereas ‘FB’ means front drag.

We hope you enjoy our Shimano Baitrunner Reel Reviews!

Shimano Baitrunner DL Reels


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

Shimano Baitrunner Reel Reviews (Best Carp Reels?)
Shimano Baitrunner DL 10000RB
  • 3 Stainless Steel Ball Bearings
  • Varispeed
  • 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


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


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

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.

Why Choose The DL Baitrunner?

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 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!

Now Watch The Video...

Reel Protection

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.

Shimano Baitrunner Reel Reviews (Best Carp Reels?)

Shimano Baitrunner ST Reels


Next up in our Shimano Baitrunner Reel Reviews is the ST.

Shimano Baitrunner Reel Reviews (Best Carp Reels?)
Shimano Baitrunner ST 10000 RB
  • Shielded Stainless Steel Bearings
  • XT-7 Frame
  • Double Handle
  • Cap Bail
  • Super Stopper II
  • Dyna-Balance
  • 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

The Review

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 really helps with accuracy and minimises line twisting.

Shimano Baitrunner Reel Reviews (Best Carp Reels?)
Cosmetically, these look stunning!

Why Choose A Baitrunner?

Line lay is perfect due to the Varispeed line technology, now common in most Shimano reels, whilst the additional Power Roller assists with this.

The dual gearing system ensures parallel line lay which makes spooling your line very easy and hassle free.

Anglers unfamiliar with a baitrunner reel, should read on.

The presence of a lever, which is located to the rear, can be activated allowing the reel to engage in freespool mode.

This really helps anglers when playing a fish.

Once hooked, fish can freely run with your line, whilst disengaging will flip back into drag mode.

Simply tighten or loosen as you wish during the action!

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.

Shimano Baitrunner ST Video

Shimano Baitrunner X-Aero Reels


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

Shimano Baitrunner Reel Reviews (Best Carp Reels?)
Shimano Baitrunner X Aero 10000RA
  • 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
  • X-SHIP
  • ARC Spools
  • Spare spool
  • Wider spool than traditional bait runner range
  • Deeper spool for more line capacity

X-Aero Review

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

Utilising Aero technology, 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 (Best Carp Reels?)
The result of a baitrunner and a big pit reel....

Single Handle Reel?

Shimano has responded to requests for a powerful single handle.

Therfore, 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

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

Shimano Baitrunner Reel Reviews (Best Carp Reels?)

• 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

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.

Daiwa Black Widow BR

  • 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

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!

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