About Me
Tackle Then and Now
Tales from the Bivvy
Two Days In Essex
Abbey Lakes
Negreloube 2
Negreloube 3
La Fonte
The first
New PB
The Monster
Photo Gallery
Friends and Family
All Me
Ebro Fishing
Darrell's Bream
Darrell's Pike
Darrell's Common
In Memoriam

Back when I started carp fishing the reels to use were Mitchels, I owned three Mitchell 300's. Abu made a better reel, the Cardinal 55, these at the time were far too expensive for me so the 300's were my choice.
They had push button release spools, a clutch that gave line (with a good pull), a handle that turned inwards by loosening a knurled cap at the end of the shaft. The anti reverse mechanism made a noise when reeling in with it turned on, but when turned off could be used to indicate takes (churners) the handle would spin like a goodun, but rarely overspin and cause a tangle.
We also used to fish "open bale arm style" and connect to the running carp with one quick turn of the handle. Other times we would loosen the clutch to allow line to be given before the strike, however we had to remember to "cup" the left hand over the spool on the strike, I often find myself still doing this after all these years using reels with baitrunners.

The Baitrunner

During the later half of the 70's a new reel become available, the Shimano Baitrunner, these reels were to be carp fishing's most popular reel and soon became THE reel to use.
The originals were Shimano sea spins 3500 or 4500 and the Baitrunner plus 4500, I had and still have three 4500 pluses. The main difference between the pluses and the standard sea spins were the easier to use clutch at the front of the spool. The sea spins had the standard knob whereas the pluses had like a winged lever system. These reels cost nearly 80 each, way back in the 70's and I purchased them at the first CAA conference at Wembley.
They looked huge compared to the 300's and soon became known as the "meat grinders". We were not using line over 10lb in those days so they held an immense amount of line, we always backed the spools with some old line or string to allow us to bring the line to the tip of the spool. I could now cast further and could fish with the bail arm closed and the baitrunner gave line when a fish ran.
Although these reels have never had a spare part fitted or needed any repair whatsoever they are still very good reels to use today, especially when not casting over 60yds.

Modern Aero Baitrunners

The next reels from Shimano were better still than the sea spins, we now had long tapered spools, better line lay, rear drag and they were much lighter. The models available were Aero 3000, 3500, 4000, 4500, the 3000 and 3500 were same size reel with different spools and the 4000 and 4500 were bigger than the 3 series but again had different spools. These really were the business and are still basically the same as current models 6010 and 8010.
The addition of twin handles and Dyna balance, although improving the performance of the Baitrunner reel has not changed the concept of this highly efficient  reel .
For distances up to 100yds with line below 14lb BS they still cannot be beaten, they cast smoothly, the line lay is perfect and the clutch gives line when needed, the baitrunner facility always works and disengages at the turn of the handle.
The Big Pits

Although not one of the biggest reels on the market I have a set of  Shimano Power Aero GT 6000, these reels, at the time, were only available from The Tackle Box in Kent. I had started to fish some of the larger waters in Kent and needed some reels to hold lots of heavier line, I also needed a reel to fish in France with, these I thought, would fit the bill.
I purchased them complete with all the "add ons" handle conversion and baitrunner on the spool conversion.
Although I can't really complain about the performance of these reels, I'm not that keen on using them.
They cast well and hold plenty of line, but the clutch is not that good and the baitrunner conversion is far from ideal, they are very bulky and do seem a bit heavy. When long casting  with heavy line I use them, but when I can I prefer to use the baitrunners any time.
Maybe it's about time I purchased three of the new Big Pit Baitrunners, but I'll see if the price comes down a bit first and see if I can borrow one for a session to see how it performs.

Shimano Big Pit Long Cast

2003 was the year when I finally updated my reels to the big baitrunners from Shimano. These reels are very smooth with an extremely good line lay they can cast very long distances, as long as your technique and ability are right. Obviously to hurl big leads far distances your rods must be of a suitable test curve and taper also, big reels do not automatically equal a long cast.

I tend to use these reels loaded with braided mainline for carp where lots of line needs to be used, I also use them whilst catfishing on the river Ebro, they are great for this type of heavy fishing. 300+yds of braid is just swallowed up onto these spools, you get the benefit of big spools along with a super smooth clutch and the perfect baitrunner facility.


Shimano 10000XTEA

2007 Just before Christmas, this was to be my Christmas present, three new reels for medium range fishing. When I first opened the box to inspect the reels in a tackle shop here in Spain the first thing I noticed was the superb quality of these reels. Two alloy spools come with the reels, one has a golden finish wile the other is silver. The handle is the same as on the 8010's I use, with the weight and feel very similar, the big difference I found was how smooth these reels felt, maybe it was the newness but they felt really tight and well engineered.  The money was handed over and I became the owner of three new reels, I won't tell how much they cost me here in Spain just to say a lot cheaper than I could have got them in the UK!!

I opted for the silver spool to load up with line as it matched the stainless finishings on the rods they were to be used on (doesn't catch more fish I know). 12lb Daiwa Sensor is the line I use for most of my normal fishing as I find it cast's well and is a good all round supple line. The baitrunner and clutch are both infinitely adjustable and very smooth when giving line, which I was soon to find out as within the first hour I had a screaming take that resulted in a fin perfect 14lb Ebro common.

So far so good, might try them out in France 2008 see how they perform then? 


Contact me