The line lays perfectly every time with the Shimano ST RA Baitrunner, thanks to Shimano’s Varispeed system. Shimano’s original freespool fishing reel, the Aero Baitrunner, was released in the 1980s and quickly became a firm favourite. For anglers on a budget seeking reliable Baitrunner technology, the Shimano Baitrunner ST-RB 6000 Reel is the natural choice. It features a handy Free Spool facility, allowing fish to take line, with the drag and clutch only engaging when the reel handle is turned.
While the Baitrunner DL range is similar to the ST reels, there are a few key differences. Baitrunner reels feature two drag settings, allowing anglers to set one loose for free spooling once a fish is hooked and a second, tighter setting for fighting the fish. As a mechanical engineer who services reels regularly, I prefer standard-sized bearings. This sleek, compact reel is ideal for anglers targeting species like chub, barbel, tench, bream, and smaller carp on various venues.
The Shimano Baitrunner XT-A Longcast Reel stands out as an excellent choice for avid anglers seeking a high-quality, versatile, and durable reel. The Fox EOS-Pro 10000 Reel, an upgraded version of the original design, still benefits from the freespool/baitrunner system. The Shimano Baitrunner DL 4000 FB Reel is well-suited to predator fishing, as well as for hard-fighting species such as carp and barbel. Additionally, the KastKing Sharky Baitfeeder is one of the best Baitrunner reels produced by KastKing, offering unparalleled handling, power, and balance.
Whether you need the freespool function for specific techniques or are exploring different options in fixed spool reels with baitrunner features, the advancements in Shimano reels set them apart from the competition. The best-selling Shimano baitrunner reels, with their latest technological improvements, continue to be a top choice for anglers worldwide.