For anyone who started fishing within the last 20yrs, the idea that anglers didn’t always have the option of using a free spool reel, with the ability to easily disengage the drag to allow a big, feisty fish to run with the line for a while before being brought fully into play, might come as a bit of a shock, but it was only in 1987 that the technology-focused specialists at Shimano developed the world’s first free-spool reel, the classic Baitrunner, which quickly established itself as the definitive big pit reel. The Shimano Baitrunner XT-B LC Reel is a thorough revamp of the first, classic Baitrunner, and makes it clear it’s here to handle big fish, and do so in style.
Available in Medium and Big sizes to handle every condition you’re likely to fish, and every fish you’re likely to come across, these reels come fully loaded with all of the stand-out, high performance technology you’d expect from Shimano. A large AR-C spool brings slow oscillation, giving you longer casting distances while preventing backlashes and wind knots, ensuring your cast is always smooth, with a subtle strike that won’t startle the fish, while Aero Wrap II, a worm gear oscillation system that ensures a uniform lay and winding shape, keeps your line looking sleek on every single cast, no matter how inexperienced with the demands of long range casting you may be. For those with significant long-range casting experience, these features draw attention to you and your action for all the right reasons, setting you apart on the bank and in the water. Meanwhile, the XShip system offers two-point support of a smooth, stable, durable gearing system, which runs on an ultra-light handle rotation for strong, subtle peak performance under the strain of even the biggest, liveliest fish.
Playing these large, lively fish is made effortless by the redesign of the gearing on the Shimano reels, which results in minimal friction, greater winding power, improved torque, and an increased transfer of power through the rotor, from the handle.
Both the Big and Medium Baitrunners come with line reducers, which enable you to easily adjust the spool capacity to suit your personal preference and angling style. In terms of practical application, the Big Baitrunner is best suited to hunting carp across large areas of water, and to stalking wild carp, who are likely to stay in the far margins; with the Big Baitrunner reel, you can accurately and smoothly cast out to wary, wild carp distance, presenting your bait in a spot where the carp already are, and where they feel relaxed about feeding.
On smaller waters, and at popular commercial fisheries where the carp are more docile and trusting, you’re still looking for smooth precision in bait presentation, but long-range casting ability isn’t such an issue. These waters are best fished on the Medium Baitrunner reel, which is lighter and easier to handle in a more confined swim on crowded waters.
Offering a silk-smooth cast, subtle, accurate presentation, top-spec technology and a go-to gearing, and featuring simple, classic, matte black styling, the Shimano Baitrunner is a reel apart, and will give you the looks and performance you need to truly stand out on the bank, and in the swim.
Built to handle anything carp fishing, and big, lively carp themselves, can throw at it, the Shimano Baitrunner has to be the ultimate reel for the committed carp angling enthusiast, combining sophisticated style with practical performance, and elevating an established classic to the realms of legendary angling kit. There’s 30yrs of Shimano design, engineering, and styling packed into the Baitrunner XT-B LC, and with its dynamic functionality and striking appearance, this offering from Shimano looks set to see angling through at least another three decades of top-of-the-game casting perfection.