One of the most important factors that a good fisherman considers when it comes to choosing the best fishing reel for carp is the type of reel they want. A good one is strong enough to handle a big fish, yet nimble enough to allow them to navigate the dance between man and fish.

You’ve made a good choice by checking out the reviews. The last thing you want to do is regret your purchase on your first fishing trip.

I’ve added Amazon links below because I love the fact you can buy something and have it delivered the next day. I hate waiting a week for deliveries.

Considerations When Buying a Reel for Carp Fishing

Before you buy a new fishing reel, there are several factors that you need to consider. One of these is the type of reel that will compliment your current equipment. Having the right balance between weight and feel is very important to ensure that you’ll be able to use it properly.

Good quality and solid carp fishing reel should be built to a high standard to ensure that it will last a long time. In our reviews, we also talk about the various types of these reels.

Although some of these reels are made from high-end materials, we believe that they will be able to meet the needs of most people. If you’re in the market for a great fishing reel where the money is no object, we recommend a Diawa Basia QDX. However, for most people, this is a complete waste of money. Besides being capable of handling big fish, any of the reels below will also work well in almost any fishing situation.

The fishing reels market is full of confusing numbers and jargon, but it’s important to remember the basics when it comes to choosing the right one.

One of the most important factors that a good fisherman considers when it comes to choosing the best fishing reel for carp is the size. For small lure rods, the bigger the better. For longer, heavier, and leger work, the bigger the better.

Today, the drag mechanism on most reels is usually adjusted by a knob at the front, and it can also be found at the rear.

How Do I Choose a Carp Reel?

The more money that you spend on a new fishing reel, the lighter it will be. It’s also important to note that the line lay will be better to allow you to cast better.

A big pit or mini pit fishing reel is great for long-distance casting. They also work well for different types of fishing. Having a spare spool is also important if you’re planning on using your reels for multiple tasks.

A dial or free spool switch is also a must if you’re fishing with multiple rods. This will temporarily loosen the drag, but most commonly, it will switch back on once you turn the handle.

There are various types of fishing reels that are suitable for different types of fishing, such as fixed-spool, free-spool, and baitrunners. Depending on your preferred style of angling, you might want to try one of these different types of reels. If you’re still unsure about which one to choose, you can always contact your local branch of Angling Direct for more advice.

Like other technical equipment, there are some brands that are constantly pushing the limits when it comes to making fishing reels. Some of the major brands that are known for making great fishing reels including Daiwa, Fox, and Shimano. If you’re looking for something a bit more budget-friendly, you might want to consider skipping over the next section.

Our Recommendations for the Best All Rounder Carp Fishing Reels

1. Fox EOS 12000 – Best Value

The Fox EOS 12000 reel is my main reel and has been for many years now as you can see in the photo above. I use this on my syndicate water hunting 40b’s, and also use them on my local lake when tiddler basing with my 8-year-old son.

After the success of the Fox EOS 10,000, the company decided to expand its offerings with the release of the new 12000. This new model features a durable and lightweight design that’s built with a mesh-tech gear system. This ensures that the gears stay in place even when you have big slobber on your line.

This is a great-looking Fox reel that features a matte black finish and a metallic alloy body. It’s a steal for just over £100. If you’re a big fish and want to bring home those 25lbers, this is the right choice for you. But if you’re new to fishing and are interested in smaller sizes, this is a better alternative.

The new Fox EOS 12000 is the latest model in the company’s popular line of high-performance fishing equipment. It features a durable and lightweight design that’s built with a mesh-tech gear system. The company’s philosophy of combining practicality and performance has always been the main reason why the brand has been able to produce some of the best reels in the market. This is the perfect choice if you’re a lifelong fisherman or just starting out with the sport.

The new Fox EOS 12000 is a great choice if you’re planning on upgrading your current model or if you’re just getting into the use of the technology.

Aside from its size, the first thing that you’ll notice about this model is its all-black finish. This is a great-looking classic carpy reel that’s designed to look great on most modern fishing rods. But it’s also equipped with a variety of top-end technologies that will allow you to get the most out of this machine.

The body of the Fox EOS 12000 is made from high-carbon materials, which are some of the most commonly used in the construction of reels. This ensures that the internal components of the reel are held in their optimal position even when subjected to high levels of stress. This ensures that the low weight of the reels can be maintained while still producing a great performance.

Inside the body of the Fox EOS 12000 is a mesh-tec gearing system. This component ensures that the various components of the reel stay in place in perfect harmony, which prevents premature wear and tear. This system not only improves the life of the reels’ gears but also increases their overall performance. This ensures that you’re able to push all of your power through the reels without having to worry about getting stuck with mismatched components.

The Fox EOS 12000 features seven stainless steel ball bearings, which are ideal for smooth performance. One additional roller bearing is also included to provide additional stability.

Equipped with a 4.5:1 gear ratio, the Fox EOS 12000 is a great choice for those who are looking to get the most out of their fishing equipment. This large pit reel can be used to create great quality distance casts. Its impeccable line lay and the Pro Cast spool lip also help improve the casting performance of the machine.

This ensures that the line flies smoothly from the reels, which will help you land those perfect distance casts. The rotor line guard and anti-backlash system are also included to prevent tangles. These features help keep the lines flowing smoothly and give you confidence when casting.

The Fox EOS 12000 comes with three different spare spool options, which are designed to fit different sizes of fishing tackle. One of these is a standard spare. This is the same size as the one in the original model, and it’s ideal for day-to-day use.

If you’re planning on using the Fox EOS 12000 as your primary fishing machine, then you might want to consider investing in a deep spare spool. This type of component allows you to add more lines or cover your preferred backing without sacrificing casting distance. Another great option is to use a shallow spare spool, which is ideal for those who don’t use backed line.

Interested in the Fox 12000 Reel? You can get it delivered to your front door as early as tomorrow with Amazon Prime.

2. SHIMANO Ultegra, XTD 14000 – Best All Rounder

The Shimano Ultegra XTD is available in two sizes; 14000 and 5500

The Ultegra 14000 is a top-quality fishing rod that can handle most types of fish. When it was released was regarded as one of the most talked-about releases of the year.

The Ultegra XSD is a versatile fishing rod that comes with a variety of modifications. It’s designed with the modern fisherman in mind, and it’s considered to be the best of its kind. This is a great buy for anyone who’s looking for a great deal.

The first thing that you’ll notice about the Ultegra XSD is its sleek carpy finish. This design is ideal for modern setups. The company decided to create a matt finish after receiving feedback from its customers.

The Ultegra XSD comes with a better line guard that’s designed for preventing the line from getting caught in its spool. This feature is very useful as it allows the fisherman to keep the line from getting tangled in the reel.

One of the main features that sets the Ultegra XSD apart from other models is its impeccable line lay. Due to the company’s efforts, its oscillation rate has been reduced even further. Its magnesium counterparts have an oscillation rate of about 100 coils per turn.

The design of the Ultegra 14000 XSD also helps minimize the amount of time that the line has to spool up. This feature is ideal for those who are looking for a perfect distance cast.

One of the most important features of the Ultegra XSD’s parallel body is its ability to prevent the line from getting stuck in the spool. This feature is useful because it allows the user to keep their line out of the way and prevent it from getting slapped on big casts. The new design of the reel features a spool that’s parallel to the rod blank.

The Ultegra XSD features a variety of washers that allow users to customize the way their line travels through the spool. For instance, if you prefer the line to stay flat, then you can use one of these.

Equipped with top-of-the-line technology, the Ultegra XSD has a lot of features that are designed to help minimize the number of lateral movements that the reels can get subjected to. One of these is the X-Ship, a gear housing made by the company.

With the ability to transfer all of its power into the retrieve, the Ultegra XSD can give users greater control over their fishing.

The Ultegra 14000 also comes with an instant drag feature, which allows users to alter the setting of their line in just one action. This is very useful when fighting big fish. It can be used to go from a standard size spool to a rock-solid shape in just a couple of seconds with this feature.

3. ESP Onyx Big Pit Reel – Best Runner-Up

The first product from the brand is the Big Pit Reel, which is a traditional fishing lure that is commonly used by prominent individuals in the UK.

The brand’s original big pit design was established to address the different needs of different fishing communities. It also took into account the various factors that affect the success of a big pit.

The Onyx Big Pit Reel is designed for long-range fishing. It features a slow-moving spool that allows it to provide you with a perfect line lay, and this feature can be used to achieve extra yards when you’re fishing from far out. The different depths of the spools also allow you to cast a wider range of lines.

One of the most important factors that the team took into account when it came to creating the new big pit was its ability to load up and carry the entire package without the need for additional lines. This feature eliminates the need for a second line and allows people to fish with just one spool.

The new Big Pit Reel features a Rapid Lock system, which allows users to switch between freespool and fight modes in just a half turn. It also comes with a fine drag adjuster that can be utilized to adjust the drag. The package additionally comes with a line clip that can be used to prevent the line from getting damaged even with 10lb lines.

The Onyx Big Pit Reel is made from high-quality materials and comes in an all-black finish. This model features a modern folding handle.

The Onyx Big Pit Reel features a long-range cast taper spool that is made from high-quality materials. The two interchangeable drag adjusters can be utilized to adjust the drag. The Quick fold handle features a stainless steel line clip that can be used to secure the line. The front and rear drag grit guards are also made of high-quality materials. The black finish of the package features a subtle red color.

Best Bait Runner Reels

The term Free Spool or Baitrunner is often used to refer to a type of fishing reel. If you are not familiar with this type of reel, then I will explain it to you.

It allows the fish to run with the bait before the hook is set. The primary drag system of a bait runner reel is designed to allow the fish to move while the hook is being set.

When the secondary drag is activated, this feature creates a controlled free spool, which allows the fish to take the bait without feeling the drag.

The secondary drag is designed to keep the line from getting too loose and allow the fish to swim freely. This type of reel is typically adjusted using a drag knob on the bottom of the reel.

Once the fish takes the bait, the free spool will automatically come off the line, which is very easy to do since there are only a couple of pounds of drag on the reels at that time.

To deactivate the secondary drag system, simply pick up your rod and wind it around one turn. This will allow the main drag to take over and set the hook.

The advantage of using a bait runner is that it allows you to use the reel without having the main drag adjusted. This eliminates the need for you to manually flip the bail or adjust the main drag.

The bait runner is a lot more beginner-friendly as you won’t need to keep adjusting the drag when playing a fish. If you don’t need to cast far, and only fish small lakes, a bait runner will be a good choice for you.

I used a Shimano like the one below for the first ten years of carp fishing before upgrading to the Fox EOS 12000 once I had some spare cash and a bit of confidence.

1. Shimano Baitrunner ST RB – Best Budget Bait Runner

The introduction of the new baitrunner DL and Baitrunner ST freespool reels by manufacturer, Shimano, are a huge hit with the world’s top specimen fishermen. These two new models are the culmination of over 30 years of innovation and will elevate the reputation of the original baitrunner to new heights.

Despite the various features that are offered by other brands, the belief that all the other models are only competing to be the best has always been the main reason why Shimano has maintained its reputation as the industry leader in innovation. The new baitrunner DL and the new baitrunner ST are both equipped with an extensive range of advanced features.

The new baitrunner ST RB is ideal for those who are looking for a durable and reliable free spool reel that’s also equipped with a powerful double handle. It is powered by the same system that’s used by the famous baitrunner system. This mechanism allows the reel to operate in a freespool. This feature allows any fish to freely run with your line.

The baitrunner also comes with a lever that can be deactivated to reengage the drag, which allows you to determine when it’s time to set your hook to play your catch. This innovative system is widely used by experienced and novice fishermen, and it can be used for the first time.

The reel is made from carbon, which is a durable and strong material that can withstand the effects of long-term use.

It features a unique design that’s designed to prevent wind knots and backlash when you’re casting with a braided line. This feature also helps all line types peel from the spool in small coils, which can assist with accurate distance casting.

The Power Roller feature of the new baitrunner ST RB is also designed to help minimize the risk of line twists. This feature can be very advantageous when fishing with lines that are on the thin end of the spectrum.

The reel is also equipped with the company’s Varispeed line lay technology, which is a dual gear system that features one square and one oval. This ensures that you’ll experience smooth and accurate line lay every time you spool up.

The balanced double handle is also equipped with a Super Stopper II, which prevents rearward back play when the reels are set in anti-reverse. Another feature of the new baitrunner system is the DynaBalance, which ensures that all the power that you’re pushing through the handle is directed to the gearing.

The reel comes in two different sizes: the 6000 and the 10,000. The smaller 6000 is ideal for those who are looking for a medium-sized reel that can target small and medium-sized fish such as barbel, tench, and carp.

The larger version of the baitrunner ST RB, the 8000, is ideal for those who are looking for a larger and more powerful free spool reel. This model is also designed to be used for those who are looking for a combination of power and performance when it comes to fishing for large fish.

The high performance and price of the baitrunner ST RB make it an excellent choice for those who are looking for a great fishing reel. It features a sleek black finish and is also designed to look great on top-end rod bodies.

2. Shimano Sahara-R RD Fishing Reel – Mid Range

The Sahara RD is a versatile bait runner reel that features a Cold forged aluminum spool and a Varispeed line that can be used for both mono and braided lines. This versatile reel can be used for various freshwater fishing activities, such as match fishing for carp, bream, and tench.

The Sahara RD is a mid-level rear drag that’s made to look and feel like a high-quality product from the world-renowned manufacturer of fishing equipment, Shimano. It features a beautiful gold and platinum finish and is an eye-catcher for all types of fish. Its multi-disk system provides smooth performance and adjustable control.

About this item

  • Spinning Fishing reel with Rear drag
  • Gear ratio: 5.2:1, Weight: 9.9 ounces, Retrieve: Reversible
  • Mono Line capacity (lbs/yd): 6/200, 8/140, 10/120
  • Line Retrieve per crank: 30 inch
  • Max drag force: 4.4 lbs, Bearings: 3 SUS and 1 RB

3. Shimano Baitrunner XTB CI4+ LC Reels – For Those With a Bigger Budget

The popular Baitrunner range of fishing reels from Japan’s leading manufacturer is known for its ability to catch exceptional specimens. There are two sizes of these reels, the Medium and the Big. The Medium is ideal for light tackle fishing, while the Big is for those who prefer to use heavy rods and distance casting.

The Baitrunner line is made from a carbon body, which is durable and will give you the results that you want in style, wherever you are fishing. Its smooth and efficient fishing experience will last a lifetime.

The Baitrunner range is equipped with an extra cold forged aluminum spool, which will allow you to make quick changes and tackle up to make the most of a situation. Its waterproof drag will also keep you protected from damaging the workings of your reels. This makes it the ideal choice for those who are looking for that elusive specimen.

The versatile and effective Baitrunner range is ideal for those who are looking to use a combination of different techniques to catch big fish. One of these is the use of leads off the bottom. With two different sizes, it’s easy to find the right fishing equipment that fits your style.

With the relatively higher price, the Baitrunner makes it the ideal choice for experienced fishermen. It features a full range of performance and features, making it the ideal choice for those who are looking for a versatile fishing package. The Big and Medium Baitrunner XTBs come with a spare spool, and they feature two speed Aero Wrap II line lay.

The new generation of Baitrunner CI4+ XT-B reels is replacing the older model, the X-A. These are great for both freshwater and saltwater fishing, and they feature various features such as X-SHIP, Hi Speed Drag, and the free spool system.

The Baitrunner system is ideal for those who are looking to fish on the bottom using lead. It comes with freespool facilities, and it can be used for different types of fishing. Some of the recommended sizes are: MEDIUM (5200), all-round, ideal for fishing up to 120 meters away, and for using lighter rods. BIG (14000), ideal for use with heavier line capacity, is also a good choice.

What Is A Big Pit Reel?

Most big-pit reels, such as those from Daiwa and Shimano, require the clutch to be adjusted manually. While this may seem like a Godsend for some, it is actually unnecessary for others.

Due to their original use on large gravel pits, big-pit fishing reels are referred to as the Hummers of the sport. These are not subtle, and their looks are what sets them apart from other models. Classic designs such as the Daiwa Tournament range continue to be very popular 25 years after they were first introduced.

Big-carp reels are made for launching long-distance rigs. They feature larger spools and a slower retrieve speed, which helps minimize friction and improve line lay. Compared to other types of reels, these larger sizes offer better casts.

The price of casting power comes with a price. Big-pit reels are typically more expensive than freespool ones, and they are just as heavy in your hand. For certain tactics, such as stalking, they are too bulky. They can also be very time consuming and expensive to respool.


I have made a lot of mistakes during my fishing sessions and don’t want you to make the same mistakes. I’ve learned the hard way over 20 years of fishing most weekends, testing, tweaking, and testing again and now want to help you excel with your carp fishing.

If you need any help, you can reach me at Fishing Again’s Facebook page

Last Updated on February 4, 2024 by