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  1. #1


    Hi, I'm coming back to fishing after a 20+ year break and a lot seems to have changed.

    I need to update my gear and want to start byreplacingtwo Mitchell 300 reels Ibought in the 1970s and I suspect are now only fit for a museum!

    I want to buyone reel for use with a light carbon fibre match rod -using a stick float on a small river for roach, dace,chub.

    Then, asecond reelfor barbel and pike -I like to use a lightish rod and rove, especially for barbel.

    My price range is £50 - £100 for each. Any recommendations would be much appreciated. After being a fairly serious angler many years ago I feel like I'm starting from scratch.

    Any knowledgeable views on baitrunners and how they differ from the bog standard fixed spool reels I used to use would also be very helpful.

    Many thanks in anticipation

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Not So Greater Manchester


    Look at the Shimano range of reels. For light work a 2500/3000 type would do, 4000 tops. For barbel and pike then a baitrunner around the 5000 or 6000would probably do. Baitrunners are designed so that when you cast out, tighten up as normal to your weight then you put the baitrunner mode on, ie flick a lever usually on the back of the reel. This allows the spool to free run if a fish takes and runs with your bait. The advantage of this is that you don't get tangled as you could if you left the bail arm open and allows you to fish with a tighter line. Baitrunners are usually used with bite alarms.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Azide the Stour


    Something I wrote earlier that may be of use:

    Buying reels

  4. #4


    Hello Mark

    As a result of your advice I bought a Shimano Exage 2500FA for light work. Yet to use but feels nice on my 12' normark match rod.

    After continued research I am getting a better idea for something more substantial for barbel. I tried a Shimano 5000 on a Fox 1.75 tc barbel rod the other day and it didn't feel balanced to me - reel felt too heavy. Could you suggest some options for a lighter baitrunner that could handle barbel and double up for tench? I can't see a Shimano baitrunner smaller than 5000. I'm not quite convinced about the Fox rod - I'm still looking at other Avon 1.25 and 1.5 possibilities.

    You may remember me mentioning that I'm returning to fishing after a break of about 25 years. I was reasonably accomplished in my time but equipment hasbecome so much more sophisticated and with a much wider choice. And of course the Internet providing unlimited research is fantastic but can be endlessly confusing.

    I don't feel comfortable going to tackle shops for advice when I may well end up buyingonline. Any other advice info you can offer woulds be much appreciated.

    Thanks, Tony

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Derbyshire: best beer, best cheese, best puddings.
    Blog Entries


    Some of the Shimanos have a 'fighting drag' mechanism, this a lever that sits adjacent to the clutch. It allows you to set the clutch then by pushing the lever over to the left it releases the majority of the clutch's grip, pushing it full to the right causes the clutch to grip again at whatever position you initially set it.

    If you are doing day sessions and sitting near your rod the loose setting allows enough line off to avoid losing your rod and it can be be quickly tightened again with a swipe of your thumb.


    I have just noticed you bought an Exage, if it's the rear drag version this wil have the 'fighting drag' feature on it so you'll understand my explanation above.

    I believe in reintarnation - I'll come back to life as a hillbilly.

  6. #6
    alan whittington Guest


    Roachpole,ive used shimanostradic rear drag reels for years for barbel until i started fishing larger leads when i found they dont seem to have the winding power,i subscribed to a magazine and got a freeby hyperloop 4000 front drag as a gift and that persuaded me to buy a better quality front drag reel.I personally am not keen on bait runners for barbel but thats just me,i like you feel like there's a knitting machine in my reel fittings when using one.[img]/forum/smilies/smile_smiley.gif[/img]

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