14 Best Carp Reels 2021

best carp reels

WHAT IS THE BEST CARP REEL?

We feature the best carp reels for 2021, that includes reels from Fox, Daiwa and Shimano.

A carp reel should be solid, and built to a high standard so that it will last you a long time, whislt also standing up to the rigours of modern day carp fishing.

It should compliment your rods by striking a balance between feel and weight.

You can learn more below about the types of carp reel, such as a baitrunner and big pit reels. 

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1. Shimano DL RB 6000

Best Carp Reel (Baitrunner)

Tackle Scout Rating

Power Roller
Varispeed Technology
Angled Lip Spool
Perfect Line Lay

Weighing a modest 640g, the Shimano Baitrunner features a few upgrades of the internal components, which makes the drag even smoother!

Shimano Baitrunner Reel

The model we reviewed was the 6000, ideal for smaller lakes and rivers, and as with all baitrunner reels, you can go from zero tension to almost locked up for snag fishing situations making it well suited to carp fishing and the challenges it brings.

Should you want a more hardworking reel, then you should go for the 10000 baitrunner, which is equipped to take heavier lines for those longer casts.

Those anglers interested in the technology behind a reel will find some very useful features packed under the hood, including a power roller which significantly reduces line twist – a huge advantage when you’re fishing with mono or braid.

Dreaded birds’ nests are no longer a thing when you choose a Shimano baitrunner due to the inclusion of Varispeed technology. This uses two specially designed gears, one been oval, the other square, to achieve perfect parallel line lay every single time!

An angled lip forged aluminium spool allows a very smooth cast as line leaves the spool rapidly with less friction, reduced backlash and wind knots if using braid.

The Shimano Baitrunner DL RB does not disappoint, and you can be sure of a long-lasting quality reel for all sorts of fishing situations.

It’s a huge thumbs up from Tackle Scout!

Available Sizes: 6000, 10000

Sale
Shimano Baitrunner DL RB 6000
  • Gear Ratio: 4.6:1
  • Line Capacity mm/m: 0,30-270 / 0,35-240 / 0,40-140 / 0,45-110 pound/yds: 10-300 / 12-265 / 14-210 / 20-120
  • Line Retrieve: 85 centimeter / 33.46 inch

Video Review

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2. Daiwa 19 Black Widow BR LT

Best Carp Reel (For those on a budget)

Tackle Scout Rating

ATD Drag
Infinite Anti-Reverse
Crosswrap
DS4 Body & Rotor
Tough Digigear

Every year, this reel just keeps getting better! Sizes include 2500, 3000, 4000 and 5000 – we actually reviewed the Daiwa Black Widow BR LT 3000 reel.

Daiwa-19-Black-Widow-BR-LT-3000-Reel

Retaining great features such as Crosswrap technology and infinite anti-reverse, this budget carp reel still retains a competitive price.

Perfect for intimate venues, this has been built using a light but tough body kitted out with robust Digigear internal components that make this a highly reliable fishing reel.

Like most quality baitrunner reels these days, anglers seek a reel that can take a good battering, yet offers a smooth cast and retrieve, with this reel fitting that bill easily.

Daiwa Black Widow Reel

The aluminium spool is cut and features a Longcast design which improves line release on the cast, resulting in getting your rig out further – and with more accuracy.

Slow oscillation loads your line perfectly back onto the spool, making line lay exceptional for a low-budget carp reel where you might pay twice the price for the luxury of this.

Anglers looking for a smaller, more compact baitrunner will be left feeling satisfied with picking the Daiwa Black Widow reel.

Available Reel Sizes: 2500, 3000, 4000 and 5000

Daiwa 19 Black Widow BR LT
  • Reel Size: 5000, Compact Body reel, Free-spool reel
  • Gear Ratio: 5.2:1, Weight: 315 grams
  • Line Capacity (mm/metre): 0.37/150


Reel Specifications – Size 3000

  • Gear Ratio: 5:2:1
  • Crank: 87cm
  • Line Capacity: 0.23mm-150m
  • Weight: 300g
  • Drag: 10kg

Video Review


3. Sonik Vader X 6000RS Carp Reel

Best Carp Reel (Under £50)

Tackle Scout Rating

Quick Torque Drag System
Twin Spring Loaded Line Clips
Graphite Body
Instant Anti-reverse
Twist-free Line Roller

Next up on our best carp reel list is the sleek Sonik Vader X reel.

Weighing 500g, we really like the presence of the wooden handle which gives this reel a nice traditional feel!

Best Carp Reel under 50

Smooth long casts and ultra-fast retrieve make this a very modern reel, which can also be used for spodding due to the 4:1:1 gear ratio.

This means that for every turn of the handle, 1.1m of line is recovered.

Features such as twin spring line clips, instant anti-reverse, an oversized twist-free line roller and micro line lay adjustment washers really make the Sonik Vader X reel stand out as an unforgiving reel that can withstand the demands of carp angling, whether used on a large open lake or small intricate venue such as a farm pond.

For under £50 per reel, at the time of writing, these would accompany the hugely popular Sonik Vader X rods to offer a great carp setup that is reliable and robust.

A good choice for anglers looking for an all-round carp reel!

Sizes: 5000, 6000, 8000

Reel Specifications

  • Gear Ratio 4.1:1
  • Weight: 604g
  • Capacity: MM/M 0.30/290 – 0.35/200 – 0.40/140

Video Review


4. Fox EOS 10000 Reel

Best Carp Reel (Most Popular)

Tackle Scout Rating

Rotor Balanced Profile
Smooth Clutch
Freespool Mechanism
5 Ball Bearings
Great Line Lay

I’ve owned a pair of these reels for a few years now, and they’ve proven to be very versatile!

Perfect for newcomers to the sport, or anglers that fish smaller lakes often, perhaps paired with 2.5-3lb rods, I have used these for float fishing, stalking and on larger lakes where you need to cast at distance to get up close to an island – they really can be used for almost all situations.

Under the hood there is 5 stainless steel bearings for smooth action, backed up by a balanced rotor profile, great characteristics you should expect in a quality baitrunner.

Fox EOS 7000 Best Carp Reel


I paired these reels up with the Fox Horizon X3 rods, which I feel offered a great action without feeling heavy or too easy to bring fish in – I do like to ‘feel the battle’ as much as possible, and this match up has kept me entertained for a number of years now!

If you’re looking to target big carp, either in the margins or in open space at distance, I can confidently tell you that the Fox EOS reels can handle both situations without breaking sweat – or the bank!

Other sizes in the EOS range includethe 5000 and 7000 carp reels if you’re seeking a smaller reel.

Sizes: 5000, 7000, 10000

Sale
Fox EOS 10000 Reel
  • Gear Ratio 5.5:1
  • Line Capacity 0.33mm 320m
  • Weight 558g

Reel Specifications

  • Gear Ratio: 5.5:1
  • Line Capacity: 260m-0.35mm
  • Weight: 558g

Video Review

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5. Nash BP-6 Big Pit Reel

Best Carp Reel (For Stalking)

Tackle Scout Rating

Long Cast Spool
Fast Drag
Dual Line Clips
One-touch Folding Handle
Oversized Line Roller

The Nash BP-6 is a baby big pit reel (not a baitrunner, but uses quick drag) made from stainless steel and is absolutely solid!

Weighing 510g, its brilliantly balanced whilst remaining compact and robust. The multi-disc rear drag means you can be using the freespool one minute, and a quick flick activates an immediate increase in tension for battling with a hard fighting fish!

Best Carp Reel for Stalking

The oversized CAD aluminium spool contains a feature named ‘Level Wind Lay’ which suggests it can offer smooth casting and is great when paired with either the Nash Scope or Dwarf rods.

Other notable features that make this carp reel stand out include a folding one-touch handle and dual spot-on line clips to help you mark-up distances precisely everytime.

These are great carp reels, and although they look a bit different to your standard carp reel, they feel robust and hardwearing.

There is no spare spool with these either.

Sizes: BP-4, BP-6, BP-10

Nash BP-6 Big Pit Reel
  • Matte Black Finish
  • Aluminium long cast spool
  • Fast drag

Reel Specifications

  • Gear ratio 4.9:1
  • Spool capacity 0.28mm/273yards

Video Review

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6. Wychwood Riot Big Pit Reel

Best Carp Reel (For Big Pits)

Tackle Scout Rating

Instant Anti-reverse
Large Line Roller
Machined Aluminium Handle
Huge Crank Power
Micro Pitch Drag

The second big pit reel on our best carp reel list is the hugely popular Wychwood Riot.

There are two sizes, the 65 and 75, both available in a black silver or all black colour, each fitted with a traditional wooden handle.

Offering huge cranking power due to the oversized main shaft (no sexual innuendos intended!) the micro pitch multi disc drag can be adjusted very quickly so you can add/reduce tension as required.

This makes controlling large fish caught at distance much easier.

Wychwood Riot Reels


Retailing at around £50-£60, size 65 accepts 340m of 15lb line, with the larger 75 model taking 420m.

Under the hood, there are 5+1 ball bearings which makes casting smooth, and each reel is fitted with infinite anti-reverse.

A spare graphite spool is also included.

For fishing extreme distances, or spodding, we highly recommend the Wychwood Riot Big Pits.

Sizes: 65, 75

Reel Features & Specifications

  • Line capacity 340m 15lb
  • 5 + 1 Ball Bearings

Video Review

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7. Daiwa 20 Crosscast 45 SCW QD Spod Reel

Best Carp Reel for Spodding

Tackle Scout Rating

Size: 45

For any heavy bait or marker work, you can trust the brand-new Daiwa Crosscast 45 SCW QD Spod reel to deliver!

Utilising a 45mm long cast spool, offering near perfect line lay, this combined with Daiwa’s famous slow cross wrap system, offers a hard-as-nails spod reel that won’t let you down when it matters.

If you were to take the reel apart, you would discover a Digigear II System which is a precision mechanism featuring large teeth for increased smoothness and a longer lifespan.

Daiwa Crosscast Spod Reel


Casting long distances should be a breeze, whilst the metal high impact line clip will give you the necessary accuracy as you clip up your spots.

I think that once you’ve had a go at spodding out a spomb or three, you won’t go back to using any other reel than this.

A top spod reel that packs a punch and does the hard work for you.

Reel Features & Specifications

  • 45mm LC Long Cast Spool
  • Slow Cross Wrap
  • QD Quick Drag
  • Metal HIP High Impact Line Clip
  • Aluminium Machine Cut Handle
  • Infinite Anti-Reverse
  • T Shape Handle Knob
  • Ratio – 5.5:1/118cm
  • Line Capacity – 300m-0.35mm
  • Weight – 610g/21.5oz
  • Drag – 15kg
Daiwa 20 Crosscast 45 SCW QD Spod Reel
  • 45mm LC Long Cast Spool
  • Slow Cross Wrap
  • QD Quick Drag

Learn How To Spod Accurately

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8. Okuma Carbonite XP Baitfeeder Reel

Best Carp Reel for Small Hands

Tackle Scout Rating

Sizes: 55

These are great reels for your money, and each comes pre-loaded with 12-15lb camo mono line.

Built to last, Okuma have an outstanding reputation for producing great fishing tackle – these Carbonite reels are no exception.

Geared towards budget anglers, or those new to fishing, the reason we think this is the best for small hands is the size, which is quite small in comparison to other baitrunners.

Okuma Carp Reel

Although equipped with monofilament, we would suggest changing to a more trusting line, such as Fox Exocet or Daiwa Sensor.

Looking in more detail, this 55 sized reel seems well balanced, and the inclusion on an elliptical gearing system and brass pinion gear fills me with a bit more confidence after my first impression was ‘what a load of cheap rubbish’.

Included is a bespoke ‘quick-release’ graphite spool, and a spare so you quickly change reel lines if needed.

Anglers wanting a reel that can be used for float fishing, stalking the margins or perhaps fishing a canal or small water may be suited to choosing the Okuma Carbonite Baitfeeder reel.

Reel Features & Specifications

  • Baitfeeder quick release graphite spool
  • Precision Elliptical Gearing System
  • Machined cut brass pinion gear
  • RESII: Computer balanced Rotor System
  • Hydro Block water tight drag seal
  • Spool Capacity: 130m/0.35mm
  • Line Retrieve: 71cm
  • Weight: 280g
  • Drag Power: 6kg
  • Gear Ratio: 5.0:1
Okuma Carbonite XP Baitfeeder Reel
  • Weight (g): 400
  • Capacity (m/mm): 260m in 35/100
  • Retrieve cm/tm: 76.2

Video Review

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9. Leeda Rogue 65 FD Big Pit Reel

Best Budget Big Pit Reel

Tackle Scout Rating

Sizes: 65

Our next carp reel is another big pit style offering in the shape of the Leeda Rogue 65 Front-Drag reel.

The perfect tool for anglers of all abilities, the internal 5+1 ball bearing count means you’re going to get a smooth cast and retrieve, whilst a dedicated front drag system and slow oscillation offers extremely good line lay.

Leeda Carp Reel

Strong, yet durable, the body has been made from a graphite compound and the inclusion of a diecast aluminium power handle lets you crank away without worrying it will snap off when playing a fish!

Weighing a mighty 716 grams, and a gear ratio of 4:8:1, you can be sure of a big pit reel that performs well against more expensive models.

Sadly, no spare spool is supplied with this model.

Reel Features & Specifications

  • 5+1 Ball Bearings
  • Die-Cast Power Handle
  • Soft touch handle grip
  • Slowed oscillation gear
  • Front drag system
  • Gear Ratio: 4:8:1
  • Weight 720g
  • Line Capacity: 0.40mm/290m 0.45mm/230m 0.50mm/185m
Leeda Rogue 65 FD Big Pit Reel
  • The Rogue FS Big Pit Reels are the perfect tool for any budding angler looking to target larger carp. The internal components include 5+1 stainless steel ball bearings for a smooth retrieve, a dedicated free spool system and also a slowed oscillation gear for improved line lay. For strength and durability the reel body has been manufactured using a graphite compound and Leeda have included a robust die-cast aluminium power handle for added cranking power.
  • Free spool mechanism
  • 5+1 Ball Bearings

How To Achieve Perfect Line Lay

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10. Daiwa Emcast BR LT Reel

Best Compact Carp Reel

Tackle Scout Rating

Sizes: 2500, 3000, 4000, 5000

Featuring the revered bite n’ run feature – which allows you to pay off line when a fish takes your hookbait. Once line is shooting off, the auto clutch will put the reel ‘in gear’ allowing for a rock-solid hook set.

This offers a much more controlled way, rather than opening up the bail.

Sizes vary from 2500 up to 5000, and we had the pleasure of taking the 5000 model out for a spin, so our review is based on that.

Versatile, light but tough, the carbon body is much lighter than traditional ABS bodies frequently used in carp reels.

Best Compact Carp Reel

A gear ratio of 5:2:1 offers a good amount of crank, and this is a really exciting reel to use for many different angling situations you may be faced with.

Additionally, the machined aluminium handle feels comfortable to wind, with no sticking or looseness felt at all.

We’d describe the Daiwa Emcast as a powerful all-rounder suited to many styles of fishing, be that in the shallows, out in the middle or when fishing at range.

Reel Features & Specifications

  • ATD Drag
  • Tough Digigear
  • DS4 Body & Rotor
  • Air Rotor
  • Crosswrap
  • Infinite Anti-Reverse
  • Gear Ratio: 5:2:1
  • Crank: 87cm
  • Drag: 10kg
  • Weight 315g
  • Spool Capacity: 0.37mm-150m
Daiwa Emcast BR LT Reel
  • Reel Size: 2500, Free-spool reel
  • Gear Ratio: 5.2:1, Weight: 295 grams
  • Line Capacity (mm/metre): 0.20/150

Video Review

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11. Sonik Extractor GS Big Pit Reel

Best Lightweight Big Pit Reel

Tackle Scout Rating

Sizes: 65

We’re certainly a big fan of the black and gold combo, and at only 415g – the Sonik Xtractor is light, stable and powerful to cast.

A robust graphite body provides all the stability required when casting heavy spods out, whilst the CNC handle can be tilted and takes a lot of winding without letting up.

5+1 ball bearings offer a smooth ride, and the 4:4:1 ratio offers a hefty crank power required of a big pit reel.

Sonik Big Pit Carp Reels

Bonus features include twin spring loaded line clips for clipping up accurately and a quick-clik handle so you can store these reels compactly when not in use.

To get the most from these reels, we would suggest pairing them up with the outstanding Xtractor rods.

If you’re seeking an all-round big pit reel that combines power with stability, we recommend giving the Sonik Xtractor reels a shot!

Reel Features & Specifications

  • ‘Quick-Torque’ Drag System
  • Twin Spring-Loaded Captive Line Clips
  • ‘Quik-Clik’ Folding
  • Handle with wood grip
  • Graphite Body and Rotor
  • Instantanti-reverse
  • Oversize twist free line roller
  • 5 + 1 Ball Bearings
  • Gear Ratio 4.1:1
  • Weight 415g
  • Spool Capacity mm/m 0.30/380 • 0.35/280 • 0.40/200
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Sonik Extractor GS Big Pit Reel
  • Gear ratio: gear ratio - 4.1:1 powerful line retraction in any position.
  • Lightweight: At only 415 g, the carp reel with front brake is compact and light.
  • Line capacity: 0.30/380mm/m o 0.35/280mm/m o 0.40/200mm/m

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12. Okuma Distance DTA-60 Pro Reel

Most Underated Carp Reel

Tackle Scout Rating

Size: 60

To be honest, until we got our hands on this – we had never even heard of this reel!

Its actually decent, and although it does look quite boring cosmetically, we do appreciate the worm shaft oscillation system which, combined with a huge 9+1 ball bearings (the most we’ve seen on a big pit reel) offers extremely smooth casting and playing of fish.

Okuma Distance Carp Reel

Weighing 670 grams, it features a blade body design made up of aluminium, and key features include anti-reverse and a kink-free line roller and integrated adjustable Baitfeeder converter.

We would recommend checking out the full details of what these features mean on the official Okuma website.

Oh, we forget to mention that the Okuma Distance reel size is 80.

Reel Features & Specifications

  • 3 +1RB stainless steel bearings
  • Quick-Set anti-reverse roller bearing
  • Machine cut anodizing aluminium spool
  • Aluminum regular handle
  • Hydro block system
  • Worm shaft transmission system
  • Drag: 12kg
  • Line Capacity: 101.6cm 310m/0.35mm
  • Gear ratio: 4.5:1
  • Weight: 570g
Okuma Distance DTA-60 Pro Reel
  • Fixed spool reel with front brake and special coil
  • Quick set Anti Reverse Roller Bearing, Spool made of anodised aluminium, aluminium handle
  • Quiet running, worm shaft gear

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13. Avid Carp ACR 12000 Reel

Best Carp Reel under £100

Tackle Scout Rating

Size: 12000

Featuring a long-tapered spool, with super slow oscillation, these 12000 sized reels offer outstanding value against the features and quality on offer.

Made to withstand almost all fishing situations out on the bank, its kitted out with an impressive large diameter bail arm, stainless steel shaft, with the body and rotor covered in a high tensile material making it more than capable of landing monster carp!

Everything seemed effortless – from casting out a heavy PVA bag at distance, to close quarter comeback with a 20lb+ carp.

Best Carp Reel under £100

A combination of power, durability and balance offers a great carp reel that we have no doubt will stand up to the test of time.

The retrieve is smooth, perhaps due to the 7+1 ball bearings that make the reel silent.

When you’re lucky enough to be playing a whopper, the rapid drag system helps you engage the fish – giving it line when needed, and reeling in when the fish is resting to regain energy.

Freespool to fight mode is quick and easy, and with the extra crank power and grip, this carp reel is outstanding.

It weighs 800g, quite heavy for a big pit, but we’re sure you’ll enjoy the quality and robustness when you have one in your hands, and a fish at the end of your hook!

Reel Features & Specifications

  • 7 stainless steel ball bearings and 1 roller bearing
  • Rapid front drag system
  • A CNC machined aluminium handle with ergonomic soft touch rubber grip
  • Bearings: 7+1 Stainless Steel
  • Line Capacity: 0.35/550 0.30/450 0.40/400
  • Gear Ratio: 4.9:1
  • Weight: 740g
Avid Carp ACR 12000 Reel
  • ✅ TOTAL WARRANTY: this product is guaranteed for 2 or 3 years depending on the manufacturer's indications.
  • ✅ SAFE SHIPPING: the shipment of the product is assigned only to high reliability couriers and the packages are made in a very robust way.
  • ✅ BIG BRAND: this product belongs to a high quality brand.

Video Review

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14. Mitchell Avocet RS Black Edition Reel

Best Carp Reel under £100

Tackle Scout Rating

Next on our best carp reel guide is the Mitchell Avocet RS, a powerful model that comes pre-spooled with dark line.

Two sizes form part of the line-up here; 5500 and 6500, both designed to cover a range of fishing, whether short in the margins or long distance towards islands.

Drag is surprisingly smooth considering it only has 2+1 ball bearings, whilst each handle extremely well when playing a fish.

Mitchell Avocet Reel

It’s a shame they don’t come with a spare spool, but they more than do the job intended.

For the money (under £40 at the time of writing) they’re smashing little reels that I use on a light roving setup at the moment.

Spooled with 19lb line (probably a bit too thick, but I like to be sure it can handle a big fish) they coped well under pressure.

For those looking for the difference between the two sizes, the smaller model 5500 holds 240m of line, and the 6500 is capable of holding 320m line.

Size: 12000

Reel Features & Specifications

  • Pre-spooled with dark line
  • Free Spool reel system
  • Halo Rotor
  • 2 + 1 bearings
  • Black anodized aluminum Spool
  • Multi-disk drag system with greased felt
  • Soft Touch Handle Knob
  • Capacity: 240m / 0.30mm
  • Recovery: 0.78m
  • Bearings: 2+1, Gear Ratio: 5.1:1
Mitchell Avocet RS Black Edition Reel
  • 2 + 1 bearings
  • Anodized Aluminium Spool
  • Multi disc drag system

Video Review

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Last update on 2021-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API