14 Best Carp Reels 2022

Carp Reel Reviews

Carp anglers are always looking for the best carp reels, but there are so many different fishing reels out there, that it can be difficult to know which one is right for you.

Carp fishing isn’t just a sport for anglers, it’s an art.

Whether you’re looking to enjoy fishing a big gravel pit, or are aiming for a new personal best that will bring home bragging rights, there are several things you need to consider before purchasing a carp reel.

Firstly, your reel should compliment your rods by striking a balance between feel and weight.

Pairing the wrong type of reel with your rod just won’t work out for you.

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

In each of our reel reviews, we also discuss the types of carp reel, such as a baitrunner or a big pit reel.

Here are our top three picks.

Most Popular
Daiwa Black Widow 5000BR
Our Pick
Shimano Baitrunner 6000 DL RB
Best Big Pit
Wychwood Riot Big Pit 75
Daiwa Black Widow Baitrunner Freespool Fishing Reel 5000BR Size
SHIMANO Baitrunner DL RB, Size: 6000
Wychwood - Carp Unisex's Riot Big Pit 75 Reel Fishing, Gunmetal
Most Popular
Daiwa Black Widow 5000BR
Daiwa Black Widow Baitrunner Freespool Fishing Reel 5000BR Size
Our Pick
Shimano Baitrunner 6000 DL RB
SHIMANO Baitrunner DL RB, Size: 6000
Best Big Pit
Wychwood Riot Big Pit 75
Wychwood - Carp Unisex's Riot Big Pit 75 Reel Fishing, Gunmetal

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1. Shimano DL RB 6000

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.

Best Shimano Baitrunner

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!

  • Black cold forged aluminium spool
  • Diecast drive gear
  • Shielded stainless steel bearings + roller bearing
  • Dyna-balance
  • Super Stopper II
  • Floating Shaft II
  • Power Roller
  • Includes spare spool
  • Weight: 590g
  • Gear ratio: 4.6:1
  • Line capacity: 6000 – 300yds/10lb, 10000 – 430yds/12lb
  • Reel Sizes: 6000 & 10000

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2. Daiwa 19 Black Widow BR LT

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 Black Widow BR

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.

Best Daiwa Carp 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 reel 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.

  • ATD Drag
  • Tough Digigear
  • DS4 Body & Rotor
  • Air Rotor
  • Crosswrap
  • Infinite Anti-Reverse
ModelRatioWeightLine Capacity

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3. Sonik Vader X RS Reels

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!

Sonik Reel VADERX PRO 10000 Reel

Smooth long casts and ultra-fast retrieve make this a very modern carp 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 fishing reel stand out!

Best Sonik Fishing Reel

It’s 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!

  • 5+1 ball bearings
  • Quick-Torque drag system
  • Twin spring-loaded captive line clips
  • Graphite body and rotor
  • Sleek matt black finish
  • Instant anti-reverse
  • Oversized twist free line roller
  • Micro line lay adjustment washers
  • Matt black anodised aluminium handle with wood barrel gripe
ModelRatioWeightLine Capacity

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4. Fox EOS Reels

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

Fox EOS 10000 Fishing Reel

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.

Best Fox Fishing 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.

  • 5 stainless ball bearings
  • Rotor balanced profile
  • Great line lay
  • Smooth clutch
  • Free spool mechanism
ModelRatioWeightLine Capacity

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5. Nash BP-6 Big Pit Reel

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!

Best Carp Reel for Stalking

Weighing just 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!

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.

Best Nash Carp Reel

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 every time.

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

There is no spare spool with these either.

  • Matt black finish
  • Aluminium long cast spool
  • Fast drag
  • One touch folding handle
  • Dual spot on line clips for precision casting
  • Stainless steel ball bearings
  • Line guard spool system
  • Level wind line lay
  • Oversized line roller reduces line twist
  • CNC machined ergonomic handle with isotope slot
ModelRatioWeightLine Capacity (mm/yds)
BP-64:9:1383g0.28 /273 0.30/235 0.35/153
BP-104:9:1529g0.28/810 0.30/500 0.35/425 0.40/380

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6. Wychwood Riot Big Pit Reel

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

Best Big Pit Reel

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 cannot recommend the Wychwood Riot Big Pits highly enough!

  • 5+1 Bearing
  • Over-sized main shaft ensures huge cranking power
  • Micro-pitch, multi disk drag
  • Anti-twist line roller
  • True matt black finish
  • Spare aluminium tapered spool
  • ACS line clip
  • Line Capacity: 340m 15lb
  • 5 + 1 Ball Bearings
  • Sizes: 65 & 75

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7. Daiwa 20 Crosscast 45 SCW QD Spod Reel

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

Daiwa Crosscast Spod Reel

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 Spod Reel

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.

  • 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
  • Gear Ratio: 5:5:1
  • Crank: 118cm
  • Weight: 610g
  • Drag: 15kg
  • Line Capacity: 0.35mm/300m

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8. Okuma Carbonite XP Baitfeeder Reel

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

Okuma XP Baitfeeder Fishing Reel

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.

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’.

best okuma carp reel

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.

  • 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
  • Reel Size: 55

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9. Leeda Rogue 65 FD Big Pit Reel

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

Leeda Rogue Big Pit 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.

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

leeda rogue carp reel

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.

An ideal reel for beginners to carp fishing, or those looking to build up a bt of kit.

  • 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

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10. Daiwa Emcast BR LT Reel

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.

Best Compact Carp Reel

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.

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.

Daiwa Emcast Carp Fishing Reel

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.

  • 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
  • Sizes: 2500, 300, 4000, 5000

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11. Sonik Extractor GS Big Pit Reel

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.

Sonik Xtractor Best Carp Reel

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.

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.

Sonik Xtractor Fishing Reel

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!

  • ‘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
  • Size: 65
  • Spool Capacity: mm/m 0.30/380 • 0.35/280 • 0.40/200

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12. Okuma Distance DTA-60 Pro Reel

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

Okuma Distance Carp Pro INTG DCI-80 FD

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 DTA-60

Weighing 670 grams, it features a blade body design made up of aluminium, and 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.

  • 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
  • Size: 65

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13. Avid Carp ACR 12000 Reel

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

Avid Carp Best Carp Reel

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.

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.

Best Avid Carp Reels

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!

  • 7 stainless steel ball bearings and 1 roller bearing
  • Rapid front drag system
  • A CNC machined aluminium handle with ergonomic soft touch rubber grip
  • Line Capacity: 0.35/550 0.30/450 0.40/400
  • Gear Ratio: 4.9:1
  • Weight: 740g
  • Size: 12000

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14. Mitchell Avocet RS Black Edition Reel

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

Mitchell Avocet Black Edition Carp Reel

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.

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

Mitchell Avocet RS Black Edition Reel

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 carp reel holds 240m of line, and the 6500 is capable of holding 320m of fishing line.

  • 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
  • Size: 12000

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Best Carp Reels: Final Verdict

Fishing reels are one of the most important pieces to any fishing set up.

You should be able to find a reel that is perfect for you and your skillset, whether it’s carp fishing on farm lakes, huge UK reservoirs or over in France.

We hope our list of the best carp fishing reels, baitrunners and big pit reels helps find what will work best for you!

Thanks for reading.


What is a Baitrunner Reel?

A baitrunner reel is a carp fishing reel that allows the angler to leave the fish to take the bait, while still being able to control the line. The baitrunner feature allows for a carp to take the bait and run with it, without the risk of losing the fish or breaking the line. The carp can then be reeled in at the angler’s leisure.

What is a big pit reel?

The large size of the big pit reel allows for more fishing line to be stored on the spool, making it ideal for carp fishing at long distances. The big pit reel also has a higher drag power than other carp reels, making it better suited for carp fishing in strong currents often found in reservoirs and large open lakes.

What reels are best for 10ft carp rods?

Carp reel sizes 6000 and 8000 are perfect for fitting onto 10ft carp rods because this size reel will balance well with your carp rod. A carp reel of this size will also have plenty of line capacity to allow for long distance casting if required.

Carp reels for beginners?

If you are new to carp fishing, we always recommend buying carp tackle within your budget because you may not enjoy angling after trying it! However, carp reels that we would recommend for carp fishing beginners include the Fox EOS 8000 carp reel and any Shimano Baitrunner.

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Last update on 2022-07-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API