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Originally utilising reels developed for other forms of angling Carp Fishermen now have a large range of reels to choose from including purpose designed reels.
History and Carp Reel Greats
Since carp fishing was developed by more then a handful of anglers carp reels have predominantly been fixed spool.
The Mitchell 300 was a popular early choice throughout the 70s and 80s with some devotees remaining to this day. Due to it's robust engineering it was and is a reel capable of standing up to the rigours of fighting big carp. Due to it's unsophisticated nature most people preferred to fish the 300 backwinding a fighting fish rather then on the drag.
The Shimano Baitrunner, originally called the sea spin, is the one that sapwned many imitations and revolutionised the way many fished. What set the baitrunner apart was it's free spool ability. A lever which when switched allows the spool to rotate relatively freely but which disengages with a wind of the handle. This was popular as it took the tangles out of fishing churner style.
The Big Pit Revolution
With improvements in rod technology and demands made for reels which could help you cast 150yds anglers started using large spinning reels such as the Shimano Biomaster and Daiwa SS300 reels. The demands of big pit french angling and some of the biggest carp residing in vast inland seas helped pioneer this approach. These classics, later the Daiwa Emblem vied with the baitrunner for most popular reel in use, allied great casting performance, with smooth disc drags (due to large spool diameter) and suitable robustness to fight the largest of fish.
The modern era has seen reels developed which attempt to take the best of all worlds. For instance the Shimano 10000xt, combining big pit performance with a bait runner, however many still swear by their classic Daiwa Tournaments or Emblems.
Last Edited by: erikb on the 11 November 2008