Top 3 Carp Fishing Reels – Beginner – Mid-Range – Top of the Line.

Recommended Carp Fishing Reels

These recommendations are for every type of carp angler. Whether you’re new to the sport, been at it a while and looking to upgrade or have a big chunk of money and want to buy the best there is this. This page will outline the beginner reels I started with, the reels I upgraded to and use now plus the ultimate reel that I will buy in the future.


Purchasing a Carp Fishing Reel for the first time can be quite a daunting task with the number of reels on the market today. If you haven’t already read the post on What to Look for in a Carp Fishing Reel I highly recommend you check it out now. It has a lot of great information about what features to look for.


Shimano Baitrunner ST 10000 RB

Shimano Baitrunner 10000RB Carp Fishing Reel

A great free spool reel at a rock bottom price. The Shimano Baitrunner 10000’s are the reels I first started out with. When you first start carp angling there can be a lot of gear you need to equip yourself with. To save some money on those first few orders many anglers choose to buy a few cheaper items. When choosing a reel this can be a great area to save money.

These reels come with a dual drag system. The dial on the back of the reel is split into two parts. The front part of the dial controls the free spool drag and the rear portion controls the active fighting drag. There is a switch located just in front of the drag to switch between the two modes.

These reels have 2 bearings and a 4.6:1 Gear Ratio. The spools are somewhat small but still hold plenty of line and allow anglers to cast a fair distance. They come in a Matte Black finish and sport a highly durable line clip.

I highly recommend these reels to anyone, I have caught carp over 30 lbs. on these reels without issue.


Shimano Ultegra 14000 XTD

Shimano Ultegra 14000 XTD Carp Fishing Reel

I recently upgraded my Shimano Baitrunner ST 10000 RB’s to the Shimano Ultegra 14000 XTD and couldn’t be happier. Although I loved my baitrunners and they never let me down, I was at a point where I had the money and could upgrade to something a little more advanced.

These reels are priced higher than the basic baitrunners but they come packed with every feature that high-end carp fishing reels have. Not only do they perform well but they also look amazing. The matte black minimalist look of the XTD model has been well designed to catch the attention of every die-hard carp angler.

The Shimano Ultegra 14000 XTD is equipped with a quick drag system. The angler can go from free spool to full fighting drag with just a half a twist of the front drag system. The reels are designed to have super slow oscillation for superior line lay and longer casting.

The reels have 1 S A-RB + 3 Shielded Stainless Steel & 1 roller bearings and a gear ratio of 4.3:1. One of the main selling features for me on these reels is they come with an included free spool. The price of reel plus free spool can’t be beaten for this type of quality.

I immediately noticed a difference once I upgraded to these bigger reels. They cast further, fight fish more efficiently and save a lot of strain when spombing repeatedly. Your forearms will thank you for upgrading.


Daiwa Tournament Basia 45QD

To me, these are the top of the line carp fishing reel. You can’t get better performance or looks. As of right now, they are way out of my price range but if you’re a serious carp angler and have some $$ to spend these are the reels for you.

The size to weight ratio on these reels is amazing. They are a big pit style reel yet one of the lightest on the market due to the materials they are made out of. The Basia Reels come equipped with a quick drag system that tightens down in less than one turn of the drag.

Designed with a high impact spring-loaded line clip, they are guaranteed to hold up to whatever you can throw at them. They have a 4.1: Gear Ratio and 12 ball bearings.

Maybe one day I will be lucky enough to own a reel of this calibre.


There you have it, those are my top three go-to carp fishing reels for every level of carp angler.