The 10 Best Baitrunner Reels
This wiki has been updated 4 times since it was first published in March of 2019. These baitrunner reels differ from typical models in that they feature a secondary drag system, which the angler can engage via a knob near the bottom of the reel. This allows a fish to take the bait and run without noticing the tension produced by the primary drag. These reliable options come in a variety of sizes and strengths, and many are suitable for both fresh and salt water. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best baitrunner reel on Amazon.
April 05, 2019:
As long as you go in with reasonable expectations, the Sougayilang 12 should provide some respectable bang for your buck. It’s not built with the highest quality components, the ball bearings are not fully sealed, and it won’t withstand years of saltwater use — but as one of the most affordable models available, it’s more than serviceable as a backup option or for occasionally targeting small to medium-sized fish.
While the three Shimano models share several attributes that contribute to their popularity (quality craftsmanship, durability in saltwater conditions, a line system that resists getting gnarled up, to name a few), the positive reports regarding the Shimano Baitrunner D and its smooth, easy-to-use drag system drove it to the top of the list. Even when used in heavy surf and strong winds on species like blue fish that are notorious fighters, it appears to perform consistently and admirably.
Some anglers may be in need of a big, sturdy reel that can handle large catfish, pike and carp, yet most heavy-duty models are too expensive to fit in their budget. In these cases, the Daiwa Regal is a solid option. Users report that its free spool drag system isn’t the smoothest in the world, but it provides the power and balance necessary to reel in trophy-sized fish.