Shimano’s advert for the new Baitrunner LC says, ‘Legend Reborn’ and while normally we’d take this kind of advertising with a pinch of salt, in this case I tend to agree that the big Baitrunner Long Cast is a legendary fishing reel. The ‘Big Baitrunner’ has been landing big fish for over 15 years. In Shimano’s reel portfolio it sits alongside other iconic greats such as the TLD lever drag reels.
2012 is a special year as Shimano have chosen to bring this old timer right up to date. Perhaps even more importantly the redesign brings with it a new size – Medium – that I’m sure will be very well received all around the world – in most countries angling equipment is getting smaller and lighter as tackle gets stronger and better designed, while anglers become more sporting in the quest to have some fun.
To give the new model its full name, the Shimano Baitrunner LC XTA will inherit a load of Shimano’s recent innovations including, an ARC Spool and slow oscillation Aerowrap II line lay allowing the Big Baitrunner to achieve the furthest casts yet. Long overdue is the inclusion of ARB bearings. Outside of the UK, the Big Baitrunner is a highly prized saltwater game reel. It has always been rugged, but the inclusion of ARB bearings will extend the periods between servicing, giving longer, smoother performance. This is bound to be well received. In addition, the bail has been redesigned to bring the performance up to date with more recent reels.
Shimano have done really well with the smaller sized big pit reels in recent years and arguably sparked this trend in carp fishing. With that in mind they’ve created a ‘medium’ sized reel to support the big baitrunner. The Medium Baitrunner retains a healthy 315 yards of 12lb line, while the Big Baitrunner gobbles up a massive 440 yards of 16lb monofilament. Another difference between the two reels is gear ratio. The medium sized reel has a ratio of 5.3:1, while the bigger reel has 4.6:1. It’s hard to determine whether this will make much difference to the retrieve rate due to the difference in spool sizes. Weight-wise, there’s 175g between the two reels. Medium weighs in at 615g and the bigger reel 790g. Remember they’re built tough.
It will be interesting to see whether this work horse still holds favour in the UK carp market. Regardless, it’s a special reel with a lot of pedigree.
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