A quality reel is crucial for having the accuracy and reliability required when feeder fishing. Whether you’re a match fisherman or pleasure angler, a good feeder fishing reel is something well worth investing in. Since feeder fishing is a very active method, you want something light and nimble while also being powerful enough to reach margins and distant islands.
However, we know that picking tackle can be tough, especially for new anglers as the online spaces are cluttered with endless options and iterations of products making it nigh-on impossible to make an informed decision. This is why we typically recommend that novice anglers visit a tackle store in person so they can receive information and recommendations that are specifically applicable to them.
That being said we’ve compiled a short and concise list of reels that we feel are broadly applicable and useful to the vast majority of anglers:
|MAP ACS 4000/FS||Check Current Price|
|Daiwa Ninja Spinning Reel||Check Current Price|
|Shimano Baitrunner ST 2500/4000 FB||Check Current Price|
|Preston Innovations Intensity 620/720||Check Current Price|
MAP ACS 4000/FS
MAP or Match Angling Products are well known for their contributions to the match fishing scene and they produce some of the best tackle in the business. For the ACS 4000, high-quality and premium components were used throughout the reel which makes it incredibly solid while keeping it remarkably light.
The reel is also very well thought out, the drag is easy to adjust, the freespool-function is easy to set up on the FS versions, and it features a brand-new line clip which is actually quite ingenious. The new line clip automatically disengages when it detects you have fish on and it’s trying to strip the line. It’s an innovative feature which does give it a slight edge over its competitors and we found it quite useful in our fishing.
Overall the quality is nothing short of superb. The reel came with two handles, a single and a double handle and it even came with a small fabric bag to store the reel in which shows the attention and care put into the product.
For around fifty pounds, the ACS 4000 is quite reasonably priced, it features lots of bells and whistles and is just an all-around solid reel so we do believe that its very fairly priced for what it is. There certainly are much cheaper feeder reels on the market but they lack finesse and feel bulky and a bit unrefined which is why the extra price is justifiable, you can actually find yourself a MAP ACS 4000 (Check price on Amazon) here.
Power-wise the MAP ACS 4000 is nothing short of brilliant, for a small reel it has decent cranking power and line lay. The oscillations are also slow for a reel of its size, this is all thanks to the worm shaft gearing in this reel and the eight-ball bearing which makes the reel incredibly smooth.
Its also just a fun reel to play fish on, it’s twitchy and sensitive, and you can feel every bit of movement from underwater which relays back so much information. This is especially important in active fishing styles like feeder fishing.
- Innovative Line Clip
- Reasonably Priced
- Freespool Function
- Comes With Interchangeable Handles
- Freespool Function Isn’t Necessary For Feeder Fishing – Not Really Any True Downsides
Daiwa Ninja Spinning Reel
Daiwa is another company that we’ve come to expect the highest level of quality, while we’ve predominantly used Daiwa products in the form of rods that’s not to say at all that reels aren’t their forte, actually, they make arguably the best carp fishing reel on the planet in the form of the Basia QDX.
However, Daiwa is much better known in the carp fishing world rather than the match fishing one but they still manage to produce some of the best products the market has to offer, this time in the form of the Daiwa Ninja reel which is a lightweight, silky smooth yet rough and tough reel that can take anything a commercial lake can throw at it.
This Ninja reel has sort of become an icon of value, although Daiwa’s name is usually attributed to high-end products, their Ninja reel is actually quite reasonably priced. We’ve found them generally floating around the £40 mark online and at a similar price in our local tackle shop. You can check the current price here, Daiwa Ninja Reel (Check price on Amazon).
The Daiwa Ninja reel is well set up for feeder fishing and even just general fishing on commercial waters. The clutch found on them is simple and easy to adjust, the oscillations and reasonably slow for a smaller reel, and the cranking during fights is silky smooth. However, although traditional feeder fishing doesn’t require a freespool function, it is a useful feature to have because it just broadens the capabilities of the reel and unfortunately the Daiwa Ninja reel does not come equipped with this feature. It’s no big loss, especially if you’re only feeder fishing but it is something to consider.
- Reasonably Priced
- Comes From A Reputable Manufacturer
- Lots Of Variations
- Comprehensively Covers Feeder Fishing
- Some Anglers May Want A Freespool Function
Shimano Baitrunner ST 2500/4000 FB
The Shimano Baitrunner has always been one of favourite carp reels on the whole. The baitrunner covers so many fishing situations depending on the model and variation you choose.
For feeder fishing, we’d recommend the ST 2500 FB or ST 4000 FB (Check prices on Amazon) depending on how far you think you’ll be casting. 2500 is smaller and lighter which means its easier to use for long sessions where you’re getting bite after bite. The 4000 is a little bigger and heavier but has the ability to reach further distances which makes it ideal for casting. However, both versions are superb and perfect for feeder fishing.
There’s a reason why the baitrunner is so popular among anglers. Firstly its built incredibly well and looks amazing, and secondly, it performs even better.
Fishing reels are one of those items where you really get what you pay for, we’d say the Baitrunner is quite reasonably priced for what it is, and its worth the investment. It comes loaded with plenty of useful features, it looks good, performs perfectly, and since you’re using it for feeder fishing, you only need to buy one!
It’s not nearly the cheapest reel on the market but as we mentioned earlier, when you factor in everything else, it becomes difficult to find points of improvement. Also from a consumer perspective, we’d be more than willing to pay the extra costs incurred by buying from a reputable and established brand like Shimano. Companies like Shimano have a proven track record of quality which means we can take comfort in their expertise and know we’ll be handed a quality product whenever we purchase from them.
I could write for hours and wax lyrical about how we find the refined, smooth experience that the Baitrunner delivers to be absolutely perfect but quite frankly that would be futile. We’re sure you can infer what we think about this hence why its on the list and if further confirmation is required, let’s just say its works brilliantly. Line-lay is good, you have plenty of cranking power, and a really solid line clip which is imperative when feeder fishing, especially if you’re casting tight to islands and margins.
- Great Cranking Power
- High Quality
- Smooth Oscillations
- Excellent Line Lay
- Despite Its Capabilities – It’s Not Specifically Designed For Feeder Fishing
Preston Innovations Intensity 620/720
With Preston’s Intensity 620/720 feeder reels, they attempted to fill a gap in the market for long-range feeder fishing. We think its fair to say that the Intensity reels are predominantly directed towards carp fishing, so if you think you’ll be fishing for smaller species, like roach and bream, this sort of reel probably isn’t ideal and quite frankly overkill. However, these reels thrive in the hands of carp anglers and those whose competence is in distance fishing.
As far as quality goes, the Intensity reels check all the regular boxes, they are surprisingly light enough for a bigger reel and excellent quality materials are used throughout. Preston Innovations is really specialized in match anglers and fishing on commercial waters so they are quite the experts in this field and because of this, they have been able to produce an awesome reel. Although you may not typically associate their name with fishing reels, they have made incredible products in recent times including rods and reels which have aided many anglers throughout the country in their fishing.
Although the Intensity reels are excellent products, we don’t think we can label them a “good value” simply because of the price point they sit at and how specialized they are. Being a “long-range feeder reel” with specialized features and design, the Intensity reels would always be more expensive and we’ve found them floating around the £140 mark online. Therefore this is a reel that albeit we love, cannot recommend to the majority of people. However, if you are an angler that requires the specific functionality of this reel, well then look no further because we’re yet to find something comparable to this reel on the market. You can find the Preston Innovations Intensity (Check price on Amazon) here.
A big emphasis on distance fishing has been put into the Intensity reels by taking lots of features you typically find in carp fishing big-pit reels and fusing them into a feeder fishing reel. For instance, the gear ratio is lower allowing for more cranking power which means fewer turns are required to pull the line which is useful when fishing at a large range. The bigger spool also means oscillations are slower which allows for better line lay, however, all these changes have been made with thought and lots of tweaking to create a reel that works in perfect balance. Its not overpowering to the point where you feel the rods pulling your forwards as you crank the reel but it still has enough punch for quick retrieval and control during fights.
Another feature that Preston developed for the Intensity reels is their new speed drag system which allows the user to effortlessly change the drag setting without having to fiddle and spin it several times in order to adjust it.
- Excellent Line Lay
- Great Cranking Power
- Ideal For Long Range Feeder Fishing
- Suited To More Experienced Anglers
- Quite Expensive