As with all sports and pastimes, fishing is best enjoyed when you are happy you have the best equipment for the job. You may not be able to afford high-end fishing gear, but that does not mean you can’t have quality kit, as even the most costly has come down in price a considerable amount in recent years.
One item that you will want to put some serious consideration into is the coarse fishing reel. You will find that best coarse fishing reels – for coarse, bait runners and pike – are classes as coarse reels. This does not limit them to such use, as they are very versatile. You’ll also find that they are not as expensive as you might believe.
You probably began fishing as a youngster with a basic set up. It might be that you are moving on to more sophisticated kit, or you are simply looking to buy a new reel. That’s why we took a look at some of the best coarse fishing reels around. Let’s have a look at our selections – each of which comes from one of the leading brands in the market – and see if we can find one that is right for you.
Best Coarse Fishing Reels
1: Ultra Fishing Freespool 6000
We begin our list with this model, from Ultra, and it’s a basic, simple and affordable freespool – or baitrunner – type of reel. This type has become among the most popular with carp fishermen in latter years as it offers great performance and ability, while being relatively maintenance-free and very easy to use. This particular model would be a great choice for a beginner, or as a spare emergency reel, as at the price it is difficult to match.
It’s a size 6000 reel with freespool action and a rear drag function for added versatility. The gear ratio is 5.2:1 and it has three ball bearings for smooth running. It is already spooled with 0.35mm line, with a spare spool included, and can handle 150m of 0.45mm or 120m of 0.50mm if required. Designed for long casting and with a nicely balanced handle, this is a very nice budget reel that you should not dismiss at the price.
Key Features – pre-spooled line, size 6000, 3 bearings
2: NGT CKR30 2Pack
From one bargain to another! We said the above choice was hard to beat, but this one really is. This reel – well, we should say reels as you get two for the price of one with this selection – comes from NGT, a brand known for good quality products at amazing prices, and the specifications should appeal to both beginners and experienced anglers. They come pre-loaded with 8lb line so are ready to go, and can handle line up to 12lb if you wish, so are decent for smaller carp fishing.
These reels have a reverse drag function and anti-reverse with sharp stop, and they also have an interchangeable handle for left or right handed use. A high strength plastic body makes this a durable and usable reel that will give you a long life, and the reels are ideal for a variety of types of fishing. At the price, this is a very decent purchase that we recommend you look at closely before making your final choice.
Key Features – twin pack, up to 12lb, pre-spooled 8lb line
3: Shakespeare Beta Freespool
Among the many brands that are foremost in the world of angling, Shakespeare is one of the most famous of all. Having been in the business for many decades, they have one of the most comprehensive ranges of reels and other gear, and the Beta range of freespool reels is very popular with a wide variety of anglers. This is an affordable yet high quality range that offers great versatility and excellent performance at a sensible price.
A single, high quality bearing and a gear ration of 5.1:1 make this a good-performance reel, while a graphite handle adds to the quality. The reel is well-balanced and well-made to a high quality, and the graphite body is a quality build too. It is supplied with mono line, and comes in two sizes so you should be able to find one for you, and we reckon it very good value for a top-brand model, so certainly worth looking at more closely.
Key Features – Shakespeare, single bearing, graphite body and handle
4: NGT CKR50
This reel is another that comes from NGT, a brand known for good quality products at amazing prices, and the specifications should appeal to both beginners and experienced anglers. It is supplied pre-loaded with 8lb line so is ready to go, and can handle line up to 12lb if you wish, so is decent for smaller carp fishing. It is a decent mid-range reel that is from a known brand, so well worth looking into.
This reel has a reverse drag function and anti-reverse with sharp stop, and also an interchangeable handle for left or right handed use. A high strength plastic body makes this a durable and usable reel that will give you a long life, and the reel is ideal for a variety of types of fishing. If you’re not looking at the top end of the market this makes sense, and is a very decent purchase that we recommend you look at closely before making your final choice.
Key Features – NGT, up to 12lb, pre-spooled 8lb line
5: Oakwood RD30 Reel
The choice of sensibly-priced coarse fishing reels proved to be overwhelming when we began to search through the options, so we hope we have provided you with enough information to help. This model comes from Oakwood, a good brand with some quality products, and is a typical coarse reel with rear drag function, anti-reverse and anti-twist, and a number of further features that you would expect to find on a reel of this type.
It can handle between 0.18 and 0.25mm line, and between 150 and 290m depending on the diameter, and is made from strong, high-tensile plastic for added durability and versatility. It comes pre-loaded with 6lb line, so you are ready to go, and is a decent reel in the company at what could be classed as a bargain price. Indeed, we are amazed at how low the prices are on some of these, so this one is worth a look.
Key Features – loaded with 6lb line, up to 290m line capacity, rear drag and anti-reverse
6: Shakespeare Beta Spinning Reel
Having been in the business for many decades, Shakespeare has one of the most comprehensive ranges of reels and other gear, and the Beta range of spinning reels is very popular with a wide variety of anglers. This is an affordable yet high quality range that offers great versatility and excellent performance at a sensible price. This is a brand that has many confirmed fans, so this reel is bound to be very popular.
A single, high quality bearing and a gear ration of 5.2:1 make this a good-performance reel, while a graphite handle adds to the quality. The reel is well-balanced and well-made to a high quality, and the graphite body is a quality build too. It is supplied with mono line, and comes in a variety of sizes so you should be able to find one for you, and given the brand is one of the leading names in the business it is difficult to fault for value.
Key Features – Shakespeare, single bearing, graphite body and handle
7: Shimano Mulinello Hyperloop
Our final selection is the most expensive of the lot, and comes from Shimano, one of the prestige names in the world of angling equipment. This is a brand with a wealth of experience, and one that is recognised for top quality products throughout. This one from the Mulinello range is an excellent reel with many fine features, and even at the price is certainly not expensive, and should definitely be on your shortlist if what you want is a decent reel for long-term use.
It features the famed ‘Dyna’ balance system for reduced vibration, can be had with front or rear drag function, has a push button spool and is made to a very high standard. This is a reel that benefits from the many years of experience that Shimano has in developing and manufacturing fishing reels and other items that feature gears, and it shows. At the price, certainly worth a look, and should be at the top of the list if you are looking to move up a notch or two.
Key Features – Shimano, Dyna balance, front or rear drag
That’s seven very nice and usable coarse fishing reels for you to consider, and we reckon we’ve covered all the elements quite nicely across the board. Which is for you? That will depend upon a selection of factors, so before we come to a conclusion. Let’s have a closer look at some of the features you need to consider.
Features to Look For
What do you look for when you are choosing a coarse fishing reel? You will have your own features that you want, and all of these offer some of the same including rear drag, anti-reverse and more. Where they may differ is in the following aspects, so have a look:
Graphite or Plastic – most of these reels are made from high-strength plastic bodies, but some are graphite and have graphite handles. The latter is a strong and very light material and is preferred by some, but many users find no problem with the plastic option.
Interchangeable Handle – make sure your reel comes with the ability to fit the handle for either left or right hand usage. Most are changeable, but you may find some are not.
Reel Capacity – the amount of line your reel can handle will depend onto only on the design of the reel itself, but also on the diameter of the actual line you prefer to use, so check this put via the manufacturer specifications before you choose your reel.
Line Strength – it is also important to know what strength of line your reel can handle, so again, this is one for checking out in advance.
Pre-Spooled – does the reel come pre-spooled with line, and if so, what strength is it? This is another important factor that you need to consider if you are to get the right reel for your usage.
Bar the price – and bear in mind that there is little more than £10 covering the cheapest to the most expensive here, so it should have little bearing on your choice- that’s it for the important considerations, although if you are a fan of a particular brand, there is no doubt one you already have your eye on.
Which one of the reels is best for you? Let’s see if we can help!
Fishing is a very personal experience, and while you may have a preference for an old reel that you have become familiar with, others may wish to invest in the best equipment they can afford. This is why we put this list together.
If we’re honest, the Shimano model is undoubtedly the cream of the crop. It’s very nicely made, and is worth the little extra you pay for it. Likewise, the cheapest option here – the twin pack from NGT – is also worth its price for what it represents, which is an entry-level package of two reels that will do a perfectly good job for a beginner or an experienced angler not looking for anything too expensive.
We advise, however, that you take a look at the offerings from Shakespeare, which is established as a mid-range market leader for good reason. The reels we have featured from this brand are good value, well-made and tried and tested, and are very popular indeed, without being expensive or over-complex.
So, have another look and get yourself a new reel for a decent price, and enjoy your fishing to the full!
Mike has over 30 years of fishing experience in carp fishing and general coarse fishing. He is always looking for the latest fishing kit to try out and talk about and needs a bigger shed due to all the fishing tackle he owns. You can read more about him here.