Big Pit Reels – An In-Depth Guide With Reviews

Big pit reels and freespool reels are the two main types used in carp angling.

‘Big Pit’ takes its name from there original use (25 years ago) as a hard-wearing, industrious reel suited to gravel pits.


Big Pit Reels for Gravel Pits

They are big and bold – and for anglers, this is the main selling point!

Most big pit reels need their clutches manually adjusting before lifting into a take, quite old skool really – but you’re in full control which some fishermen prefer.  To others – it can be fiddly if you’re not used to them!

As you may expect, they are behemoth long casting animals. But, they are designed that way.

The bigger spools, combined with a slower speed, mean a better line lay and less friction on the line mid-cast.

Remember – the bigger the reel, the longer the cast!

This does mean that this increased casting power comes at a price folks.

Big pit reels are more expensive – not to mention they are bulky and respooling can be time and money intensive.


Big Pit Reels vs Baitrunners


Let’s move on to our big pit reel reviews!

Wychwood Riot Big Pit

The ‘Riot Big Pit’ from Wychwood is a lightweight, balanced carp reel.

It’s constructed from high strength graphite which is used to keep the weight down – offering you increased performance, especially through casting.

Both the body and rotor of the Riot are moulded which add to the lightweight feel.

Even the spool has been designed to offer a smooth line-lay – and line flies off whilst leaving ‘tighter loops’ than you might see on larger big pit reels.

With Wychwood achieving these tighter loops, this also reduces any line wraps that may occur around the butt ring, especially if you’re using thick line in your power casts.

The front drag is incredibly smooth. In fact you can almost go ‘free running’ to locked down in very few turns!


Wychwood Riot Big Pit Reel

Riot Pig Pit Features

  • 5 bearing drive, Over-sized main shaft ensures huge cranking power
  • Micro pitch multi-disk drag
  • Instant anti-reverse
  • Over-sized line roller
  • Machined aluminium handle, Spare graphite spool


Riot Big Pit Video Review

Sonik Dominator X 8000

If you’re after a great value Big Pit Reel that offers superb performance and responsiveness – choose this reel!

The lightweight graphite body, aluminium spool, and super slow gearing, equals the perfect formula for long range casting and perfect line-lay.

With the quick torque drag system, you will have total control when fighting big carp.

The Demonitor X reel hasn’t one, but two double anonised aluminium spools – with twin oversized line clips.

The sleek black styling, gun metal tinges and barrel shaped wooden handle gives it that classic retro feel.


Sonik Dominator X 8000 Big Pit Reel


  • High strength lightweight graphite body/rotor
  • Super-slow oscillation for perfect line lay
  • Quick-Torque drag system
  • Supplied with two CNC machined anodised aluminium spools 5 shielded stainless steel ball bearings + 1 roller bearing
  • CNC machined solid aluminium handle with wood grip
  • Twin spring-loaded line clips
  • Stainless steel main shaft
  • Oversized twist free line roller
  • Spool skirt line guard
  • Micro line lay adjustment washers
  • Instant anti-reverse
  • Gear Ratio 4.1:1
  • Weight 635g


Sonik Dominator X 800 Video Review


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Daiwa Black Widow Big Pit Reel

This jet black big pit reel looks very classy!

From the ‘Black Widow’ series, Daiwa have packed this reel full of superb performance enhancing features.

The ‘geared down’ retrieve really does deliver excellent winding power – it can haul 85cm of line per turn!

With tapered spools, the Black Widow delivers extreme casting ranges making big distances easier to target.

The balance is spot-on, and, on the bigger LD model, you can pack up to 530 metres of line (of 0.35mm thickness) which is way more than you’d ever need.

The Black Widow is constructed from graphite – a robust and hard-wearing material, giving you an ultra strong reliable carp reel.

The beefed up gears + huge cranking power make this one of the classic big pit carp reels!


Daiwa Black Widow Big Pit Reel


  • Aluminium spool
  • Graphite Body & Rotor Mechanism
  • Twistbuster Technology
  • Infinite Anti-Reverse
  • 85cm of Line per Turn
  • Geard Down System to Deliver Excellent Winding Power
  • Tapered Spools

Choosing the Right Carp Reel

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