Best Cheap Carp Reels 2013


Buying a new set of carp reels is the highlight of any anglers year, especially when it involves an upgrade of some sort but how do you know which ones are best? We’ve done the hard work for you.

Over the last year or so we have been testing several carp fishing reels, all of which are under £100 each and now we have found our best 3.

The judges were all experienced carp anglers, all used at least 2 different sets of reels, for at least 5 days fishing and were all judging on the same criteria:

  • Casting Performance
  • Look and feel
  • Fish playing performance
  • Line lay
  • Confidence

If you’re looking for the best carp reel under £100, look no further than this list.

Third: Daiwa Crosscast X 5000

The Daiwa name is synonymous with carp fishing, rods, reels and tackle from the biggest carp fishing brand on the planet is always second to none and the Crosscast x 5000 are no different.

These awesome reels won the race to be the best lookers in the class but here is how the final results totalled:

Casting Performance – 3.5 stars

Though not a long-distance casting reel they certainly have a good go at it, good quality spools with a good diameter which aids its cause.

Look and feel – 5 stars

The Daiwa Crosscast X’s got the best scores across the board for the look and feel category, that says it all.

Fish playing performance – 4 stars

These reels certainly ‘churn’ up the line, large diameter spools create a good retrieve rate and the lightweight construction helps overall balance during the fight.

Line lay – 3 stars

The Crosscast X’s all coped with line-lay fairly well, but those anglers using Fluorocarbon reported some line-twist and very small line lay issues.

Confidence – 4 stars

Confidence in these reels was fairly good, they look the part and perform well above the price grade but some line-lay issues ultimately cost it its place further up the results.

Second: Shimano Navi XSB 7000

Shimano make carp reels of all breeds, from cheap and cheerful baitrunner models all the way up to £800 a pop techniums, but everything in the middle is also of very good quality.

The Navi XSB 7000′s are for us, the second best carp fishing reel under that £100 bracket, heres why:

Casting Performance – 4 stars

Again, not a massive-casting reel but the quality is certainly there and they have a good grunt to them with the ability to hit well over 100 yards.

Look and feel – 2.5 stars

Many Shimano reels at the top end are some of the best looking things on this earth, not just in the reels market but the general consensus on this model is they are far too bulky and look slightly cheaper than the cost.

Fish playing performance – 5 stars

Though these reels lose some finesse with there bulk they certainly make up for it with their grunt, power and fast retrieve, the Navi XSB’s were at the top of the class in this category.

Line lay – 4 stars

The line lay is better than the Crosscast’s but not quite at the level of our top reel, though it is certainly without fault 95% of the time.

Confidence – 4.5 stars

Shimano breeds confidence and although these reels fall down on the look and feel category, they certainly make up for it in other areas. They have plenty of power, class and performance and are very underrated at £99 each.

Best carp reel under £100: Wychwood Riot Big Pit 65

Though Whychwood is nowhere near as famous, as reputable or as ‘luxury’ as its competitors above, they have certainly got a winner on their hands.

The Wychwood riot big pit reels have been around a while and although they are only £50 each (tops) they are still the best reel in this class and are not in danger of losing that crown anytime soon.

Casting Performance – 4 stars

Many anglers use these reels for spod and marker work for good reason, they cast like a dream, are accurate and have more than enough back-bone to cope with anything you can throw at them.

Look and feel – 4.5 stars

The Riot Big Pits actually look far better in person than they do in pictures, they don’t look like £50 reels, they don’t even look like £100 reels. They are great lookers and offer a great feel, wooden handle, strong parts and a reinforced arm.

Fish playing performance – 4.5 stars

Just like their casting ability these reels are smooth, strong and have a spool big enough to retrieve at fairly high speeds.

Line lay – 5 stars

The Wychwood Riot Big Pits have an incredible line-lay in this price range, everything from light mono, to heavy braid and fluorocarbon is flawlessly held on the spool with far more finesse than others in the price bracket.

Confidence – 4.5 stars

With all the performance above it is no wonder that all the anglers had massive confidence in these reels, the only tiny issue was the perception of the brand, which in our eyes is nothing to worry about.

Honourable mention: Sonik Tournos 8000

Sonik are newbie’s in the carp fishing reel game and although we did not have any of these smart looking reels to test they certainly deserve a mention.

They retail at £149 each but you can pick up a special deal from Amazon at £300 for 3 (buy two get 1 free). A deal that was massively popular with their rods over the last few years.

The Tournos look the part and early reports certainly show that they will be a force to be reckoned with in this price bracket.

Best Cheap Carp Reels 2013

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