For many years now the Shimano Baitrunner has been seen as the ultimate reel for both the big-carp and specimen-hunting fraternities.
Easy to use, and perfect in every application, this flagship range of reels has quite possibly accounted for more big fish on the bank than any other reel in the long history of our sport.
But as in all things, if you are at the top and you want to stay ahead of the game, you must evolve and re-invent yourself – and that is exactly what Shimano has done with the new Super Baitrunner Aero XTE-A.
Certain innovative and highly improved key features can only be found on the first ‘S’ system Baitrunner, and these combine to provide optimum performance and reliability.
Maintenance port: The Super Baitrunner can be manually serviced at a basic level. Oil can be added to the gearing so that the bearings can be lubricated, giving better performance and a longer life.
Double anodised spool: This toughens the spool. Previously, if a spool was dropped, it could easily be damaged. Even a small nick on the lip of a spool will render it useless, but this toughening process lessens the likelihood.
New double handle: A sleeker vented design with machined edges creates less weight, but offers an equally good performance. Elastomer handle grips provide better grip, even in the wet.
A-ARB: This is the only Baitrunner to incorporate Anti-Rust Bearings, giving the reel a silky-smooth feel. So that’s all the whistles and bells, and you already have to admit that the Super Baitrunner has quite a few pretty nifty and impressive modifications. But that isn’t all this reel has going for it – not by a long chalk!
The Aero XTE-A has a highly improved line lay, and oscillation capacity that is more than double that of the old GTE-C and RE reels. Each oscillation of the spool lays down an amazing 11 coils of line. As the spool goes up, the line is laid in wider coils, and as it comes back down the line is laid back on to the spool in close parallel coils. This means that the possibility of line bedding down is minimised, which results in less energy being lost as the line peels from the spool on the cast, enabling greater casting distances with increased accuracy.
This feature also gives the reel an incredibly smooth and non-jerking line pay-off as either the clutch is engaged or the Baitrunner facility slips into gear.
The XTE-A also features an improved 90-degree Baitrunner release, resulting in rapid deployment of the clutch and quicker connection to the fish. With a freespool setting of 20-1000g, the drag is more variable than before.
With all the technical specification improvements made to this reel, Shimano looks to have secured the Baitrunner’s future as the number one carp reel in the UK.
We asked Shimano’s UK’s chief product development manager Richard Griffiths for his comments on the Super Baitrunner...
The Super Baitrunner is a definitive benchmark for Shimano Baitrunner reels. There are numerous reasons why this reel is ahead of the game, and these features are not always that easy to notice. But they do all add up to what is a vastly superior reel.
Two-speed oscillation gives a more compact line lay, offering a far smoother drag release. It also adds to the reel’s general casting potential.
Carbon drag washers are more resistant to extremes of temperatures or water.
Reducing the rear washer friction also stops any ’snatching’ on the release of the line, and also improves the overall lifespan of the washers to double that of previous Baitrunner models.
The larger contained Baitrunner rear adjustment knob gives a far better grip, and allows for superior fine-tuning adjustments to be made easily. Sand or grit cannot get inside the housing of the rear adjustment, so the drag system remains at the very highest standard even after prolonged use.
The range of regulation on the freespool system has been expanded. Lower tension means almost no traction and sticking on the first movement of the spool when it is released, while the higher tension setting is really useful in snaggy swims or fast-flowing water conditions. Fishing locked up to snags on the Baitrunner system is now possible.
Anti-rust bearings that are even more corrosion-resistant than stainless steel are fitted to the S reels. Overall, the Super Baitrunner has been designed to out-perform and outlast any other freespool system reel on the market.