For our live test the 11ft Speedmaster AX was teamed up with one of Shimano’s new ‘baby’ Baitrunners ¬ the excellently-priced 2500 Baitrunner ST.
Its £54.99 price tag has made it one of the fastest-selling reels on the market, and it is the perfect reel for feederfishing on commercials thanks to its trusty Baitrunner facility inherited from Shimano’s larger offerings.
For open water work you can fish safely in the knowledge that, once set, the freespool facility will allow your reel to release line should a fish go on a surging run as you take your eye off your rod. With a simple turn of the handle you are then back in control.
This particular model is ideal for close-range work and takes just 140yds of 8lb line on its shallow spool. A gear ratio of 4.8:1 offers a steady retrieve with plenty of winding power.
It weighs in at a featherweight 300g, which means it doesn’t ruin the balance and feel of short rods.
You can also get this reel in a slightly larger 4000 size, which lends itself to fishing at longer distances or with heavier feeders. This sells for £59.99.