Shimano celebrates after producing four million Baitrunner reels

Shimano has just announced that its four millionth Baitrunner reel has come off its production lines, making it one of the best-selling reels of all time.

Reaching this milestone has helped elevate the reel to cult status and makes it one of the most successful models ever, only bettered by the legendary Mitchell 300 that sold more than 13 million units between 1952 and 1986.

And to celebrate its success, Shimano is giving away a special limited edition ‘Evolution of the Species’ T-shirt when you buy any Shimano Baitrunner until the end of August.

The revolutionary Baitrunner concept was first launched by Shimano in 1985 and it led the way in carp fishing circles thanks to its ability to release line in controlled freespool when you got a vicious take. All you had to do was simply engage an independent drag located at the rear of the reel which could be deactivated with a single turn of the handle, leaving you to play the fish on the reel’s standard drag.

This function has now become pretty much standard on big-fish reels and many companies have gone on to launch their own versions of this mechanism but, to this day, the original is yet to be bettered thanks to Shimano’s regular improvements over the last 25 years.

Shimano’s UK brand manager Richard Griffiths added: “Our Baitrunners have built up a very good reputation over time for being reliable and not letting you down at crucial times.

“By constantly improving them with other features found on our other top reels such as Dynabalance and Aero Wrap, it has enabled us to stay clear of the field.”

The Baitrunner was originally developed for use in Australia and the United States, but it very quickly proved popular with anglers worldwide. In the beginning, there was just the one model called the Baitrunner TSS, but today’s line-up boasts six different reels available in a variety of sizes. All have been designed with a specific purpose and cover everything from standard feederfishing tactics with the 5000-sized reels through to heavy-duty big-fish work with the largest 10000 and big Baitrunner models.

The latest offerings to hit the market are the DL and ST Baitrunners which were launched this year to offer an affordable version of the popular reel for those with a restricted budget, with the ST taking the title as Shimano’s cheapest-ever Baitrunner.

This has helped to push sales of the reel to this magical figure. And, with rumours of a special limited edition camouflage Baitrunner and other new models in the offing it looks as though the company’s success will continue for the near future.